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Over 80s car insurance: Car insurance for drivers in their 80s
Older drivers are often offered cheaper car insurance than younger, less experienced drivers…and it’s that word ‘experience’ that makes all the difference.
All other things being equal, older motorists are often seen as less risky to insure because data suggests their years of experience behind the wheel can often result in fewer accidents. The situation gets a little more complicated for drivers in their 80s, because some providers are unwilling to offer car insurance to anyone over the age of 75.
That may seem counterintuitive at first glance, given the fact that experienced motorists usually have a better risk profile, but the reason is that drivers in their 80s are more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver who is 10 or 20 years younger.
This may be due to poorer eyesight, slower reflexes or the onset of medical conditions that may impair the motorist’s driving ability, but whatever the reason for it the increase in road traffic accidents for drivers in their late 70s and 80s means they represent a higher risk to insurers.
The same road traffic accident data suggests that motorists in their 80s are much more likely to suffer serious injuries when they do have an accident, which can result in more costly pay-outs for providers.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should sell your car and apply for a bus pass on your 80th birthday. There are still some specialist car insurance companies that are able to offer cover for drivers in their 80s – the key is to compare quotes from a range of providers in order to find a company that is willing to cover you…and do so at a reasonable price.
What factors will your insurance provider consider?
If you’ve been driving for many years you may already know that your age is just one of the many factors accounted for when calculating your premiums.
Other personal details that are considered include:
- Whether you have medical conditions that could affect your ability to drive
- How long you’ve held your licence
- Whether you have points on your licence
- Whether you have a No Claims Discount
When it comes to the vehicle itself most insurance companies will take the following factors into account:
- How old your car is
- Its make and model
- Its insurance group
- Where you usually park it when you’re not driving it
- The mileage on the clock
- Your estimated mileage for the next year
- Whether or not your car has modifications
- Whether or not it’s an import
While drivers in their 80s may have a smaller pool of insurance providers from which to choose, and this will likely result in higher quotes, there are still a few things you can do to reduce your premiums. For example, you could:
- Park in a garage or on a private driveway – Cars that are normally parked on the side of the road often cost more to insure, because there’s an increased risk that they’ll be involved in an accident or targeted by thieves.
- Opt for a higher excess – It’s important to weigh up whether a cheaper premium is worth the increased risk that you’ll have to fork out a significant lump sum if you’re ever involved in an accident, but if you are determined to reduce the upfront cost of your insurance you could opt for a higher excess.
- Pay annually instead of monthly – While you may have the option to pay for your insurance on an ongoing monthly basis, opting to pay for the full year upfront could reduce the cost a little.
Still have questions about over 80s car insurance? Then read on.
At what age should I stop driving?
There’s no maximum age limit for drivers in the UK, so the decision about whether or not a driver in their 80s should give up driving will generally be based on their health rather than their age.
While some medical conditions that can affect a person’s driving ability (failing eyesight, cataracts, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease) are usually more likely to develop later in life, unless you’ve been diagnosed with such a condition you can probably continue to drive your car.
Of course, if you are experiencing other symptoms that are unrelated to a specific, diagnosed medical condition but could still impair your ability to drive then you may well decide to hang up your keys without such a recommendation from your GP.
If you begin experiencing bouts of confusion, blurred vision or dizzy spells, for instance, you might decide that it’s time to stop driving, since those symptoms can significantly increase the risk of a road traffic accident.
Should I opt for third party cover in order to reduce the cost?
If you’re in your 80s and the cost of your premiums has started to creep up you might be tempted to opt for third party insurance in order to lower your premium, since this type of cover is often cheaper than fully-comprehensive or even third party, fire and theft.
You should weigh up what you will then do if you are involved in an accident, since third party insurance would only cover the cost of damage to a third party’s vehicle.
If the quote you’re offered for third party cover is significantly cheaper than you’re offered for fully-comp then you may want to take that risk, but if the price difference is small fully-comprehensive could well be worth the extra outlay.
*51% of consumers could save £290.68 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 November 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.