The UK’s biggest car review site, calls for a change in the debate about taking older drivers off the road. Most over 80s love their cars, think about their next car purchase, are much safer than younger drivers and are best placed to decide when to hang up their keys.
Almost 130,000 car owners have now left a review giving a fascinating insight into almost every type of car owner: young, rich, poor, adventurous and old.
After analysing over 5 million words submitted by all types of car owner, WeLoveAnyCar.com was able to extract comments by age and came to the following conclusions about drivers aged 80 and over and found they:
Often talk about their next car
Favourably compare their current car to the many they have had over the years
Care about performance and economy
Show loyalty to a particular brand and keep cars for longer
Choose their car for comfort and ease of access
Place reliability higher than all other factors
Value a car for their independence
Know when it might be time to give up driving
In short, older drivers are similar to any other motorists and they have a lot more experience than most.
There are 1,101,779 drivers over the age of 80 and they have the least number of points on their licences; 3% of over 80s have points compared to 10 % for drivers in their early 40s.
Over 80s have fewer accidents and, by all measures, are safer.a spokesman said, “Every time an elderly lady has a crash in a supermarket car park we see headlines calling for elderly drivers to be taken off the road. This is blatantly unfair. The statistics prove our older drivers are far better than they press they get.”
Motorists over 80 often mention their age in their car reviews submitted to WeLoveAnyCar.com and their words speak volumes about their mindset and it isn’t often about hanging up their keys for good, although it is clear they know when the time has come.
The WeLoveAnyCar.com spokesman said, “Take the age factor away and our car reviews submitted online by drivers over 80 would be similar to any other driver. It is clear that many older drivers don’t think they are too old. They see their car as an important part of their everyday life. Manufacturers and dealers better not ignore them as over 10% of all drivers will be over 80 in just a few years’ time.”
Selected comments by drivers aged 80 and over
85 year old Mazda 323 Owner
“Our daughter had this car for 7 years before I swapped it for my Megane RT Alize 3 months ago. I am 85 years old and I am definitely going to keep it. They don't make them like that anymore.”
82 year old BMW 7 Series Owner
“I have owned this Sports version of the classic-shaped BMW 7 series almost 10 years and it still has only done 89000 miles. I am an 82 year old RAFA Welfare Officer and frequently transport elderly RAFA members with their wheelchairs and luggage for which the car is ideal. Both my knees have been replaced and I find the wide doors and automatic drive to be an asset."
85 year old BMW M Sport Owner
“My 320d M Sport is the best car I have owned and as an 85 year old I have had a good many cars including five BMWs.”
82 year old Honda Owner
“Probably the best car I have ever had and I've had many. I moved to Honda after 3 or 4 Nissans which I enjoyed. There is so much room in the rear seats with there being no driveshaft tunnel. I thoroughly enjoy driving it at 82 years of age.”
84 year old VW Passat Owner
“Still going strong after ten years and only 51000 miles on the clock. At 84 it should see me out although I am aiming for at least 100.”
80 year old Hyundai Matrix Owner
“My Hyundai Matrix is seven years old and has never let me down once. Ok it is not the most exciting car to drive but at 80 years old do I need excitement? It’s comfortable and it gets me from A to B with reasonable petrol consumption.”
80 year old Toyota Avensis Owner
“..This is my 7th Toyota, very reliable, would not want to change. Don't see why your age should be a reason to downsize. Still enjoying @ 80.”
80+ year old – now owns a Nissan Note
“The car was bought because we needed an easy seating position and easy access. Being over 80 we needed reliability and reasonable running costs. I had an accident and the car was written off, but was replaced by a Nissan Note, which is great.”
85 year old VW Polo Owner
“Because I am 85 years old, my daughter insisted that I bought a car that would be strong and safe in the event of an accident, so I got a Volkswagen Polo. Well, what else would I buy?”
82 year old Honda Jazz Passenger
“This is our second Jazz. I am now paralysed...My tiny 82 year old wife manages to load me and offload me and my wheelchair with relative ease. We are well pleased with every feature of this car and will follow it with another Jazz.”
85 year old Skoda Superb owner
“As an 85 year old driver I love it, but might have found it a bit boring when younger. I love the quietness, the continuously variable gearbox and the ease with which it climbs hills. It never appears to be working hard! Suspension and steering is pretty ordinary. The economy is outstanding in town driving, but no better than a good diesel on motorway runs.”
87 year old Vauxhall Vectra passenger
“At the age of 87 I have been buying Vauxhall Vectras for a good many years. I like them and feel at home driving anywhere. Being a disabled Normandy Veteran they suit me by having lots of room for my wheelchair, while at the same time having “Big” car performance..."
Hanging up their keys
86 year old Seat Toledo Owner
“At 86 no longer drive with excitement. Driving is mainly short journeys.”
81 year old VW Golf Owner
“One owner only selling because at 81 years old do not drive a lot these days and 5 days out of 7 just sitting outside the house.”
87 year old Honda Owner
“I just love my Honda - I am 87 years of age and find it very comfortable and spacious for loading. I would like to buy another but too late in the day for me now!”
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