SORN Insurance

Specialist laid-up cover for motorbikes, cars, motorhomes and vans.

0330 053 6844.

The SORN Insurance Specialists

SORN Insurance

Be laid back when it's laid up, with specialist SORN insurance.

Specialist laid-up cover for motorbikes, cars, motorhomes and vans.


We specialise in providing 12 month SORN insurance for your vehicle when it is not in use on the road and declared SORN.

The policy is specifically designed to cover laid up fire and theft for your vehicle or vehicles.

SORN insurance can cover your vehicle at the home address or at another declared address in the UK providing the vehicle is kept off the public highway.

Our specialist team will guide you through the quick quote process and get your vehicle the right protection it needs.

SORN insurance benefits include:

  • Fire and Theft cover as standard
  • New or old vehicles 
  • Any make or model of car, van and motorhome
  • Vehicle can be garaged, parked on your drive, stored in a secure building or carpark
  • Agreed value available subject to criteria and underwriter’s acceptance
  • Policyholder age from 17 years+
  • Nil excess policies available
  • No upper or lower value limits, subject to acceptance
  • Multi Vehicle policies available

Any make or model of bike car, van and motorhome.
Nil excess policies available.
Multi Vehicle policies available.
Agreed value (available subject to criteria and underwriter’s acceptance).
New or old vehicles.
Policyholder age from 17 years+.
0330 053 6844.

For the best quote chat to our friendly and informed UK based call centre team

SORN - Taking your vehicle off the road

According to Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) statistics, nearly 2.75 million vehicles in the UK were declared 'SORN' in 2018.

So what is SORN and how do you go about registering your vehicle off road?

What is a SORN?

SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification.

It's a legal requirement to register a vehicle as off road if it is not taxed or insured for use on the highway (we'll come to SORN insurance later). When we say on the highway, this doesn't just mean driving, but parking your car on the road.

If it's on a public road, moving or static, you must pay tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty as it's properly known) and have road car insurance.

You must also SORN your vehicle if you intend to cannibalise it for parts prior to scrapping.

You can only driver a SORN registered vehicle on the public highway if you are taking it for a pre-booked MOT or another official government test or check.

Why SORN a vehicle?

There are many reasons you might want to declare your vehicle off road.

You might own a classic motorcycle or car which you only use during the summer months or show season.

You could be working on a restoration or customisation and have your car, van or bike stowed in a garage.

You might own a motorhome which you hammer whilst the summer sun shines, but which you keep under wraps as winter sleet, snow and rain falls.

Then, of course, it might just be a matter of economics. Sometimes keeping a motor on the road can pull just a little too hard on the purse strings.

What if I don't SORN my vehicle?

Under Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules your vehicle must either be insured or declared off road. These rules, which were introduced in 2011, are actively enforced.

If your fail to declare your vehicle off road you will face a £100 fixed penalty notice. According to research by Kwik-Fit in 2018 well over 73,000 people were taken to court and £12.4 million paid in fines for failing to correctly register their vehicle.

According to this data, the number of offenders and fines increased by more than 70% over a mere five years.

Of course if your vehicle is found on the public highway without tax or insurance - a minimum of third party cover - you will also be in breach of the law. At best driving without insurance earns a £300 fixed penalty and six points on your precious licence. If you end up in court the potential fine is unlimited and you could be disqualified.

If you do not declare your vehicle SORN and it is uninsured for 14 days or more, you should be contacted by the Motor Insurance Bureau which hosts the Motor Insurance Database. Its letter will advise you of procedures and penalties. Remember though that regardless of whether you receive an advisory letter from the MIB, it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is either insured or registered SORN.

How do I SORN my car, motorcycle, motorhome or van?

Thankfully this is a pretty straightforward process. You can either:

  • apply to to register your vehicle as off road online
  • tick the SORN box on your V11 tax renewal form and take it to a participating Post Office
  • complete application form V890 and post it to the DVLA in Swansea
  • Apply by phone on 0300 123 4321. This automated service is available 24 hours but check with your phone service provider to see if charges apply.

The vast majority of people choose to register online - it's a quick and easy process.

One incentive for registering your vehicle SORN is that the DVLA will refund tax you may have paid. This is done automatically and will see you getting back the cost of any full months remaining on your tax.

Do I need SORN insurance?

If you have declared your vehicle off road then legally you are not required to insure it.

However, just because your vehicle is registered SORN, that does not mean it is not at risk. It could be stolen. It could be damaged by or lost to fire.

Precisely because of these risks SORN insurance - also known as 'laid up insurance' simply offers fire and theft cover.

There's no third party protection or more comprehensive cover because, as your vehicle is not being used on the road, you really don't need it. As a result SORN insurance will be cheaper than road cover.

Who offers SORN insurance?

Given where you're reading this, you'll not be surprised to hear that Principal Insurance is among brokers offering specialist off road insurance!

Our cunningly named SORN Insurance brand provides off road cover for cars, motorcycles, motorhomes and vans. You can get a quote online or by calling 0330 053 6844.



Because we put our policyholders first, we now serve around 40,000 motorcyclists, motorists, classic car enthusiasts, van drivers, couriers, motorhome owners, homeowners and motor trade professionals nationally.

Whilst we embrace the latest quote and administration technologies, you might say we’re a bit old school.

That’s because we’d prefer to talk to you in order to get the best possible understanding of your needs. That then means we are properly equipped to seek out the best deal for you from our extensive panel of leading UK insurers.*

What’s more we are able to give motorbike insurance, car, van, motorhome, multi-vehicle, home and commercial insurance quotes.

Our impressive growth has been achieved not through multi-million pound marketing campaigns but by delivering old fashioned service.

That can mean finding you the lowest possible insurance quote from our panel of insurers or, if you need make a claim, ensuring that you have access to specialist assistance so that the process is as prompt and painless as possible.

We’re a company with personality, one that instead of demanding staff always follow stringent call scripts and call length targets, encourages them to chat so they can provide you with the highest quality of service.

An independent broker, we source the best quotes from the UK’s leading specialist insurers.
With no call length targets, our experts take the time to find you the best deal.
We’re here to help – with dedicated claims and customer service support.
Our quotes hotline open weekdays 9.00am-6.00pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

For the best quote chat to our friendly and informed UK based call centre team