Laid up vehicles

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White truck on the asphalt road in the evening

Businesses with vehicles that may be out of use, may consider if they should be SORN (statutory off road notification) thereby not having tax on the vehicle. By declaring the vehicle SORN the vehicle cannot be driven or parked on a public road.

You may question whether you need to continue insuring a vehicle that is SORN as motor insurance would not be compulsory but it is very important to consider the following first:

  • If the vehicle is leased, hired or loaned to you there may be conditions in the contract that Comprehensive cover is to be held
  • If so, you would need confirmation that you are allowed to either temporarily cease or reduce the extent of cover held
  • An alternative to ceasing all cover is reducing cover to either:
  1. Laid up Accidental Damage, Fire & Theft or
  2. Laid up Fire & Theft

Our recommendation is to have Accidental Damage Fire & Theft cover otherwise damage occurring for example, from malicious damage, may not be covered.

Each Insurer will have their own underwriting stance on whether they are willing to reduce to Laid up cover.  This may depend on:

  • Where the vehicle will be kept when laid up.  If Insurers think this would be a higher theft risk they may apply restrictions
  • If the vehicle is left for example on an employees’ driveway, it may be necessary to occasionally move this around to accommodate other vehicles, encroaching onto the highway and therefore contravening the SORN regulations
  • The Insurer may rate on the vehicle value rather than type of vehicle

Note: Insurers may require proof the vehicle is SORN.  There is a facility on the Gov.uk website to check if a vehicle is taxed, this also confirms if a vehicle has been SORN

More information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn

https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

If you intend to or have already laid up your fleet of vehicles (or a significant proportion) you should let your insurance advisor know as soon as possible.

Commercial vehicle accumulation limits

The value of vehicles at any single location may also be a factor in your insurer’s assessment of the cover provided.

VERY IMPORTANT: Your insurer must be notified immediately you intend to use any such vehicles again as laid-up cover does not provide the cover legally required under Road Traffic Act legislation and it is an offence to use a vehicle on the road without the correct insurance cover.