Starting driving lessons

Taking the theory test

The driving theory test is the first official hurdle in the learning to drive process so it can be quite stressful preparing for it. Of course, that’s good practice for the practical driving test!

The test costs £25 so it’s worth everyone's time to make sure the first go is the last go.

What the theory test involves

  • A series of 50 multiple-choice questions on general Highway Code knowledge, like speed limits and eco-friendly driving. You need 43/50 to pass and there are 1,000 potential questions.
  • The hazard perception test: 14 video clips with potential dangers to click on. The pass mark is 44/75.

The test takes about an hour and a half if all the time available is taken and it’s a good idea to take that option. Unfortunately, failing one part of the test means a fail overall.

How to help your child prepare for the theory test

  1. Get the latest DVSA theory test book

    This book has all 1,000 questions with test chapters, case studies and answers in the back. It’s a really amazing resource, and physically holding and reading it will help plant the information in your child’s head.

  2. Look into the theory test CDs

    These have the same information as the book but give you more idea of how the theory test will actually look on the day, so it’s good for practising.

  3. Show them Drive iQ

    Drive iQ is an online learning resource that's great for everything from road rules to hazard perception. There are lots of interactive bits and most of it is free to use.

  4. Try some theory test apps

    The best option is probably going to be a paid-for app, like the official DVSA theory test app. However, the free ones are a good way for your child to keep their mind focused on the questions, and they can do it anywhere. Just make sure they don’t rely on a free app by itself because the question sets are often limited.

  5. Test them every night for the week before

    Speaking out loud is a good way to memorise information. Make sure you talk through any questions they get wrong so they remember the conversation in the test. Try making jokes or puns out of the right answers (like a toucan crossing is where TWO CAN cross: cyclists and pedestrians) - these are great memory joggers.

Useful links for the theory test:



Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .