Before you can take your practical driving test, you need to pass your theory test. It’s a really important part of learning to drive: when you get to your practical test, you’ll need to show that you can use what you learn for this test when you’re driving on the road. I will fully advise you on the best way to practice and prepare. Your local theory test centre is located at Norwest Court, Guildhall St, Preston, Lancs, PR1 3NU.
The car theory test currently costs £23.
It’s best to 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.
It’s vital to prepare for your theory test: there’s a lot to learn about the rules of the road. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to pass first time, which will save you the time and money that retaking the test will cost.
There are two parts to the test
- the multiple choice part
- the hazard perception part
The questions in the multiple choice test are taken from three books
- The Official Highway Code
- The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills
- Know Your Traffic Signs
You’ll need to use all of these when you’re preparing. There are lots of products available that contain practice questions, but it’s really important you don’t just learn the answers without understanding fully why it’s correct because the questions on the actual test aren’t exactly the same as the practice ones.
Using official publications will help you get the most out of your preparations.
The multiple choice test covers the following topics
- safety and your vehicle
- safety margins
- hazard awareness
- vulnerable road users
- other types of vehicle
- road conditions and vehicle handling
- motorway driving
- rules of the road
- road and traffic signs
- essential documents
- incidents, accidents and emergencies
- vehicle loading.
There are various methods you can use to help you learn what you’ll need to know for your test. Here are a few ideas
- Link what you’re learning to your own experiences: for example, think about where you’ve seen an example of a road sign and use this to help you remember what the sign means.
- Practice the question formats: as well as knowing all the information, you’ll also need to know how the questions are asked in the test.
- Plan your study: set yourself some timelines and targets. This will help you to see your progress and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Plan to do your studying somewhere you won’t be disturbed and at a time when you’re fully awake.
- Get help: use friends, family, your driving instructor or your colleagues from work to ask questions and share driving experiences.
Preparing for the Hazard Perception test
This is part 2 of your theory test and checks you can recognise and respond to hazards that could happen while you’re driving. Being out on the road with your instructor will help you prepare for this part. There’s also The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception, an interactive DVD-ROM that will help you learn to recognise hazards, know what to do when you see a developing hazard and practice for the test.
The test contains a series of 14 one-minute video clips showing potential road hazards each shown from a driver’s point of view. You have to identify 15 developing hazards (one clip has two hazards): this is something that might need you, as the driver, to take some action such as changing speed or direction. The faster you identify them, the higher you score. You need to score at least 44 out of 75 to pass this test (each hazard has a maximum of 5 points) and you have 20 minutes to do it in. You can’t repeat any of the clips – the idea is that on the road you don’t get a second chance with hazards.