Skip to content
left end
left end
right end
Transition was positive. They helped me understand my condition.



Having diabetes does not mean that you are unable to drive, but it does mean that you need to plan in advance before you get behind the wheel

Group 1 driver (cars and motorbikes)

  • If you take insulin, you must tell the DVLA (in the UK) or DVA (Northern Ireland)
  • Your licence will then be renewed every one, two, or three years
  • Any changes to your condition or treatment which occur between renewals (e.g. complications which might affect your ability to drive safely) should be reported when they happen

 Hypos and driving

  • If you take insulin, check your blood glucose within two hours before getting behind the wheel and every two hours whilst driving
  • The DVLA advise that if blood glucose is 5mmol/l or less you should take carbohydrate before driving. If it is less than 4mmol/l do not drive
  • Take breaks on long journeys
  • Always keep hypo treatments to hand in the car
  • Many of the accidents caused by hypoglycaemia are because drivers have continued to drive, ignoring their hypo warning signs (e.g. hunger, sweating, feeling faint)

If you have a hypo whilst driving:

1. Stop the vehicle as soon as possible.

2. Switch off engine, remove keys from ignition and move from the driver's seat.

3. Take some fast-acting carbohydrate, such as glucose tablets or sweets, and some form of longer-acting carbohydrate.

4. Do not start driving until 45 minutes after blood glucose has returned normal.

5. If you have poor warning signs, or have frequent hypos, you should probably not be driving because of the risk to yourself and others. Discuss this with your diabetes healthcare team. If your team advise you to notify the DVLA/DVA you must do so. If you fail to do this, your doctor has an obligation to do so on your behalf. 

Motor Insurance

When applying for motor insurance you must declare that you have diabetes even if you are not asked about this. You should also inform your insurance company of any changes to your condition or treatment. Failure to do so, or failure to notify the DVLA/DVA where required, could mean you are not covered. If you feel your premium is too high it is worth challenging your insurer. Insurers can only refuse cover, or charge more if they have evidence of increased risk.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don't tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if you're involved in an accident as a result.

You can find further information from the DVLA website here.