Many negative stereotypes and judgements get flung in the direction of older drivers. Mostly, these focus on the supposed risks they pose by being unfocused, unaware of their surroundings and unable to react fast enough. It's no surprise that a lot of this is simply untrue. After a certain age, you'll need to prove more regularly that you're still fit to drive. But getting older isn't going to slam the brakes on your life on the road.
How does my age affect the cost of car insurance?
The statistics are on the side of older drivers - as a general rule insurers consider you less likely to be in an accident the older you get. Drivers over the age of 40 who've been driving since 17 would have over 20 years of experience on the road - so are considered to be the safest. If you've had years worth of no claims bonuses on top of this you'll find many insurers may offer you huge discounts on your premiums.
Choice of vehicle for older drivers
There are plenty of factors that affect car insurance premiums other than your age, and one of these is the type of car you choose to drive. Every car in the UK is placed into an insurance group. The cars in the lower insurance groups come with lower insurance costs. So if you're an older driver with plenty of experience behind the wheel and you're driving a smaller, lower-powered car, you can expect to have very affordable premiums. Cars that are in the more expensive groups to insure include sports cars and other high-performance vehicles.
Do older drivers cause more accidents?
Though you’re likely to hear complaints about ‘fuddy-duddy’ old drivers being a danger on the road, this is, to use 2018’s favourite buzzword, #FakeNews. Statistics from the DVLA show that casualty rates for older drivers are much lower than those reported for the youngest age group.
Legal requirements for older drivers
When you’re over the age of 70, you’ll need to apply for a licence renewal. 90 days before you turn 70, the DVLA should send you the necessary form. If you plan to continue driving indefinitely after that, drivers over 70 are required to reapply every 3 years to prove they're still fit for the roads. At each renewal, you have to let the DVLA know of any additions or changes to your pre-existing medical conditions. If the DVLA decide this makes you too much of a risk to be driving, you could have your licence revoked. Failing to reveal the whole truth could lead to a costly fine and affect your insurance cover if you had to claim after an accident.
When are you too old to drive?
There are a total 4,044,711 people aged between 70 and 80 with full licences, as of July 2018. Not only that, there are 292 drivers with full licences over the age of 100. So if you do everything you need to legally, and follow advice for older drivers, there’s no need to worry about handing over your independence and car keys as you get on in life - as long as you’re still capable of driving safely.
Cheaper car insurance for older drivers
Even with the stats on the side of older drivers, once you start reaching those higher digits some insurers might hesitate to offer insurance. And if they do, they might not be as affordable as you'd expect for an experienced driver. There are steps you can take to reduce your premiums as an older driver. If you’re retired, or plan on doing less mileage overall, let your insurer know and they might be able to quote you a lower price. This could reduce your costs since you can avoid driving in rush hour traffic, and driving in bad weather conditions, if you’re not having to go to and from the office. Car trackers and telematics (like a black box device) should also be a consideration.
If you're looking to buy or renew car insurance, get in touch today and we'll see if we can keep those wheels turning for many more miles to come.