What is the likelihood of the DVLA revoking a penalty for not declaring SORN on my Sierra XR4x4?

Since 1990 I have owned a 1988 Ford Sierra XR 4X4 that I used for many years in connection with my business. Consequently, I showed my office address as being applicable in relation to all queries for tax and insurance of this vehicle and all correspondence was correctly dealt with from there. Since my retirement and for the last four years, the car has been off the road and has been, at all times, garaged at my home. It is currently there with the tyres partially deflated and the battery removed. The relevant SORN notice has been completed each year and I have evidence of this. Although I retired, I still owned my office building and any correspondence was duly handed to me on my frequent visits to the building and the relevant SORN declaration completed.

As a result of the office being completely modernised by a new tenant, I did not receive the reminder for the road tax that fell due at the end of December 2012 and this was probably destroyed by the building contractors who treated it as rubbish as my name would not be known to them. However, when the Penalty Notice was issued in March, the new tenant recognised my name and forwarded it to me. I have made an appeal against this and have truthfully explained the circumstances that are applicable but my appeal has been rejected. Do I stand any chance of making an appeal that, if rejected, will compound the current penalty amount?

Asked on 18 May 2013 by FC, via email

Answered by Honest John
You are dealing with people who run a system according to a set of rules so I doubt you will be let off the fine. But two things occur to me: You should keep a diary of everything that needs to be renewed. The DVLA is not actually bound to send you a VED or SORN reminder, but does so out of courtesy. Also, there is no reason why you should not re-register the car to your home address, where it is actually kept.
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