Choosing to stop driving

Driving allows you to be independent and maintain a sense of freedom. But there may come a time when you no longer feel you are able to continue driving safely.

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If you are thinking about giving up driving, or someone has suggested you do so, consider the reasons why. For example, do you feel less confident driving and worry more about making a journey in the car than you used to? Or are your Parkinson’s symptoms making it harder to drive safely? You can talk to your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse about any concerns you have about your driving. 

Giving up driving is a difficult decision, but it does not mean you will lose your ability to get out and about as you would normally do. There are lots of ways to get around including buses, taxis, trains or community transport.

If you do not drive regularly already, it may be cheaper to give up your car and use the money you save on public transport. There is a useful calculator that can help you to work out how much you spend running a car and how much you might save if you started using public transport. 

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If you do decide to surrender your licence, you need to complete a ‘Declaration of Surrender for Medical Reasons’ form, which is available from the DVLA. You also need to return your licence with the form to:

Drivers Medical Group
DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1TU 

In Northern Ireland, you should post both parts of your driver licence, along with a covering letter explaining you have Parkinson’s and why you are giving up driving to:

Medical Section
Driver Licensing Division
Castlerock Road
Waterside
Coleraine
BT51 3TB 

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It can be difficult to talk to someone about their driving. But if you believe they are a danger to themselves and other road users, it is important to raise the issue with them.

Before you do talk to someone, it may be useful to:

  • consider how you might feel if someone talked to you about your own driving. This can help you approach the conversation more sensitively
  • go out for a drive with the person you are concerned about. If they make mistakes, are they isolated incidents or repeated often throughout the journey?
  • discuss your concerns with other people – do they agree with your own worries?
  • research options that may help someone to continue driving safely, such as a driver assessment, or other ways of getting around in their local area

Try to pick a time with the person when they will be happy to talk and in an environment where they feel comfortable. If the conversation becomes difficult or upsetting, come back to it another time. During the conversation:

  • explain why you are concerned about their driving. Encourage the person to think about whether their driving could be a risk to themselves or others.  
  • share any information you have found about ways they can get around without a car, or how they may be able to carry on driving safely. 
  • suggest that they discuss the issue with their GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse.

Some people may be relieved you have talked to them about their driving as it might have been something they’ve worried about themselves. But ultimately, it is up to the individual whether they continue to drive, even if you have shared your concerns. 

If they continue driving, but you feel they are a danger on the road, you can report them to the DVLA in England, Scotland and Wales, or DVA in Northern Ireland. They can investigate someone who has a medical condition that may stop them from driving safely. Your concerns will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

A person’s GP or specialist can also talk to a licensing agency without consent if they feel their patient is unfit to drive but continues to do so. 

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Driving and Parkinson's (964KB)

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Last updated October 2019. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]

Last updated October 2019. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected].