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to be worried about this insurance/SORN impasse, and request your help?

(22 Posts)
NomDeOrdinateur Sat 06-Apr-13 23:53:53

Hi, I've just bought a new car and I've just realised that the change in the law (which requires you to tax AND insure your car OR declare it SORN) has put me in a seemingly impossible situation - please, please may somebody help me?

My old car has 9 months insurance left, and I want to take it to a dealer to sell later in the week and transfer the insurance to my new car (adding on my DP, who has a provisional license, at the same time).

However, my new car's 24 hour insurance runs out at 4pm tomorrow (Sun) and I can't declare it SORN online because the website doesn't recognise the car's details (paperwork hasn't yet gone through, obviously). I also can't call the DVLA as it's closed until Monday.

As far as I can see, my options are:

- Do nothing and risk £100-£1000+ fine, plus points on license;

- Buy extra short-term insurance on the new car (at £20 per day), and try to get the new car SORN somehow on Monday (which will be very difficult/impossible as I'm at a conference from 8am-10pm and the paperwork/online issue will still exist);

- Add the new car to a multicar policy with the intention of removing the old car and transferring my No Claims Bonus to the new car later in the week, and hope that it won't be too expensive to add my DP later (can't add him tomorrow, as the current car is Group 4 and it will cost a fortune);

- Post the Registration Certificate and SORN notice tomorrow and hope that a) the DVLA will accept it, despite saying that they don't accept "back-dated" SORNs, and b) it doesn't cause more problems than it solves by highlighting a paperwork discrepancy that would otherwise be overlooked.

It seems to me that whatever I do will leave me very out of pocket as I won't be able to shop around for insurance without spending roughly £100 on short-term cover while I get the new car SORN.

Please may somebody advise me on where to go from here? The car was a one-off opportunity which I came across 60 miles from home, and I had no idea this was a potential issue until this evening as I only just found out about the change in the law sad.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Sat 06-Apr-13 23:59:10

The easiest thing to do is to transfer the insurance onto the new car tomorrow and get short term insurance for the old car. I work in insurance and every time I come across this situation (which is actually quite common, don't worry!) that's my advice. Don't risk the points as that will also increase your insurance. Also chopping and changing between old and new car and adding a driver will be more costly in terms of admin fees. Hope this helps smile

Sleepwhenidie Sun 07-Apr-13 00:00:04

What are the chances of road tax being spotted? Can you keep the car off road for a few days? I assume you don't need to drive it as you have your old car?

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 00:00:09


I'm not sure if you wrote 'insurance' when you meant tax in some of that.

You need to be insured on both cars at the same time, just for a few days (though frankly I cannot see the DVLA caring about the brand new car for a couple of days if you don't drive it).

Why do you need to SORN the new car?

NomDeOrdinateur Sun 07-Apr-13 00:06:17

Thanks so much, BigOrange - I really appreciate your help, you're a star! I'll do that first thing tomorrow smile.

LRD - yes, I've been really confused all day! Basically, as I understand it, the new rules dictate that the car must be both taxed and insured OR declared off-road (whereas before I would only have needed insurance if I intended to drive it). I've been told that the system is now automated so I'll get a fine if both conditions aren't met.

The tax is probably a red herring - both are taxed, I was just thinking about it because I don't want to lose a total of 4 calendar months' worth of tax disc refunds by chopping and changing (i.e. SORNing and unSORNing one and then the other).

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 00:07:58

Oh, ok, I had no idea it had ever been ok to drive a car with no tax so was confused what that had to do with it. Sorry.

But sounds like bigorange knows whereof she speaks! Best of luck with it.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 00:08:44

Oh, you didn't mean that ... sorry, I am so stupid.

As you were.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Sun 07-Apr-13 00:09:03

Happy to help, hope you get it sorted smile and you're right about it being automated, somehow they know EVERYTHING!

NomDeOrdinateur Sun 07-Apr-13 00:10:50

Oh no, I just meant keeping it parked on private land without getting fined - sorry, I'm in a bit of a flap so not explaining myself as well as I should be smile.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 00:15:18

It's not you. It's me.

I clicked on the thread because I had a panic with mine a while back and thought I might know something, but please ignore me! grin

NomDeOrdinateur Sun 07-Apr-13 00:23:38

Thanks for trying to help, nonetheless - especially at this time of night! I don't know what I'd do without Mumsnet at times like this - my folks have been telling me I'm worrying about nothing all evening, so BigOrange may well have saved me a big fine and some points... flowers

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Sun 07-Apr-13 08:37:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

carabos Sun 07-Apr-13 08:43:51

bigorange they might well know everything but IME they certainly don't act on it. Our NDN has been driving his car without a tax disc for months, we suspect because he doesn't have an MOT cert, and he doesn't have an MOT cert because the rear light is stoved in.

He parks that car on the pavement and on yellow lines in town pretty much every day and nothing has happened yet.

Willdoitinaminute Sun 07-Apr-13 10:04:27

Speak to your insurer you can usually insure both cars for a short period of time for a small cost when you transfer vehicles.

specialsubject Sun 07-Apr-13 10:33:33

carabos - report him, you can do it anonymously. He is uninsured and if he has an accident, you, me and all the other insured motorists will pay.

FryOneFatManic Sun 07-Apr-13 10:40:42

I bought a car a couple of years ago and was offered a free 7 days drive-away insurance policy from the dealer, which gave me time to sort the insurance issue out regarding both cars (sold the old one). I don't know if dealers still offer those.

TidyDancer Sun 07-Apr-13 10:48:14

FryOne - they do still offer drive away insurance. DP got it with his new car.

Carabos - you can check online to see if a car has an MOT as well as tax but you will need details from the V5 so this probably won't be possible n your case. You can check the insurance status although I think you should only really do this if it's your own vehicle.

LornMowa Sun 07-Apr-13 11:03:43

I unexpectedly had this problem and was really shocked by the cost of the short term insurance. I hope you get a good deal.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Sun 07-Apr-13 12:06:55

Oh that's so annoying! Like specialsubject says I think you can report him, because if he has a claim it will be other drivers that fork out. I find it so rude that people do that!

NomDeOrdinateur Mon 08-Apr-13 18:44:19

Hi, just wanted to update to thank you all (and in case this thread is useful to somebody in the future). BigOrange's advice was perfect - they swapped my existing insurance over to the new car, added my 22y/o DP with provisional license, and sold me 4 days' worth of short term insurance for the old one for an entirely manageable total cost (< £200 to do all of that, including admin fees).

Unfortunately, the new car ground to a halt on an A-road at 1am, in the freezing cold, on Sunday, with my pet bird in the back, halfway between home and an important conference, despite having worked perfectly for over 100 miles of pretty intensive driving... hmm All of which made for a very crappy night, and means that I'll have to phone again to get another couple of days' worth of cover on the old car to see me home from the conference while my poor new car gets fixed up. Apparently it'll be a cheap fix, which is fortunate because I'm going to be raiding the back of the couch for short term insurance funds if things keep going at this rate! Shall we start a "Nom's Next Motoring Misfortune" sweepstake, anybody?

I'm sorry to hear that this SORN/insurance problem is so common - it seems ridiculous to me, as it just makes things more expensive and difficult for people who actually want to obey the law but makes no difference to those who don't. Surely a week/fortnight's grace period wouldn't be too much to ask, if the car isn't on the road?

TonysHardWorkDay Mon 08-Apr-13 19:46:18

Ouch, hope you get the new car sorted.

I had a similar problem in that my old car was dying and I had to get a new one. The old car only had a few days insurance left and as I was so busy with Uni I didn't want to be paying short term insurance as it could be a couple of weeks and I so I had no choice to SORN it and surrender the tax. Means massive hassle and cost if I want to sell the car as I need to tax and insure it rather than just getting a days insurance if someone wanted a drive. Basically I could have got about £200 from a private sale as a fixer upper but I'll have to scrap it and get £100 instead.

I think the new ruling is absolutely pointless, the people who don't tax, insure or MOT their cars will just SORN them to avoid an automatic fine and drive them anyway. Makes no difference as if they go through an ANPR camera they would have been picked up anyway.

NomDeOrdinateur Mon 08-Apr-13 20:27:27

Oh no, Tonys - it's horrible enough for me and my DP, I'd have been really upset to incur that expense as a student! I agree with you, can't understand what the government was thinking when this change was implemented (unless perhaps they're hoping to generate revenue from the fines and surrendered tax).

Thanks for your good wishes RE the car - I really hope it'll be okay too, I was just starting to get attached to it when the bloody thing dumped me on the tiny sliver of hard shoulder!

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