Record number of 100-year-old drivers

There are more than 133,000 drivers aged 90 or over in the UK, according to data analysed by car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, while the number of drivers over the age of 100 has also reached a new high.

The most up-to-date driving licence data from the Department for Transport revealed that the number of people aged 90 or over holding a licence has almost doubled over the past decade.

In 2012, the figure stood at 71,259, today it stands at 133,369, an increase of 87%.

Reflecting an ageing population, the number of drivers aged 70 or over has surpassed 5.7 million, rising almost 50% in the past 10 years. When drivers reach 70, they have to renew their licence.

DoT data also reveals that the number of people aged 100 years or over holding a driving licence has passed 500 for the first time.

The oldest driver currently in the UK with a full licence, is a male aged 108. There are also two drivers – one male, one female – aged 107 who still hold full licences.

John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseCoco, said: “The increase in over 70s with a driving licence over the past decade reflects an ageing population. It also shows how much we rely on our cars throughout our lives. Travelling by car continues to be the main and most convenient form of transport for many older people, and is vital to travel to shops and services.

“Having a car also allows older people to feel socially connected. That’s especially true in more rural areas, where public transport can be unreliable. There may also be a Covid effect which has boosted the number of over 70s holding onto their licences, with older people wary of using public transport and using their cars instead.”