If you’ve been driving for decades and have noticed your car insurance premiums increasing, it’s probably time you check your options to make sure you’re paying a fair price. While car insurance providers offer drivers over 50 some of the cheapest car insurance premiums available as they generally pose the least risk on the road, drivers over 70 might not be so lucky.
For starters, you’ll need to renew your driver’s licence once you hit 70 otherwise it will expire. You’ll need to inform the DVLA (the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) about particular medical conditions that you have such as heart disease or a previous stroke, and confirm that your eyesight meets the minimum standard needed to drive. You won’t be retested, but you will need to renew your driver’s licence every three years and confirm that you’re still capable of driving safely.
Your cover may not be as expensive as young and inexperienced drivers, but because of an increased risk, car cover premiums do tend to increase in your 70s and beyond. Read our guide to see what factors affect car insurance for drivers over 70 and how you could save money on your cover.
What should I be looking for in a policy for drivers over 70?
No matter what your age, it’s worth considering each aspect of your insurance policy carefully. If you’re aged over 70, you may want to consider the following:
No claims discount. Look for policies where you can take your no claims bonus with you when switching car insurance.
Benefits and features. Carefully compare which benefits and features are included in a policy as you may find that one provider only offers what you need, for example, breakdown cover, as an optional extra while another may include it as standard.
Payment options. If you can afford to pay your annual premiums in one large sum, that’s often the most cost-effective choice.
What levels of car insurance are available to drivers over 70?
All drivers are legally required to have at least third party car insurance to be on UK roads.
Third party. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to third party vehicles or property. However, it won’t cover any damage to your own car.
Third party fire and theft. This will give the same level of cover as third party but will also provide protection against any fire damage to your car or the theft of your car.
Comprehensive. This gives the same protection as the lower levels as well as protecting your vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. It might be cheaper than third party or third party fire and theft, so always check.
What other types of car insurance are available to drivers over 70?
Telematics car insurance. Having a “black box” policy can help you save on your car insurance if you’re a safe driver. A telematics box or black box is fitted into your car and measures how well you drive. This information is then sent back to your insurance provider to assess your premiums, taking into account your driving habits. Be careful however, as black box technology will monitor how well or how badly you drive. And if you have been driving poorly, your premiums could go up.
Temporary car insurance. It is possible to get car insurance cover for a short period of time, usually between 1 and 28 days.
What affects the cost of car insurance for drivers over 70?
Several factors affect the cost of your car insurance, regardless of your age. Some of these include the following:
Driving experience and history. If you’ve been driving safely for years, expect to pay less.
Annual mileage. If you no longer have a daily commute to work and drive fewer miles as a result, your premiums could reduce simply because you’re on the road less.
Age. Young inexperienced drivers may pay some of the highest premiums out there because of the greater risk they pose but so too can older drivers, as premiums will begin to climb for drivers in their 70s.
Location. Where you live can affect your premiums especially if you live in a high-crime urban area, where the risk is greater compared to rural areas.
Claims history. If you’ve made several claims in the past, this can push your car insurance premiums up.
Make and model of your car. If you drive a sporty and powerful car, you can expect to pay more. Driving a smaller and safer car is more likely to work in your favour.
Security. If your car doesn’t have an alarm fitted and is parked on a busy street at night, the risk of it being damaged or stolen is greater so premiums will typically increase.
Car use. If you only use your car for leisure, then your premiums are likely to be lower as you’re less likely to drive during the busier “rush hours” of the day.
Average premiums and claims
Dos and don’ts for drivers over 70
Do choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party fire and theft, so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who get TP.
Do increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
Do have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
Do limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
Do think about paying a larger excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
Do pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.
Do consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
Do shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around to find the best deal.
Don’t add more drivers. Only add drivers to your policy that regularly drive your car.
Don’t select optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
Don’t pay monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
Frequently asked questions
No, not necessarily. While some car insurance providers may have higher premiums for older drivers, other providers may actually offer discounts for experienced mature drivers. It’s always worth shopping around.
You should be notified when your policy is up for renewal but don’t just opt to renew. Do your research and shop around to see if you can get the same cover benefits or more for less elsewhere. If you can, go back to your current insurer to negotiate a better deal.
While it’s not necessary to look for car insurance through a specialist provider, some may offer you important cover benefits as standard that other providers only offer as optional extras. Specialist providers also tend to have more knowledge and experience with a particular group so there’s no harm doing some research.
Yes, but age is not the only factor taken into consideration when calculating your insurance premium. The make and model of your car, your location and your annual mileage as well as other factors are all assessed. Although older drivers have plenty of experience and may have driven safely for many years, the risk of drivers over 70 being involved in an accident increases and so do their insurance premiums.
You may find that your car insurance premiums decrease after retirement. This may be down to the fact that you no longer have a daily commute to work and only drive for social occasions. You may also find that your mileage also drops, and as you’re on the road less, your premiums are also likely to be lower.
Unfortunately, health can deteriorate in old age, which can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. When you turn 70, you’ll need to renew your driver’s licence otherwise it will expire. You’ll also need to inform the DVLA about particular medical conditions such as heart disease or a previous stroke and confirm that your eyesight meets the minimum standard. You won’t be retested but you will need to renew your driver’s licence every three years and confirm that you’re still capable of driving safely.
*51% of consumers could save £257.97 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next three cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from January 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.
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