Search icon


04th Dec 2023

Learner driver praised for ‘amazing’ commitment after passing theory test at 60th attempt

Charlie Herbert

Just the practical to go now…

A learner driver in the UK has been praised by the AA for their “amazing commitment after they passed their theory test after failing 59 times.

With each test costing €26 (£23) and lasting around an hour, the unnamed person spent €1,600 (£1,380) and some 60 hours at a test centre in Redditch, near Birmingham, before finally passing.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) relating to learner drivers who passed during the first half of 2023 revealed that several had some staggering struggle with their theory test.

One learner in Hull failed 57 times, someone in Guildford failed the test 55 times and another in Tunbridge Wells flunked it 53 times.

But none could match the 59 fails of the Redditch learner, the BBC reports.

This is nowhere near to being an all-time record though, with one learner in 2012 failing his theory test 92 times.

The AA said that “revision is key to success” in the theory test, but that nerves are obviously a factor.

They have launched a revision app to help wannabe motorists prepare for their theory.

Camilla Benitz, managing director of AA Driving School, said: “There’s no doubt it’s a tough test and these learners’ commitment to passing is amazing.

“Nerves can undoubtedly play a part, as well as making sure you understand what the test will involve before you get there.

“It’s quite easy to underestimate the theory test and assume that you’ll be able to pass without any effort at all but that’s not the case.”

Pass rates for the theory tests are significantly down on previous years. According to the Department of Transport, the 2022-23 pass rate was 44 per cent, compared to a 65 per cent pass rate in 2007-08.

The theory test consists of two parts. The first part is a 50-question multiple choice section in which learners are questioned about their knowledge of the Highway Code and guidance on driving skills, which requires a score of 43 to pass.

This is followed by a hazard perception test, which sees learners watch video clips of driving situations and click when they believe they’ve spotted a potential danger or hazard.

Anyone who fails the theory needs to wait three days before they can take it again.

Once you have passed the theory test, you can then take your practical test. However, if you don’t pass your practical within two years of your theory, then you need to retake the theory.