Skip to main content

UK drivers not up to speed with necessary driving licence updates

Press release   •   Oct 10, 2019 08:00 BST

  • Over two-fifths (44%) of UK drivers are unaware that driving licences must be renewed every 10 years
  • Over half (51%) don’t know when their driving licence expires, despite serious consequences for driving with an out-of-date licence
  • Almost three million people possess an out-of-date licence

Over two-fifths of UK drivers (44%) don’t know their driving licences must be renewed every 10 years, according to new research by Post Office 1. This confusion extends to nearly one-third not realising it is a necessary and legal requirement for driving licences to be updated following a name change (30%) or change of address (29%).

As a result, there is a lack of urgency amongst Britons regarding updating their driving licences, with many not well-versed on the repercussions of driving without up-to-date documentation. Without checking, over half (51%) don’t know when their driving licence expires, and, upon checking, one in ten (9%) people surveyed found theirs was out of date.

With over 33 million driving licences in the UK 2, this means almost three million people possess an out-of-date licence, of which there are serious repercussions. One in five (20%) people wrongly said a consequence of driving without an up-to-date licence is a fine of £250, but the reality is £1,000.

Not only do people need their driving licence to legally drive, but the research revealed over four in five (83%) people use it as a primary form of identification. This is led by the younger generation, with 16-24 year-olds using their licence to prove their identity on average eight times per month.

In fact, one in five (20%) use their driving licence to verify their ID more than they drive. The top five scenarios for using a driving licence to prove identity are:

  1. Picking up a parcel (54%)
  2. Hiring a car (41% in the UK and 35% abroad)
  3. Proving age to gain access to a bar (34%)
  4. Proving age to purchase products in a retail environment (34%)
  5. Starting a new job (27%)

    There is clearly a demand for more support to be provided to guide the process of updating driving licences, with almost a third (29%) of people saying they would feel more confident if they were supported through the process.

Martin Edwards, Managing Director, Identity Services at Post Office said:

“When it comes to renewing their driving licence, so many people are nervous about getting it wrong, and having to repeat the process. This has implications not only for driving legally, with the majority of people using their driving licence as their primary source of ID for a range of everyday products and services.

“It is quick and easy for customers to renew their driving licence at the Post Office, ensuring they can continue to drive legally and prove their identity to access services.”

Post Office provides a range of everyday essential identity services from passport and driving licence application and renewals, to identity verification for the UK Government’s digital services. For more information on driving licence applications and renewals, visit https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/renew-driving-licence

ENDS

1 Research commissioned by Post Office with Censuswide from 11th September 2019 – 13th September 2019 with 2,003 nationally representative people holding UK a driving licence. Regional figures are available upon request

2 Figures by RAC Foundation: https://www.racfoundation.org/motoring-faqs/mobility#a15

For more information, please contact:

Dan Goodrich

Dan.Goodrich@kindredagency.com| 020 7010 0820

Rebecca Peck

Rebecca.Peck@Kindredagency.com | 020 7010 0877

Notes to Editors:

About the Post Office

With Post Office you can quickly and securely set up a GOV.UK Verify ID to access and manage a range of government services from personal tax codes and income tax estimates, to keeping track of your state pension and driving licence information.

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.

97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.

The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.

We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.

We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk