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DVLA chasing back-tax but car was SORN-ed

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Hiya guys, need a little advice...

I've been having a little bit of correspondence tennis with the big bad DVLA and the story is this:

 

We had a car that was spare so let the tax run out and put a SORN on it as soon as the tax ran out, the car was left in a parking space in a cul-de-sac and I thought that would count as "off road"... obviously it doesn't...

 

The car was clamped then towed away to be impounded - the fines to get it released was ineconomical for the value of the car so we signed the vehicle disclaimer declaration and waived our ownership.

 

Thought that was the end of it but then they started sending letters to claim back-tax for the period when the car had a SORN on - we were actually receiving two letters as apparently it had been spotted TWICE so there were two out-of-court settlement amounts... so I have been writing to them to refute the demands explaining that the car always had tax or SORN on it and we did not realise that the car was not allowed to be in a residential parking space - my main point being that there was no INTENTION to commit an offence and I said I could make a statutory declaration to say so if need be.

 

They have eventually replied fully by a person and basically said that they'll accept one payment of £72 as out of court settlement.... I'm half tempted to just pay the damn thing but a part of me is reluctant because I feel I hadn't done anything wrong!!!! AND they've taken the car away already!

 

I am tempted to let it go to court because there may be one saving grace in my situation - they have been writing to a LAN (first Name) when it should be "Man".... would this technicality help the situation?

Also, what actually happends when the case "goes to court" I am guessing the court makes a judgement and either orders us to pay or dismisses the case.... what happens if the orders us to pay? they can't make us pay? and they would be chasing a different name anyhow....

 

Please, some advice would be appreciated.

 

Many Thanks

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No, the error is a technicality but won't affect the proceedings. If they've agreed to amalgamate the sightings and bill you for just one, then I'd take it and get it over with. If you take it to court, your mitigation will be noted, but the costs will continue and you will have to pay this AND the victims surcharge. The only SORN safety net is if you have your own ground/driveway/garage, nothing else.

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The only SORN safety net is if you have your own ground/driveway/garage, nothing else.

 

Not quite, as long as the vehicle is not on a public road - a road maintained at public expense- a SORN declaration can be submitted in place of a licence, although the DVLA contractors sometimes seem to forget that and clamp vehicles that are SORN in private car parks etc.

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True - however there are grey areas that can catch the unwary. Own ground/driveway is unassailable.

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There are no grey areas, the vehicle is either on a public road or it isn't. It's the DVLA contractors and their interpretation of the rules that causes the problem. As long as it can be shown that the vehicle is not on a public road, a SORN declaration is valid.

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You think there are no grey areas? Ask those who have their cars parked in a cul-de-sac... and had their vehicle clamped for no VED. The point being made is from the accused PoV, NOT the DVLA.

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It doesn't matter whos point of view is considered, it is down to where the vehicle is. If the location -your cul-de-sac for example - is a public road a licence is required, if it is not, a SORN declaration can be made instead of a licence.

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Of course it does. There is an adjacent thread where the angst of the OP over his car being scrapped when he thought his CdS was not the 'public road' is a valid point. I would assume we are both aware of the ramifications of the rules, as we've made it out business to. It is evident, however that others are NOT as up to speed and whilst you are swift to nit-pick, I was attempting to give a non technical but safe reply to the non-technical. There will be CdS situations that are not defined public roads, so preventing one from saying CdS's are OK to park in (say), when they may not be. However, there is no ambiguity in my first statement, and I stand by that.

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I am not nit picking, obviously if the vehicle is on your own ground/driveway/garage etc, SORN is valid but your post may confuse others in that SORN can only apply there, whereas it is also valid in a private car park, road or other land that is not maintained at public expense.

As the SORN declaration is that the vehicle will not be used or kept on a public road, it makes sense that the first thing anyone should do is simply check the status of the land where the vehicle is and not just assume that the SORN regulation applies. The cul-de-sac in the post you refer to is apparently a public road, which is why it was clamped, as you said, why didn't they put it on their drive where it would be safe.

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