It’s a well-known fact that car insurance for young drivers can be costly. Statistically speaking, young drivers are the most likely to cost insurers in payouts. And while getting older can bring premiums down, it’s no reason to stop looking for a better deal, as there are still savings to be had.
Furthermore, while your insurance should get cheaper as time goes on, once you hit a certain age, you may find your premiums begin to rise again. This is because your insurer may feel an older driver could pose more of a risk.
So which insurer is best for older drivers, and what else should you consider? Canstar takes a look.
Car insurance for older drivers: what to know
Firstly, there isn’t specific car insurance for older drivers in New Zealand. But, age will be taken into account when you apply for car insurance. When it comes to older drivers, your car insurance premiums can be cheaper or more expensive, depending on a variety of factors.
For starters, when we’re talking about older drivers, we’re talking about drivers aged 50 and over. This is a large age bracket, and the age of the driver will play a big role.
For example, a driver in their early 50s should still be in good health and be seen as low risk. Thus, they should probably expect to continue to receive a good deal for a while yet.
But if you’re over 60, your insurer may start to feel that you are becoming a little riskier. This is because older drivers are more likely to suffer from issues that could impact their driving ability, such as:
- Impaired vision and/or hearing
- Slower cognitive functioning and reactions
- Forgetfulness and lapses of concentration
- Medical issues such as osteoarthritis
- Sudden and unexpected medical issues
- Increased use of prescription medication, which may impact alertness
Insurers are all about risk so, while you may be in good health, as you age your premiums could rise, even if you have decades of experience on the road.
However, as we mention above, there isn’t insurance specifically designed for senior or older drivers. So it’s always important to discuss your level of cover and premiums with your insurer. And to shop around for the best deal.
What are the licence requirements for older drivers?
Waka Kotahi sees older drivers a little differently than insurers. They give you the benefit of the doubt till much later in life, only classing you as an older driver once you hit 75.
But, once you do hit the big seven-five, there are some changes to your licence requirements.
From age 75, to renew your licence, you need a medical certificate. And, if your doctor recommends it, you will also need to sit a 30-minute on-road safety test. Importantly, your new licence will only be valid for five years, not ten.
From age 80 onwards, the process will be the same. However, new licences are only valid for two years.
How can you bring down the cost of your car insurance?
While you can’t do much about your age, there are some tips and tricks that can help bring down the cost of your insurance.
- Emphasise your driving history – If you’ve got years of clean driving, see if you can use that as leverage
- Take a defensive driving course – If you’ve never taken one, it could be a good time to. However, be sure to ask your insurer about any discounts first
- Don’t drive anything too flash – In general, an expensive car costs more to insure, as in the event of an accident repair/replacement costs will be higher
- Hop onto a younger driver’s insurance policy – If you don’t need to use a car often, you could look into sharing a car. If you’re not the main driver, then you don’t have to be the insurance policyholder. This may get you a better deal. Do note that if you are the main driver of the vehicle it’s against the law to list someone else as the main driver to bring down insurance costs
- Bundle your insurance – Does your insurer have health insurance, home and contents insurance, and other policies that can be combined for a discount?
- Take advantage of other discounts – You may get a discount for signing up online or paying for a year upfront
- Shop around – Come renewal time, shop around for lower premiums or discounts
Best car insurance for older drivers (over 50s)
Finding the best insurance for older drivers can be a challenge. But thankfully, Canstar make it easy. Each year, we release our car insurance awards, including winners for Insurer of the Year, Outstanding Value, and Most Satisfied Customers. As part of our award results, we also publish our Outstanding Value Star Ratings, covering car insurance for different age groups. Below are our top-rated providers for drivers 50+. Click here to view our complete car insurance Star Ratings for all age groups.
Comprehensive Cover: 50+ Drivers
See here for our ratings methodology. The table above is an abridged version of our research. For the full results of our latest Car Insurance Ratings and Award, click here.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.