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The Best Cars For Seniors

April 19th, 2022

When you’re shopping for a new car in later life, it’s likely that you’ll be focusing on different features than when you were younger. Comfort, accessibility, ease of driving, and enough boot space for a wheelchair may be factors you’re considering over whether there’s space for a young family.

Some seniors will need space for grandchildren and their car seats, while others will simply be looking for a small runaround that’s efficient, easy to park, and ideal for nipping to the shops or appointments.

Whatever your circumstances, there are some great models out there that could be considered the best cars for older drivers, helping you to keep your independence and quality of life as you get older. Maybe you’re looking for the best cars for seniors with arthritis for example, so you can still get out and about easily. Keep reading to discover our pick of the most comfortable, accessible, and roomiest cars for seniors.

Car Insurance For The Elderly: What You Need To Know

driving car

There are currently more older drivers on the road than ever, with DVLA statistics from 2023 showing that 5.97 million over-70s in the UK held a driving licence. The number of over-80s on the road is reported to be 1.65 million, which means 1 in every 25 UK motorists is 80 or above.

Once you reach the age of 70, you’ll need to renew your licence every 3 years. When you enter your 80s, you may find that your insurance premiums become more expensive, as elderly drivers are seen as more of a risk. However, if your GP says it’s still okay for you to drive and you have all of the correct paperwork, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to drive into old age.

If you find yourself faced with higher car insurance payments after the age of 80, there are some steps you can take to try to keep these as low as possible, such as shopping around for quotes, making sure your vehicle is always parked in a secure place, and keeping your mileage low.

HOW TO CHOOSE A CAR FOR OLDER DRIVERS

There are a few things to take into account when considering the best cars for older drivers. The main points to mull over include:

  • Safety – looking at cars with the best safety features should be the first priority when choosing cars for senior drivers 
  • Ease of entry and exit – Getting in and out of a car can become more difficult as we age. Cars with wider doors and a higher seating position can be easier to access for older people
  • Visibility – cars with larger windows, a high seat position and thin pillars make visibility clearer from all angles
  • Comfort – adjustable seating with good lumbar support and comfortable cushioning are just two ways a car can be more comfortable. Heated seats can add an extra layer of comfort for older drivers with arthritis too
  • Technology – parking sensors, large format displays and voice recognition are all helpful features that you’ll often find in the best cars for seniors
  • Handling – cars with a small turning radius or that score well for manoeuvrability can help make driving easier for older people
  • Reliability – repairs and maintenance can be costly and stressful so choosing  a car that is known to be reliable will reap rewards in the long run

5 Of The Best Cars For Seniors

From practical hatchbacks to a luxurious Lexus, here’s our pick of the best cars for elderly drivers:

1. Honda Jazz

honda

The Honda Jazz is one of the most popular senior cars, with Honda itself revealing that 61 is the average age of Jazz owners. 

This hatchback model is regarded as one of the most comfortable, and therefore best, cars for the elderly, thanks to its high seats, which make it easy to get in and out of. The Honda Jazz also has a surprisingly spacious interior for a small car, and there’s plenty of room for adjustments in both the steering wheel and seats.

There’s also a roomy boot, and you can even fold the bases of the rear seats up, and their backs down to create extra space in the back. This makes the Jazz a great option if you need to fit the grandkids in the back or want to take friends for a weekend away – it’s an ideal little runaround that will help to keep you out and about, and young at heart, in later life.

2. Kia Soul

Next on our list of the best and most comfortable cars for seniors is the Kia Soul, which has lots of interior space, lumbar support on all seats, and wide doors and windows for accessibility and visibility. It also has a high driver’s seating position, making it an easy car to get in and out of.

The Soul is a relatively fuel-efficient model, which keeps its running costs low, and there are multiple add-ons available from the dealer to provide you with extra reassurance while you’re on the road, such as:

  • Auto-emergency braking
  • Blind spot warnings
  • Forward collision warnings
  • Lane-keeping assistance

The Kia Forte is another good model from Kia for seniors, thanks to a large boot, supportive seats, and the same assisted features as the Soul, although the Forte is slightly smaller in size.

3. Lexus UX

If you’re looking for a slightly more luxurious model, perhaps as a retirement gift to yourself, or simply because you no longer need a practical family car, one of the best cars for older drivers in the luxury category is the Lexus UX.

The Lexus UX is wonderfully comfortable for both driver and passenger, thanks to an interior that feels incredibly luxurious. The high driving position makes it easy to climb into, while light controls make the driving experience comfortable. 

There’s a 320-litre boot, with storage space increasing significantly when the back seats are down, so the UX can still be a practical model. This model also comes with a hybrid engine, and so is another car for seniors with good fuel economy. Lexus sets a high standard for SUVs with three of its models, including the UX, coming out on top in the What Car? Reliability Survey 2023

4. Volkswagen Polo

volkswagen polo

The Volkswagen Polo has been around for a while, but it remains one of the most durable hatchback models on the market. The Polo makes the list of best cars for older drivers, thanks to:

  • A good-sized boot – there should be enough room to fit in a wheelchair
  • Plenty of legroom
  • Compact size, which makes it easy to park
  • Large rear windscreen also helps to make parking easier
  • Comfortable seats
  • Light steering
  • Volkswagen offers the option for driver assistance technology like cruise control and power-assisted steering, which can help to make driving more comfortable

The Volkswagen Up is another great VW model for seniors, as it’s spacious with low running costs, but its boot isn’t quite as roomy as the Polo’s.

5. Skoda Fabia

This fashionable hatchback is not only one of the most comfortable cars for seniors, but it also wins when it comes to safety. The Skoda Fabia was awarded a full five stars by the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) owing to a range of safety features including:

  • An advanced eCall system which automatically dials the emergency services in the event of an accident
  • A ‘Driver Alert’ tool that detects tired driving and encourages motorists to pull over 
  • A lane support system to corrects the vehicle when it strays out of the white lines

You can purchase a Skoda Fabia through the Motability scheme too, making it even more affordable and deserving of a place as one of the best cars for elderly drivers.

Best Cars For Seniors With Arthritis

Arthritis can make driving more difficult due to the restrictions it might put on certain movements. Turning the steering wheel, checking blind spots or operating the brake may all become harder. Choosing the best cars for seniors with arthritis comes down to how easy each model is to handle, its safety features, and user-friendly controls. 

The Kia Soul mentioned above is one of the best cars for seniors with arthritis as it has a supportive upright driving position and good safety features, such as a reversing camera, adjustable steering column, and brake-force distribution.

For reliability and ease of use, the Ford Focus Active X is one of the best cars for seniors with arthritis. Ford has a long history of building steadfast hatchbacks and this is no exception. There’s an extra 30mm of height, which makes it easier to get in and out of, and a reversing camera, bluetooth connectivity and heated steering wheel. These specifications mean less turning and manoeuvring when seated for a more comfortable drive.

Staying Independent In Later Life

Aside from continuing to drive if it’s safe for you to do so, there are other steps you can take to try to maintain your independence as you get older.

older woman driving car

Try to stay active and keep your body moving as much as you can to stay as flexible and mobile as possible. If you have any concerns about any changes to your body, always speak to your GP, and make sure you stay on top of your medical appointments so any potential issues can be identified and dealt with as soon as possible.

It’s also important to keep an active social life to prevent yourself feeling isolated, as this can be when both physical and mental decline can set in. Keep in touch with old friends, try new hobbies, join social groups, and enjoy days out where possible. 

What’s more, don’t shy away from help that’s offered. If receiving food from a prepared meals service, or employing a cleaner or gardener allows you to keep your independence in other areas, don’t underestimate its value.

If you do find yourself needing residential care in the future, the staff at New Care homes are on hand to support you to live a happy, fulfilling life with plenty of social activities, wellbeing support, and even an onsite hair salon and nail bar to help you continue to feel like the very best version of you.

Find out more about the facilities and activities on offer at New Care homes, or contact us if you have any questions about our care homes or care services.