Fortunately, the DVLA publishes a list every quarter of the cars which are registered as SORN so we can all look at what future barn finds could be.
The potential for a good barn-find is high. There are more than 2.7 million cars SORN-ed in the UK, made up of more than 2,100 models. The SORN list is a fluid thing, too, as cars are added, or taken off road, and cars are found and re-taxed and put back into use.
The top 10 most SORN-ed cars between the end of June 2019 and the year before isn’t that shocking – the top 10 almost reads like a modern-day best-sellers list although, with a slant toward the premium end of things. But a look at other SORN lists (below) reveals a more interesting set of cars.
In this list, what’s more interesting is the percentage change, rather than the actual volume. For instance, proportionally, not many owners SORN their Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa, but in the same category of car the Mini Cooper (that’s how the DVLA designates it) is more likely to receive a SORN.
The top 10 cars put back on the road
Things get more interesting when you look at the top 10 cars put back on the road, or dug out of that barn:
Rover 200 Series
Some cars you’re glad are being dug out. It’s great to see an extra 742 MGBs on the road compared to the year before, and an extra 364 MG Midgets is a good thing too. There also seems to have been a resurgence in 1990s French hatchbacks with a host of 106s, 306s and Saxos being put back into use.
However, we’re not that fussed about the extra 201 Daewoo Matiz that are now being pressed into service compared with the same time the year before.
Possibly even stranger is the 199 Infiniti Q30s that went from SORN to taxed, although this is understood to be due to cars coming back from a fleet deal, put on SORN, then drip-fed back into the market to maximise values.
If you look purely at new models, the SORN list becomes seriously interesting and a little bit weird. With one or two exceptions, looking at new models subject to SORN shines a light on what’s likely to enter a collection, which is a completely different kind of barn.
Audi e-tron – 1
VW T-Cross – 1
BMW X7 – 2
Rolls Royce Cullinan – 2
McLaren 600LT – 3
Lamborghini Urus – 4
Peugeot Rifter – 5
Alpine A110 – 6
McLaren Senna – 7
Ferrari 812 Superfast – 9
The majority of cars on this list are supercars, be they traditional sports cars or the new breed of SUV supercar. However, it’s interesting to see the Alpine A110 on the list with six having been bought and then immediately stored.
Audi’s e-tron is an odd one to see on this list, similarly the VW T-Cross. Maybe someone out there collects new VW Group models?
However, in the rarest 10 new models, there are six Peugeot Rifters SORN-ed. As good as the Rifter is, I doubt it’s a collectable and that we’ll be discovering them as barn-finds in 20-plus years. This is much more likely to be on the SORN list while it is off road being converted to take a wheelchair or have accessories added. We’ll have to wait and see if these reappear on the road when the next DVLA SORN list comes out…