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Motor insurance, travel costs and driving for work

These pages are about driving laws in the UK. If you are looking for information about driving laws in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

Motor insurance

You’ll need to tell your insurer about your epilepsy for your motor insurance to be valid. If you need to give up your driving licence it can be difficult to keep your vehicle insured (for example to insure it against theft).This is because most insurers say you must have a current valid driving licence. But it’s worth shopping around, as some insurance companies offer insurance for vehicles that are off the road, called ‘laid up cover’.

If you’ve got your licence back, insurance companies should not use your epilepsy or the fact that you have a restricted licence as a reason to put up your premiums or refuse to insure you. If they do, they must be able to provide evidence explaining why. If they can’t provide evidence they could be guilty of disability discrimination under the equality laws. See our information about the equality laws and insurance.

Help with bus and train fares

If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you can apply for a bus pass to get free or discounted bus travel. You can also apply for a disabled person’s railcard to get one-third off rail fares.

Access to work

If you can’t drive because of your epilepsy, you might be able to get help from a government scheme called Access to Work. This can sometimes help with the additional costs of travel to and from work, and also travelling while at work.

Adjustments at work

If you normally drive as part of your job, your employer may be able to make changes to work around you not being able to drive. Examples of changes they could make include pairing you with another member of staff who has a driving licence, or switching you to office-based duties. See our information about work and reasonable adjustments.

Driving for a living

Am I allowed to drive a taxi?

To drive a taxi you need to apply for a taxi operator licence from your local authority. Each local authority sets its own taxi licence requirements, but most require you to meet the medical standards to hold a group 2 driving licence.

Am I allowed to drive a forklift truck or farm machinery?

If you want to drive a forklift truck or farm machinery on private land, by law you don’t need a driving licence. However, if your seizures are not well controlled, it could put you or others at risk when you are driving. The Health and Safety Executive encourages workplaces to assess a worker’s fitness to drive on a case-by-case basis.

If you need to drive any vehicle on the public highway, you will need to meet the epilepsy driving rules to hold a driving licence for that type of vehicle. The type of licence required will depend on the size of vehicle involved.

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action freephone Helpline on 0808 800 5050.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Ed Foxell at DVLA for his contribution to this information. 

Ed Foxell has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated April 2018
    To be reviewed April 2020

Comments: read the 7 comments or add yours


I've surrendered my licence my hubby is 2named driver on my insurance can he still drive the car

Submitted by Marie on

Hi Marie

You will probably need to talk to your insurer about this, because your current insurance agreement will be based on you having a drivers licence.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

You should add information about the freedom pass which is available to anyone living in London who would have their driving license refused for medical reasons. You get free travel on all TfL services, which makes a huge difference if you get around by tube.

Submitted by Natasha on

I'm due to apply to get my licence back soon which is exciting! My question is though, will it show as being issued in July 2018, making it look like I'm a brand new driver?! I don't want to have sky high insurance when I have previous no claims etc

Submitted by Sarah Burton on

Hi Sarah


I’m not sure exactly what your licence will say. It will be what is called a ’medical licence’ because it will only be issued for either 1, 2 or 3 years. Then once you renew it, it will gradually move back to a till 70 licence. Your insurance premiums should not go up as DVLA consider you safe to drive. If the premium is considerably higher then you might want to shop around. Hope all goes well.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

I am in the same position as Sarah - I am hoping to get my licence back after revocation shortly. I've been looking around for insurance and one question always asked is -how long have you held a UK driving licence? Well, up to my revocation it was 42 years, Do I answer '9 or more years' or do I have to declare that my licence has been issued after revocation - in other words I held a licence for 42 years then had a year without one.

Submitted by Hilary Power on

Hi Hilary

Because what you will have is a medically restricted licence (because of the number of years it is issued for) you do need to tell the insurance company this.

Otherwise, as you say, the advice is the same as for Sarah. If they say they’re going to raise the premium try shopping around.



Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

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