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Is car insurance more expensive for over 80s?
It can be. While car insurance premiums usually decrease as you get older, they start to increase again once you hit 80. Car insurance for older drivers can cost more because insurance providers generally consider drivers in this age group more of a risk on the road.
There’s evidence that drivers aged 76 to 85 are more at risk of collisions than many younger age groups, with the risks even greater for drivers aged 86 and over.
However, drivers over 80 are the most experienced on the road, and older drivers usually drive less than younger motorists. On average in 2020, older car or van drivers drove 1,665 miles per year compared with 2,323 miles for all drivers.
Being able to drive after 80 can help you maintain your independence and quality of life. If your GP thinks you’re okay to drive, there’s no reason you shouldn’t keep driving after your 80th birthday.
How much does car insurance for over 80s cost?
The cost of your car insurance will depend on several factors, including your age, where you live and how much you drive.
What does over 80s car insurance cover?
As you get older, you may want to add on more optional extras to your car insurance policy, to ensure you have more cover.
What optional extras are available with over 80s car insurance?
Here are some extras you can add to your over 80s car insurance policy:
- Breakdown cover: to get your car back on the road if it breaks down. Consider a policy that offers onward travel as this includes transport to get you home safely.
- Personal accident cover: you can use this to claim compensation if you’re injured in an accident. Comprehensive car insurance policies often include this as standard.
- Motor legal protection: if you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault and you need to take legal action against the other driver, motor legal protection can cover your legal expenses. It will also cover your costs if another driver makes a claim against you.
- Key cover: this means you don’t have to worry about the cost of replacing or reprogramming your keys if you lose them. Some policies include key cover as standard.
- No-claims discount protection: protect your no-claims discount, even if you have an accident.
- Windscreen cover: offers cover if you need to repair or replace your windscreen.
Do over 80s need any extra documents to arrange car insurance?
No. Getting car insurance for elderly drivers doesn’t require additional documents, but you’ll need to renew your licence every three years once you hit 70.
You can renew your driving licence online. It’s free of charge and you don’t have to take another driving test.
Will my medical conditions affect my car insurance?
If you have a medical condition, you may need to declare it to the DVLA and your insurance provider. This could mean your insurance premiums increase or you need to find a specialist insurance provider. See more in our guide to driving with medical conditions.
Medical conditions you need to declare include diabetes, a stroke and some heart conditions. Check the government’s website for guidance on medical conditions and disabilities you need to declare.
If you fail to disclose a medical condition that could affect your driving, you could be fined up to £1,000. You could also be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.
If you have a medical condition or disability that affects your driving, you may need to take a course to assess your driving ability. You can do this at a Driving Mobility Centre.
How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance as an over 80?
Here’s how you can help reduce the cost of your car insurance if you’re over 80:
- Keep your mileage low: if you spend less time on the road, your insurance provider may consider you a lower risk and reduce the cost of your car insurance.
- Keep your vehicle secure: consider fitting an industry-approved alarm or immobiliser. You may need to speak to your insurance provider directly to get any saving reflected in your premium.
Park off the road: park your car overnight on a private driveway, if possible.
Choose a cheaper car to insure: if you’re buying a new car, look for one in a lower insurance group.
Pay your car insurance annually: it’s cheaper to pay your car insurance in one go as you’ll typically be charged interest on monthly instalments.
Increase your voluntary excess: if you choose to pay a higher excess, your insurance premiums will likely be cheaper. Just make sure you can afford the excess if you need to claim.
Consider a specialist provider: some car insurance providers specialise in cover for over 80s. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get a cheaper quote, these providers may offer cover 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, and you can filter by the cheapest quote.
Can I insure an older car?
If your car is over 15 years old and worth at least £15,000 (and more than the list price), it could be considered a classic car by HM Revenue and Customs. Plenty of insurance providers will be keen to offer cover, especially as owners of classic cars tend to maintain them well and drive fewer miles.
What do I need to find a quote for over 80s car insurance?
When looking for a car insurance quote, it helps to have the following information to hand:
- Your car’s registration or its make, model and age
- Your driving licence number – but you can get a quote without it
- Your driving history, including accidents, claims and convictions
- How you use your car, including your expected annual mileage
- Any additional drivers you want to add to the policy.
Frequently asked questions
Can I still get a competitive quote if I’m looking for over 80s car insurance?
It’s more difficult to get a competitive quote for older drivers, but it’s not impossible. If your insurance provider increases the cost of your car insurance when you come to renew, it’s worth shopping around and comparing providers.
Can I drive other cars if I’m over 80?
Can I insure other people to drive my car even if I am over 80?
Yes, you can add named drivers to your policy. For example, you might want your children to be able to drive your car when they come to visit.
Is there a maximum age for car insurance?
No, although some providers impose their own maximum age limit.
As long as you’re medically fit to drive, you’ll be able to find car insurance with no upper age limit.
Will my insurance policy auto-renew?
It depends on your policy. Many insurance providers offer auto-renewal, but opting out of this allows you to compare quotes and potentially save money.
Should I tell the DVLA if I decide to stop driving?
If medical conditions affect your ability to drive, or you no longer feel confident about driving, you should send your licence to the DVLA with a declaration of voluntary surrender.
How can I decide whether to keep driving?
If your reactions are slower than they were, you find traffic conditions increasingly stressful or family members are suggesting that driving is no longer a good idea, it might be time to call it a day.
It’s never an easy decision to stop driving, but it’s important to recognise if your driving ability isn’t what it used to be.
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 driving assessment through organisations such as RoSPA or IAM RoadSmart.
What does a mobility centre assessment involve?
When you book in for an assessment at a driving mobility centre, they’ll assess your:
- Ability to operate car controls
- Thinking skills and cognitive health
Trained professionals will make an on-road assessment of your driving ability in a dual-controlled car. They’ll also see if you could benefit from car adaptations. You’ll also have to do some paper-based tests that measure your mental, memory and attention skills.
Could I lose my driving licence by taking an assessment?
It’s possible the DVLA might tell you to stop driving if your assessment finds it’s unsafe for you to drive.
You’ll be given a medical reason why you need to stop driving, and you’ll be told if and when you can reapply for your licence. You can write to the DVLA if you disagree with its decision.
Can I save if I only drive my car occasionally?
Some insurance providers offer cheaper low-mileage car insurance. If, like many older drivers, you don’t use your car much, it’s worth shopping around to see if you can benefit. What’s considered low mileage varies among providers.
Some telematics or black box insurance policies may be cost-effective for older drivers.
What our expert says...
"The number of older drivers in the UK is rising, 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."
- Julie Daniels, Motor insurance expert