May 15, 2019

Driving test pass rate is at its lowest for a decade due to harder theory questions – can you get them, right?

Only 47% of learner drivers are passing the practical exam due to changes in the theory test. Passes are at a ten-year low because theory questions have become tough to get correct.

Over the past year only 47% of learner drivers passed the theory test a fall of a quarter in ten years. Eight sample questions were given to 2,800 drivers to test how difficult the new tests were and only 11% got them all correct.

The theory test- which was introduced in 1997 has had more multiple-choice questions added, to stop pupils memorising the questions and answers they have stopped them being shown online.

Statistics according to The Department for Transport show that women have a higher pass rate then men. To test the knowledge of driving conditions, which includes extreme weather conditions i.e. snow and sleet were added (Hazard Perception).

Example Theory Questions


  1. Following a car collision, someone has suffered a burn. The burn needs to be cooled. Given that one of the below is correct, what’s the shortest time it should be cooled for?
  2. a) 5 minutes b) 10 minutes c) 15 minutes d) 20 minutes
  3. You’ve just passed your motor practical test. You don’t hold a full licence in another category. Within two years you get six penalty points on your licence. Given that one of the below is correct, what will you have to do?
  4. a) Retake only theory test b) Retake theory and practical tests c) Retake only practical test d) Reapply for full licence immediately
  5. Given that one of the below is correct, what colour are the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road?
  6. a) Amber b) White c) Green d) Red 4. You wish to tow a trailer.
  7. Given that one of the below is correct, where would you find the maximum nose weight allowed on your vehicle’s tow hitch?
  8. a) In the vehicle handbook b) In the Highway Code c) In your vehicle registration certification d) In your licence documents
  9. Given that one of the below is correct, when are anti-lock brakes (ABS) most effective?
  10. a) When you keep pumping the foot brake to prevent skidding b) When you brake normally but grip the steering wheel tightly c) When you brake firmly and promptly until you’ve stopped d) When you apply the handbrake to reduce the stopping distance
  11. Given that one of the below is correct, what does the law require you to keep in good condition?
  12. a) Gears b) Transmission c) Door locks d) Seat belts
  13. You’re driving on an open road in dry weather. Given that one of the below is correct, what should the distance be between you and the vehicle in front?
  14. a) A two-second time gap b) One car length c) Two metres (6ft 6in) d) Two car lengths

The answers are at the bottom of this article

Moneysupermarket the price comparison website run a study which showed that four out of ten drivers were confident enough to pass the theory test if retaken. A third of drivers were able to identify correctly the reflective studs between the motorway and slip road as being green.

Learner drivers have to pass the theory test before they can take their practical driving test,they are asked 50 multiple choice questions and to pass must answer 43 correctly, to pass the hazard perception part they are required to answer 44 correctly out of 75 after watching clips to spot road dangers.

The Department of Transport have reported 1.34million learners took the theory test in the last year with 47.4% passing, this is the lowest percentage since 2007-2008 when figures were first published and down 48.7% in 2017-18.The pass rate in 2007-2008 was 65.4% which dropped in 2013-14 when new theory questions stopped being published online.

Answer: 1=b, 2=b, 3=c, 4=a, 5=c,6=d, 7=a

For help with practicing the hazard perception or theory questions why not use our sample papers on our website or book in with one of our trainers for one to one theory training at our head office.