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Older Car Owners: The Use of Their Cars by Others

How many older car owners have someone other than a spouse drive their cars and for what reasons? Who are these other drivers and what are the impacts of this practice? In this Data Digest, Sharon Hermanson of the AARP Public Policy Institute presents the results of a national study (of 6,093 car owners age 50 years and older) that explores these questions.

  • Ten percent (606) of this group report that someone other than a spouse drives their car. Of these, over two-thirds (68 percent) report that this occurs at least once a week.

  • Car owners 75 and older were more likely than those 50 to 74 to report that someone else drives their car (15 percent and 9 percent, respectively).

  • Nearly four of five older car owners (78 percent) report that sons or daughters are the drivers.

  • Older car owners report that the drivers assist them with errands such as shopping (58 percent), with travel to appointments (36 percent) and with travel to social engagements (33 percent).

  • Seventy-five percent say that safety is a factor in deciding to let someone drive their car.

  • Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) report that the other drivers are on their auto insurance and that 22 percent of these have had an accident while driving their car. (6 pages)

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