Driving and cancer

Cancer, or the drugs used to treat it, can affect your ability to drive.

Some days you may just not feel able to drive or it may even be illegal for you to do so.

The information on this page will help you find out more about driving when you have cancer, and how to manage if you're unable to drive.

When is it illegal to drive?

Your ability to drive may be just be affected on some days because you feel tired or unwell.

However, there are some cancers and treatments that mean it is illegal for you to drive either temporarily or permanently. 

Conditions that you must legally report to the  include:

  • Brain tumours
  • Having a fit
  • Undergoing treatments or experiencing a weakness that affects your daily activities
  • Taking medication which may affect your ability to drive safely
  • If your doctor says you may not be fit to drive.

You can check which health conditions affect your ability to drive on the  and by contacting your GP, hospital doctor or specialist nurse.

Wearing a seatbelt

Sometimes wearing a seatbelt in a car can become difficult.

Speak to your doctor about ways to make this easier or about applying for a certificate to say you don't need to wear one on medical grounds. This is called a medical exemption.

Car insurance

Your car insurance may be affected if you're diagnosed with cancer.

It's important to check your policy as it may not be valid if you fail to tell the insurer about changes in your health or treatments you're having.

Help with travel

You may not be able to use public transport for a number of reasons.

These include; risk of infection, symptoms like pain, worries about needing the toilet urgently, living in a remote area or it’s just too expensive.

There are different types of support available to help make things easier.

Transport to and from appointments

Many local councils, hospitals, and charities offer transport for hospital or GP appointments.

Ask your hospital team or GP to help you to find out what’s available in your area.

Financial help with travel

You may be able to get help with parking, petrol and road tax costs or finding different ways of travelling like, for example, a mobility scooter. 

There may also be passes or grants to help with public transport or taxi fares if you need them. 

Blue badges

If you have limited mobility, or have been told your cancer can’t be cured, you may be entitled to a blue badge. 

A blue badge means you can park closer to your destination whether you're a driver or a passenger in a car. The badge is issued to you not the vehicle.

Friends and family

If you are used to being independent, it can be difficult to ask for help. 

However, friends and family are often waiting for you to give them a specific role. You could ask them to pick up your children, help you get to an appointment or to the shops. 

There are also several apps and websites you can use where you can request help with tasks and your friends and family can opt in when they are able to help.

is here with you

Not being able to drive because of cancer can affect many areas of your life practically and emotionally.

It may also limit your feelings of freedom and independence and your social life.

We're here, in our centres, on the phone and by email to talk about the challenges you're experiencing and get support and advice.

Our Benefits Advisors can also help you to access any grants or allowances you may be entitled to help with additional costs. 

Find your nearest  for contact details.

Last review: Dec 2021 | Next review: Dec 2022

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