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More than 4 million over-70s hold UK driving licence

Published on 23 September 2013 10:30 AM

A woman of 107 is the oldest of more than four million Britons aged over 70 who now hold a full UK driving licence, the RAC Foundation says.


The RAC Foundation found there are now 4,018,900 people aged over 70 with full driving licences, the first time the total has topped the four million mark.

When motorists reach 70, they must declare whether or not they're fit to drive every three years, and are required to let the DVLA know about conditions that could affect their driving.

But older drivers do not have to take a driving or medical examination, raising concerns that some continue driving when they're not fit to do so, while others stop too early, excluding them from some activities and services.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said although all drivers should regularly consider their fitness to drive, matters 'come to a head' when they get to 70 and have to declare whether they should carry on driving.

He added: 'In general, older drivers have an enviable safety record, but it is clear that faced with this critical yes-or-no decision, many motorists simply do not have a realistic view of their capabilities.

'For those reliant on a car, giving up driving will have a huge impact on their ability to live an active life, so it is important that they get all the help and support to make the right decision at the right time.'

'Driving brings freedom and independence'

Lucy Harmer, Head of Services at Age UK, said: 'Someone's driving skills can't be judged by the date on their birth certificate and everyone needs to take responsibility for their ability to drive safely, including older people.

'Driving brings freedom and independence and it is important that people can go on enjoying driving for as long as possible.

'However, things can change quickly in the motoring world, from new roads and traffic systems to developments in car design. People can change too, with some medical conditions affecting driving ability and it can be possible to lose confidence out on the road.

'This is why we've brought out our new In the driving seat guide which offers support and advice on driving safely whatever your age.'

Age UK's new In The Driving Seat guide includes information about renewing your licence, declaring health conditions, alternatives to driving and getting out and about. 

It also explains what to do if you have any concerns about your driving, and how to decide when it's time to stop.

For a free copy of Age UK's In The Driving Seat guide call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 6565 or download a copy.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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