Figures suggest that in the next decade the number of drivers aged over 80 is set to increase by 25%, taking the total number to 1,283,000.
With more people deciding to buy a mobile home when they retire, the figures suggest motorhome insurance providers can look forward to selling more policies and the average driver can expect to enjoy 20 years of exploring the United Kingdom and beyond. However, the Institute of Advanced Motorists has urged the coalition to resist calls to force all older drivers to take costly driving tests unless a medical condition is in evidence. Under current law, driving licences must be renewed at the age of 70 and every three years after that. The onus is on the driver themselves to self-certify that they are fit to drive, but there is no mandatory retest. If the coalition plan goes ahead, older drivers will need to have a practical driving test that currently costs £75 with another £31 for the theory exam. The cost of lessons to get through the test, which can be as much £50 an hour, will dramatically drive up the cost.
Drivers over the age of sixty-five now make up 25% of licence holders and they are backing the Institute of Advanced Motorists in opposing retests for the elderly to be mandatory, they believe that the lessons should be voluntary and non-threatening. The IAM also insist that drivers over 70 are no more likely to cause accidents than the average driver and they are considerably safer than younger drivers. At the moment 8% per cent of drivers are over 70 yet they only account for 4% of all injury crashes. Older motorhome owners want to continue taking holidays and many feel that they are being harshly treated. Today, over 10 million people will live till they are 100 so the chances are they’ll be driven around by their 70 year-old children. While their frailty will put them in danger if they are in an accident that does not mean that they are a risk to other motorists.
Despite being good drivers some older motorhome drivers will be charged more for motorhome insurance and many are forced to seek specialist cover from specialist insurers. The number of drivers over 90 years old is set to increase by 18% to 82,400 by 2017 so insurance brokers are going to be busy. The coalition needs a strategy on how they are going to manage the extra elderly drivers and make them more aware of the risks they face and those nearing retirement need to start planning now for their future transport needs.