Theory test: booking and taking your test

When you’re ready to take your theory test, there are centres available all over the country. Use the guide below to book your test at a test centre near you. Remember, you must pass your theory test before you can take your practical test. Passing the theory test does not mean you’re ready to take the practical test, so talk to your instructor before booking your practical test.

The car theory test costs £23. For full details of the theory test costs, visit GOV.UK.

Booking your theory test

Book your test using the official site, GOV.UK. If you use an unofficial site, you might pay more than you need to, or you may not get a booking at all.

If you’ve used an unofficial booking website, you might have 7 working days to cancel your order and get all your money back but this will depend on the terms and conditions of the website you used. Don't risk it, book at GOV.UK.

You can find your nearest test centre at GOV.UK.

You can also use GOV.UK if you need to change the test date or centre or cancel your test.

If you have special needs, such as hearing or reading difficulties, you might be able to get extra help. Visit GOV.UK to find out about getting help with the theory test.

What happens on the day?

The multiple choice test

When you enter the theory test centre, show your driving licence to staff. If you do not have it with you, you will not be allowed to take the test. There will also be some security checks. You must leave your personal possessions in a secure place and you may be asked to run your fingers through your hair to ensure that you do not have any concealed communications devices.

Before you start the multiple choice test, you can have a 15-minute practice session to get used to the format of the test.

In the test, there are 50 questions and you’ll need to get at least 43 correct to pass. You’ll have 57 minutes for this part of the test.

The multiple choice questions appear on screen and you’ll use the mouse to choose the correct answer. There are also some scenario-based questions, based on video clips, which you will usually see at the end of the test.

If you’re not sure about any of the questions, you can ‘flag’ them and come back to them later.

If you experience difficulties while taking the test, raise your hand and let the invigilators know there is an issue.

The hazard perception test

When you’ve finished the multiple choice part, go straight on to the hazard perception part or take a 3-minute break. Before you start the test, put on the headphones and watch a short video, which shows you how the test works.

Click the mouse when you see a developing hazard (that is, something that would need you, the driver, to take some action, such as changing speed or direction): the sooner you spot the hazard, the more points you’ll score. You can score up to 5 points for each hazard. You’ll need to score at least 44 out of 75 points. Each clip shows one hazard, apart from one clip, which has two.

If you click the mouse too much or if you click in a pattern, you’ll be given a warning message and you’ll score no points for that clip.

Getting your results

You’ll get your results shortly after you’ve finished the theory test. If you pass, you’ll receive a letter with your pass certificate number on it. Make sure you keep this safe because you may need the number when you book your practical test.

Your theory test certificate is valid for 2 years. If you do not pass your practical test in that time, you’ll have to take the theory test again before you can take the practical test. You can book the theory test 6 months before the expiry date of the existing certificate.

If you lose the letter, you can find a lost pass certificate number on GOV.UK.

If you do not pass the theory test, you’ll need to wait at least 3 working days before you can retake it. Use this time to do some more preparation.

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