There are now more than seven million drivers over the age of 65 on the UK’s roads, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The IAM says the number of drivers over 65 reached 7,191,192 in November 2013, which equates to 19% of all drivers with a full driving licence.
The IAM also says that older drivers are generally safer than those in the younger age groups, and that responding to an ageing population should be a “top priority” for Government.
The figures, which come from driving licence data published by the DVLA in December 2013, also show that there are more than four million drivers over the age of 70 and more than 1.1 million drivers over the age of 80. There are also 195 registered drivers over 100 years of age.
Generally, drivers in the older age groups have fewer points on their licence than their younger counterparts.
5% of drivers aged between 65 and 80 years have points on their licence, while the figure for drivers aged over 80 years is 3%.
The age group most likely to have points on their licence is 42 year-olds. Of the 816,915 licence holders in that group, 82,929 (10%) have points, while for drivers younger than this the figure is 8%.
The IAM says that this supports its research which shows that older drivers are safer than many other drivers.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “In 20 years’ time, one in 10 people will be over 80 years old.
“Responding to an older population is a significant policy issue for government, health and transport agencies – a greater number of people will require help with their mobility and acting now can ensure the right support networks are in place as numbers increase.
“Easy access to driving assessments, better advice from the medical profession and car and road designs that mitigate the effects of ageing should all be top priorities in 2014. The overarching policy aim should be to keep people independent and driving safer for as long as possible.”