Learning to Drive when you’re Older

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Learning To Drive When You’re Older

If you missed out on the opportunity or simply didn’t feel the need to learn to drive during your younger years, it’s never too late to embark on this journey. Here’s a summary of what you need to know when undertaking the task of learning to drive as an adult.

Am I too old to learn to drive?

Absolutely! Age is not a limiting factor when it comes to learning to drive. It’s not uncommon for people to forgo learning to drive at 17 due to the high costs associated with driving lessons and car ownership, which can be challenging for younger individuals. As a result, many adults choose to embark on their driving journey later in life.

Older Driver

In fact, in 2022, nearly six million individuals aged 70 or above in Great Britain possessed a valid driving licence. This statistic clearly demonstrates that there are no age barriers when it comes to driving, allowing you to confidently pursue this skill well into your golden years.

However, it’s important to note that once you turn 70, there is a requirement to renew your driving licence every three years. This regular renewal process ensures that your driving skills are continually assessed, promoting road safety not only for yourself but for others as well.

Therefore, if you’re wondering whether it’s too late to learn to drive, rest assured that age should not hinder your aspirations. Embrace this opportunity, as obtaining a driving licence at any stage in life can greatly enhance your mobility, independence, and overall quality of life.

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Will it take me longer to learn how to drive because I’m older?

Being an older learner driver does not necessarily mean that it will take longer for you to learn compared to a younger driver. The duration of your learning journey primarily depends on your individual progress and dedication.


Previously, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) stated that it typically takes around 45 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of additional practice to learn how to drive. However, it is important to note that current official advice suggests that there is no fixed number of lessons or amount of practice required to learn to drive.

Every individual has unique learning capabilities and circumstances that influence the learning process. Factors such as previous experience, confidence level, and regular practice can significantly impact the time it takes for you to become a proficient driver. It is advisable to work closely with your driving instructor to determine your specific needs and progress at a pace that suits you best.

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Remember, the journey of learning to drive is a personal one, and comparing yourself to others, regardless of age, is not productive. Focus on your own progress, embrace the learning experience, and stay committed to acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to become a safe and confident driver on the road.

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Will I find it harder to pass my driving test as an older adult?

Regrettably, statistics indicate that older learner drivers do tend to face more difficulty in passing their driving test. Generally, the older you are, the harder it becomes to achieve success in the test.

For instance, data from April 2020 to March 2021 reveals that 17-year-olds boasted the highest pass rate at 63.5%, whereas drivers aged 60 and above had a pass rate of 32.7%.

Pass My Driving Test As An Older Adult

While it is true that older drivers have a lower likelihood of passing their driving test on the first attempt, the figures also demonstrate that the difference in pass rates between the ages of 30 and 50 is not substantial. At the age of 30, the average pass rate stands at 44.3%, at 40 it’s 37.9%, and at 50 it’s 34.4%.

These statistics highlight the importance of understanding the potential challenges that may arise as an older adult learning to drive. Factors such as reaction time, flexibility, and adapting to new skills may pose unique obstacles.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these statistics are general trends and may not reflect your individual abilities and determination.

With the right mindset, proper preparation, and dedication, it is absolutely possible to overcome any challenges and achieve success in obtaining your driver’s licence.

Work closely with a skilled driving instructor, practice regularly, and maintain a positive attitude towards your learning journey. Remember that age should never deter you from pursuing your goal of becoming a competent and safe driver on the roads.

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Am I more likely to have an accident because I’m older?

Statistically speaking, older drivers are involved in significantly fewer collisions compared to their younger counterparts.

When mileage is taken into account, there is a notable decline in the number of collisions between the ages of 17 and 70, reflecting a consistent decrease in accident rates. This decline can be attributed to the accumulation of experience and expertise on the road that comes with more years of driving.

However, it’s important to note that from the age of 71 and above, there is a sharp increase in the number of collisions per mile driven. This means that drivers over the age of 70 are statistically more likely to experience accidents while driving.

Am I More Likely To Have An Accident Because I’m Older

This increase in collision rates among drivers over 70 could be influenced by factors such as changes in vision, hearing, reaction time, and overall physical health. It’s crucial for older drivers to be aware of these potential challenges and take appropriate measures to ensure road safety.

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While statistics indicate an increased risk for older drivers, it’s important to remember that each individual is unique. Personal factors such as overall health, lifestyle choices, and adherence to safe driving practices can greatly influence an older driver’s ability to mitigate risks and maintain road safety.

It is advisable for older drivers to regularly assess their own capabilities, undergo medical check-ups, and consider taking refresher courses or defensive driving programs to enhance their skills and confidence behind the wheel.

By remaining aware, proactive, and engaged in maintaining safe driving habits, older drivers can continue to enjoy the benefits of independent mobility while minimising the potential risks associated with driving at an older age.

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Am I fit enough to drive?

Older drivers can maintain their fitness for driving well into their later years. However, it is important to acknowledge that certain factors related to safe driving, such as vision, hearing, and muscle power and control, can naturally decline as we age.

Regular check-ups for vision and hearing are highly recommended to ensure that any issues are promptly identified and addressed. Additionally, it is beneficial to consult with healthcare professionals to assess overall health and detect any conditions or medications that may impact driving abilities.

Maintaining good physical health through exercise, proper nutrition, and managing chronic conditions can also contribute to your fitness for driving. Staying active and engaging in activities that promote flexibility, strength, and coordination can help preserve the necessary skills required on the road.

Am I Fit Enough To Drive

It’s essential to be proactive in monitoring your own health and addressing any concerns that may affect your ability to drive safely. By doing so, you can maintain confidence in your driving skills and ensure the safety of both yourself and others on the road.

Remember, age should not be seen as the sole determinant of driving fitness. Regular health assessments, coupled with appropriate lifestyle choices, can help older drivers continue to enjoy the independence and freedom that driving provides while prioritising road safety.

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