None of us really enjoy exams. However, if you’re learning to drive in the UK, you’ll have to grin and bear it, because you’ll sit TWO driving tests before becoming a fully qualified driver. The first of these is the theory test, consisting of multiple choice questions and hazard perception clips. Once passed, you’ll take the practical test in which you’ll be judged on your actual driving ability. All fairly simple, right?
Passing the theory test might not be as straightforward as it sounds. In fact, the 2019/20 pass rate was 47.7%, meaning that more than 1 in 2 candidates didn’t reach the pass mark on either one or both sections. Most people pass within 2-3 attempts and, with the DVSA charging £23 for each test, your wallet will be rooting for you to pass in the fewest goes possible.
But some people find the theory test very tricky and, as a result, have shelled out for several theory tests. Recently, Select Car Leasing submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVSA and asked for the theory test statistics. The data released is eye-opening, to say the least! Some learners have forked out so much they’d be best ditching the dinner fork for a pitchfork...
When it comes to revising for the theory test, start with the Highway Code, which provides vital road information and rules. We advise buying resources like the official DVSA handbook or the AA theory test book. They both contain official DVSA questions with answers. Revise them thoroughly—they could show up on your test.
One learner driver sat the theory test a whopping 158 times before passing at age 42, costing him an even more whopping £3,634. Here’s the full table of the most theory test attempts:
|1. 158 attempts||£3,634||42-year-old male|
|2. 117 attempts||£2,691||34-year-old female|
|3. 94 attempts||£2,162||32-year-old male|
|4. 94 attempts||£2,162||48-year-old female|
|5. 92 attempts||£2,116||35-year-old male|
|6. 87 attempts||£2,001||33-year-old male|
|7. 86 attempts||£1,978||30-year-old male|
|8. 80 attempts||£1,840||41-year-old male|
|9. 78 attempts||£1,794||43-year-old male|
|10. 77 attempts||£1,771||42-year-old male|
(Source: DVSA via FOI request by Select Car Leasing. Test attempts and ages correct as of January 2021. Total cost of attempts based on standard DVSA theory test fee of £23.)
Image source: Ahmad Gunnaivi (via Unsplash)
Absolutely not—no matter how many attempts it takes! Everybody learns differently and you might be more of a ‘doer’ than a ‘reader’. Some people who took several attempts to pass the theory will find the practical test a walk (or drive?) in the park, so stick at it! Even if you don't quite make the grade on your first (or hundredth!) attempt, passing certainly isn't impossible.
If you’re struggling with the theory test, check out our definitive list of theory test resources and check our tips on how to bounce back from a disappointing theory test result. From revision materials to mock tests, we’ve got everything you need to pass. Want to have a laugh while you learn? We’ve made some games to help you with your theory test revision. (Warning: These games can be seriously addictive!)
PassMeFast are intensive driving course specialists. We know how to help learners pass both their driving tests, and pass them quickly. They don’t call us PassMeFast for nothing! Give our team a call on 0333 123 4949 to book your fast-tracked driving course today. You’ll be given a dedicated Customer Experience Adviser who will take care of all the fiddly admin and booking work, so you can focus 100% on passing your tests.
If in doubt, start with the Highway Code, which provides vital road information and rules. We advise buying resources like the official DVSA handbook or the AA theory test book. They both contain official DVSA questions with answers. Revise them thoroughly—they could show up on your test.
Not sure if an intensive course is right for you? Or maybe you’re unsure how many hours you’ll need? Take our Course Recommender for a quick spin to help make a decision.