SORN declarations and trade plates for motor dealers

legal updates

If you make a SORN and then use the vehicle on the road then you are liable to prosecution UNLESS it is to take it to and from a pre-arranged MOT test.

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We periodically get queries about the necessity or otherwise to apply for SORN for motor dealers.

If you are temporarily in possession of an untaxed vehicle as part of the day-to-day business there is no need to make a SORN declaration.  If, however, for your own purposes you register a vehicle as a keeper then that is deemed as not temporarily in possession and so you would have to SORN such a vehicle if untaxed.  If you make a SORN and then use the vehicle on the road then you are liable to prosecution UNLESS it is to take it to and from a pre-arranged MOT test.

In similar way trade licences (trade plates) can only be used for vehicles temporarily in the motor dealer’s possession in the course of business.  There are limits on the permitted use of the vehicle on trade plates.  Included here are test drives/demonstrations for customers, delivery to the customer, valeting between trade premises to auctions.  There is no automatic exemption for MOT testing for vehicles used under a trade licence. 

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