Car Insurance for older drivers: All you need to know

If you’re an older driver, it’s worth regularly reviewing your car insurance and the cover it provides. If you find your premium is rising the older you get, have you considered checking your current provider continues to offer the cover you need? Or whether there may be alternative provider out there offering a better deal to older drivers?

Common perception may paint the picture of an older driver as a cautious, responsible motorist who observes speed limits and doesn’t drive particularly late at night. In comparison to younger drivers, older motorists are less likely to drive at fast speeds, or while distracted. But older drivers may also be seen as a risk, particularly as they become more elderly.

Research from Swansea University - reported by BBC News in September 2016 - showed that according to analysis of data on accidents, drivers aged 70 years and over are involved in three to four times fewer accidents than male drivers between 17 and 21.

Another factor to consider is that many older drivers may have retired, so there is a reduction in driving to and from work during busy commuting periods. Older drivers may drive fewer miles during the course of a year. Journeys may be shorter and focused locally. However, some insurers might perceive social driving to be infrequent and less familiar, which could result in an increase instead.

That said, with compulsory retirement now phased out, people are working longer. It’s not unusual to see people in their late 60s and early 70s still driving to work every day. The number of drivers aged 70 and over is actually on the increase, estimated now to be around the five million mark. Given that the UK population is living longer, the number of older drivers is only likely to increase over the next decade.

However, being an older driver doesn’t automatically qualify you for cheaper car insurance - the price you pay for insurance is based on many factors, not just your age.

Car insurance for drivers over 70

Drivers over the age of 70 may find the price of their car insurance policy starts to creep back up. Why? Well, although drivers over the age of 70 years old are statistically among the safest drivers in the UK, it’s also the age group where health issues may be more closely examined. Eyesight can deteriorate and reaction times can slow.

It’s perhaps for these reasons that, when you turn 70 years of age - or within 90 days of your 70th birthday - you must renew your driving licence. You’ll be required to do this every three years. When you renew, you need to confirm that your eyesight meets a certain minimum standard, and you should also notify the DVLA if you have certain medical issues, including epilepsy and heart conditions, and whether you have suffered from a stroke or have any physical impairment. If you have any medical conditions that may affect your driving, these will need to be disclosed to your insurer.

If you’re an older driver and find yourself in the position of paying what you believe to be too much for your car insurance, you may want to shop around. If you’re unhappy with the cost of your insurance, you can apply some of the following tips to help reduce the price, including:

  • Upgrading your car security
  • Removing any unnecessary optional extras from your policy
  • Reducing your annual mileage - especially if this has changed significantly due to retirement or shorter working hours
  • Paying more voluntary excess
  • Considering a specialist over 50s car insurance provider
  • Checking the upper age limit on your policy - some insurers will provide coverage for drivers in their 90s

Black box insurance for older drivers

Black Box Car Insurance is more traditionally seen as an option for young and new drivers but there’s no reason older drivers can’t benefit from it.

A small black box is fitted inside your car and this monitors driver performance such as speed, cornering and braking.

Careful and responsible driving can then be rewarded with a reduction in insurance price when you come to renew your insurance policy.

If you’re an older driver looking for a better deal on your car insurance, get a quote with the RAC.

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