Older driver insurance
Learn how you can get cheap car insurance for older drivers, whatever your age.
Depending on when you took up driving, the older you are, the more driving experience you’re likely to have. But, as you pass the age of 70, car insurance actually gets more expensive. We’ve looked at why this is and how you can reduce the cost of your insurance.
What is older driver insurance?
Older driver insurance is car insurance designed for drivers over a certain age. There isn’t actually a policy called “older driver insurance”, but many insurers do offer specific policies for drivers over the age of 50, and some also offer cover for drivers over 80 (as this is when insurance can start to get really pricey).
Depending on the driver’s age and state of health, this type of insurance can cost more. On the plus side, it sometimes includes benefits that other policies don’t, like unlimited cover in Europe.
What counts as an “older driver”?
Officially, an older driver is someone aged 70 years or older, according to the government’s Road Safety Factsheet.
However, in the context of insurance, different providers have different views on what constitutes an “older driver” when taking out a policy. Often, insurers tailor their products exclusively for the over-50s market, and include benefits aimed at drivers in that age bracket.
What’s different about car insurance for older drivers?
There isn’t usually a lot that sets car insurance for older drivers apart from standard policies, though the exact specifics of cover varies by provider.
Car cover for older drivers can be more expensive, but it sometimes includes certain benefits that the insurer believes will appeal to older drivers. For example, Saga offers unlimited cover in Europe, and Age Co has a Message Relay service that gives you the option for a friend or family member to be contacted if you have an accident.
How does driving change as you age?
This depends on your age bracket:
Drivers aged 50 to 70
Not much changes when you hit 50, except your premium might actually go down, as insurers take into account your driving experience. As long as you don’t develop any medical conditions that can affect your driving or make major claims, the cost of your insurance should stay low.
Drivers over 70
When you reach the age of 70, you must renew your licence, then repeat the process every three years. Every time you do this, you must declare all medical conditions, which the DVLA uses to decide whether you are still fit to drive. Your premium may start to climb, but you should still have a lot of options for cover, so can shop around.
Drivers over the age of 80
Once you pass 80, premiums go up and the number of insurers willing to cover you goes down. According to an August 2020 study by financial services data specialist Consumer Intelligence, out of 349 comprehensive car insurance policies on rating platform Defaqto, 118 impose a maximum age limit of 80 or younger. This makes just over a third of companies, which makes finding a policy more difficult, but not impossible.
What factors are considered in an older driver quote?
The main factors insurers use to determine the cost of car insurance are the same for everyone. These include:
- Your age and driving experience
- Your location and job title
- The car you drive, including its age, make, model and engine size
- How many miles you drive per year and the miles already on the car’s odometer
- Where you drive to and for what purpose (leisure, work etc)
- Where you park your car
- Whether your car is imported or modified
- Whether you have any points on your licence
- Whether you have a no claim discount
Additionally, when an insurer gives a quote for any type of cover to a customer, it calculates it by trying to assess how much of a risk the customer is. In plainer terms, this means how likely the customer is to make a claim and cost the company money.
With car insurance for older drivers, insurers rely on statistics. These show that, other than very young drivers, drivers over the age of 80 are likely to cost insurers the most in claims.
How can I cut the cost of my premium as an older driver?
There are several steps you can take to give yourself a better chance of finding cheap car insurance for older drivers:
- Shop around. Don’t go for the first policy you find and don’t just auto-renew your current deal. The easiest way to keep costs down is to compare your premium each year to make sure you find the best deal available on the market for you at that time.
- Low mileage. The less you use your car each year, the cheaper your premium will be. If you don’t use your car very often, you can also consider taking out a pay-as-you-drive policy with an insurer such as By Miles.
- Telematics policy. This type of insurance policy means your car is fitted with a black box which measures your speed, distance travelled, and the time of day or night you’re travelling. Drive responsibly and you could be rewarded with a better insurance deal.
- Higher voluntary excess. Your excess is the amount you pay towards a claim before the insurer starts paying out. Voluntarily accepting a higher excess can mean a lower premium. However, make sure you can afford to pay the excess.
- Pay annually. Sending your insurer a lump sum each year is generally cheaper than paying for your policy monthly. Most insurance companies charge an interest on instalments, which means they work out more expensive.
- No claim discount. If you’ve been driving responsibly and avoided making any claims, you may have amounted a decent no claim bonus, which should mean a lower premium.
Frequently asked questions
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