Driving when you get older

Driving when you get older

As people get older, their bodies gradually change. Some of these changes can affect your ability to drive, such as slower reaction times, weaker eyesight or weaker muscles.

Some changes – such as your eyesight – can be measured and there are legal limits to make sure you are safe to drive: see GOV.UK for information about the eyesight rules. Other changes are harder to judge but if you notice your reactions becoming slower, for example, you may need to think about whether you should stop driving. If you’re not sure, speak to your doctor.

For more advice about safe driving, see the Older Person’s Road Safety website and the Still Safe for Drive website from GEM Motoring Assist.

Your driving licence will expire when you turn 70 but you can renew it for three years, and you’ll need to keep renewing it as long as you keep using it. See GOV.UK to renew your driving licence if you’re 70 or over.

A driving assessment with a qualified driving instructor will help you identify and address any driving problems you have and get you up to date with current laws. Book a test through the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The instructor will also be able to help you adapt your driving to keep you safe, such as

  • avoiding distractions to  help keep your concentration on the road
  • allowing for slower reaction times
  • planning your route
  • driving defensively.

You may find that you eventually have to give up your driving licence. See GOV.UK for information on how to surrender your licence.