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

Pay-per-mile road pricing no longer politically toxic, study suggests
Motorway
News

Pay-per-mile road pricing no longer politically toxic, study suggests

The Social Market Foundation says fuel duty unfairness opens the door for road pricing schemes
15 Oct 2021
Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way
Digital driving licence
Consumer news

Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way

DVLA plans to offer a digital provisional driving licence by 2024, with full digital licences to follow at a later date
17 Sep 2021
Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK
Home charging point
News

Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK

England will be the first country in the world to introduce mandatory electric car charging points for new-build homes
10 Sep 2021
Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way
smart motorway
News

Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way

A revised version of the Highway Code will cover Smart Motorway driving, as National Highways pledges to improve data and monitoring
8 Sep 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
21 Oct 2021
New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range
Hyundai Ioniq 6 - watermarked
Hyundai

New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range

The new Hyundai Ioniq 6 saloon will join the Ioniq 5 in the brand’s all-electric line-up and our exclusive image previews how it could look
21 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021