Car insurance for older drivers
If you’re aged 50 or older, you’ve probably been paying high premiums on your car insurance for many years. Now may be the right time to look for a new policy that rewards your wisdom on the road.
In This Guide:
- Is car insurance cheaper for older people?
- What can affect the cost of your policy as an older driver?
- How often does an older driver have to renew their licence?
- At what age do I have to stop driving?
Is car insurance cheaper for older people?
Most insurers will charge more for policies taken out by under 25s and new drivers compared to older people. This is due to the implied lack of experience equating to a higher potential for accidents and claims.
But when you hit the over-50 bracket, this assumption is reversed in your favour. Road traffic accident statistics suggests drivers who are between 50 and 65 are the least likely to be involved in incidents, making insurers more comfortable when offering policies to this demographic. Other factors also play to the older drivers’ advantage, such as assumed reduced mileage.
However, although older drivers can expect to see decent savings on their car insurance premiums for a number of years, there does come a time where this will swing the other way.
After young drivers, those in their 70s and 80s are considered the highest risk when it comes to offering insurance to, again due to the increased percentage of road accidents they are involved in. There are some insurers who will not offer policies to anyone over 70, and the ones that do will often charge high prices.
Luckily, there are specialist insurance companies who cater solely to older drivers. Compare car insurance policies from a range of providers with Money Expert to find the best deal available if your current provider can no longer offer you cover.
What can affect the cost of your policy as an older driver?
Even if you fall in the over 50 bracket, you can still expect your insurance policy to be affected by the same criteria as younger drivers; such as the age of your vehicle, prior road offences, and claim history.
You will also have to report any health risks that may hinder your driving ability to the DVLA. This can affect likelihood of an insurer offering you a good policy, if at all. Some of the most common health risks that can raise your insurance premiums include:
- diabetes or taking insulin
- syncope (fainting)
- heart conditions (including atrial fibrillation and pacemakers)
- sleep apnoea
If you are over the age of 70, then you have an obligation to inform the DVLA and your insurer if you suffer from any of these ailments or any that can impair your driving ability. Failure to do so can incur large fines and even criminal convictions should you have a road accident.
How often does an older driver have to renew their licence?
Once you reach the age of 70, you will be expected to renew your licence every three years, following changes to UK law in 2015. There is no charge for this renewal and the DVLA will send you a D46P form three months before your 70th birthday, to be completed and returned to effectively renew your licence.
At what age do I have to stop driving?
Currently in the UK there is no legal age where someone is no longer allowed to drive.
Instead of a set age limit for drivers, as some countries employ, other factors are taken into account to assess your ability to drive. Health issues are the most common reason older drivers are no longer permitted to drive, with the increased risk of failing eyesight, cataracts, and cognitive impairment illnesses like Alzheimer's disease being more prevalent in older drivers.
Aside from medical conditions, there are limitations to your driving ability that you should also take into account, such as slowed reflexes, increased confusion in stressful situations, reduced mobility and stiff joints. It can often fall on the driver themselves to assess their own driving ability to ensure they are not putting themselves and other road users at risk.