Theory and Practical Driving Tests

Theory and Practical Driving Tests

Theory and hazard perception tests come first

You need to pass your theory and hazard perception test at the same time before you can apply for your practical test.

Getting a test date

You will need a valid provisional driving licence to take your theory test. Once you’ve got that, you can book your theory and hazard perception tests online (link opens a new window), or by phone on 0870 0101 372. To apply by post call 0870 0101 372 or download a theory test application (link opens a new window).

How the theory test works

The theory test is a 50-question multiple-choice test. To pass you must answer 43 or more questions correctly within 57 minutes. Questions are chosen at random from a bank of over 1,000 questions, and you answer by touching the screen. During the test you have the option to skip questions and return to them later.

Learn to drive with us and you’ll get access to our free online theory test. Just one feature of our new learning zone, it’s available exclusively to AA pupils.

Already an AA pupil? Sign in here

Check out AAttitude (link opens a new window) – the AA’s essential website for new drivers – for some quick-fire quizzes to test your knowledge.

How the hazard perception test works

Immediately after your theory test, you’ll watch a series of 14 one-minute video clips, each showing potential hazards involving road conditions, pedestrians or road users.

There are 15 hazards to identify and you can score up to 5 points on each one, depending on how quickly you identify them. You need to score 44 out of 75 to pass.

Then comes the practical test

In your practical test, you have 40 minutes to demonstrate everything you have learned in your driving lessons. You need to show you can drive competently and safely in all kinds of driving situations. You’ll be asked to do two of the three reversing manoeuvres you’ve practised with your instructor, and possibly make an emergency stop. You’ll also answer two vehicle safety check questions, one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’.

To pass, you will have to complete the test with no serious faults, and you must have 15 or fewer minor errors.

Be prepared

The current national average practical pass rate is 43%*, so it makes sense to be as prepared as possible. Your instructor will advise you when you are ready for the practical test and help you understand the main reasons people fail.

You’ll need to study ‘The Highway Code’ and the AA’s ‘Theory Test’ book and CD-ROM. Both are available to order online or by phone 0800 587 0087.

If you fail your practical test, but pass your theory, you need only sit the practical next time.

Test costs

The combined theory and hazard perception test currently costs £31.

A weekday practical test costs £62. Evening or weekend tests cost £75.

Improving your chance of passing

Read our ten top tips to help you pass first time.

Once you’ve passed

Become a more confident driver with Pass Plus. You’ll save money on your insurance too. You can also take advantage of a whole range of AA benefits to help you get on the road.

Need a Driving Test in South London

Need a driving test in South London? We have access to Late Cancellation Driving Test Dates across South London. Read more about the practical Driving Test in this useful guide.

Other interesting reads to help you pass your driving test.

How to get around London

Top 10 reasons for failing driving test

How to cancel your driving test