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Bought written off car - didn't sorn nor insure it..got a £452 fine whilst mechanic towed it. - can i appeal?

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January 2019 I purchased from an online car auction a car written off category NS.


I was unaware that the car had to be classified as being on a SORN once the TAX had ran out and it remained on my drive until I had the funds to repair it which was done last year in August 2020.


Unfortunately, whilst the car was with a Mechanic for a quotation which required it to be towed to a couple of them for the estimates to be obtained, it must've been picked up by a police ANPR camera.


I say this as I have never received an answer to my question of where it was and at what time as it definitely wasn't with me when the alleged contravention occurred.


I had a statement written and sent to the DVLA to say this and the mechanic was happy to verify this was the case.


Nevertheless, whilst I pleaded guilty to the fact that I wasn't aware you needed insurance as formerly it was acceptable to not do so if the car was on private property and it wasn't fit to drive.


I challenged the penalty on the basis that this was my first offence,

I was unaware and the car couldn't have been driven even in my absence and would have been on private property of the mechanic.


The hearing got posponed several times due to COVID-19 and then on the 30 April 2021 the magistrate court decided the sun fine was 220 + 20 for victim support + 200 court costs.


I have explained that I am out of work though not claiming Universal Credit at the moment as I am using personal savings.


Nevertheless, I think this amount is unfair and want to know if this could be appealed?


No information is provided to say that I can.

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Ignorance of the law is no defence is what they would say. It was up to you to find out what you needed to do, to be in compliance with the law.


Yes  you can contact the Magistrates fines office and ask for a hearing to set payments based on your current financial position.

We could do with some help from you.



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  • dx100uk changed the title to Bought written off car - didn't sorn it..got a £452 fine whilst with the mechanic for not being insured
  • dx100uk changed the title to Bought written off car - didn't sorn nor insure it..got a £452 fine whilst mechanic towed it. - can i appeal?

Did you attend the hearing? If not, did you provide a statement of means explaining you were on benefits? There are also some other anomalies with the amounts levied, but if you could answer the above two questions first, I'll explain a possible way forward which might (only might) see the sums imposed reduced.

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The OP isn't on benefits, just out of work....

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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15 hours ago, tedd4 said:

 it must've been picked up by a police ANPR camera.


I had a statement written and sent to the DVLA 


I challenged the penalty on the basis that this was my first offence,



If the offence was dealt with by the DVLA, it would be 'keeping an uninsured vehicle' - s.144A, Road Traffic Act 1988. That is an administrative matter, not the vehicle being seen by police cameras. 

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2 hours ago, Bazooka Boo said:

The OP isn't on benefits, just out of work....

Yes, thanks for that. But I need to know whether he provided the court with his financial circumstances. From the figures he quoted as fines, etc., I suspect not. Perhaps the OP could also tell us whether he was offered a fixed penalty for the offence.

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Thank you for your comments. 

I appealed to the DVLA twice and they rejected them on both occasions. I don’t recall being offered a fixed penalty but I’ll need to check that. 

This was the content of a covering letter I sent to the court:


I have appealed to the DVLA twice that the car was purchased from an online auction for salvage cars and that it was not roadworthy nor driveable as evidenced by the pre-inspection purchase report by an independent mechanic that was submitted to the DVLA and was received from the merchant with an MOT though no insurance or SORN. 


It was in effect in-trade and was recovered by the mechanic for inspection and then a couple of weeks later to my address and remained on the drive and thus off the public road. 


Since the Court Order has been received I have sought legal advice whereupon I was I was informed, having not known at the time, of the change in the law that the car had to be insured even though it wasn’t on a public highway and was not in any condition to be driven. This is essentially the basis of my plea change. 


When pleading not guilty, there were several mitigating factors that existed that led me to believe that the car could only be insured once the repairs were completed. I had in fact checked with my current broker what the cost of insuring the car was before purchasing the car to calculate its running cost.


In its current state there wasn’t a single insurance company willing to insure the car and he had said that it would be more difficult once repaired but certainly not impossible but at a higher premium. Therefore, it wasn’t an option as far as I was concerned. Furthermore, given that the damages to the car rendered it immobile I again thought that the necessity for insuring the car would be at the time the car was brought back to road-worthy condition. 


Arrangements were made for the car to be inspected by two body repair shops and at the time the notice was served it was indeed with a mechanic. I have informed the DVLA of this fact and provided them with the name and address of the mechanics who had the car in their possession. 


Unfortunately, to verify with which mechanic the car was with the DVLA have not provided me with the exact date and time and address of the alleged offence despite requesting it two times. The DVLA were invited to contact the mechanics to verify my claim that it wasn’t in my possession and that the car had been recovered from my address to the mechanics as it is in a non=driveable condition.


I have pointed out that I always wish to avoid breaking the law and as a precautionary measure I renewed the road tax as I was concerned that whilst out of my possession the car might be placed on a public highway and to avoid breaking any law I put this in place. Therefore, there was no intention of circumventing any law or attempting to save money.


I do acknowledge that I was regrettably unaware of any change in the law stating that a car must be insured regardless of whether it is driven or not unless a SORN is in place. Once I did become aware of this fact, I immediately declared the car off road and a SORN was put in place. 


After receiving legal advice and informed of the facts I am now changing my plea to guilty and I accept full responsibility for failing to comply with the law and I am very sorry for not seeking advice and/or not having reviewed current laws. This is my first such offence and my first purchase of a salvage car from an online site. I am a Medical Oncologist by profession and therefore have no experience in the world of motor trading and repairs. 


Since the incident occurred I've have a SORN in place and have received a quote for its repair. It will of course be registered for road tax and insurance once these are completed and this offense will never happen again. 


I have been off work for 3 years due to mental health and now have fully recovered. I have volunteered to return to the NHS to assist in the current medical crisis but until I do return to work I have no income nor am I receiving any benefits.


I am currently living in the parental home in order to save money and all of my savings are accounted for in daily living expenses, contribution for my stay and towards continuous professional education and subscriptions/registration fees. Please take this into consideration when reviewing my case such that you kindly reduce my fine or any additional penalties under these mitigating circumstances. 

I’m sure I filled in an expenditure / income chart showing the costs of daily living exceeds my income.



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