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Medical problems and driving

Some medical conditions affect your driving ability. You might need to report them to the DVLA and declare them on your car insurance.

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Updated 1 July 2019  | 2 min read

The basics

Certain medical conditions affect your driving, so you need to tell the DVLA about them.

If the DVLA places restrictions on your driving licence because of a medical condition, you’ll need to declare the restrictions to your car insurance provider.

Key points

  • Medical conditions can make it harder to get car insurance quotes, but they won’t affect the price unless your insurer can prove your condition makes you a higher risk
  • You must declare certain conditions to the DVLA and your insurer, or you’ll invalidate your cover

Medical conditions and your car insurance

When you buy car insurance, you'll be asked if you have any DVLA-reportable medical conditions or disabilities.

If you do, you’ll have to say what sort of restrictions you have on your licence.

Unfortunately, some insurers won’t be able to give you a quote online without having more details about you and your medical conditions. As there’s less choice you might find you get higher quotes than someone without restrictions on their licence.

Insurers can’t discriminate against you unfairly and charge more for your policy, unless they can prove that your condition makes you a higher risk on the road.

Don’t wait until renewal to tell your insurer that your licence has been restricted - you need to let them know straight away.

If you don’t, you’ll invalidate your insurance, so if you try and make a claim it’ll be rejected.

Telling the DVLA about medical conditions

Once you've passed your driving test, you'll hold your licence until you're 70, unless:

  • You lose it through a driving conviction
  • Your health affects your ability to drive

To hold a UK driving licence, you must be medically fit to drive a car.

If your health worsens, or you develop a condition that affects your driving, you must see a doctor and inform the DVLA.

If your condition compromises your ability to drive for three months or more, you’ll be asked to surrender your licence.

You can apply for it to be reinstated again if you recover enough to meet the medical standard for driving again.

If you continue to drive, have an accident and get caught you can be fined up to £1,000. You might even be prosecuted.

What conditions does the DVLA need to know about?

If you’re unsure whether your condition needs to be declared, the government has a guide to all health conditions and driving.

It’ll tell you whether you need to declare your specific medical conditions or not.

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