Politics

Number of 100-year-olds with driving licences trebles in 10 years


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Centenarians who can get behind the wheel have gone over 500 this year for the first time while the number of over 90s has almost doubled from 71,259 in 2012 to 133,369 today

Elderly person driving

The number of 100 year olds holding driving licences has more than trebled in the last ten years.

Centenarians who can get behind the wheel have gone over 500 this year for the first time while the number of over 90s has almost doubled from 71,259 in 2012 to 133,369 today.

The oldest driver in the UK with a full licence is a 108 year old man, and two others, a man and a woman are 107, according to the car leasing comparison website LeaseCo.

There are 1.5million drivers over 80, a 47% increase over the last decade, while 5.7million over 70s have licences.

John Wilmot of LeaseCo said: “Having a car allows older people to feel socially connected.

“That’s especially true in more rural areas where public transport is unreliable.”

The AA said it encourages people to drive for as long as they can provided there are no health issues which might affect safety.

The AA’s Jack Cousens added: “But there will come a time when driving is no longer an option.







There are 1.5million drivers over 80
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Getty Images)

“That causes family friction when mum and dad have to be told it is time to hang up their car keys.”

Once drivers reach 70 they must renew their licence every three years by completing a self-assessment form about their health.

A report by the Older Drivers Task Force recommended the renewal age be increased to 75 provided a mandatory eye test was included.

The task force’s John Plowman said: “Older motorists should be medically fit to drive and seek advice when a limiting condition develops or gets worse.

“Age itself should not be a barrier to safe driving.

But over 80s are ten times more likely to be killed than a motorist half their age because they are more fragile if there is an accident.

The Duke of Edinburgh was 97 when his Land Rover collided with another car leaving one of its passengers with a broken wrist.

Eileen Ash of Norwich, the world’s oldest test cricketer who died last year at the age of 110, was still driving at 106.

She told the BBC : “There are good and bad drivers of all ages. You’ll know when you can’t drive and that’s the time to stop.”

Eileen passed her driving test in 1937 and only ever had one accident – hitting her lawnmower as she reversed into her garage.

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