Learning to drive with a heart condition

Young male driver holding a L sign sitting in his car

When you turn 17 years old you may want to learn to drive. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) makes it clear which conditions prevent you from getting a license. 

Can I drive with my heart condition?

Usually, having a congenital heart condition won’t stop you learning how to drive. But when you apply for your driving license, you must tell the DVLA.

The DLVA has a list of common heart conditions, including congenital conditions, which gives information on whether you need to tell the DVLA about your condition, and if it might mean you can't drive. There is also a similar list covering other health conditions, treatments and symptoms, which may have information relevant to your situation. If you are unsure about anything, it’s best to contact the DVLA directly.

You shouldn’t drive if you suffer from a medical condition that might suddenly cause you to lose control while driving, or if you cannot safely control your vehicle for any reason.

Stop driving and always seek advice from your doctor immediately if you experience episodes of dizziness, fainting or blackouts.

Getting car insurance

Unfortunately, you may find your car insurance is higher because of your age and possibly also your heart condition.

You should always let your car insurance company know about your heart condition and any changes in your medication, including treatment that you’ve had. If you don’t, your car insurance may not be valid.

Even if you have a bump in the car that wasn’t your fault and is nothing to do with your condition, they may refuse to pay out if they find you haven’t told them everything.

Can I get a Blue Badge?

If you can’t walk far without getting breathless or tired, either because of your heart condition or any physical disabilities you may have, it’s worth checking whether you're entitled to a blue badge. This is a special badge that you display in your windscreen and it allows you to park closer to your destination.

You could also apply for a mobility scheme if your mobility is limited.

Driving while on medication

Make sure you complete any journeys before taking any medications that could make you feel drowsy. You should never drive unless you feel fully alert.

Do you want to meet other young people like you?

Are you aged between 13 and 19 with a heart condition and living in the UK? You can join [email protected] absolutely free!

[email protected] is a great way to get help and support and meet other young heart patients at great events.

Find out more