/ Money, Motoring

Are older drivers being unfairly penalised on car insurance?

Older driver at the wheel

Have you been driving for many years without an accident or making a claim? Do you feel you’re paying over the odds for your car insurance based on the risk you represent? Then there’s a chance you are…

Despite car insurance premiums falling, on average, 16.6% in the last year, according to the AA Index, our members have been contacting us with some eye-watering quotes, many of whom have never made a claim.

The industry’s argument for their high premiums for older drivers is that are more likely to make a claim than younger drivers because they have slower reaction times, poorer eyesight and hearing, increased propensity for confusion, or haven’t driven for a long time.

High premiums for older drivers

But the statistics tell a different story. According to the latest available Association of British Insurers’ data, a 61 to 65-year-old pays almost twice as much in premiums for their level of risk (claims frequency multiplied by claims cost) than an 18-21-year-old.

The data also shows that, in general, the older the driver, the fewer claims they make.

Little’s changed since the last time we looked at car insurance premiums two years ago. Back then, we found that in all of the age groups we analysed (the 61 to 65s, 66 to 70s, 71 to 75s, 75 to 80s and 81 to 85s), the premiums quoted were higher than the risk the drivers in these groups would seem to merit.

Our research found that despite 81 to 85-year-olds being less likely to make a claim, the quotes they received were 50% to 74% higher than people aged 41-45. And despite drivers aged 76 to 80 submitting claims that cost 12% less on average than those aged 41 to 45, the premiums they were quoted were 9% to 23% higher.

We want to hear your experiences. Do you feel you are being unfairly penalised in the price you pay because of your age? How does your insurer justify the premium they charge you?

Do you think older drivers are penalised on the cost of their car insurance?

Yes (60%, 705 Votes)

No (21%, 253 Votes)

Don't know (19%, 224 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,182

Loading ... Loading ...

It is FEWER claims, not less claims.


Nicely spotted Terfar – fixed. What do you think of premiums for older drivers?


Patrick, I’ve not experienced any serious problem due to age – but at 68, I don’t consider myself any more than middle-aged. (I expect the young will think I’m ancient, whilst the truly old will have a laugh!)

The usual problem is that often the ‘automated renewal’ tends to be a big hike, so I always hunt around. Several times, I have renewed by going on line to the same provider (think dog), got a new quote which I accepted and simply cancelled the automated renewal. Crazy. If the automated renewal was at the competitive rate, it would save my time and the dog’s administration effort.

I’m now with LV= because of Which? reporting better customer service. Time will tell!

PS I pay around £200 fully comp for the wife and I on an Octavia DSG estate. That seems reasonable.


I have a problem tho not common is really annoying. several times in the last 3 decades i have left the country for various periods always more than 2 years, on returning i have lost all my no claims bonus despite driving with insurance in the relevant countries i have lived in. I returned from Canada and US 4 months ago and bought another car, when trying to get reasonable insurance i trawled the sites but still could get nothing less than 480/ yr I am 67 and have been driving in many countries continuously and in that time have had three accidents none in the last 20 years.
To me insurance companies are as bad as the banks at stealing our money.


I had the same problem, so I always get a letter from the insurer in the country stating my no claims in years and some (not all) companies accept the letter and credit you the NCB. In my case it was RAC who accepted the information. Hope that helps.

Tj says:
4 June 2014

I used to get my car insurance through Churchill but it increased on automatic renewal. When I rang and said I could get it cheaper elsewhere they said they would match the price. No way, should have done it first. I am now with LV, superb and at £163 with one named extra driver for my old W reg Rav4 it is fair at my 72 years.


This situation is appropriate to all forms of insurance. On several occasions I have had a renewal request for both car and house insurance with increased premiums and have found lower cost alternatives. Invariably when I ‘phone the old company to cancel the policy, I am offered a more competitive price. If they had offered this in the first place, I wouldn’t have changed! They seem to operate on the ‘captive audience’ basis where the renewals requests are simply accepted without question.


My problem is because I live in London and get FREE Travel on all forms of Transport in London, I seldom travel by Car (or Motorbike, because I possess Licences to drive both) and this means that I’ve let my Car Insurance lapse. Because the last accident I had, which was my fault, was when I was 26, when I last had Insurance I had a 65% No Claims Discount, which today I have not because this has elapsed. I’m thinking of purchasing a Car because I’m finding difficulty walking and getting on Buses. To my horror I’ve been quoted almost a £1,000 to insure the lowest CC rated Car for 3rd Party, Fire and Theft. I think that’s a tad unfair for a Man that has had an unblemished insurance record for 34 years, before he sold his last Car and just because he’s not been insured with any Insurer for almost six.

Tim Bolt says:
28 July 2014

I insure with Budget and have done for some time.

Received renewal notice quoting £465, checked a comparison site and was quoted £209 – by Budget – so guess what! I opted for the lower quote for the same insurance cover. Definitely worth investigating other options.