Driving into Old Age?
We offer a driver refresher course for seniors and driving lessons for elderly drivers, over 50s, 60s and 70 plus!
Whether you’re learning to drive at over 50 and want lessons before your test, or are looking for a refresher course at 65, or even 70 and above, our instructors can help you. Now you can regain your driving confidence, make sure you are safe and give yourself peace of mind to keep you independent, active and driving well into old age.
Common questions about driving into old age and over 70!
Our driving expert and lead driving instructor Noel Gaughan answers some common questions on driving into old age.
- Do you have to retake your driving test at 70?
No, you just have to let the DVLA know your eyesight is good and you do not suffer from ailments that would affect your driving.
- At what age do you have to resit your driving test?
You don’t need to retake your driving test at any particular age.
- What age do you have to stop driving?
There is no upper age limit to driving in the UK.
- What conditions will mean that you have to stop driving?
Eyesight is the main reason to stop driving, but any illness that affects your driving ability you would need to let the DVLA know.
Speak to us about the refresher course that would be best for you and you can call 020 7205 2251 to discuss what is best for your needs. However, if you just want to get booked in, the most suited course would be our 10 hour driving course.
Why do questions about over 70s driving come up?
A petition in 2015, backed by almost a quarter of a million signatures sparked major debates across the country whether it should be made compulsory for drivers driving into old age, over 70, to retake their driving tests every three years. Here’s what it is all about…
At present, UK law simply requires drivers over 70 to renew their licence every three years. These licence renewals are done via self-assessment forms – there are no actual tests to assess a driver’s eyesight, hearing, reaction or driving skills in general.
There is also no legal age at which drivers should give up driving. It is left up to drivers to determine when they should hang up their car keys. As a result, some people give up driving too soon for fear of no longer being able to drive safely. Others continue driving into old age for too long and end up causing accidents due to failing eyesight, severely diminished reaction times or confusion.If you decide you need a refresher just to check up on how well you’re driving and you’re looking for driving instructors for older learners, we have many instructors who have a wealth of experience teaching older drivers.
Aware of these facts, leading road safety experts setting out a national strategy for safely driving into old age made several recommendations. One of these recommendations was to raise the age of licence renewal to 75 if providing proof of having undergone an eye test is made compulsory.
Started by Ben Brooks Dutton in 2015 after his wife was killed in an accident, involving an 85-year old gentleman hitting his accelerator instead of his brake, the petition called for a change of this legislation (learn more).
Ben asked for compulsory triennial retesting – including assessments of drivers’ eyesight and hearing; general driving skills and their ability to react quickly and correctly in case of an emergency – of drivers from the age of 70 onwards.
As Ben said, nobody wants the thought of having killed someone hanging over their head for the rest of their life, but cars are powerful weapons and we must make sure we are safe to use them. This is not a matter of saying ‘I’m just fine’ – it is a matter of making sure we are.
Reactions to the petition
Old Drivers Taskforce spokesman Sgt Rob Herd said that, as a rule, drivers over 70 are no more likely to be involved in collisions than younger drivers. He added that it must, however, be considered that as we age and start suffering from frailty and diminishing hearing and eyesight, problems can arise unless these issues are addressed at an early stage.
IAM Road Smart’s Director of Policy & Research, Neil Greg, stated that IAM Road Smart, the UK’s largest road safety charity, was not convinced that compulsory retesting will work. Stating that in the charity’s opinion, 70-year old drivers are no less safe than 50 or 60-year-old drivers, he added that testing thousands of potentially safe drivers aged 70 and over every three years would be incredibly difficult and expensive both in terms of logistics and administration.
He continued by saying that compulsory testing would have little to no impact on road safety and could result in people losing their licence and ending up isolated and with no mobility or independence for no reason at all.
Explaining that simulations carried out by IAM Road Smart revealed that younger drivers are more likely to cause accidents because they drive too fast and too close to vehicles in front of them, whereas older drivers with a lifetime of driving experience keep safer distances, (editors note: they are likely, for instance to be aware of the two second rule for driving and apply this) and drive slower. He added that the charity believes voluntary assessments, schemes like the Old Drivers Taskforce’s Driving into Old Age campaign and Hampshire Council’s Driver Skills Scheme and providing people with relevant information on when it is time to stop driving would be far more useful.
He did, however, state that these are issues that need to be discussed, especially as the number of drivers over the age of 85 is expected to double to a million by 2025. You can see what else he told the BBC here.
The Driver Skills Scheme
Hampshire Council now helps older drivers make sure they are safely driving into old age by offering a Driver Skills Scheme. Speaking to BBC reporter Holly Hamilton, Hampshire Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer Graham Mylward explained that the scheme – which involves assessors sitting in with drivers in their own cars, offering advice and monitoring their ability to drive safely – is designed to help people carry on driving into old age for longer, but without going on too long and becoming unsafe.
Senior driver Brian Kaz, who had been driving for 56 years and participated in the scheme, stated that he is aware that his eyesight and reactions were no longer as sharp as they used to be. He felt that he benefitted from the appraisal he received via the scheme and also that retesting makes sense once you get to a certain age.
Driving into Old Age with Intensive Courses Driving School
Are you driving into old age and want to make sure you are as safe on the road as you used to be? Offering refresher lessons, semi-intensive courses and helpful advice for experienced drivers, we can help you stay mobile and independent for longer without taking the risk of causing an accident.
We also firmly believe that it is never too late to learn to drive – and if you are a 40, 50 or 60-year-old looking to learn to drive for the first time, you can rest assured that we have the best, most experienced drivers to help you pass your test and become a safe, responsible driver.
Whether you have a lifetime of experience and are driving into old age or an older individual just starting on the road to independence, we are here to assist – so why not give us a call on 0333 366 1251 or +44 (0) 0207 205 2251 or book your lessons online right now?!
Last updated: 15/03/2023