New app for learners to boost theory pass rate

Cropped image of businessman using application on his smartphome

The AA Driving School has launched a new theory test app tackle the record-low pass rate.

The pass rate for the driving theory test is at its lowest point in recorded history; learner’s chances of passing have dropped by a third since 2007/08 from 65.4% to just 44.2% in 2022/23.

The AA Driving School theory test app is designed to help learners tackle the test with confidence.

The app contains more than 700 theory questions and extensive hazard perception clips. Learners can also use the flash-card feature for quick-fire revision sessions, access content when offline, take timed mock tests and track their progress.

The AA Driving Theory app is available on Apple and Google Play stores for a one-off cost of £4.99.

Camilla Benitz, AA Driving School managing director, said: “The theory test pass rate went up briefly during the pandemic when fewer people were taking it but it’s now lower than ever.

“Learners face enough challenges as it is at the moment with the driving test backlog. We don’t want the theory test to be another hurdle for them which is why we’ve created our new app.

“The fact so many qualified drivers also struggle with important elements of driving theory such as road signs and stopping distances just shows it takes revision and practice to get to grips with the questions and the hazard perception.

“We want to help learners do this in an easy to manage, enjoyable way. Users will be able to use flash cards for quick revision sessions, both on and offline, as well as track their progress with real-time statistics.”

Keanan Lloyd-Adams, young driver social media influencer, said: “There’s loads for learners to take on board when they start lessons and the theory test can feel intimidating but it’s got to be done.

“My generation always has access to a phone now so using an app to pass your theory test is a great way to get your revision done – it’s the best way I can think of.

“My own experience, and from what I see on social media, learning to drive is a really key moment in your life when you turn from a child to an adult. Crucially, when you pass your test you have other lives in your hands, which is a huge responsibility.

“Making sure you really know your theory is an important first step to becoming, and staying, safe behind the wheel.”

Pass rates concern

It’s not just learners who struggle with driving theory. New AA data shows the majority of qualified drivers do not know the correct stopping distances for a car; struggle to read road signs and are not confident they would pass a driving theory test re-take.

The results show only one in five drivers (18%) are very confident they would pass the theory test if they had to re-take it.

The vast majority (90%) admitted to coming across road signs they do not understand, with a quarter (26%) saying they do it very often or sometimes. Only 10% said they never come across road signs they do not know the meaning of.

Knowledge of stopping distances was also an issue – with fewer drivers knowing the right answer the faster the car is travelling.

At 20mph (in dry conditions) more than a third of drivers (38%) correctly said the stopping distance would be between 11m and 20m. This fell to 31% at 30mph; 28% at 40mph; 24% at 50mph, 24% at 60mph and finally just 23% at 70mph.

Alarmingly, a significant minority of drivers underestimate the stopping distance at 70mph by almost half with almost one in ten (9%) saying it is less than 50m, when it actually takes 96m.

Read more about the app at

The 10 test centres with the highest theory test pass rate are:

Craignure (Isle of Mull)58.8
Tarbert (Isle of Harris)59.5
Kyle of Lochalsh60.8
Castlebay (Isle of Barra)62.1

The 10 test centres with the lowest theory test pass rate are:

Brodick (Isle of Arran)38.5
Kings Lynn39.8

3 thoughts on “New app for learners to boost theory pass rate”

  1. Theory test pass rates are very much in the hands of the candidate. I feel the reason the pass rate has dropped so dramatically is that candidates are not doing the necessary reading or research but just relying on constant repetition on the theory test apps and hoping the questions they have seen appear on their theory test. Qualified drivers generally never look at a Highway Code again once they have passed their test and therefore are not keeping up with any new information.

  2. Theory test was fine until the AA/others started to add their input into it,Same as the Part 3 test with virtual training by again the AA/ Red pass rate has dropped to an all time low.

  3. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin

    I have had people who have passed the theory test without even being aware of the existence of the Highway Code. It is basically word association. The traditional British breakfast is bacon and eggs. Well done. You have passed. Of course, you have no idea of what either bacon or an egg looks like.

    I have recently opened an account with a online bank which only uses and app. Guess what. It does not work properly. Relying on apps to teach something as important as driving theory is absurd. What is actually needed is a proper evening course over several months to cover all the elements of driving. Multiple guess simply does not hack it.

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