Is there an upper age limit on driving a car?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.
18/04/2020

We all know that you can’t drive a car until you are older then 17, but as people get older and their vision, reactions and ability to drive may deteriorate, do car insurers enforce an upper age limit on who they choose to insure?

It is a common question; with life expectancy rising, especially in the UK, and with more than 4 million people over the age of 70 holding a valid driver’s license, people are often asking the question: how old is too old to drive?

Most people ask the question because they want to feel safe on the roads. Those over the age of 70 may have much slower reactions than someone thirty years younger, and people worry that they would not be able to react fast enough to avoid certain vehicle collisions.

At the moment there is no upper age limit in place in order to drive on UK roads. However, when you reach 70-years old the DVSA will require you to renew your driving license and you will have to reapply for your license every three years after this.

When reapplying for a driving license you need to confirm that you are in a state where you are able to drive. This means you must declare any health issues, or eyesight issues brought up by doctors and opticians that may affect your ability to drive.

You also must inform the DVSA of any health conditions that could affect your driving including;

  1. Diabetes
  2. Syncope (fainting)
  3. Heart conditions
  4. Sleep Apnoea
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Strokes
  7. Glaucoma

Should you be diagnosed with any illness or injury by your doctor, ask them whether you will need to inform the DVSA or your car insurance provider, no matter what age you are. If you don’t you could face criminal charges and a penalty of up to £1000. To get an insurance quote, visit our car insurance for the over 50s page.

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