About 1.5 million older drivers are breaking the law and risking massive fines.
A study by Scrap Car Comparison has revealed that over 1 in 4 UK motorists aged 70 years or older – the equivalent to 1.5 million drivers – are leaving it four years or longer to renew their driving license after turning 70, which is illegal according to government law. The DVLA states that you must be renew your driving license every three years, once you reach 70 years old.
The study, which surveyed more than 500 drivers in the UK aged 70 – 95 years old, also found that over 1 in 5 (22%) of mature motorists are not aware of this law, leaving them vulnerable to fines of up to £1,000 if they’re caught with out-of-date documentation.
Department for Transport data states that there were 5.8 million drivers aged 70 years or older on UK roads in 2022. According to Scrap Car Comparison’s research, this means that the equivalent over 1.5 million elderly people are driving on the roads illegally – equating to fines of up to £1.5 billion if all offending drivers were caught.
Furthermore, the research found that a whopping 52% of those aged 70 – 80 years old (illegally) renew their driving license every four years or more, while 48% of drivers aged 81 and older are doing the same. Almost 1 in 10 (8%) of mature drivers do not renew their license at all after turning 70, which again leaves them vulnerable to huge fines and a run-in with the law if caught.
The study also found that 22% of older drivers were not aware of the driving law – and while 76% of drivers aged 81+ did say they were aware of the driving regulation, a worrying 38% of those aged 70 – 80 years old were not – leading Scrap Car Comparison to urge mature drivers to regularly check their driving licenses before heading out on the roads.
David Kottaun, Operations Manager at Scrap Car Comparison said, “It’s been a shock to discover that so many motorists are not renewing their licenses following their 70th birthdays – and therefore leaving themselves no longer able to legally operate a vehicle, and at risk of receiving a big fine if caught.”
The DVLA should send drivers a D46P application form around 90 days before they turn 70 years old – however if you do not receive one through the post, paper copies of the form can be obtained from your local Post Office.
“Ultimately, the reason behind getting mature drivers to regularly renew their license is to ensure the safety of the drivers themselves, and everyone else on the roads. The renewal process is quick, easy and motorists can continue to drive while their licence is being renewed as long as: they have the support of their doctor to continue driving, had a valid license and their last license wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons – so there is no excuse to not be regularly renewing this documentation.”