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Driving Tests and how to book them

Use this page for more information on the Driving Theory Test and the Practical Driving Test including how to book them. 

You may find other driving test booking agencies who offer a test booking service but beware that some of these charge an additional fee for this service. By following the links below you will be booking directly with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and will only pay the actual Test Fee. Your Drivex Academy Instructor will also be able to guide you further on booking your driving tests.

Driving Theory Test including Hazard Perception Test


If you want to drive a car or ride a motorcycle you’ll need to pass the Driving Theory Test before booking either the Car Practical Driving Test or the Motorcycle Practical Test.

There are 2 parts to the theory test:

  • the multiple choice part
  • the hazard perception part

Both parts of the test are taken on the same day. The questions in the multiple-choice part and format of the hazard perception part depend on what kind of vehicle you want to drive.

You need to pass both to pass the theory test.

Once you have successfully completed both parts of the theory test you will then get a theory test pass certificate. You’ll need the certificate number when you book your practical test.

Preparing for the test

There are official publications and tools to help you prepare for the test and if you’ve got special needs then there are a number of facilities to help. Our Special Starter Package incudes all the study materials you need to prepare for your theory test and your Academy Instructor can also advise you further.

Who needs to take the test?

Great Britain licence holders

In most cases you need to take the theory test before you can get your first full car or motorcycle driving licence.

However, there are 2 exceptions:

Test your knowledge 1 - in the scene above what do the yellow stripes painted on the kerb signify?

  • If you hold a full motorcycle licence issued before 1 February 2001 you don’t need to take the car theory test.
  • If you hold a full moped licence issued before 1 July 1996 following a test and have a full car licence you don’t need to take the motorcycle theory test.

Adding new categories to your licence:

You will need to take another 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 you’ll need to take the motorcycle theory test before taking the motorcycle practical test.

If you want to upgrade within a vehicle category you won’t normally need to take a theory test.

For example, if you have a full automatic car licence and you want a manual car licence you won’t have to take a theory test.

It’s your job to make sure you have the right licence. If you’re not sure if you need to take a theory test contact the Driving Standards Agency (DVSA).

Non Great Britain licence holders

If you don’t have a Great Britain (GB) licence you might still be able to drive in GB without taking a driving test.

How the theory test works

The theory test is made up of a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test.

If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test, and you’ll need to take both parts again.

The questions in the multiple-choice test will depend on the category of vehicle you are hoping to get a licence for. For example, a motorcycle theory test will contain questions that don’t appear in any other test.

For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, but the pass mark is different for them.

Test your knowledge 2 - in the scene above what do the zig-zag stripes painted either side of this Pelican Crossing signify?

At the theory test centre

You aren’t allowed to take any personal items into the test room with you. All your personal items must be stored in the lockers provided.

If you’re found with any prohibited items in the testing room your test will be stopped, you’ll be asked to leave and you’ll lose your test fee.

Once you’re in the test room you aren’t allowed to talk to or distract other candidates.

The multiple-choice part

Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how it works.

You can choose to do a practice session of multiple-choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.

A question and several possible answers will appear on a computer screen - you have to select the correct answer. Some questions may need more than one answer.

You can move between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.

Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study. The case study will:

  • show a short story that 5 questions will be based on.
  • focus on real life examples and experiences you could come across when you’re driving.

The car and motorcycle multiple-choice part lasts for 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

After the multiple-choice part you can choose to have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception part starts.

The hazard perception part

Before you start the hazard perception part, you’ll be shown a short video clip about how it works.

You’ll then be shown a series of 14 video clips on a computer screen. The clips:

  • feature everyday road scenes.
  • contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ - but one of the clips will feature 2 ‘developing hazards.’

A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction.

Hazard perception test scoring

The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher you will score.

The most you can score for each developing hazard is 5 points.

To get a high score you need to respond to the developing hazard as soon as you see it starting.

Hazard Perception - are there any pedestrians waiting at the Zebra Crossing in the scene above?

If you click continuously or in a pattern during a clip a message will appear at the end. It will tell you that you have scored zero for that particular clip.

You won’t be able to review your answers.

The pass mark for cars and motorcycles is 44 out of 75.

Your test result

You will be given the results of your theory tests at the test centre after taking it.

If you pass your theory test, you’ll get a pass certificate. You’ll need this when you book and take your practical test.

Your theory test pass certificate lasts for 2 years after taking your test. If you haven’t passed your practical test by then, you’ll need to take and pass the theory test again.

Booking your Driving Theory Test

The most efficient way of booking your Driving Theory test is by telephone or on-line.

Driving Theory Test Fee (Car & Motorcycle): £25.00 (£23.00 from October 2015).

Telephone: 0300 200 1122 (English), 0300 200 1133 (Welsh)

Textphone: 0300 200 1166

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

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Practical Driving Test Car


The practical driving test is designed to see if you:

  • can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions.
  • know the Highway Code and can show this through your driving ability.

As long as you show the standard required, you will pass your driving test. There are no pass or fail quotas.

You will need to have passed your Driving Theory Test before taking your practical test.

Documents to bring to your test

You must bring:

  • your theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt from taking the theory test.
  • both parts of your driving licence - the photocard and the paper counterpart. From 8th June 2015 only the photocard part of your licence will be required.

You must take your signed driving licence and a valid passport if you have an old-style paper licence.

Your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee if you don’t bring the right documents.

Lost driving licence

You will need to apply for a replacement driving licence if you lose yours. This could take up to 15 days. You may have to rearrange your test if this happens.

Lost theory test certificate certificate

Contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) with your name and driving licence number as soon as possible. DVSA does not issue replacement certificates, but will send you a letter containing your certificate number.

Telephone: 0300 200 1122 (English), 0300 200 1133 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0300 200 1166
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

What happens during the test?

Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you will have an eyesight check and be asked 2 vehicle safety questions.

Eyesight check

You will have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

You can write down what you see if you can’t speak English or have difficulty reading.

New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, eg AB51 ABC.

You will fail your driving test and the test will not continue if you cannot pass the eyesight test.

Vehicle safety questions: ‘show me, tell me’

You will be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

The examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question, where you will have to show them how you would carry out a vehicle safety check.

You will also be asked one ‘tell me’ question, where you will have to explain to the examiner how you would carry out the check.

Your general driving ability

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

During your test the examiner will give you directions that you should follow. You will drive in various road and traffic conditions. You should drive in the way your instructor has trained you.

It should include:

  • Normal stops.
  • An angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle).
  • A hill start.
  • Emergency stop (random 1 out of 3 tests).
  • Reversing your vehicle safely.

You will have to show how well you can reverse your vehicle. The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:

  • Reversing around a corner.
  • Turning in the road.
  • Reverse parking - either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road.

Independent driving section

Your driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions on your own.

Carry on if you make a mistake, because if it is not a serious mistake it might not affect your result.

Your examiner will stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

Taking someone with you

Your examiner will ask if you want your instructor, or another person, to:

  • Sit in the back of your car during your driving test.
  • Be with you after the test for the result and feedback.

This person will usually be your driving instructor, but it could also be a relative or friend.

They must be over 16 and can’t take any part in the test.

The examiner’s supervisor

The examiner’s supervisor may come along as well. They will be watching the examiner’s performance, not yours. The supervisor won’t have any say in how you are tested or in your result.

Your test might be cancelled and you could lose your fee if you don’t let the examiner’s supervisor go with you.

Independent driving section of the test

Your practical driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.

During your test you’ll have to drive independently by either following:

  • Traffic signs.
  • A series of directions.
  • A combination of both.

To help you understand where you are going when following verbal directions, the examiner can show you a diagram.

You cannot use sat nav because the independent driving section tests how you make your own decisions.

It does not matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way.

Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.

The examiner will confirm the directions to you if you ask for a reminder of them.

It will not affect the result of your test if you go off the independent driving route, unless you make a driving fault.

The examiner will help you get back on the route if you go off it or take a wrong turning. You can then continue with the independent driving.

The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs. You will not need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

Your driving test result

You will pass your test if you make:

  • 15 or fewer driving faults.
  • No serious or dangerous faults.

When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor over if they did not go with you on your test. This is so they can listen to the result and help you with any feedback afterwards.

The examiner will:

  • Tell you if you passed or not.
  • Explain how you did during the test.

There are 3 types of faults that can be marked:

  • Dangerous fault - involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property.
  • Serious fault - could potentially be dangerous.
  • Driving fault - not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault.

Passing your test

The examiner will give you a pass certificate if you pass the test. They will also ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically.

Once you have passed your test you can start driving straight away - you do not need to wait for your full licence to arrive.

Failing your test

You have to wait another 10 working days before you can take another test if you do not pass. Working days do not include Sundays and public holidays.

Eco-efficient driving 

The examiner will also give you feedback about how eco-efficient your driving is.

Rules for cars used for driving tests

You can use your own car for the driving test if it meets certain rules. Your test will be cancelled and you could lose your fee if your car does not meet the rules.

Your vehicle must:

  • Be properly insured and have a valid tax disc.
  • Be roadworthy and have a current MOT if it needs one.
  • Have a seatbelt for the examiner.
  • Have an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner.
  • Have a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type).
  • Be a smoke-free environment.
  • Have 4 wheels.
  • Be able to reach at least 62mph.
  • Have a speedometer measuring speed in mph.
  • Have no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light.
  • Have L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear.
  • Have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms.


MAM is the maximum weight of the vehicle including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as ‘gross vehicle weight’.

You can only use a hire car for your test if it is fitted with dual controls and it meets all the other driving test vehicle rules.

In some cars the spare tyre is a space-saver and only supposed to be for temporary use. You cannot take your test if a space-saver tyre is in use.

You can use your vehicle for your test if it is fitted with an electronic parking brake.

Vehicles you cannot use

Some models of vehicle cannot be used for the test. This is because they do not give the examiner all-round vision. They are generally convertible cars and panel vans.

You cannot use these cars for a driving test:

  • BMW Mini convertible.
  • Ford KA convertible.
  • Toyota iQ.
  • VW Beetle convertible.

Other types of convertible car or panel van may also be unsuitable. Check with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) before booking your test.

Booking your Practical Car Driving test

The most efficient way of booking your Driving Theory test is by telephone or on-line.

Practical Driving Test Fees:

  • £62.00 weekday
  • £75.00 evenings and weekends

Telephone: 0300 200 1122 (English), 0300 200 1133 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0300 200 1144
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

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