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Learning to drive later in life

Learning to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience at any age, but doing so later in life can be a particularly daunting prospect. It’s easy to convince yourself that it’s too late to pick up and master a whole new set of skills. 

The good news is learning to drive later in life is more common than you might think. If you’re wondering whether to take up driving, read on and we’ll help you to make an informed decision. 

Is it still worth learning how to drive?

There’s no denying that the vast majority of road users will have passed their test long before their 50th birthday. But that doesn’t mean it’s less of an option for those above that mark. 

Only you can decide whether it’s the right option for you, but there are lots of benefits to learning to drive, including: 

  • The potential for wider job opportunities. Driving can open up new lines of work, allow you to make longer commutes, or do business in multiple locations with ease.
  • Increased mobility. As you get older, you might find you’re not able to get around on foot quite like you used to, or that public transport becomes more taxing an experience. By learning to drive, you’ll have plenty of independence when it comes to getting from A to B, long into your retirement.
  • Improvements to lifestyle. Once you can drive, things like weekend trips to the coast or European driving holidays are a very real and exciting prospect. This is something you may want to put even more emphasis on if you’re heading towards retirement and are thinking of ways to make the most of it, such as buying a second home. 

Tips for learning to drive

Learning to drive later in life carries the same challenges as for anyone else. But to bolster your chances of passing first time, we recommend you: 

  • Get some extra hours in. While your instructed lessons will be a big help, some extra sessions with a friend or family member could work wonders. So long as they’re over 21, have held a licence for more than three years and are qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, they should be able to accompany you to drive. It’s worth bearing in mind that, if you’re practising in a car you own, you will need your own learner driver insurance, whereas if you’re practising in someone else’s car, their insurance will need to cover you as a learner driver.[1]
  • Read up. It’s not all about the practical test. You will need to revise for your theory test too, and the sooner you start the better. You should find it has a positive impact when you do get back behind the wheel for a practical class.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Most people – of any age – fail their first time. If this happens to you, don’t be deterred. 

Before you take to the road, you’ll need insurance you can count on. Find out what Rias can do for you after you’ve passed your driving test by starting a quote for our comprehensive car insurance.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/driving-lessons-learning-to-drive/practising-with-family-or-friends