Car insurance for over 80s
Learn about over 80s car insurance, including what's covered, how your health affects your insurance, and how to get the best policy for your needs.
Young and inexperienced drivers often have to pay more for car insurance, which makes sense. However, older drivers are also required to pay higher rates sometimes, which doesn’t seem fair, as they usually have many years of driving experience under their belt. We’ve looked at how you can find the cheapest car insurance for over 80s and what it includes.
What is over 80s car insurance?
It’s pretty much what it says on the tin. Drivers over 80 need car insurance in the same way as any other drivers, so over 80s car insurance simply applies to policies that cover people aged 80 or older. While all insurers take your age into account when deciding whether to cover you and what to charge, the nature of the cover won’t suddenly change on your 80th birthday.
That said, there are some insurers that specialise in cover for older drivers, and it’s worth shopping around among both mainstream and specialist providers to get the best quote.
Can I get car insurance if I’m over 80?
Yes, provided you are medically fit to drive, but you might have fewer options available to you.
Insurers are under no obligation to offer cover for all age groups, and some see over 80s as a higher risk, because industry data shows they’re more likely to make a claim (the same applies to very young drivers). Many insurers do offer cover for people over the age of 80 though, with some having no upper age limit at all.
Who is eligible for over 80s car insurance?
For drivers of any age, you need a valid driving licence to be eligible for insurance. The same is true of over 80s. The main difference for older drivers is that, once you reach the age of 70, your driving licence automatically expires. If you want to continue driving, you must renew your licence every 3 years (renewal is free) rather than relying on your expired and invalid licence.
In most cases renewal is straightforward, but as you get older you might be more likely to suffer from health conditions that affect your driving. The DVLA has a list of medical conditions that you must declare to it. Depending on the condition, you may need your doctor to confirm that you are still fit to drive in order to renew, or may need to take a course to assess your driving ability. If your medical condition impacts your ability to drive safely, you may need to surrender your licence. If so, your car insurance will no longer be valid.
How much does over 80s car insurance cost?
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What does over 80s car insurance cover?
As standard, over 80s car insurance covers broadly the same things as insurance for drivers of any age.
The detail can vary by insurer – for example, some comprehensive policies allow you to drive other cars, while others don’t. But what’s included will largely depend on the level of cover you opt for. There are 3 main levels:
- Third-party. The minimum legal requirement to drive on UK roads. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to other people’s 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 as well as provide protection against any fire damage to your car or 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 does over 80s car insurance not cover?
There are a few things that even comprehensive policies won’t cover as standard, including:
- Wear and tear or gradual deterioration.
- Motorsports or reckless driving – so try to resist doing donuts.
- Using your car for business purposes, such as hiring it out, unless it’s specified in your policy.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driving without a valid licence. From the age of 70, drivers need to renew their licence every 3 years, so don’t miss your renewal date.
Our full guide on car insurance exclusions has more on what’s usually excluded. There are also some extra features that may be covered as standard by some, often more premium car insurance policies, but not by others – such as a courtesy car.
What optional extras are available for over 80s?
Optional extras available with over 80s car insurance are similar to those available for drivers of other ages. Some of these may be included as standard with more premium comprehensive policies, but more often you’ll need to pay extra. When you’re getting quotes, look out for what is and isn’t included and make sure you’re comparing like with like.
Common optional extras include:
- Breakdown cover
- Personal accident cover
- Motor legal expenses insurance
- Key cover
- No claims discount protection
- Windscreen cover
Will my car insurance be affected by medical conditions?
If you develop a medical condition at any age, you may need to declare it to the DVLA – you can find a list of conditions that must be disclosed on the DVLA website. Some conditions are more likely to develop as you get older.
If you fail to declare a medical condition that could affect your driving, you may end up with a fine of up to £1,000. You could even be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident.
Once you’ve declared the medical condition, the DVLA may place a time restriction on your licence (of 1, 2 or 3 years). You may need to take a course to assess your driving ability and whether your car needs any special controls fitted. This can be done at a local Mobility Centre.
In some cases the DVLA may advise you not to drive. In the following cases, you may be required to surrender your licence:
- If your doctor tells you to stop driving for 3 months or more.
- If your medical condition affects your ability to drive safely and lasts for 3 months or more.
- If you do not meet the required standards for driving because of your medical condition.
You can apply to get your licence back when you meet the medical standards for driving again.
If you drive without a valid licence, your car insurance will not cover you.
Do I need to tell my insurer about DVLA-reportable medical conditions?
When you apply for insurance, you must tell your insurer if you have any DVLA-reported medical conditions or disabilities and how they have affected your licence. The specific details they’ll ask for may vary, but you need to answer the question they ask honestly.
You should also tell your insurer if you develop a DVLA-reportable medical condition part way through your term of insurance. Failing to tell your insurer about things that could affect your cover risks invalidating your insurance.
Under the Equalities Act 2010, insurers cannot usually refuse coverage, raise premiums or increase an excess based on a driver’s medical condition if it was declared when the DVLA issued your licence. The only exception is if there is evidence of an increased risk of you causing an accident as a result of your condition.
If you drive a vehicle modified for a disability, this could result in an increased premium due to the potential for additional repair costs.
What do I need to get a quote for over 80s car insurance?
If you religiously compare and switch policies every year, pulling together the information you need to get a quote will be second nature to you. But if you haven’t switched insurer for a while, here’s a quick reminder of what you need.
- Your car’s details. This includes the car’s registration, age, make, model and estimated value.
- Your personal details. Your name, age, occupation and address. If you’re using an online comparison site, you may also need an email address so the site can send you details of the top quotes.
- Your driving history. This includes how long you’ve been driving, previous claims, any no-claims discount you’ve built up, and any driving convictions.
- How you use the car. The insurer will need to know your estimated annual mileage.
- Details of any additional drivers. If you want to add a partner or someone else to your policy as a named driver.
How can I save on my over 80s car insurance?
There are a few ways you can keep car insurance costs down. Bear in mind that the cheapest policy might not be the best one if it doesn’t include everything you need. Check cover levels and what extras are and aren’t included before you make your decision:
- Consider a telematics policy. A black box is fitted into your car to measure how well you drive. This data is then assessed by your insurance provider to calculate your premium based on your driving habits. Telematics insurance is most commonly used by young drivers who face high premiums, but can also be used by older drivers that are seeing premiums rise sharply.
- Drive fewer miles. When you get a quote, you’ll be asked how many miles you do in a year. Driving fewer miles will bring down the cost of your insurance. Additionally, you might be able to get pay-as-you-go cover.
- Drive a smaller engine car. The bigger the engine, the more powerful the car, and the more you’ll pay for your insurance.
- Drive safely. Having a history of claims, driving convictions or points on your licence will make your insurance more expensive.
- Review the excess. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay towards a claim. Increasing your excess can reduce your insurance premium.
- Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your annual premium in one go. You’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
- Increase security to reduce the risk of theft. If your car doesn’t have one, adding an industry-approved alarm can reduce your premium. So can keeping your car in a garage rather than on the roadside if possible.
- Shop around. Compare prices from different providers to find the best value deal for you. Remember that not all insurance companies are on comparison sites.
Once you turn 80, you may find that your car insurance premiums start to climb. As an experienced driver this may seem counterintuitive and arguably unfair. But many insurers increase prices for over 80s in response to industry data showing that, on average, they’re more likely to make a claim. Not every provider will load their premiums equally though. If your renewal quote from your existing insurer seems steep, shop around to find one that will offer you more affordable cover.
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