Many businesses may have vehicles “out of use” under the current circumstances and therefore may be considering whether they should SORN (statutory off road notification) the vehicle, thereby not have tax on the vehicle. By declaring the vehicle SORN, the vehicle cannot be driven or parked on a public road.

SORN vehicles

If you choose to SORN any of your vehicles, you may be questioning whether you need the vehicle to be insured as this would not be compulsory. However, there are some points to consider before stopping your motor insurance cover:

  • There may be conditions whereby the vehicle must have comprehensive cover, such as a vehicle that is leased, hired or loaned. In these cases, your lease agreement may dictate that insurance be in place.
  • If this is the case, you would need confirmation that you are allowed to either temporarily cease or reduce the extent of cover held.
  • Options to reduce, rather than cease, cover may be available, such as:
    • Laid up Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft, or;
    • Laid up Fire and Theft

Safe and Insured recommend having Accidental Damage, Fire and Theft cover, as this may provide some protection should damage occur from incidents such as malicious damage.

As each insurer is different, some will have their own underwriting stance on whether they will allow reduced cover to be placed on the vehicle. This could depend on:

  • Where the vehicle is kept during in the SORN period. If insurers believe that a higher risk of theft is probable due to the location of storage, they may apply restrictions.
  • If the vehicle is left on a residential driveway, there may be an occasion where the vehicle needs to be moved. This may encroach onto the highway, or public road and therefore contravene the SORN regulations.
  • The insurer may rate on the vehicle value rather than the type of vehicle.
  • Commercial Vehicle accumulation limits: if multiple vehicles are kept in a single location, the combined value of these vehicles may factor into your insurer’s assessment of the cover provided.

Please note: When opting for reduced cover, insurers may require proof that the vehicle is SORN. The website offers a facility to check if a vehicle is taxed, this also confirms if a vehicle has been SORN.

More information on vehicle SORN can be found here:

If you intend to, or have already, laid up part or all of your fleet of vehicles, please inform your insurance advisors as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT: You must notify your insurer immediately should you intend to use any of these vehicles again as laid-up cover does not provide the cover that is legally required under the Road Traffic Act legislation. It is an offence to drive any vehicle without the correct insurance cover in place.