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What Age Can You Take Your Theory Test?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 31 Jul 2014 | comments*Discuss
Driving Learner Test Hazard Perception

Q.My son already has a full licence to drive a tractor and wants to book a driving course and test as close as possible to his 17th birthday in December, I have scoured the web but cannot seem to find when he can take the theory test ~ can he take it whilst still 16 or does he have to wait until 17?

(Mr Barry Cambridge, 14 September 2008)


You cannot take your car theory test until you are at least seventeen. You must also have applied for and received your provisional driving licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will need to bring your provisional driving licence to the test centre on the day. Failure to do so can result in you being refused entry to the examination room. If you haven't already got an application form for this, you can pick up a D1 application form from some Post Office branches. The theory test needs to be taken before you take your car practical test. This ensures that you have a good working knowledge of road safety before you take your practical test. You can book your theory test online on the DSA website. You can also book your practical test on the DSA website when you are ready to take it.

There are two parts to the theory test: the hazard perception test and the multiple choice Theory Test. The Hazard Perception Test requires you to identify potential driving hazards in video clips. The multiple choice questions assess your understanding of the Highway Code, road safety, and road signs and markings.

Good preparation can often be the difference between passing and failing. Technically, you can book your theory test as soon as you have your provisional driving licence, but this isn't necessarily the best idea. Although it's very tempting to book your theory test as soon as possible, but if you are not sufficiently prepared, you will probably have to spend more time and money resitting one or both parts of the test. When you book your theory test, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) send a preparation DVD to help you prepare for the test. In addition, you can practice multiple choice questions online on the DSA website and on the 2pass website. The DSA DVD is the best option when it comes to preparing for the hazard perception test, as the DSA website does not currently offer an opportunity to take practice tests for this.

The current price of a theory test (for a car or motorcycle) is £31. Practical tests currently cost £62 for a weekday daytime test, or £75 for a weekend or weekday evening test.

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@mutley - you need to take a compulsory basic training test before you can use it
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Aug-14 @ 10:16 AM
According to the DVLA site you can drive a moped at 16 so does that mean being on the road without any theory test seems a bit out of kilter??
Mutley - 31-Jul-14 @ 2:31 PM
You could book to take your theory test on your 17th birthday, and there's nothing to stop you going over the practice questions on the DVLA site and studying the CD-ROMs that are available for sale, as well as knowing the Highway Code inside and out. However, there's no substitute for practical experience, and you should remember that you'd need too take the practical test within 2 years of passing your theory. You need to score 75% on your theory to pass.
Gavin - 25-Jun-12 @ 2:28 PM
Can you take your car theory test on your 17th Birthday ???
Bexiee - 22-Sep-11 @ 11:35 AM
Hi im going to live with my granny in Scotland, and I will be looking after her full time as she will be getting out of hospital soon. I'm 16 and will be 17 in november this year, I live in Ireland at the momment. If I set my test in Ireland could I still drive in Scotland with a full licences driver on with me on a provisional driving licence.?
Nikki - 7-Apr-11 @ 5:32 PM
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