Home » DVLA finds record number of elderly drivers on the road amid calls for mandatory eyesight and fitness tests

DVLA finds record number of elderly drivers on the road amid calls for mandatory eyesight and fitness tests

DVLA finds record number of elderly drivers on the road amid calls for mandatory eyesight and fitness tests

Senior drivers who are 100 years old and still behind the wheel have become more common over the past few years as more people look to keep their licence for longer.

The DVLA recorded over 40 million people with a licence in the UK with the proportion of people aged 70 or over holding a full driving licence increasing from 45 per cent in 2002 to 73 per cent in 2022.


The number of older drivers comes as the retirement age across the UK increases, meaning more people will be working for longer, including the elderly.

The new pension age is 67, with drivers now having to work an extra two years before they can settle down and retire.

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Older driver

Elderly drivers must renew their licence at 70

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John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, said: “The number of qualified drivers on UK roads has reached record levels, showing that travelling by car continues to be the main and most convenient form of transport, particularly for older people.

“Having a car also allows many older people to feel socially connected. That’s especially true in more rural areas, where public transport can be unreliable.”

However, despite drivers staying on the roads for longer, the DVLA requires motorists to renew their licence at 70 years of age.

From 90 days before they turn 70, the DVLA will send a motorist a D46P application which they have to fill out to stay on the roads.

This is done to make sure that elderly drivers are healthy enough to continue driving on UK roads. Failure to complete the form would mean their licence expires and if caught driving, the DVLA could fine them £1,000.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Active motorists aged over 80 tend to be very aware of their abilities and self-regulate their driving avoiding, for example, driving at night or in the rush hour.

“The challenge is that as we age our bodies become more frail, so older people caught up in collisions tend to suffer worse injuries – something car designers should have at the front of their mind.

“One thing that would allow all drivers – not just those at an arbitrary old age – to help judge their fitness to drive would be compulsory eye tests when licences are renewed.”

A recent petition has amassed mass support is calling for the three-year renewal age for driving licences to be reduced from 70 to 65 years old.

The petition was launched by Deniss Fomins who called on the Government to act and require Britons to retake their driving test if they want their licence to remain valid.

However, according to Craig Delahaye, associate director of legal operations at National Accident Helpline, as long as drivers remain on top of their health and visit a GP if they feel that certain aspects of their lifestyle are affecting their ability to drive safely, then age shouldn’t be a problem.

He told GB News: “If driving is a necessity for them, then it may be possible to tweak some of these factors.”

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Elderly driver

Once a driver turns 70, they will need to renew their licence every three years

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Once drivers reach 70, they must renew their licence every three years in order for it to stay valid and continue using UK roads.