When shopping for car insurance over 80 year old drivers can often hope to pay less than younger, newly-qualified car owners; insurers see your years of experience on the road as a lower risk for them.

However, insurance that fits your car and driving style is more important than simply getting the cheapest deal out there. You need to be certain that if you have an accident, you've got sufficient cover in place.

As it's a legal requirement, fail to insure your car and you could face a fine, a court appearance and seizure of your vehicle. It's a necessary expense - and a large one, especially if you're retired and you need to make your income go as far as possible.

It's therefore more important than ever to shop around and compare cheap car insurance for the over 80s. Here's what you should look for:

What's different about driving at 80?

After your 70th birthday, you legally have to renew your driving licence every three years, but it costs nothing to do this; you can reapply online via the GOV.uk website.

There is no requirement for you to retake your driving test, but you do have to inform the DVLA about any medical changes that may affect your driving, such as any heart disorders and problems with vision - a full list of medical conditions you'll need to declare is available on the GOV.uk website.

Keeping down the cost of car insurance over 80 years old

Drive safely

Try to avoid penalty points, as they will make you look like an unsafe driver to insurance companies. Risky driving is also more likely to lead to accidents, which will cost you money in excess and push up your premiums. You MUST declare any driving convictions, etc, to your prospective insurer.

Some cars are cheaper than others

The car you drive will also affect what you pay - vehicles are categorised into groups determined by their engine power, their price, their safety, how much repairs cost and how secure they are. A car in a lower group will cost you less in premiums, as they represent a lower risk to the insurer.

Extra cover

Before you look into paying the lowest premiums possible, you should look at precisely what cover each policy offers. Extra options like breakdown cover, a courtesy car or legal protection could save you money if you can get them as part of your policy, rather than having to purchase them separately.

Keep track of your mileage

If you are on the road less, the risk of an accident is lower, so your insurance will be cheaper. When you let your insurance company know how far you might drive in a year, try to work out a realistic amount - if you state an amount that's more than you'll need, you will end up paying more. Cutting down the amount you actually drive could also reduce your premiums.

Keep your car safe

Security features like alarms, trackers, immobilisers and steering locks will deter thieves, making it less likely that your car will be broken into. This appeals to insurance companies because it makes it less likely you'll make a claim, so can often earn you cheaper premiums. It will also help if you're able to keep your car in a locked garage or on a driveway, rather than out in the road.

Compare over 80 car insurance

To get the best deal you'll need to shop around - insurers rarely reward loyalty, so sticking with the same company long-term won't help. Many providers offer discounts if you apply online, so use our over 80s car insurance comparison to find the best deal. Find a few companies that offer exactly the cover you need, get quotes from them, and go with the cheapest option.