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1.8 million vehicles 'mothballed'

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Close to 1.8 million vehicles were taken off the roads last year by their cash-strapped owners, insurance company has found.

As many as 1,799,000 vehicles made Statutory Off Road Notifications (SORN) last year to avoid the costs associated with tax, insurance and MoT - provided the vehicles stayed off public highways.

The trend of increasing SORN-declared vehicles was noticed mostly among motorcycle and light goods carriers. found that the soaring number of vehicles last year having declared SORN was almost a 200,000 increase from the number five years ago. It was also a significant increase from the figures in 2008.

After the recession, cars owners must have felt the full brunt of expenditure when they had to shell out money for car insurance and other vehicle-associated costs.

Tina Shortle, marketing director,, said: "We have noticed this year that at the time of their insurance renewal, more customers are telling us they cannot afford to keep their cars on the road. This is backed up by the increase in SORN declarations, with drivers choosing to take their vehicles off the road until their financial worries ease.

"Many of the cars declared off road in the past few years could be second cars, where households cannot afford to run multiple vehicles. There has also been a sharp rise in motorcycle SORNs, which suggests that a lot of people see their motorbikes as luxuries they cannot afford to run right now."

© Press Association 2010