It has definitely been financially sensible to take the second car off the road whilst Emma was overseas. Now that she's back, it's time to un-SORNStatutory Off-Road Notification it and get it going again.As usual, there's more to this than meets the eye:

  • Re-Taxing the car: the normal relicensing process is well handled online with the DVLA, as was the SORN process, but there's no obvious un-SORN option. I soon figured it's the same as a normal re-licensing, but you have to get the vehicle insured first, but you have to pay for all the month you're wanting insurance for (in this case half of August unnecessarily).
  • Insurance: using I landed up with Admiral Insurance again. I still don't understand why there can be such huge differences in the quotes (more than 100% in this case) from different companies ... how do they all stay in business?
  • Taxing again: despite Admiral's claims, it took much more than 24 hours for the confirmation of insurance to make it through to DVLA's computers, so that added another 3 days before the car could be used.
  • Breakdown cover: very speedy and efficient with Britannia Rescue.

So, at last we're ready to go. Or so I thought. In retrospect leaving the battery to drain for 4 months wasn't a great idea. A jump start from the bigger car got it going pretty quickly (though the instructions with the Halfords Jump Leads didn't mention revving the good engine which would have helped), and Martha did a 45 minute trip up and down the motorway to put a good charge in it. But the next morning it was dead again. Ouch.I spend a while on Halford's website looking at various options for battery chargers, trickle chargers, new batteries, and power packs. Wasn't clear what to do, so I land up giving my old boss a ring. He knows way more about cars and their mechanics than most mortals, and more than once I've been in an unfortunate pincer in the pub with him and another petrol-head. So now he could make amends by giving some advice, and the loan of a charger. If in a few hours the car is still dead, then it's almost certainly time for a new battery, probably from Groves Batteries.

AuthorJonathan Clark