More than a quarter (28 per cent) of drivers over the age of 65 - some 2.1 million motorists - are in the dark when it comes to the validity of their licence, unaware of the legal obligation to renew it every three years from the age of 70, says new research.
The vast majority (84 per cent) of over 65s surveyed are licence holders and 99 per cent rate themselves as an average, good or excellent driver. Despite this, seven per cent of drivers - equal to just over half a million motorists - doubted their ability to read a number plate 20 metres away and one in 10 has had an accident in the past five years.
The study by insurer Direct Line highlighted that while 52 per cent of older drivers agreed that 70 was the right age for a standard licence to expire, a fifth (20 per cent) felt it should be determined on a case by case basis and 17 per cent felt 70 was too early. A further three per cent felt it should expire before the age of 70, while six per cent felt it shouldn't expire at all.
Gus Park at Direct Line says: "It’s crucial that older motorists are aware of their obligations to renew their licence as they risk driving illegally if it expires.
"We want to remind older drivers that their licence will automatically expire at the age of 70 – regardless of their health or ability to drive. If an older motorist wants to continue to drive they must make a renewal application in advance, and continue to do so every three years from the age of 70 to ensure their insurance remains valid. Even those who do this accidentally can face a very hefty fine, which is a high price to pay when the renewal process for over 70s is free."
You can renew your licence here or using the D46P application form available from the Post Office. DVLA should automatically send you this form 90 days before your 70th birthday.
There are currently four million drivers with a full licence aged 70 or over - and 230 drivers aged 100 or above.
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