Nearly a third of motorists over the age of 65 have a medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, that should be disclosed to the DVLA but almost half of these drivers admit they have not done so.
The majority (57 per cent) have not notified the DVLA because they believe their condition will not affect their driving ability.
However, research by Direct Line Car Insurance has found that older drivers are not alone - almost a tenth of all UK motorists with medical conditions that should be declared, fail to do so.
The company is urging all motorists to disclose medical conditions to their insurer and the DVLA to remain within the law
Failing to disclose risks a £1000 fine, prosecution and the safety of other road users.
The new research freveals almost three in ten (28 per cent) older motorists have medical conditions such as visual impairments, diabetes, heart conditions or epilepsy that must be disclosed to the DVLA. Despite this, almost half (49 per cent) have failed to tell the DVLA about their condition.
Of those over 65 who have failed to disclose their conditions, 57 per cent say this is because they don’t feel their condition affects their driving. Twelve per cent say they were not aware of this obligation and 27 per cent cite other reasons.
Across the UK as a whole, a quarter (24 per cent) of drivers have so called ‘notifiable conditions’ but one in 10 (nine per cent) have not disclosed this to the DVLA.
Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, said: “Regardless of age, drivers that have a notifiable or worsening medical condition or disability must disclose this to the DVLA and also to their insurer to stay within the law.
“Even those who feel their physical status won’t affect their driving must still disclose their condition, as failing to do so means they risk a hefty fine and even prosecution if they have an accident.
“The issue of failing to disclose medical conditions is particularly prevalent amongst older motorists but the rules are the same regardless of age, experience or the severity of a medical issue.
“We’re urging anyone that thinks they may have a condition or a disability they need to disclose to contact the DVLA and their insurer as they risk invalidating their licence and insurance if they don’t.”
Direct Line’s study looked at the prevalence of some of the most common medical conditions that should be disclosed and found that physical disabilities – affecting a tenth (11 per cent) of older drivers - are only disclosed half (48 per cent) of the time.
Direct Line offers the following advice for drivers with a serious medical condition:
• Contact the DVLA if you are unsure whether or not you need to disclose any information. If your doctor has told you that you need to stop driving, you will need to send your licence to the DVLA.
• If you have a medical condition and are unsure if it should be disclosed to the DVLA, then you can check online here.
* If you had to surrender your licence remember that not everyone is eligible to continue to drive while their renewal application is in process. Check with your doctor and the DVLA in the first instance to avoid a fine up to £1000.