Government data shows that in the five years up to 2020, the number of those over 70 with a full driving licence rose by almost one million, a 23.6 percent increase from 4.5 million to 5.6 million. In roughly the same time period, the figures of those killed or seriously injured in collisions involving at least one older car driver in Great Britain rose slightly and make up approximately 3,000 to 3,500 annually.

Currently, drivers are required to renew their driver’s license at the age of 70 and again every three years following this birthday.

Each of these renewals requires confidential medical details to be submitted to the DVLA to ensure you are fit to drive.

This declaration is a legal requirement and the driver’s GP can declare this information on their behalf if they believe their condition may impact their driving ability.

This means that “in a sense, ‘fit to drive’ assessments already take place in some form, in terms of medical wellness,” according to Tom Hixon, head of instructor support at Bill Plant Driving School. 

However, Mr Hixon claimed that more could be done especially for drivers aged 80 and above. 

He told “As a percentage of car driver casualties relative to the number of drivers, those 70-80 have broadly the same rates compared to those aged 25-29, but this is still three times lower than that of 17-24-year-olds.

“We do see a sharp increase for those over 80 however, and those over 86, in particular, have a significantly higher chance of being a car driver casualty.

“To that effect, mandatory ‘fit to drive’ tests might be more appropriate for the latter age category, especially given the far lower number of people over 80 who are actively driving.”

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Mr Hixon added: “We should also consider mandatory testing might affect the testing of new drivers.

“There is already a backlog of learners on the test waiting lists, and we can assume that adding ‘fit to drive’ tests onto this list might extend these wait times.”

Elderly drivers are also being warned that they could face massive fines if they fail to renew their licence once they reach 70 years of age.  

Motorists who do not renew their licence once they have passed their 70th birthday will no longer be able to legally operate a vehicle and will be committing a serious offence if they continue driving.

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The DVLA will send people a D46P application form to their registered address around 90 days before they turn 70.

Paper copies of the form can also be obtained from the Post Office if a driver does not receive one through the post.

Drivers can also fill out the form online using the DVLA website and can do so from the beginning of the 90-day period.

They must renew their licence every three years once they pass the age of 70.

The DVLA has been vocal in ensuring all elderly drivers are signed up for a new licence, reminding them on Twitter and other social media channels.

On Twitter, the agency recently wrote: “After you turn 70, you need to renew your licence every three years. 

“It’s easy, quick and secure to do it online,” alongside a link to the GOV.UK website.

When renewing, drivers will need an email address, an address of where they have lived for the last three years, their National Insurance number and a valid UK passport number (if they want to change the licence photo).

People can still drive while their licence is being renewed as long as they adhere to a number of rules.

This includes: they have the support of their doctor to continue driving, they had a valid licence, they only drive under the conditions of the previous licence, their application is less than a year old, their last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons, and they’re not currently disqualified.

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