England

Car crushed after Surrey OAP drove without valid licence

Jerome Lee Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Jerome Lee said he did not realise motorists had to reapply for a licence once they reached 70

A Surrey pensioner has been left counting the cost of failing to renew his driving licence after his car was impounded and then crushed by police.

Jerome Lee, 70, from Oxted, was stopped in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, for driving with an out-of-date licence.

He was told his Peugeot 306 would be confiscated and kept for 14 days at a cost of £20 a day, during which Mr Lee could reclaim it with a new licence.

His licence was not reissued within that time so police destroyed his car.

Mr Lee said he had not realised that motorists had to re-apply for a licence once they reached their 70th birthday.

'Drivers' responsibility'

In a statement, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said: "The rules are clear that all drivers over 70 have to renew their licence every three years and have to tell the DVLA about any medical conditions which might affect their driving."

Sussex Police said it was the responsibility of all drivers to be aware of the requirement and it had the right to seize a vehicle being used without a valid licence.

The force said the vehicle could have been recovered within the 14 days by another authorised person, but Mr Lee said his partner had tried to arrange the insurance and permission to collect the car but no insurance company would issue cover.

Mr Lee, whose car was seized in January, said the whole experience had left him about £1,000 out of pocket, and he wanted to warn other pensioners what could happen.

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