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Brexit: What It Means for UK Learners & The Theory Test

Under the Great Repeal Bill, the UK Parliament are now able to "amend, repeal and improve" current laws as necessary. Unsurprisingly, EU laws surrounding driving standards and road safety are amongst those expected to change now article 50 has been triggered.

How will this affect learner drivers?

It is likely that both the questions and format of the theory test will be changed before the end of 2017.

Scott O’Brien, DTSA spokesman has said: “Since 2009 the pass rate for the theory test has been declining, and we want to do something about it.

The first, logical solution is to remove questions which are relevant only to European driving, and make the format of the test follow Edexcel exam and grade standards which UK teens are already familiar with.”

Which questions will be changing?

The board have not been specific in detailing the questions they intend to revise, but we’d expect to see questions such as “Before driving through a tunnel, what should you do?” (correct answer: “switch off your radio”) amongst those scrapped.

Questions such as this, which relates predominantly to driving on the continent, have already raised numerous discussions about their practicality and application to U.K driving, but remains in the test for learners who could find themselves on EU roads.

What will the update formatting look like?

The current theory test is made up of 50 multiple choice questions – this will be changing to 40 open ended questions, and only 10 multiple choice case study questions.

“We want learner drivers to learn the rules of the road, not simply rely on a process of elimination. The new format will follow Edexcel exam and grade standards which UK teens are already familiar with.” – Scott O’Brien.

To combat the high amount of failed tests, the a strict grading system will also be introduced, where learners will be receive a mark from A-E based upon the amount of questions answered correctly.

Those with highest marks will be granted access to ‘priority’ driving test slots, and lower insurance premiums, whilst those scoring C or below face a longer wait for their practical test, and may even face limitations once they get their driving licence, similar to those faced by Australian drivers.

I've just passed my theory test, will this affect me?

Current holders of a EU driving licence will NOT have to re sit the theory test, and will not be restricted when driving in Europe.

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