Older drivers could pay a hefty cost for not knowing licence law

Nearly all drivers over 65 surveyed said they were average, good or excellent behind the wheel. (Picture: Seabamirum/Flickr.)
Nearly all drivers over 65 surveyed said they were average, good or excellent behind the wheel. (Picture: Seabamirum/Flickr.)
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Virtually all drivers over 65 rate themselves as average, good or excellent behind the wheel, despite seven per cent being unsure if they could read a number plate 20m away and 10 per cent having had an accident in the past five years.

New research from Direct Line Car Insurance reveals that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of drivers over the age of 65, equal to around 2.1 million motorists, are in the dark when it comes to the validity of their licence – unaware it needs renewed every three years from the age of 70.

Other findings were: 52 per cent of older drivers agreed that 70 was the right age for a standard license to expire; a fifth felt it should be determined on a case by case basis, and 17 per cent felt 70 was too early.

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, commented: “It’s crucial that older motorists are aware of their obligations to renew their licence as they risk driving illegally if it expires.

“We want to remind older drivers that their licence will automatically expire at the age of 70 – regardless of their health or ability to drive.

“If an older motorist wants to continue to drive they must make a renewal application in advance, and continue to do so every three years from the age of 70 to ensure their insurance remains valid.

“Even those who by accident don’t do this can face a very hefty fine, which is a high price to pay when the renewal process for over 70s is free.”

There are currently four million drivers with a full licence aged 70 or over and 230 drivers aged 100 or above.