A record number of people over 70 years old are currently on the roads – with Britain’s oldest driving licence holder now aged 108, according to new figures from the DVLA.
The data shows that over 5.7 million people aged 70 and over now have a full driving licence – up by 10 per cent since March last year. According to an analysis by leading car insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk, they now account for around one in seven of all drivers.
The figures show that by far the biggest group is the 70 to 79-year-old category, with 4.2 million drivers now in this age range, up by 11 per cent since last March. The number of drivers in their 80s now stands at 1.4 million, up by nine per cent.
However the biggest percentage increases have been in the oldest age groups, with the number of drivers aged 90-99 rising by 12 per cent to almost 133,000, and the number aged 100 and over up by 23 per cent to more than 500.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, comments: “The number of older drivers is rising rapidly as the waves of baby boomers celebrating their 70th birthday start to come thick and fast.
“There is good news for people in the 70-79 age category as they enjoy the lowest car insurance premium of any age group, although they may be surprised to find that they face a hike in costs around the age of 80. Even so, they will still be paying less than a 50-year-old – and much less than someone in their 20s.”
Based on a sample of Ford Fiesta drivers using the car for their own use, Quotezone’s figures show drivers would pay on average £303 in their 70s though the premium would then rise to £436 in their 80s. In practice, many older drivers pay significantly more because they put younger relatives on their policy or have more expensive cars.
Greg adds: “Although a rise in premiums may be inevitable, there is still an opportunity to make savings, so older drivers should always make sure they use a price comparison site to shop around. They could also consider switching cars to one with a smaller engine, to help lower costs.
“Drivers who are tempted to put younger relatives on their policy should remember that they will not only be paying more, but if the younger person does have an accident in their vehicle, as the policyholder, they could lose their no-claims bonus.
“There are also a number of things motorists can do to keep driving for longer, such as taking a driver refresher course, reviewing the highway code for changes and having regular eyesight tests. As the number of older drivers increases in the coming years, improvements to vehicle technology should also make it easier and safer for them to stay on the road.”
Baby boomers born in the 1950s would have been amongst the first to drive on a motorway – launched in the UK in 1959, so they have a wealth of driving experience. However, when drivers turn 70, the DVLA ask that licences are renewed every three years, to ensure any changes in health are updated.
Previous data from Quotezone.co.uk showed premium costs for young drivers were actually bucking the trend and declining throughout the pandemic.
Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users every year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different products including niche items such as older driver insurance and electric car insurance – recommended by 97% of reviewers on Reviews.co.uk.