As you get older, your chances of being involved in an at-fault car accident go down, and as a result, so do your car insurance premiums. That is, until you reach around 75, when both start going up again.
We'll explain exactly how age affects car insurance prices, what to do as your cover requirements change with age, and help you find the find the right policy as an older driver.
In This Guide:
- What happens to car insurance premiums as you get older?
- What can affect the cost of your policy as an older driver?
- License renewal for drivers over 70
- How to get cheaper car insurance as an older driver
- At what age do I have to stop driving?
What happens to car insurance premiums as you get older?
Car insurance is most expensive for drivers aged 17-25 (other things being equal).
It gets steadily cheaper as you get older, with drivers aged 60-70 generally paying the lowest for their premiums. This is because, it's assumed, your driving skills improve with age.
Elderly and more experienced drivers are safer on the road, and are rewarded with lower auto insurance costs.
This trend reverses once you get over 70, however, and prices start to go up again. Nevertheless, elderly drivers over 80 still tend to pay less than drivers under 50, but as risk starts to increase, along with the heightened likelihood of health problems, so do premiums.
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.
Medical declarations for older drivers
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
It's important that you do declare any of these issues as you might find your policy invalidated if you have an accident and it emerges that you have an undeclared underlying medical issue.
License renewal for drivers over 70
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.
When you renew your license, you must inform the DVLA of any changes to your health or new medical conditions that might affect your driving, such as those listed above.
How to get cheaper car insurance as an older driver
Among the many things that affect the cost of your car insurance, your age is (unfortunately) out of your control.
Likewise your choice of car - of course you can sell up and buy a new one if you want to, but unless your current car is exceptionally expensive to insure and you can do away with it, you're unlikely to do this just for cheaper auto insurance premiums.
There are some insurance providers who specialise in dedicated older driver cover, but beyond them, the same advice applies to a driver of any age looking for cheaper premiums:
- Keep your car in a secure place like a garage if possible
- Install extra security features like steering wheel locks
- Reduce your mileage
- Install a black box or telematics device
At what age do I have to stop driving?
Currently in the UK there is no legal maximum age limit for drivers.
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.