Elderly motorist becomes driving school’s oldest pupil at 98 after giving up licence

Don Mitchell driving a Vauxhall

Don Mitchell said he hadn't forgotten his driving skills

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 13/09/2023

- 13:16

Don Mitchell urged younger drivers to always stick to the speed limits

A 98-year-old man has been granted his wish of getting back behind the wheel thanks to a scheme which normally gets teenagers into vehicles.

Don Mitchell gave up his driving licence at the age of 94 as a safety precaution after driving for more than 50 years.

Even though he’ll turn 100 next year, Don was heartbroken to have given up his licence, but was granted the chance to get back behind the wheel.

A new initiative, Together We Can, was launched by Yorkare Homes and looks to make the dreams of residents and staff come true.

Don Mitchell and the Young Driver instructors

Don is now the oldest-ever driver to use the scheme


Young Driver is a scheme designed for those under the age of 17 and teaches them the basics of driving like changing gears and parking, with a strong focus on how to be safe on the roads.

However, the scheme does not have an upper age limit, allowing Don to make history and become the oldest pupil to date after 1.3 million lessons.

Don, who worked as a radar technician in the Navy, attended the scheme’s venue at the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield near Hull.

He drove a Vauxhall Corsa, with a fully qualified instructor in the passenger seat with dual controls, although Don did not need any extra assistance.

Commenting on the experience, Don Mitchell said: “I was delighted to be able to get behind the wheel again, I was heartbroken to give up my licence.

“My favourite ever car that I drove was a Morris Minor, it was a wonderful car and I could do all of the servicing on it myself. Which meant I eventually sold the car for more than I had purchased it for!

“I think I still drove quite safely at 94 but there comes a time when it has to be given up. It was great to check I hadn’t forgotten all of my driving skills – and, like riding a bike, it all comes back to you.”

He added that he didn’t realise how much cars had changed, saying the steering wheel was harder to turn and the gear stick was more difficult to hold.

Don Mitchell said it was encouraging to see so many young people learning how to drive, advising them to “always stay inside the speed limit”.

Sue Strait, marketing manager at Young Driver, said Don took the crown as being their oldest-ever pupil at 98 years old.

She added: “Because our lessons run on private property we can give individuals the opportunity to be behind the wheel who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance.

“We’ve even taught blind people before, who just want to be able to experience what it’s like.


Don Mitchell driving a Vauxhall

The former Navy radar technician gave up his licence when he was 94


“We’re so pleased we could help Don’s wish come true thanks to the wonderful scheme Yorkare Homes have in place.”

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