Majority of older motorists plan to keep driving as long as they can

The majority of older drivers have no plans to give up their driving licence, expecting to carry on driving for an average of 12 more years.

A survey of 3,000 UK drivers over the age of 60 found that many value their car for independence and would like to remain mobile for as long as it is safe to do so.

The average age that motorists believed they would give up their licence was 82, with those aged under 70 expecting to drive until 79.4 or 85.3 for those over 70.

The research was carried out by Dr Carol Hawley on behalf of road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, and indicated that 80 per cent of 70-plus drivers had no plans to give up their licence.

Furthermore, 79 per cent of respondents said they were excellent drivers and would not give up for years.

Dr Carol Hawley, author of the report, said: “We recommend the Government should conduct a comprehensive review of the driver licensing and testing system in relation to the ever-growing number of drivers over the age of 70 and beyond.

“We need to ensure that those who are healthy, fit, and capable remain safely on the roads. Currently in the UK, the only safety requirement for mature drivers is to renew their driving licence at the age of 70 by confirming to the DVLA that they have no medical issues.”

Neil Greig, policy and research director at IAM RoadSmart, added: “We need a joint education campaign to help drivers start to plan for the retirement of their driving licences at an earlier age, working in partnership with the government, health professionals, pension advisors, financial advisors, and transportation experts.”

According to official figures, there are 12.1 million drivers over the age of 60 in the UK, with 6.7m male and 5.4m female, while over 70s make up just 13 per cent of the overall number.

The oldest licence holders are two 107-year-old men, while the oldest woman is 106.