Reaching retirement age doesn’t automatically mean you have to start donning beige clothing or booking yourself in for blue rinses. But if you’re 60 or over and a driver, it might well be time to look at whether your age and your current method of transport are still compatible.
Many people in their later years find getting behind the wheel a little more daunting than they used to. But by choosing a new vehicle that will enable you to feel safe and comfortable during the years to come, you can get your confidence back quickly.
However, before you start searching for your ideal runaround, there are a few things to take into consideration.
In your senior years, the price of a vehicle is generally less important than it would have been in your younger years. But while you might be tempted to invest in something that really looks the part, the emphasis should be more focused on making sure it offers features such as parking assistance.
Firstly, you need to identify how often you’ll be driving and where you’ll be driving. Will you have regular passengers, such as grandchildren? Will you need a lot of storage space? Establishing your basic needs will help to narrow things down.
Visibility is a major concern for retired drivers and unfortunately not all cars come with the advanced safety features they require as standard. However, it is possible to request these as ad-ons when you find a car that ticks all the other boxes on your list. Add-ons can come in the form of assisted parallel parking, reverse sensing systems, blind spot warnings - all useful functions, but it’s worth bearing in mind that they will cost extra (on top of the starting price of the car).
A car you can get in and out of with ease is also something that should be high up on your list of priorities. Ensuring there is plenty of interior space will allow you to get in and out with minimal hassle. You could also consider an adjustable steering wheel and pedals as well as seats with lumbar support. The Telegraph’s offers some excellent ideas.
Cars aren’t the only method of transport fit for older drivers, though. There has been a huge increase in the number of OAPs driving scooters over the past few years. While the scooter might seem like an unlikely choice, it does make sense when you start to look at the advantages.
Scooters are actually surprisingly and provide an easy, low cost way to make local journeys. So if you only plan on driving to and from the village store two or three times a week, for example, and don’t intend to carry any passengers, a scooter might make a lot more sense than having a car.
Whether you’re considering a new car or thinking seriously about a scooter, the internet is a good place to start your search. You’ll find expert advice, and you may even be able to book a test drive at a local dealership.