Abstract Non-Darcy flow and heat characteristics over a stretching sheet is presented here by taking into account of Ohmic dissipation and thermal radiation effects. The governing fundamental equations are first transformed into system of ordinary differential equations using self-similarity transformation and they are then solved numerically by using the fifth-order Runge–Kutta–Fehlberg method with shooting technique for some values of the physical parameters. Important features of the flow and heat transfer characteristic for different values of thermal radiation, magnetic and electric fields are analyzed and discussed. Favorable comparisons with previously published work on various special cases of the problem are obtained. Numerical results for the velocity and temperature profiles for a prescribed magnetic field and electric field parameter as well as the development of the local skin-friction coefficient and local Nusselt number with radiation parameters are reported graphically for various parametric conditions to show interesting aspects of the numerical solution.