Hickman said the book proved to not be very useful in the case, and he ended up paying a minor fine for driving without due care and attention.
The man said the book came with him when he moved to London in 1970.
"I used to come across it now and then and think 'I must pop that back next time I'm in Dudley,'" Hickman told the Express & Star newspaper. "I even considered posting it anonymously, but then I decided I would face the music and take it back in person."
Librarians said they decided to waive the overdue fee of about 25-cents per day, saving him from a fine of about $52,400.
Dudley librarian Sharon Whitehouse said the book might soon have a new home at the Black Country Museum.
The Toowoomba Grammar School in Queensland, Australia, said a book returned to its library in December 2022 was even more overdue -- about 120 years.
The school said the copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was returned by a man whose grandfather had checked the tome out in 1903.