Booking your theory test
Thinking of booking your driving theory test? You need to:
- Be 17 years old
- Have a UK provisional licence
- Have lived in England, Wales or Scotland for at least 185 days in the last 12 months
- Pay a £23 fee
Waiting times can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on where you’re taking the test and at what time of year.
How to book driving theory test slots
The quickest and simplest way is to book the theory test online with the DVSA.
1. Fill in your details
To get started you will need your provisional licence and your bank card handy. Fill in your details the same as they appear on your licence, using lines 1 and 2 to guarantee this. You will also need your driving licence number, which you can find on line 5 of your provisional licence. After filling in these details, you will need to enter your date of birth to complete logging into the service.
2. Select your test day details
Once you have logged in, you need to select the type of theory test you want to sit. This would be either for a car or motorcycle, both currently costing £23.
After selecting the type of theory test, you need to select the language you wish to sit your test in. You will be able to choose from either English or Welsh. You will also have the opportunity at this point to make known any other additional support you may need such as support for those with hearing or reading difficulties.
3. Find a nearby test centre
You will next need to select the theory test centre where you wish to sit your test. To choose this, enter your postcode so you can find the test centres nearest to you. You will be shown the 5 closest theory test centres to you and you will be able to select up to 3 of them to compare their upcoming availability.
4. Pick your test date!
You will then be able to view the test centre’s availability on a monthly calendar overview. The blocks that are greyed out are the ones that are fully booked, so you can see quickly and easily which centre is available on the date best for you. Once you have selected the most convenient day for you, you will be shown the times of the tests available. Choose the time slot best for you, bearing in mind the theory test is roughly 60 minutes long.
5. Make your payment
Once you have selected all of these details, you will be taken to an overview page to confirm everything is accurate. After that, you just need to make your payment.
If you lose your email confirmation, don’t panic. You can still check the details of your theory test booking by entering your name, driving licence number and date of birth on the DVSA website.
If you don’t have an email address, you’ll need to book your driving theory test over the phone. Just call the DVSA on 0300 200 1122.
When can I book my theory test?
You must have a provisional licence in order to book your theory test, and you need to be 17 years old in order to take it. The only exception is if you get the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment, in which case you may be able to take your theory test aged 16.
Booking driving theory test slots doesn’t require you to have taken driving lessons. In fact, some people prefer to take it before they pay for any driving lessons so that it’s out of the way. However, taking driving lessons equips you with road knowledge that might make studying for the theory test easier.
How do you know if you’re ready to book your theory test?
Booking theory test slots when the time is right will require you to weigh up waiting times, how long you think you need to study, and how you’re performing in mock tests.
Waiting times can vary depending on the area you live in and the time of year. So it’s best to check availability before booking a driving theory test.
If you don’t pass your test, you’ll need to wait at least three working days before retaking it.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to pass your theory test before you can book your practical driving test, so don’t leave it too last-minute.
How long it takes to study for a theory test
The bulk of the 50 multiple-choice questions are drawn from the highway code – so you’ll want to have read this book back to front.
This all takes time. Make sure that you’re realistic when it comes to making a theory test booking – don’t book for three days’ time if you haven’t even started studying yet!
How you’re performing in mock tests
You need at least 43 out of 50 to pass the multiple-choice section and at least 44 out of 75 to pass the hazard perception section. Based on your performance in mock tests, you can judge how long it will take you to get to test standard and book your theory test accordingly.
Some people prefer to wait until they’re passing the mock tests before making a theory test booking. But equally, if you’re only failing the mock tests by a hair’s breadth then you might feel confident booking the test, knowing you’ll have time time to brush up on your skills while you wait for the big day to roll around.
What is a mock theory test?
A mock theory test is a practice theory test that you can do at home in your own time. Mock theory tests are a great way to get a realistic idea of whether you’re ready to book your theory test, as well as to build up your confidence and familiarity with the format and questions.
You should ideally take a number of mock theory tests under theory test conditions before the day itself. At the end of your mock theory test, you should be given a mark so that you can see whether or not you would have passed or failed if this was the real thing.
How to find mock theory tests
There are plenty of free mock theory tests online, including the practice tests provided by the DVSA. However, not all mock theory tests include the hazard perception part of the theory test.
What you need to do before booking your theory test
- Apply for a provisional licence
- Read the highway code
- Learn how the hazard perception test works
- Find your nearest theory test centre
Cost of booking theory test
It costs £23 to book theory test slots with the DVSA. So, it pays to be prepared before sitting the test, as multiple resits would soon add up!
That said, the DVSA has a fairly relaxed cancellation policy, so if you do book your driving theory test a while in advance, you won’t necessarily lose your test fee.
There are other sites that allow you to book theory tests online, but you may end up paying more than you need to, or the site might not actually book you a test at all, so you’re better off booking through the DVSA.
Can you cancel or reschedule your theory test?
As long as you give the DVSA three clear working days’ notice, you can request to change your theory test date online at no additional charge.
You can use this feature to find an earlier driving theory test, push back the date of your theory test or change which test centre you take your test at. You’ll need to have your UK driving licence number to hand.
Alternatively, with three working days’ notice, you can cancel your theory test altogether for a refund. Again, you’ll need your UK driving licence number.
If you fail to give the necessary notice to the DVSA, you’ll have to pay again for a new test if you’re rescheduling or go without a refund if you decide to cancel. Bear in mind that Sundays and bank holidays don’t count as working days.