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.

If you’re 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?
  • Are your Parkinson’s symptoms making it harder for you to drive safely?

You can talk to your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse about any concerns you have about your driving.

You may also want to think about other ways to help you continue driving safely, such as having a driver assessment with a mobility centre.

Giving up driving can be a difficult decision, but it doesn’t mean you’ll lose your ability to get out and about as you would normally do. Other ways to get around include buses, taxis, trains or community transport.

If you don’t drive regularly, it may be cheaper to give up your car. The Older Drivers Forum has a useful calculator that can help you work out how much you spend running a car and how much you might save if you start using public transport.  

If you do decide to give up your licence, you need to complete a ‘Declaration of surrender for medical reasons’ form, which is available to download on the GOV.UK website. Or you can call the DVLA on 0300 790 6806.

You also need to return your licence with the form to:

Drivers Medical Group
SA99 1TU

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

Drivers Medical Section
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

It can be difficult to talk to someone about their driving. But if you believe they’re a danger to themselves or other road users, it’s 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’re 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?
  • Look at 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 a place where they feel comfortable. If the conversation becomes difficult or upsetting, come back it another time.

During the conversation:

  • Explain why you’re 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’ve 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’ve talked to them about their driving as it might have been something they’ve worried about themselves. But ultimately, it’s up to the individual whether they continue to drive, even if you’ve shared your concerns.

If they continue driving, but you feel they’re 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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