The Driving Theory Test FAQ

The Driving Theory Test FAQ I Love Newcastle
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Whether you know it or not, the driving theory test is a vital aspect of learning how to drive. Let’s face it, you’ll need to pass this before you can even consider taking your practical test.

Put together by Pass ‘N’ Go, this theory test FAQ will help you understand everything you need to know about the test. Providing driving lessons in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Durham and Sunderland, you’re sure to go far and learn quickly with this guide to hand.

When booking the theory test

How much do theory tests costs?

They cost £23 when learning to drive a car. This is the case irredgardless of whether it’s a weekday, weekend or bank holiday. Safe Road User Award holders can also sit an abridged theory test. This is £18 and is the same price irrespective of the day it is taken.

Can I book multiple theory tests?

No, you have to rebook your theory test if you fail the first time. Any re-sit booking must be three days away from the original booking date.

While you can’t book multiple theory tests, you can change the date of your solitary theory test appointment. Alterations can be made on the following conditions:

  • You want to move the date to an earlier available appointment.
  • You can move it to a later date.
  • When you wish to change the theory test centre where you’re taking the test.

Can I do my theory test online?

A theory test can only be sat at a theory test centre.

You can take a free mock test on the multiple choice portion of the theory test at GOV.UK though. This consists of 50 questions, which is the same amount that will be on the actual test.

The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception DVD-ROM will also help you get to grips as a learner, which is available for PC or Mac.

Is the theory test free?

It is not free. Only the mock theory test provided by the government is free.

What theory test do I actually need to take?

Most drivers will sit the the standard theory test, priced at £23; the abridged test is available to those who have a Safe Road User Award.

You won’t be required to sit a driving theory test if:

  • You’re booking a driving test to upgrade a car licence.
  • You’re booking a driving test to upgrade a motorcycle licence that you’ve held for a minimum of two years.
  • You’re booking a driving test to upgrade a lorry or bus licence.
  • You’re booking a taxi driving test.
  • You’re booking a tractor driving test.

What age can I sit a theory test?

When you’re 17, you can take the test.

If you receive PIP payments (personal independent payments), then you can take the test when you’re 16.

How long is the theory test waiting list?

This report by Book Theory Test Today suggests that the DVSA aims to achieve a target of 95 per cent of candidates receiving a test booking date within the first two weeks of submitting their appointment.

The Driving Theory Test FAQ I Love Newcastle

Theory test centres

Where are theory test centres?

You are never too far away from a theory test centre, with a huge number dotted across the UK. The easiest way to find your nearest centre is by using GOV.UK’s simple postcode search service.

Are theory test centres open on Saturdays and bank holidays?

Not always, but you will be advised if you can’t take the test on particular day.

Sitting a theory test

Do theory test questions change?

All questions are based on the three books stipulated below, but questions will change from test to test:

  1. The Highway Code by the Department for Transport
  2. Know Your Traffic Signs by the Department for Transport
  3. The Official DVSA Guide to Driving — The Essential Skills by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

How do theory tests work?

A test consists of the following components:

  • 50 multiple-choice questions, with some presented in a case study whereby:
  • A short story is shown and then five questions will be given based on this.
  • A real-life situation that you could come across while driving will be detailed.
  • A hazard perception test consisting of 14 separate video clips.

You must score at least 43 out of 50 for the multiple-choice questions and 44 out of a possible 75 points for the hazard perception test; remember, both parts of the test must be passed.

How long does the test take?

You have 57 minutes to get through the 50 multiple-choice questions. If you have reading difficulties, then you can apply for extra time. However, proof must be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the form of an email or a letter supplied from:

  1. A doctor or medical professional.
  2. An independent party who is aware of your reading difficulty — your employer, for example.
  3. A teacher or other educational professional.

This proof should be sent to one of the following two locations:

  1. DVSA theory test enquiries, via the email address
  2. By post using the address: DVSA Theory Test Enquiries, PO Box 1286, Warrington, WA1 9GN.

You can take a three-minute break between the multiple choice part of the test and the hazard perception test. There is however no time limit for this, as it depends on the time taken to show all 14 videos clips.

Although there are no changes to the hazard perception part of the test, if you take the ‘abridged theory test’, then you will answer 35 questions with the intention of aiming to score 30 out of 35 to pass.

In order to book an ‘abridged theory test’, contact the DVSA theory test booking support team via the phone number 0300 200 11 22 between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Make sure you have the following to hand:

  • A credit or debit card.
  • Your provisional UK driving licence number.
  • Your Safe Road User Award certificate number.

Does a theory test include hazard perception?

The theory test will consist of multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. In order to pass the overall theory test, you’ll need to pass both parts.

Does the theory test include the highway code?

Yes, it does. This is because it is based on the following three books:

  1. The Highway Code by the Department for Transport
  2. Know Your Traffic Signs by the Department for Transport
  3. The Official DVSA Guide to Driving — The Essential Skills by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Are theory test questions multiple choice?

Yes, they are; every question will come with a series of answers, and you’ll need to choose one from the options available.

The hazard perception part of the theory test

What are hazard perception tests?

This test establishes your ability to effectively spot hazards on the road through a series of 14 video clips.

The videos consist of the following:

  • Everyday road scenes.
  • A ‘developing hazard’ — this is something that would cause the driver to react, such as changing their speed or direction, and one clip will feature two developing hazards.

Points will be allocated if you are able to spot hazards as soon as they appear.

What is the hazard perception pass score?

In order to pass this part of the test, and the test overall, you’ll need to score 44 out of a possible 75.

How does the hazard perception test scoring system work?

The sooner you establish the hazard on screen, the more points you will be awarded. Similarly, you’ll be awarded up to five points for each developing hazard that you spot.

You can never loose points during the test if you click your mouse at the wrong time. However, neither will you be awarded points if you are considered to be continually clicking the mouse in order to preempt a hazard on screen.

How long does the hazard perception test take?

There is no time limit on this part of the test.

How much does the hazard perception test cost?

This is included as part of the overall cost of the test.

Once you’ve passed a theory test

Do theory tests expire?

Yes, they do. If you pass the test, then you’ll receive a pass certificate number. This number only lasts for two years, and if you don’t produce this number when booking your practical test within those two years, you’ll need to take the theory test again.

Where is the theory test pass certificate number?

You’ll receive this as soon as you’ve passed the test in the form of a letter.

What is Theory Test Pro?

This is an online simulation of the UK driving theory test, with every official question licensed by the DVSA, along with unparalleled access to the hazard perception test. Compared to the national average, learners who used this tool were twice as likely to pass the test. Click here if you’d like to find out more and get on the system for free.

History of the theory test

When did theory tests start?

This was introduced in 1996 as part of The Highway Code in order to replace the requirement for questions to be asked around the Code during the practical test.


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