Peopl Insurance Q&A - The More You Know - Over 75s Licence Requirements Skip to main content

One in Five say Licence Requirement for Over 75s is “Ageist”

One in Four Want Driver Medical Reports To Be Mandated For All

Following changes to the licencing requirements of drivers over 70 in February 2022 which saw the age at which drivers have to supply a medical report to obtain a licence increase from 70 to 75, one in five people believe the policy is still ageist and should be abolished altogether.

In a new survey from Peopl Insurance, a further 24% of the 1000 adults surveyed said they would advocate for a more universal approach, believing that all drivers, regardless of age, should be obliged to provide a medical report.

Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance commented on the findings:

“While one in two people are happy with the current situation, a significant portion of the general public desires some form of change to the policy.”

Additional findings from the Peopl survey reveal,

  • Men (26%) are far more likely than women (17%) to believe the current policy is ageist.
  • Over half (54%) of those aged +55 agree that the medical report requirement is a necessary precaution for road safety.
  • 36pc of those in the youngest cohort  – aged between 21 and 24 believe the current policy to be ageist, compared with just over one in five (23%) of those in the older age group of 55+.

Mr. Walsh continued,

“The feedback was a little different depending on who was asked. Why men were much more likely than women (26% versus 17%) to consider the current policy “ageist” remains to be seen.

There was also a notable contrast between the youngest and oldest survey participants with those in the 21 – 24-year-old category far more likely to see the current requirement as ageist. Could this be down to experience? Older individuals might have a more safety-focused perspective, due to their greater experience on the road and heightened awareness of their capabilities.

 Overall, given that the majority are happy with the current policy and a further one in four want to see medical assessment for all, we can surmise that there is an overarching recognition of potential safety concerns around driving and driver capabilities.

For several reasons, a motorist’s eyesight, hearing, and reaction times can deteriorate.

Currently, the only medical requirement for all drivers is to provide an eye test report signed by an optometrist or doctor when applying for your first learner permit or if you are exchanging a driving licence issued by a non-EU country.

For anyone unsure as to whether they need to reveal their medical condition, the RSA has a list of specified conditions that require a medical report form on their website”.

 The Peopl survey findings emerged shortly after the European Commission revised a controversial proposal to introduce an EU-wide mandatory driving licence renewal process for drivers aged 70 and older. In March 2023, the European Commission proposed that those aged 70 and over would need to undergo medical tests to prove they are still capable of driving a car every five years. However, opposition to the proposal amongst various EU Member States as well as from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), who said the rule would be “discriminatory”, saw the European Commission revise its proposition last month – with any decision in this regard now being left to the discretion of Member States.

Mr. Walsh added,

“There is currently no statistical data available to support the idea that older drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents. It is essential to recognise that young people can also develop serious medical conditions, such as epilepsy, brain tumours, dementia, or diabetes, which can impair their ability to drive safely. Screenings based on medical diagnoses should therefore be universally applied to drivers aged 18 and above, rather than singling out those aged 70 and older”.

 Mr. Walsh reminded all drivers, irrespective of age, to shop around on the run-up to renewal time to prevent unnecessary overpaying on their car insurance:

“We have all seen our car insurance premiums increase year on year due to inflation and global rising fuel costs however, staying loyal to a single insurer rarely proves cost-effective. All drivers must know that at renewal time, you have the opportunity to secure the best quote by comparing different insurers. If you are a member of your local credit union, be sure to check the car insurance deals they have on offer. There are some great deals out there, drivers just need to shop around to find them”.