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Car insurance for over-80s

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Whether you’re 19 or 89, what car insurance covers doesn’t change. However, when taking out over-80s insurance, you may notice that your premiums are more expensive than when you compared car insurance quotes in your 60s and 70s. 

Nevertheless, there are still ways you can try and get cheaper car insurance for over-80s. This guide explains how you can cut the cost of your premium, what medical conditions you’ll need to declare and what is included in specialist over-80s car insurance.

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Is car insurance for over-80s more expensive?

As you entered your late 70s, you likely noticed the cost of your car insurance started to increase from the low rates you’d seen in prior years. That trend only continues in your 80s, where the price of your premium might even increase at a slightly faster rate. 

Put simply, insurance providers view older drivers as more of a risk. Data from the Association of British Insurers suggests that the cost of the average car insurance claim in your 80s jumps up to levels not seen since your early 20s. 

The good news is that the cost of your car insurance shouldn’t reach the same price as those in their 20s would pay. This is because, unlike that demographic, you’ve likely got decades worth of driving experience under your belt.

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How much does over-80s car insurance cost?

The average cost of car insurance for 80- to 84-year-olds is £416, based on fully comprehensive annual policies bought through MoneySuperMarket between November 2022 and February 2023. 

 

As you enter your late 80s, however, the price of insurance jumps significantly. For 85- to 89-year-olds, the average is £519.  

In comparison, the average for someone aged between 75 and 79 is £338. 

 

The price of car insurance is only increasing. According to Consumer Intelligence, premiums for drivers over 50 rose by 57.2 per cent in the year to November 2023. So you should expect to pay more than the above when you next renew your policy.

What does over-80s car insurance cover?

Over-80s car insurance is no different to standard car insurance. This means you’ll still be choosing between third party; third party, fire and theft; and comprehensive cover:

  • Third party: if you take out third party insurance, you’ll only be covered for injuries to other people or damage to another person’s property
  • Third party, fire and theft: with third party, fire and theft insurance, you’ll be able to claim if your car is stolen or damaged by a fire or attempted theft, as well damage to third parties
  • Comprehensive: as well as everything included in the previous two levels, comprehensive car insurance includes accidental damage to your vehicle. Your policy may also include coverage for personal belongings, replacement locks and keys, personal accident cover and a courtesy car 

What optional extras should over-80s drivers consider?

In addition to choosing between the three main types of car insurance, you’ll also have a range of optional extras to consider. 

For example, as you get older, adding breakdown cover might be a sensible option to provide assistance if anything goes wrong with your vehicle. 

Similarly, you may want an enhanced personal accident add-on to cover a wider array of services, such as physiotherapy, if you were to be in a motor accident. 

Other add-ons include:

  • Hire car cover: if you want to ensure you get a temporary replacement vehicle if your car is stolen, written off or damaged (you’ll typically only get a courtesy car if your vehicle is damaged), you could consider hire car cover
  • Extended key cover: some key cover add-ons not only include your vehicle’s ignition device but your house keys as well
  • Motor legal protection: with motor legal protection, you’ll usually receive coverage for up to £100,000 in legal expenses if you need to pursue uninsured losses following an accident

What do I need to get car insurance for over-80s?

To get car insurance in your 80s, you’ll need to provide exactly the same documentation and information as a younger driver, including: 

  • Your personal details (name, date of birth, etc)
  • Your home address (including where you park overnight)
  • How long you’ve had your driving licence
  • Your car details (including make, model, age and registration number)
  • Proof of any no-claims bonus you’ve built up
  • Your annual mileage
  • Any driving convictions or offences
  • Any named drivers you intend to add to your policy

How often do I need to renew my licence once I’m over 80?

While the process of getting car insurance is the same, the rules for renewing your driving licence change as you get older. 

After the age of 70, you must renew your licence every three years rather than every 10. 

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Will my medical conditions affect my car insurance?

You’ll need to keep your insurer and the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) up to date with any new medical conditions that may affect your driving.

 

These medical conditions can affect the cost of your car insurance. This is because providers consider you at greater risk of having an accident.

 

You must declare the following to your car insurance provider and the DVLA: 

  • Diabetes (or taking insulin)
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Various heart conditions
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Epilepsy
  • Stokes
  • Glaucoma

You can find a full A to Z list of conditions and the guidance around them in regards to driving at gov.uk. Alternatively, you can use the online service to search for a condition. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t inform the DVLA of any medical conditions. 

 

If you inform the DVLA of a medical condition, it may have to carry out medical checks to assess whether you can renew your licence. During this time, you won’t be able to drive. 

 

You’ll also need to meet the minimum eyesight requirements when renewing your licence. You must:

  • Be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses if required) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres away
  • Have a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) on the Snellen scale (this is the vertical eye test you find at an opticians)
  • Have adequate field of vision (an optician can test for this)

Do I need specialist over-80s car insurance?

While you don’t need specialist over-80s car insurance, the benefits that such policies include mean they’re worth looking into. Specialist over-80s car insurance may provide the following benefits:

  • Multi-year fixed price: you can find specialist over-80s car insurance policies where your premium is fixed for three years
  • Improved personal belongings cover: you may receive a higher personal belongings claims limit, with some policies even increasing that limit in December to cover presents
  • Increased key cover: some specialist policies will not only have a higher claims limit for replacement locks and keys but will include wear and tear
  • Emergency any driver cover: if you have a medical emergency while driving, any driver can take the wheel and get you home or to a hospital
  • Increased personal accident cover: you can find over-80s car insurance policies with personal accident cover of up to £1 million
  • Enhanced European cover: certain specialist over-80s insurance policies allow for unlimited European travel
  • Better onward travel: you can find policies that either have a higher than standard onward travel reimbursement limit or provide unlimited taxi travel to get you home following an accident
  • Misfuelling: you can get your engine drained and any damaged repaired if you put the wrong fuel in your car
  • Protected no-claims discount: certain policies include no-claims bonus protection as standard
  • Voluntary work: you can get cover for any voluntary work you carry out as long as that work is with a registered charity
  • Driver confidence course: if you lose confidence in your driving, some policies will pay for driver confidence coaching to help you get back behind the wheel

How to get cheaper over-80s car insurance quotes

There are several things you can do to try and bring down the cost of your over-80s car insurance.

Consider a different type of car insurance

Depending on your driving profile, you may find it cheaper to take out one of the following instead of standard car insurance:

  • Low-mileage car insurance: if you are driving less than the national average of 6,600 miles a year, you could be eligible for cheaper low-mileage car insurance
  • Pay-as-you-go car insurance: if you only need to use your car now and then, you could consider pay-as-you-go car insurance. This involves installing a small device in your car that tracks how far you drive. You’ll then either pick a certain number of miles from the outset of your policy and top up when needed or simply pay for the miles you drive, depending on the provider

Other tips to get cheaper car insurance

Aside from choosing a specialist policy, there are some classic tips and tricks you can employ to try and reduce the cost of your premium, including the following:

  • Time your renewal: the best time to get a new car insurance quote is one month to two weeks from your renewal date
  • Pay upfront: if you can afford it, it is cheaper to pay for your car insurance annually rather than monthly. This is because you’ll be charged interest if you pay month by month
  • Maintain your no-claims bonus: choosing to pay for small repairs rather than making a claim will allow you to maintain your no-claims discount
  • Increase your voluntary excess: the higher your voluntary excess, the cheaper your premium will be. However, you should only agree to an excess you can realistically afford
  • Install the right security modifications: certain additions, such as dash cams, parking sensors and locking wheel nuts, can reduce your premium
  • Consider a car in a lower insurance group: if you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, buying one in a lower car insurance group can help cut the cost of your cover
  • Shop around: compare quotes from different providers to find the best deal

Over-80s car insurance FAQs

You don’t require a health assessment to take out over-80s car insurance. However, you need to declare any medical conditions that affect your driving to your insurer and when renewing your licence.

When renewing your licence, the DVLA may require you to undergo medical checks to ensure it’s still safe for you to drive.

It is possible for a driver over the age of 80 to insure an older car. However, it may increase the price of your premium.

Depending on the age of the vehicle and your attachment to it, you could consider specialised classic car insurance. Although the DVLA and HMRC have their own definitions of a classic car, it’s at the discretion of the provider to determine its classic car age limits.

While there is no maximum legal age at which you have to stop driving, some car insurance providers may set age limits. 

However, regardless of your age, you should still be able to find a provider that’ll give you cover, even if your options may shrink slightly as you get into your 80s. 

If you choose to stop driving because you don’t want to anymore, you don’t have to tell the DVLA. But you can choose to voluntarily surrender your licence.

However, you must surrender your licence to the DVLA if:

  • Your doctor tells you to stop driving for three months or more
  • You have a medical condition that affects your ability to drive safely for three months or longer
  • You fail to meet the required standards for driving due to a medical condition

It is possible to apply to get your licence back if the above situations are resolved. 

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.