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Effect of giving up licence voluntarily?

in Motoring
13 replies 1.3K views
It's time to renew my 70+ driving licence or give it up. I'm thinking of giving it up for previously accepted medical reasons that could get worse over time. As it happens, I haven't driven for over a year. Our insurance policy is in my name. My wife is the main driver.

I would value MSE-ers' advice on these questions:
  1. what practical difference would giving up my licence make? In particular:
  2. should I inform the insurance company, and is it likely to make any difference to our premium?
  3. should I 'sell' the car to my wife?

We drive a low mileage 05 Toyota Prius which admirably suits our needs; insurance premium this year is £281 fully comp. Oh, we both have London Freedom Passes.

Thank you very much for your advice.
«1

Replies

  • My opinion would be to keep hold of your licence and don't give it up yet.
    Why?

    Well, you are obviously sensible enough to realise that the condition you have may prevent you from driving safely in the future and if/when that time comes, It sounds like you will stop driving.

    Although you've not driven for a while, it's always possible that there may be an occasion when you have to take over the car, something that you won't be able to do legally if you've surrendered your licence.

    Also, as strange as it seems, having a main driver and a named driver can in some instances actually result in a lower insurance premium than having a single driver alone.
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    Roger1 wrote: »
    As it happens, I haven't driven for over a year. Our insurance policy is in my name. My wife is the main driver.

    Be careful that you insurers do not take the view that you are 'fronting'. Is your wife listed as the main driver?
  • JeannineJeannine Forumite
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    If you do not have a driving licence then you cannot have a car insurance policy. I found this out on behalf of my mother who is not going to renew her 70+ licence in November. Direct Line said that her policy will be valid until the renewal date in April and will then become void.

    I am the main driver on her policy (yes, main, not just named) and as she wants to keep her car for me to drive when I visit, DL suggested that I add the car to my policy. I will investigate the cost of doing this next April!
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Roger1 wrote: »
    I would value MSE-ers' advice on these questions:
    * what practical difference would giving up my licence make?
    You won't be able to drive, rather than simply not doing so but could if you wanted to.
    In particular:
    * should I inform the insurance company, and is it likely to make any difference to our premium?
    I presume the main driver is listed correctly, and you're simply a named driver on the policy?
    Then, no, it probably won't make any difference at all.
    * should I 'sell' the car to my wife?
    It won't make any difference which of you is the keeper. And the keeper is different to ownership, so even if you decided to change the keeper, there's no need for any "I'm selling it, honest" shenanigans.
  • Jeannine wrote: »
    If you do not have a driving licence then you cannot have a car insurance policy. I found this out on behalf of my mother who is not going to renew her 70+ licence in November. Direct Line said that her policy will be valid until the renewal date in April and will then become void.

    I am the main driver on her policy (yes, main, not just named) and as she wants to keep her car for me to drive when I visit, DL suggested that I add the car to my policy. I will investigate the cost of doing this next April!

    You can but direct line chose not to renew your mothers policy.
  • I would keep and renew the licence, after all it doesn't cost anything to renew it after 70, if that's what you were concerned about.
  • Roger1 wrote: »
    It's time to renew my 70+ driving licence or give it up. I'm thinking of giving it up for previously accepted medical reasons that could get worse over time. As it happens, I haven't driven for over a year. Our insurance policy is in my name. My wife is the main driver.

    I would value MSE-ers' advice on these questions:
    1. what practical difference would giving up my licence make? In particular:
    2. should I inform the insurance company, and is it likely to make any difference to our premium?
    3. should I 'sell' the car to my wife?

    We drive a low mileage 05 Toyota Prius which admirably suits our needs; insurance premium this year is £281 fully comp. Oh, we both have London Freedom Passes.

    Thank you very much for your advice.


    If the insurance policy is in your name - then the no claims bonus is yours.


    Is your wife down as the main driver on the policy or is she simply the main driver from our own perspective but a named driver on the policy.


    Not sure how a no claims would work if she is down as the main driver on your policy.


    Although some some insurers will give a no claims bonus for years as a named driver not all will.


    The loss of a no claims could cause a massive increase in your insurance costs - do some quotes on the comparison sites for insurance purely in your wifes name.


    if everything else is going to be in her name, it is easy to transfer the car to your wifes name - can all be done online.


    Practically it means you cannot drive - and if you decide you want to again next year or whenever you may have to sit your driving test again.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Bless you for deciding to hang up the car keys before they are taken from you amidst distress and doubt.

    I too would hold onto the paperwork (I'm ashamed to note that as evidence of identity it is still regarded as near gold standard) but see what the insurance costs are with your wife as named main driver & your esteemed self as her adjunct - it is possible there may be an uncomfortable moment.

    Please do not let money lead you to mislead insurers or decide to manfully struggle on - you have very sensibly decided to check the consequences before 'leaping' and it may be that actually you can manage very well.

    I'd still keep the licence as ID & encourage your wife to do likewise. (My mother-in-law's neighbour lived a very traditional life & in consequence had to take her birth certificate to the town hall as evidence of ID only last month - please encourage your womenfolk to hang onto their driving licences as useful documents even if they have No Intention of driving.)
  • Roger1Roger1 Forumite
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    MEM62 wrote: »
    Is your wife listed as the main driver?
    Yes.
    Jeannine wrote: »
    If you do not have a driving licence then you cannot have a car insurance policy.
    Good to know!
    Tammykitty wrote: »
    Is your wife down as the main driver on the policy or is she simply the main driver from our own perspective but a named driver on the policy.
    She is listed as the main driver. Thanks for the important point on NCB.

    Huge thanks to all for the great advice you have given me.

    I saw my consultant this morning who assures me that as far as she is concerned, she would have no problem with my driving ability. Now for the GP. He has retired and I haven't met his replacement yet, so I will give his details and the practice will have his notes.

    I had overlooked whether my NCB would transfer. I will contact my insurer for a 'what if?' question or two.

    I'm minded to apply for renewal of my licence, supported by your advice here.

    Once again, many thanks!
  • Roger1Roger1 Forumite
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    As the OP, I received some great advice from fellow MSE-ers. I wanted to let you know the outcome.

    I decided to go ahead with the renewal. DVLA sent me a health questionnaire, which I completed. This led to some subsidiary questions and to a specific eye test, which took place at SpecSavers, their local agent.

    Result: my renewed licence arrived today! :)

    There are some specific observations:
    • the licence is valid for one year;
    • if I am taking a certain prescribed drug (I am not) and I am checked by police, I need to show them the drug or my prescription.
    This has taken longer than I expected, but I am happy with the result. DVLA's procedures seem entirely reasonable.

    Thank you again, fellow MSE-ers!
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