The Theory Test for car drivers and motorcyclists is the first step on the road to becoming a licensed and safe road user.
This guide has all the answers you need about when, where, why, and how you take the car or motorcycle Theory 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.
You can find your nearest Theory Test centre on the gov.uk website.
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.
As 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 cost for car drivers and motorcyclists?
For both vehicles, the test will cost you £23, so it’s definitely worth taking seriously and making sure you pass the first time.
How is the Theory Test structured?
There are two parts to the test which are taken 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 has five questions.
The subject of the scenario focuses on real-life examples and experiences that drivers and riders could come across when on the road.
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 Test starts.
Put simply, the Hazard Perception Test is an interactive video test where you have to scan different road settings 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, and you must answer at least 43 correctly to score a 'pass'.
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 721 Theory Test questions that you could be asked, so it’s wise to get in as much practise as you possibly can.
How do I revise for the Theory Test?
If you want a simple way to revise for the test, download our award-winning Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App.
The app is suitable for learner car drivers, motorcyclists and trainee ADIs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and offers a Theory Test question bank to suit each vehicle and learner.
We've even written a perfect Theory Test revision plan to follow which will help with your studying!
The app is only £4.99 and available for both iOS and Android devices.
Just click the image below to download today!
How difficult is the Theory Test?
This is a tricky question to answer as it depends on how much you practise beforehand!
It's worth knowing that on average, around one in three people will fail their Theory Test.
Getting that pass will also depend on the quality of your learning materials, especially when it comes to the Hazard Perception part of the 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 by reading our full guide.
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.
We have lots of other guides about the Theory Test including: