Is car insurance more expensive for over 80s?
Although car-insurance premiums usually decrease as you age, once you hit 80, you may find them beginning to rise again. This is because insurance providers generally consider drivers in this age group more of a risk.
Statistics do show that the rate of involvement in collisions increases markedly for 81 to 85-year-olds, and even more so for drivers aged 86 and over.
However, drivers over 80 are the most experienced on the road, plus older drivers tend to take more care, use the road less than younger motorists and are more likely to avoid driving during busy times.
Being able to drive after the age of 80 can also have a major impact on your sense of independence and quality of life. If your GP thinks you’re okay to drive, and you have all the necessary paperwork, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue driving after your 80th birthday.
What does over 80s car insurance cover?
An over 80s car insurance policy can cover you for the same things as any other policy. You’ll choose between third-party only, third-party, fire and theft, or fully comprehensive, and you can find the same policy extras available to you as well. As you get older, the type of policy you’re looking for might change, with more cover and added extras being important to you.
Do over 80s need any extra cover?
There aren’t specific car insurance extras for over 80s drivers, but you may want to make the most of the optional extras available with a car insurance policy. These could include breakdown cover, to avoid being stranded somewhere and feeling vulnerable, or lost keys cover.
While there aren’t specific policy extras aimed at over 80s drivers, there are specialist car insurance providers for older drivers, who may have more suitable, tailored policies, which include the extras you may be more interested in.
Do over 80s need any extra documents to arrange car insurance?
You won’t need any additional documents to arrange car insurance, but you will need to renew your licence every three years from the age of 70.
You can renew your licence online on GOV.UK It’s completely free of charge. You don’t have to take another driving test.
Can I insure an older car?
If your car is 15 years or older and its market value is over £15,000 (at the time of writing) it could be considered a classic by HM Revenue and Customs. There are plenty of insurance providers that are keen to provide cover, especially as owners of classic cars tend to maintain them very well.
Find out more about classic car insurance and how to find a cheaper quote.
What can I do to reduce the cost of my car insurance as an over 80?
These are some other things you could do to help reduce the cost of your premiums for over 80 car insurance:
- keep your mileage low – by keeping your annual mileage as low as possible, you’ll spend less time on the road. For an insurance provider, this means there's less risk of an accident, and therefore less risk of making a claim.
- keep your vehicle secure – if your vehicle is secure, insurance providers can rest easy that you’re less likely to make a claim due to theft or vandalism. Installing security features such as an industry-approved alarm or immobiliser, and keeping your vehicle parked overnight in a safe spot, such as a garage or on the drive, are good ways to deter thieves and could help lower your premium. Make sure you contact your insurance provider to request an alarm discount, as it’s not automatically applied.
- choose the right car – while classic cars might look wonderful, they’re unlikely to attract cheaper premiums. Find out what insurance group your car would fall into (between 1 and 50). As a rule, the lower the number, the cheaper your car insurance for over 80s could be.
- pay your car insurance annually – while paying your car insurance monthly allows you to spread the cost throughout the year, this is usually more expensive overall as you’ll often be charged interest on the instalments. Therefore, paying annually is often a good way to save on your car insurance.
- increase your voluntary excess – if you’re willing to pay more in excess when you make a claim, your insurance premiums will probably be cheaper. Just make sure that you can afford the excess amount comfortably if you need to make a claim, and take into account any compulsory excess amounts, so you don’t get caught out.
- consider a specialist provider – you may find car-insurance providers that specialise in cover for over 80s. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get a cheaper quote, it’s worth looking at these providers, as they can also offer a service that’s more tailored to you.
- compare car insurance quotes – one of the easiest ways to get cheaper car insurance is to compare quotes with Compare the Market. We compare cover from dozens of providers, allowing you to filter by the cheapest quote found for your needs.
What optional extras are available with over 80s car insurance?
There are several optional extras you can include in your over 80s car insurance policy:
- Breakdown cover: if you’re unfortunate enough to break down in an unfamiliar area, having the right support is so important. With added breakdown cover you’ll be able to get your vehicle back on the road there and then, or taken to a garage for repairs. There are also specific additions for over 80s drivers, including the option for onward travel, whether that’s helping you reach your original destination, or getting you back home safely.
- Personal accident cover: if you suffer an accident and you or a passenger are killed or seriously injured, this type of cover can be used to claim for compensation. This is often included with a comprehensive car insurance policy, but make sure you check and add it separately if you need to.
- Motor legal protection: likewise, if you need to take legal action against another driver after being involved in an accident, motor legal protection can be used to claim cover for your legal expenses. This can also be used if another driver makes a claim against you.
- Key cover: whether you’ve had them stolen or simply can’t find them, losing your car keys is stressful and potentially very expensive. Key cover can be used to claim for the cost of replacing and reprogramming them. Some policies include this as standard, but check to see and add it as an extra if you need to.
- No-claims discount protection: with all your years of driving experience, you may have built up a very valuable no-claims discount. Adding this extra can protect this discount, keeping your significant savings even if you’re involved in an accident.
- Windscreen cover: even small chips and cracks in your windscreen can be expensive to repair. To save you the potential cost, look for this in your policy, and add windscreen protection if necessary.
Will my car insurance be affected by medical conditions?
If you’ve developed a medical condition, you’ll need to declare it to the DVLA and your insurance provider. This could mean a rise in your insurance premiums, or even the need to find a specialist insurance provider.
The DVLA website has a list of medical conditions and disabilities that must be declared. Failure to disclose a medical condition that could affect your driving may result in a fine of up to £1,000, or even prosecution if you’re involved in an accident as a result.
You may need to take a course to assess your driving ability. This can be done at a local Mobility Centre, or by taking an RoSPA Experienced Driver Assessment course.
Even if you don’t have a medical condition, it can still be a good idea to get assessed for peace of mind that your driving skills are still up to scratch.
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Frequently asked questions
Can I still get a competitive quote?
Although it’s more difficult to get a competitive quote for older drivers it’s not impossible. If your existing insurance provider has raised their price significantly this year, it could pay to shop around and compare other providers.
How can I compare over 80s car insurance?
There’s a whole host of car-insurance providers that offer cover for over 80s. Our comparison service aims to make your life easier by helping you find the right policy for your age and circumstances.
Comparing car insurance quotes for older drivers is easy and only takes a few minutes. Compare car insurance with us today to find the right level of cover at a cost that suits you.
To help you find a better deal when comparing quotes, here are some things to look out for:
- Price: of course, this will be number one for many. We can order your quotes by their lowest price, so you can find the biggest savings from our wide panel of providers. Just make sure that you’re getting the right level of cover to go with that great price.
- Level of cover: it’s always worth checking the price differences between third-party; third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive car insurance. Don’t just assume that third-party is the cheapest. You might find a better deal by going for a comprehensive policy.
- Excess amount: make sure that you’re comparing both the compulsory and voluntary excess amounts. Both can make a big difference when comparing quotes.
- Extras and add-ons: these range from breakdown cover, legal protection or replacement key insurance. Smaller extras may be included as standard with some providers, so make sure you compare these and weigh up the extras against their value or cost of adding them to your policy.
Why does car insurance cost more for over 80s?
While drivers aged over 80 tend to have the greatest experience on the road, statistically you’re more likely to be involved in a car accident. Car insurance providers factor this increased risk into their quotes for elderly people.
Is there a maximum age for car insurance?
As long as you’re deemed medically fit to drive, there are car insurance providers with no upper age limit for drivers.
If you’re concerned about health issues affecting your driving, it’s always best to consult your GP.
How often do you need to renew your driving licence?
Once you reach the age of 70, you must renew your driving licence every three years. This is free of charge.
Will the policy auto renew?
Many insurance providers offer auto-renewal on their policies. You might want to opt out of auto-renewal and contact your provider towards the end of your policy to give you greater control of your cover. The good news is that insurance regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is stepping in to make it easier to cancel auto-renewals. It’s also making sure that existing customers don’t have to pay more for their car insurance than they would as a new customer – but this won’t necessarily mean that you can’t find a better deal with another provider. By avoiding auto-renewal you can compare quotes from different providers and switch more easily, one of the best ways to save money on your car insurance.
|Top tip: Get quotes around 21 days before your renewal date as prices can rise the closer you get.|
How should I decide whether to keep driving?
It’s never an easy decision to stop driving, but it’s important to recognise if your ability to control a car and react to hazards on the road isn’t what it used to be. If your reactions are slower than before, or you find traffic conditions increasingly stressful, it might be time to call on the help of an expert.
Worried you’ve fallen into bad habits over the years or not kept up with the latest rules? You could brush up on your driving skills in case by taking an advanced driving course. Doing this with the help of a qualified instructor could help you assess your skills and reassure yourself that you are still safe to drive. Some of these courses may be recognised by insurance providers and might help reduce your car insurance premiums.
Should I inform the DVLA if I decide to stop driving?
If medical conditions have impacted your ability to drive or you don’t feel confident about driving any more you should send your licence to the DVLA along with a ‘Declaration of voluntary surrender’.
How do I get my driving ability reassessed?
You have two options;
- a Driving Mobility Centre assessment (if medical conditions have affected your driving)
- a simple driving assessment through your local council or organisations such as RoSPA or IAM RoadSmart
The DVLA might refer you to a mobility centre and pay for the assessment, although it can be quicker to arrange and pay for a session yourself.
Find a driver assessment scheme near you on the Older Drivers website.
What does a mobility centre assessment involve?
Mobility centres will assess your:
- ability to operate car controls
- thinking skills and cognitive health
The trained professionals will make an on-road assessment of your driving ability in a dual-controlled car. They’ll also look to see how car adaptations can make driving easier for you. You’ll also have to do some paper-based tests that measure your mental, memory or attention skills.
Could I lose my driving licence by taking an assessment?
If your assessment finds that it’s unsafe for you to drive, the DVLA will tell you to stop driving.
The DVLA might give you a date when you can reapply for a licence and you should talk to your GP before starting the process.
What do I need to find a quote?
When looking for a car insurance quote, you should have the following details available:
- Your car: this includes the car’s registration, make and model, as well as it’s age.
- Your personal details: these include your name, age, job (if applicable) and address.
- Your driving history: this includes how long you’ve been driving, any no-claims discount you’ve built up, as well as any driving convictions.
- Your car’s use: while you may no longer need a car for commuting, you’ll need to provide details about how you use the car, including an estimate of your expected annual mileage.
- Any additional drivers: if you’re looking to share driving responsibilities with another driver, you’ll need the same information for them, too.
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What our expert says...
"There are over 1 million drivers aged over 80 in the UK, and provided you’re medically fit to do so, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy getting behind the wheel. Finding the right car insurance to suit your needs will help give you peace of mind while you’re on the road."
- Dan Hutson, Motor insurance expert