Q: Since the Prince Philip crash scandal, I have found myself wondering; what are the laws regarding ‘older drivers’? My father is 84 and is getting a bit doddery, but he is still driving. Can you ever be too old to drive?
A: Quite simply, there is no upper age limit for driving a car. However, after the age of 70, by law, all drivers must renew their driving licence and must then continue to do so, every 3 years.
In order to renew his driving licence, your father must declare any medical condition that he has and must confirm that he still meets the eyesight requirements to drive.
It is important that he provides the DVLA and his car Insurers with honest and accurate information about any medical condition or medication he takes that affects his ability to drive. If he does not, he could be fined up to £1,000 and his car Insurers could refuse to pay out if he were to have an accident. That has the potential to be very costly.
Some physical or medical conditions must, by law, be reported to the DVLA. The Gov.uk website provides an A-Z list of health conditions that must be reported. If your father has any of those conditions he should immediately contact the DVLA, who may require his GP to complete a medical report confirming whether he is still medically fit to drive.
On a positive note, research suggests that drivers over the age of 70 are less likely to be involved in crashes involving speed, loss of control or alcohol. To reassure himself that he is safe to drive your father could attend an Experienced Driver Assessment which provides an objective and confidential report on his driving ability. The report also offers helpful suggestions and tips.