The Theory Test for car drivers and motorcyclists is the first step on the road to becoming a licensed and safe road user. Our guide should have all the answers you need about when, where, why and how you take the test.
Do I need to take a Theory Test?
You can’t take your Practical Driving Test until you’ve passed your Theory Test. You will also need to take a Theory Test if you want a licence for a new category of vehicle. For example, if you have a car licence and you want a motorcycle licence then you will need to take a Theory Test.
Who sets the Theory Test?
The Theory Test is set by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), a government body responsible for driver education. You shouldn’t confuse this with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which is responsible for the issuing of drivers’ licences and your Provisional Driving Licence.
Where do I sit my Theory Test?
You will sit your test in a designated DVSA Theory Test Centre.
What happens if I arrive late at the Theory Test centre?
Before your test, you are given a 15-minute window of time to arrive at the test centre. So long as you arrive during this allocated time period you will be allowed to take the test. If you do arrive late you WILL NOT be allowed into the exam room as this will distract the other candidates and you will lose your fee.
How much does the Theory Test for Car Drivers cost?
It’ll cost you £23, so it’s definitely worth taking seriously and making sure you pass first time.
How is the Theory Test structured?
There are two parts. You’ll sit both parts on the same day. First up is the multiple choice test. This is made up of questions based on the rules of the road, as set by the DVSA. Each question will have one answer for you to select using a computer. Some car multiple choice questions will be displayed as a case study. The case study will show a scenario that five questions will be based on.
The subject of the scenario focuses on real-life examples and experiences that drivers could come across when driving.
You can navigate between questions and “flag” questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
After the multiple choice part, you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
The second part of the Theory Test is called the Hazard Perception Test, which is covered in more detail below.
Basically, it’s an interactive video test where you have to scan different road settings from a driver’s viewpoint and identify hazards as soon as they develop.
How many questions are in the Theory Test?
You will have to answer 50 questions in the multiple choice part of the Theory Test for Car Drivers.
What is the pass mark in the multiple choice part of the Theory Test?
To pass, you’ll need to answer 43 questions or more correctly. Or put another way, that’s 86%.
What sort of questions will I be asked?
You’ll be asked questions taken from the 14 official question categories set by the DVSA. These are; Accidents, Alertness, Attitude, Documents, Hazard Awareness, Motorway Rules, Other Types of Vehicle, Road and Traffic Signs, Rules of the Road, Safety and Your Vehicle, Safety Margins, Vehicle Handling and Vulnerable Road Users. In total there are more than 773 Theory Test questions for car drivers that you could be asked, so it’s wise to get in as much practise as you possibly can.
How difficult is the Theory Test?
This is a tricky question to answer, as it depends on how much you practise beforehand, but on average around one in three people will fail their Theory Test. It also depends on the quality of your learning materials, especially when it comes to the Hazard Perception part of the test. Forming the second part of the Theory Test, the Hazard Perception Test is considered by many to be more difficult than the multiple choice because there is no way of previewing the video clips before your test. Find out more information about the Hazard Perception Test.
How long is the Theory Test certificate/letter valid for?
Your Theory Test certificate is valid for 2 years from the date of issue.
I have failed my Theory Test when can I rebook?
You will need to wait at least three clear working days before you are able to re-book your Theory Test. Re-book online now
I’ve lost my Theory Test certificate, what should I do?
You will need to contact the DVSA if you have lost your Theory Test certificate. They will not be able to issue a replacement certificate but they will send you a letter containing your certificate number. More questions you might have about the Theory Test:
- I’ve lost my Theory Test certificate, what should I do?
- What Do I Need To Bring To My Theory Test?
- Top 5 reasons for failing a Theory Test