Older drivers

Drive safely for longer

Older motorists have a wealth of driving experience, and driving is often a key factor in maintaining their independence.

However as we age, our senses such as sight and hearing, reaction times and the judgement of speed and distance may not be as sharp as they once were.

Fragility increases with age, so injuries for our older population tend to be more serious, and recovery takes longer.

The information and links provided offer advice to help older motorists:

  • drive safely for longer
  • to better understand their legal obligations
  • and when it may be the right time to retire from driving

Older driver skills appraisal

An Older Driver Skills Appraisal aim is to reassure and help you drive safer for longer.

An appraisal drive looks at a person’s physical changes in a positive light. It offers support and guidance to help older, more experienced drivers adapt their driving accordingly.

How much does an Older Driver Skills Appraisal cost?

The appraisal costs £50. This is paid directly to the approved driving instructor (ADI) conducting your appraisal once a date has been agreed.

The appraisal is aimed at drivers aged 60 and over who wish to determine whether they have a satisfactory level of driving. It may also assist those who have undergone a change in their circumstances, e.g., grandparents, nervous drivers, extended period of not driving, change of job or retired. Or perhaps you simply want an honest evaluation of your skills, with a view to topping them up with further training.

The appraisal is not a review of your medical fitness to drive.

What does an appraisal involve?

  • The appraisal will be delivered by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).
  • The appraisal takes place in your own vehicle in a relaxed and informal manner.
  • The appraisal will start from your home address or pre-arranged meeting place depending on your wishes.
  • Prior to going out on the road the assessor will complete a safety check and ask you some questions. The assessor will also check you have a current valid driving licence as well conducting a 20m number plate eyesight check.
  • The appraisal will take around 60 minutes with breaks during the drive.
  • The appraisal will be tailored to your needs and will try to include a variety of roads from urban, rural and dual carriageway routes.
  • If you wish you can bring along a friend or family member to make you feel more comfortable.
  • The appraisal is not a test. After your appraisal the assessor will give you honest and objective verbal feedback and complete a written report on your driving ability at the time of taking part. You will receive your report in the following weeks. The assessor may signpost you to additional support and advice, or an appraisal more appropriate to your needs and requirements.

Next steps

  1. Complete the expression of interest form. Alternatively, a paper version of the form can be requested from roadsafety@iow.gov.uk.
  2. When we receive an expression of interest form and we will deem if an assessment is suitable for your needs. 
  3. If an assessment is suitable, we will let you know and pass your details to one of the approved assessors.
  4. An approved assessor will make contact with you to book in your assessment date. You pay the assessor directly at the time of booking.

If you need to cancel the appraisal, please contact the assessor directly and at least 48 hours before your drive is due to take place. Appraisals cancelled within 48 hours will not receive a refund.

It is recommended that all participants should have had an eyesight test with an optician within the last 2 years. Should you wear glasses or contact lenses for driving then ensure you wear these on the day of your appraisal. If you can’t read a number plate at the legal prescribed distance on the day (20 metres), then the appraisal can’t go ahead, and you will not be refunded.

This information is collected solely for the Isle of Wight Older Driver (60+) Skills Appraisal. It is held as a confidential record by us and will only be passed to your driving assessor for the purpose of arranging the appraisal. Your personal data and any subsequent report will be kept for 1 year. Following this your details will be destroyed. The results from your appraisal will only be shared with third parties in exceptional circumstances as detailed in the Terms and Conditions and with notification to yourself.

Medical Conditions and Medication

Some medical conditions may impact your ability the drive, more information is provided on the medical conditions, medication and driving web pages.

Older Drivers Forum

The Older Drivers Forum has a wealth of information specifically targeted towards mature drivers. They also host webinars with various themes, throughout the year.