Experts reveal five tough driving theory test questions that stump 'nine out of ten' motorists

Theory test questions are based on the Highway Code, traffic signs, and essential driving skills
Theory test questions are based on the Highway Code, traffic signs, and essential driving skills -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Passing your theory test is a must in order to get your driver's licence - but while every motorist on the road will be familiar with the test, many may still be left stumped by some of the tougher questions, a survey has suggested.

The theory test consists of a multiple-choice questionnaire alongside a hazard perception video, with questions based on the Highway Code, traffic signs and essential driving skills. However, once the test is out of the way, some motorists may soon forget some of the more specific points they learned on the test, particularly if they don't often come across them on the road.

The Highway Code is also often updated, meaning motorists who passed their test years ago are even more likely to be caught out if they retook their theory test today and haven't kept up to date with the latest road rule changes. In fact, a study of more than 2,000 drivers carried out by Independent Advisor Car Insurance found that more than half of drivers would fail their theory tests if they took them now, while nine in 10 were unable to answer five particularly tough questions, Birmingham Live reports.

The five questions that stumped drivers were (answers below):

  1. What, if anything, do you think triangular road signs indicate?

  2. What lights, if any, do you think are appropriate to turn on when driving on the motorway at night, when there are cars ahead of you?

  3. What, if anything, do you think the legal speed limit on a motorway is, if no signs indicate otherwise?

  4. When driving on a wet road, what time gap, if any, do you think you need to leave between your car and the car in front of you?

  5. What, if anything, do you think you should do if you have to quickly slow down when driving on the motorway?

Connor Campbell, expert at Independent Advisor Car Insurance, commented: "It's shocking how many motorists don't know the rules when it comes to the basics of safe driving practices. Being behind the wheel entails significant responsibility, and risking the lives of other road users due to negligence is simply unacceptable.

"You should adopt a defensive driving approach to minimise collision risks by focusing not only on your actions, but also your surroundings. That includes the behaviour of other drivers, pedestrians, and any obstacles on the road, not to mention adjusting your driving based on weather and road conditions.

"Look 15 seconds ahead and communicate your intentions clearly while driving - remember to signal when changing lanes even if you don’t see other cars nearby. Additionally, don’t rush, and maintain a safe following distance to allow for sudden stops or unforeseen manoeuvres."


  1. Warnings

  2. Dipped headlights

  3. 61mph to 70mph

  4. 4-5 seconds

  5. Turn on your hazard lights