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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70281
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Is it legal to park a validly SORN'ed vehicle in a public

Customer Question

Is it legal to park a validly SORN'ed vehicle in a public car park?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No. If a vehicle is SORNed then it has to be off road.

In fairness, it isn't the worst offence but keeping a SORNed vehicle on a public road or public place is a contravention.

A public car park is not a road but it is a public place maintained by public funds.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where can I find in the relevant act that brings a "Public Place" within scope?
The memorandum I referred to clearly states a public car park is considered a road.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry .... isn't considered a road.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The charges I'm facing state " kept on a public road a mechanically propelled vehicle for which a license was not in force."
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Allied to this charge they have incorrectly named the location of the car park. Would this be grounds for dismissal of the charge on the grounds the statement of fact is incorrect?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No, I'm sorry.

I am really sorry and I wish I could tell you that this is a defence but it is not.

This is a public place and so you cannot leave a SORNed vehicle there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, thanks Jo.
I don't no how the general public is supposed understand this and be law abiding when its not common knowledge nor explained when making a SORN declaration. I know ignorance isn't a defense but it seems the DVLA are exploiting the publics lack of awareness.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know how this will be viewed in court and the likely penalty? I had 2 cars on SORN in the car park.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Oh it will just be a fine.

In fact, sometimes the DVLA will drop these things for public interest reasons. They apply the public interest much more sensibly than CPS in my experience.