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

UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap
Motorway
News

UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap

The Government’s plan to plug the £30bn gap in lost fuel duty is taking shape with bans on petrol and diesel car and trucks looming
13 Jul 2021
Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving
Tired driver
News

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving

Research produces worrying revelation that four million UK motorists have nodded off behind the wheel at some point
16 Jun 2021
Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021
Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know
Executive saloons make popular company cars
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know

Company car tax is bound up in a complex net of emissions, salaries and a car's value; we explain how the system looks for the 2021/22 Financial Year
27 Apr 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road
Range Rover Sport spyshot 1
Land Rover Range Rover Sport

New 2022 Range Rover Sport spotted testing on the road

Land Rover’s replacement for the Range Rover Sport will get racier styling and an all-new electric-ready platform
20 Jul 2021