For the older generation, over 70’s driving is about so much more than just getting from A to B. It helps maintain self-esteem and freedom and is essential for combatting social isolation. However, there are those who are concerned for their safety on the roads.
Keeping older drivers safe and mobile.
According to a new report by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Keeping Older Drivers Safe and Mobile – The majority of older drivers are in favour of tighter rules on checking the health and suitability of over-70s to drive – even if those checks could take them off the road themselves. More than half demonstrate that they self-regulate to stay safe, by avoiding driving in challenging situations like busy traffic, after dark, in rush hour or bad weather.
At T W White & Sons, we have found that the Hyundai i10 is very popular among our mature drivers who want to continue driving as long as they are safely able. Most have downsized from larger cars when they have decided that they won’t be driving as much. The i10, with its low road tax and very low insurance group makes for a great money saving exercise.
Most recently we sold a Hyundai i10 to Mrs Munro age 91 who told us that being able to drive herself around is her sense of freedom. Mrs Munro’s decision to buy a Hyundai i10 came about due to her struggle to get in and out of her old car. The Hyundai i10 is compact but offers a spacious cabin with ideal positioning of the seats that has made getting in and out of the vehicle easier.
When Mrs Munro was a lot younger she drove to and from London to work at the The Codgers workingman’s pub off Fleet Street. Of course she doesn’t drive nearly as much as she did then and has admitted that she may give up driving in the next few years. In the meantime she’s loving her new little motor and continues to have it serviced with T W White & Sons to ensure it maintains it’s future value, so that when Mrs Munro does decide to give up driving we can, as with many of our customers, offer a competitive price to buy the vehicle back.
Drivers over 70 set to double over the next 20 years
The number of drivers over the age of 70 is set to double over the next 20 years and with more than one million licence holders over the age of 80, there is a pressing need for enlightened policies and practical actions to help them keep safe and competently mobile for as long as possible.
Sarah Sillars, chief executive officer of the IAM, said: “A driving licence is a passport to freedom for all ages but particularly so for mature drivers. As grandparents it’s about helping their family access jobs, education and childcare as well as keeping themselves independent and mobile. The psychological impact of giving up a driving licence shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Reaction times and physical mobility are affected by age and all drivers need to make an informed decision about when to give up. We need to make it as easy as possible for mature drivers to make that choice armed with the full facts and all the support they need.
“While some might need to accept the decision that they cannot keep driving safely on the road, we believe some are pushed into giving up before they really need to. A professional opinion counts for a lot, and there are many organisations that offer advisory voluntary assessments that will give a mature driver the confidence they need to enjoy many more years of happy motoring – including ourselves.”
To download a copy of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Keeping Older Drivers Safe and Mobile report click here. http://bit.ly/1m7YN8K
- 60% said drivers should be tested every five years after the age of 70
- 85% said drivers should pass an eyesight test every five years once they have reached 70
- 56% agreed that drivers aged around 70 should be required to have a medical examination
- 94% agreed that GPs should be required to inform patients if their medical condition may affect their fitness to drive
Lower your car insurance as an older driver
Shop around: Make sure you do your due diligence each year to see if you qualify for a lower premium. However, the choice available to you lessens as you get older, since many policies have upper age limits. If this is the case, your current insurer should recommend contacting a broker for your next policy.
Check out policies from well-known providers such as Age UK, Saga and Aviva.
Switch for retirement: If your daily commute is now history, your newly lowered daily mileage means you’ll be entitled to a cheaper insurance policy. Be sure to let your insurer know when retirement is due for you and quote a lower annual mileage.
Downsize your drive: You can save even more cash by downsizing your car and opting for one with a cheaper insurance grouping and better fuel economy. If a smaller size is no issue for you, go for a model with good reliability – the cheaper a car is to fix, the less you’ll pay to insure it. Such as the Hyundai i10 or Suzuki Celerio.
Secure your car: The less inviting your car is to thieves, the less your insurer will charge you. If you park your car in a garage or on a drive, let your insurer know so they can adjust your policy accordingly.
Black box driving: Ask your insurer if they offer a black box policy. This means a telematics device is placed under your car’s bonnet and data on your driving is sent back to your insurer. If you can prove you travel relatively few miles and drive safely, your premium will fall.
Change the way you pay: Sticking to the monthly payment plan you’ve always had almost always works out more expensive in the long run. By paying for your year’s insurance up front, you’ll cut out interest fees and admin surcharges.