SORN - park on private road

SORN - park on private road

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Discussion

Mr Dripping

Original Poster:

405 posts

119 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
I have a second car which I haven't used at all since the start of this Covid nonsense. It is uninsured, the MOT has expired and on SORN, but the car is roadworthy - I've given it the occasional run up and down the driveway.

I have a seemingly-private road adjacent to my house with car parking spaces. There is nothing to delineate who can/cannot park there. It's typically used by people parking during the daytime who work in nearby offices. There is plenty of space.

The road has street name signs in the font of our local authority - but access is via a gate (which is sometimes closed but never locked - although I suppose it could be locked with a padlock). The road (street name) does not appear on the local authority's website as an adopted highway which they maintain. It is a cul-de-sac and only serves some other nearby houses.

I could do with freeing up the driveway space. What would there be (legally) to prevent me from parking my uninsured, SORNed car, for an extended period of time, tucked away in one of the parking spaces at the back on this road?

I cannot see it getting in anyone's way. I could always leave my details on the dashboard if it does.

lost in espace

5,257 posts

171 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
I think you might need to insure it at least, if it is accessible by the public.

blueg33

26,128 posts

188 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Keep gate closed, park on driveway

sherman

8,243 posts

179 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
If the owner finds an abandonded car on their private land, whats to stop them getting their friendly scrapoy to remove it from their property?

Why not knock on the door of the houses up the lane and ask the owners if its ok to do it ?

Mr Dripping

Original Poster:

405 posts

119 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
Keep gate closed, park on driveway
The gate is to access the private road next to the house.

My driveway itself doesn't have a gate. Does this mean it is 'publicly accessible' and I'd need to insure any old detritus I have rotting on it, because someone could feasibly do a three point turn reversing into my driveway and collide with the uninsured car?

t400ble

1,657 posts

85 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
sherman said:
If the owner finds an abandonded car on their private land, whats to stop them getting their friendly scrapoy to remove it from their property?

Why not knock on the door of the houses up the lane and ask the owners if its ok to do it ?
Exactly this, if its really in the way you could look to rent a drive space locally?

CharlesElliott

818 posts

246 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.

Mr Dripping

Original Poster:

405 posts

119 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
sherman said:
If the owner finds an abandonded car on their private land, whats to stop them getting their friendly scrapoy to remove it from their property?

Why not knock on the door of the houses up the lane and ask the owners if its ok to do it ?
Hard to tell who the 'owner' of the private land is.

The car park attached to the private road serves a couple of blocks of flats. There is no signage up with parking restrictions/claim over land ownership. It is also directly next door to my house - my land deeds don't cover it, but there seems to be nothing to stop me parking one of my insured cars there (which I sometimes do when we have visitors).

I'm sure I could park the SORNed car there and there would be zero chance of anything going wrong, but I'd rather not get angry letters from the DVLA.

(There is another abandoned Merc C220 Coupe there on Italian plates with flat tyres which has sat there since I moved in 4 years ago. No angry notes, clamps or anything.)

Lonely

1,034 posts

132 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Mr Dripping said:
Hard to tell who the 'owner' of the private land is.

The car park attached to the private road serves a couple of blocks of flats. There is no signage up with parking restrictions/claim over land ownership. It is also directly next door to my house - my land deeds don't cover it, but there seems to be nothing to stop me parking one of my insured cars there (which I sometimes do when we have visitors).

I'm sure I could park the SORNed car there and there would be zero chance of anything going wrong, but I'd rather not get angry letters from the DVLA.

(There is another abandoned Merc C220 Coupe there on Italian plates with flat tyres which has sat there since I moved in 4 years ago. No angry notes, clamps or anything.)
I think you're answering your own questions here. As per the posts above - it sounds like a road - it matters not one jot if its private or public if the public can access it - which from your posts it sounds like they can. You need to comply with RTA or take your own risk.

Aretnap

1,310 posts

115 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
CharlesElliott said:
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.
For matters which come under the Road Traffic Act (such as insurance, MOT, and the need for a licence) this is correct.

However, tax and SORN are not governed by the Road Traffic Act. They come under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act, a completely separate piece of legislation. What matters is whether the car is on a "public road", which VERA defines as "a road which is repairable at the public expense" (in England and Wales, at least). It sounds like the road isn't that.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/22/secti...

OTOH if it's used by the public the OP could still potentially get into trouble over the lack of MOT and insurance.

speedyguy

4,689 posts

167 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Mr Dripping said:
I could do with freeing up the driveway space. What would there be (legally) to prevent me from parking my uninsured, SORNed car, for an extended period of time, tucked away in one of the parking spaces at the back on this road?
Could whatever is going on the 'freed up driveway space', not go in the other space?

Lonely

1,034 posts

132 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Aretnap said:
CharlesElliott said:
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.
For matters which come under the Road Traffic Act (such as insurance, MOT, and the need for a licence) this is correct.

However, tax and SORN are not governed by the Road Traffic Act. They come under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act, a completely separate piece of legislation. What matters is whether the car is on a "public road", which VERA defines as "a road which is repairable at the public expense" (in England and Wales, at least). It sounds like the road isn't that.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/22/secti...

OTOH if it's used by the public the OP could still potentially get into trouble over the lack of MOT and insurance.
That's all very interesting but nobody except you is thinking about the VEL as the OP said it is already SORN. coffee

InvisibleSpider

89 posts

123 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
It will need to be insured to park on the road you propose.

untakenname

3,608 posts

156 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
A car was dumped on a private road at my old address for over a year and you had to pay to get them to investigate, in the end it was set alight and then was removed a couple of days later foc.

Edit: This was the response to the first enquiry to get them to remove it as it was parked in an inconsiderate spot and had major damage to the front so was probably used for joyriding then dumped when it could go no further.

council said:
There is a non-refundable administration charge per vehicle for the investigation of vehicles on private land. The investigation includes site visits, all relevant DVLA checks and the serving of any required notices on the vehicle. If there is no interested party or the vehicle is not claimed by an owner and deemed to be abandoned the removal of the vehicle will be undertaken free of charge.

You can apply and pay for the investigation of a vehicle on private land online by using the link

donkmeister

3,367 posts

64 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Mr Dripping said:
(There is another abandoned Merc C220 Coupe there on Italian plates with flat tyres which has sat there since I moved in 4 years ago. No angry notes, clamps or anything.)
There is a possibility that if the number of mystery cars increases from 1-2, someone will start to get agitated about it before it becomes 3, 4 etc...

On the insurance side of things, laid-up insurance is a thing. I pay about £50 a year for mine, it's essentially "arson and theft only" insurance for SORN cars, it doesn't cover RTA stuff. That's on my own land, but a conversation with a laid-up insurance provider will reveal if they are content to cover yours on a private road.

Mr Dripping

Original Poster:

405 posts

119 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
donkmeister said:
On the insurance side of things, laid-up insurance is a thing. I pay about £50 a year for mine, it's essentially "arson and theft only" insurance for SORN cars, it doesn't cover RTA stuff. That's on my own land, but a conversation with a laid-up insurance provider will reveal if they are content to cover it on a private road.
I never knew about that - thanks. Will have a look.

Alternatively, I could just insure and use the old bus...it has a full tank of petrol which equals a 'free' holiday in the Highlands (whenever that's possible)...

Gafferjim

1,311 posts

229 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
CharlesElliott said:
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.
This is correct, it even applies to pub car parks, supermarket car parks etc.

Lonely

1,034 posts

132 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Gafferjim said:
CharlesElliott said:
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.
This is correct, it even applies to pub car parks, supermarket car parks etc.
Incorrect. There are limitations to when the car parks you mention are public places and they are not roads.




Edited by Lonely on Wednesday 3rd March 20:54

the tribester

1,301 posts

50 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
OP, this link may be of interest to you

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/keeping_a_s...

''The definition of a road is clarified in the Road Traffic Act 1988, as
being ‘any highway and any other road to which the public has access and
includes bridges over which a road passes’. In addition, the Vehicle
Excise and Registration Act 1994 provides a definition of a public road as
a ‘road repairable at the public expense’. The GOV.UK website provides
some examples of what may be considered as off road areas, however; DVLA
is unable to offer definitive advice on what constitutes public or private
land. If the un-adopted road in question is classed as a public road, it
would be an offence to keep an untaxed vehicle there, regardless of
whether or not a SORN is made. Registered keepers that may want to
identify areas designated for off road parking are advised to contact
their Local Authority for advice.

I trust this clarifies the Agency's position.

Yours sincerely, Debbie Leaker, Freedom Of Information, Strategy, Policy & Communications Directorate | C2W | DVLA | Swansea | SA6 7JL''

You should be able to find your local authority Land Charges website where they hopefully have an interactive map to show 'Highways Maintained at Public Expense' on which to check the status of the 'Private Road'

Gareth79

5,532 posts

210 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Lonely said:
Aretnap said:
CharlesElliott said:
A 'road' is any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So a 'private road' to which the public has access is still a road, and therefore the rules still apply.
For matters which come under the Road Traffic Act (such as insurance, MOT, and the need for a licence) this is correct.

However, tax and SORN are not governed by the Road Traffic Act. They come under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act, a completely separate piece of legislation. What matters is whether the car is on a "public road", which VERA defines as "a road which is repairable at the public expense" (in England and Wales, at least). It sounds like the road isn't that.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/22/secti...

OTOH if it's used by the public the OP could still potentially get into trouble over the lack of MOT and insurance.
That's all very interesting but nobody except you is thinking about the VEL as the OP said it is already SORN. coffee
SORN is an integral part of the vehicle excise system. You declare a vehicle as SORN to state that is isn't used on a public road.

Some unadopted areas are still subject to VEL, so looking up whether it's on a highways map isn't quite enough. eg. parish council car parks and laybys, housing association roads and car parks etc.


Edited by Gareth79 on Wednesday 3rd March 21:22