21% rise in over-90s surrendering driving licences

Experts suggest the Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident last year may have contributed to a spike in over-90s voluntarily giving up driving

The number of drivers aged 90 and over surrendering their driving licences increased 21.2 per cent last year, official figures show.

In 2019, 8,014 over-90s voluntarily surrendered their driving licences – up from 6,612 in 2018. This 21.2 per cent year-on-year rise is significantly larger than the 9.7 increase that occurred between 2017 and 2018.

The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) data also revealed a 146.2 per cent increase in the number of drivers aged 100 and over giving up their licences in 2019.

According to retirement firm Responsible Life, which obtained the data via a Freedom of Information request, the spike in over-90s surrendering their licences could have been driven by the Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident last year, which was the subject of a lot of press coverage.

On 17 January 2019, Prince Philip – who was 97-years-old at the time – pulled out on to a busy road near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, failing to give way to a car already on the road which then crashed into him.

Responsible Life claims this incident may have “provided a wake-up call to the very elderly who could still legally get in the driving seat”.

Although any driver can have their licence revoked on medical grounds, there is no legal age for someone to stop driving, with people often left with the difficult job of monitoring their elderly relatives’ ability to drive.

Steve Wilkie, executive chairman of Responsible Life, commented: “When to stop driving remains one of our most difficult decisions in later life. For many retired motorists it means letting go of a symbol of their independence, even if they only make the occasional trip to the local shops.

“Older age is also cruel and creeps up on you, making it impossible to judge the best time to hang up the steering wheel and get a taxi, rather than soldier on for another year. Prince Philip’s misfortunes, however, seem to have jogged a great number of people into confronting this difficult decision head-on.”

Do you think this is a good sign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Recommended

Touchscreen backlash? Euro NCAP says physical buttons will be “incentivised” in car safety tests
Audi A7 Sportback - infotainment screen
News

Touchscreen backlash? Euro NCAP says physical buttons will be “incentivised” in car safety tests

Car makers have been advised not to have important car functions on touchscreens
5 Mar 2024
New car registrations hit 20-year high in February after 19 months of growth
DVLA V5C document and car keys
News

New car registrations hit 20-year high in February after 19 months of growth

The UK car market sees continuous growth despite the rapid diesel decline. EV sales to private buyers are up 21% year-on-year
5 Mar 2024
UK petrol prices take biggest jump in five months as regional inequality grows
Petrol and diesel prices
News

UK petrol prices take biggest jump in five months as regional inequality grows

The rising cost of oil pushes up fuel prices, but there are big regional differences in the cost of filling up
5 Mar 2024
Cars are becoming unaffordable in cost of living crisis, say 60% of motorists
Coin pile and model car
News

Cars are becoming unaffordable in cost of living crisis, say 60% of motorists

The cost of living crisis has seen drivers cut back on journeys, explore car-sharing and using public transport
4 Mar 2024

Most Popular

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details
Renault 4 - front (watermarked)
News

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details

Renault’s retro revolution will continue with a new version of the iconic Renault 4 as a small electric car. Here’s everything we know about it
2 Mar 2024
"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"
Opinion - MG3
Opinion

"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"

Mike Rutherford is confused as to why so many car manufacturers avoided the 2024 Geneva Motor Show
3 Mar 2024
Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q8: an SUV sibling rivalry
Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q8 - front tracking
Car group tests

Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q8: an SUV sibling rivalry

The updated Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q8 are premium SUVs that share plenty of tech with each other – but which is best?
2 Mar 2024