28 May 2022

Passing the Driving Test in Ireland

Passing the Driving Test in Ireland

 Passing the driving test in Ireland may seem straightforward, however with the national average pass rate standing at only 53.35%, there's still a lot to learn about how to pass the driving test first time.

Ideally, when you begin to learn how to drive, do so under a qualified approved driving instructor in order to prevent bad habits rather than ironing them put at a later stage. There are lots of DVDs and books on how to improve your driving, but there's no replacement for hands on experience with the safety of an instructor. Make sure to do your research before choosing an instructor, check reviews and ask around as they can vary in competency.

Some useful tips and tricks for passing your driving test include, being wary or nerves as they can hinder your concentration, arrive early so you're not rushing, ensure your car and all the lights are in good working order, make sure your learner permit, tax and insurance are all in date and when you're out on the road for the 30 to 35 minute test stay focused.

During the driving test you will be examined on the rules of the road, demonstrating hand signals, reversing around a corner, a turnabout and a hill start. You will be graded on road positioning, overtaking and passing, anticipation and observation, use of mirrors and signals, progressing speed, traffic light compliance and use of vehicle controls.

It's also important to note that you know your car both inside and out. The driving test not only examines your aptitude on the road but also the technical checks include questions about the major systems under the bonnet such as oil, coolant and brake fluid.

Most importantly remain calm, maintain proper control and awareness and take proper precautions. With adequate preparation, sufficient driving lessons and following simple rules for learning how to drive, there's no reason you won't pass your driving test.

The Road Safety Authority website provides invaluable information on everything from how to approved drivers, helpful advice on how to pass the driving test. There’s also a number of books and dvds on how to pass your driving test available.

How to apply for a provisional licence

To apply for the provisional driving licence in Ireland, you must be over the age of 17 and be resident in Ireland. It's a straightforward application but you must first pass the driver theory test.

Apply for the theory test online at, by post by filling out the application form or by calling 1890 606 106 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm.

The cost of the theory test for a car is €45 with prices increasing to book the theory test for a bus or truck licence. Once you select your category, you must ensure you have the adequate ID requirements which includes a passport or an EU/EAA national identity card . Also, two clear passport sized photographs are required. There are 41 driving test centres nationwide for you to choose from.

Preparing for the theory test is made easy due to the volume of DVD's and books and also the introduction of the official online theory test training. By repeatedly doing the online test, you become familiar with the variety of questions ensuring that you pass the theory test first time.

The questions test your knowledge of the rules of the road, risk perception, hazard awareness and good driving behaviour. It prepares you for driving before you get behind the wheel, so that when you do you are aware of rules and behaviours. There are 40 questions in the test for car and motorcycle licences and you have 45 minutes to answer. The pass rate is answering 35 out of 40 questions correctly. For the truck and bus test there's 100 questions of which you must get 74 correct. You have 100 minutes to complete this test.

The next step is to apply to the National Driving Licence Service for your licence which must be submitted within two years of passing the theory test. Fill out the D201 application form, you need to bring evidence of PPSN, an eye test, proof of address, ID and the fee of €35.

Getting a provisional licence in Ireland is your first step to getting on the road but remember to display your L plates, it’s a requirement to take twelve driving lessons and you must hold the learner permit for six months before you’re permitted to sit the test for the full licence.


Tips for passing the theory test

As a new learner driver, the first thing you must do on your journey to obtaining a licence, is pass the theory test. Before you're permitted to sit the practical driving test, you must undergo six months driver training which begins with the theory exam. The test is a series of multiple choice questions designed to quiz you on your knowledge of the rules of the road and correct driving behaviours. Here's some helpful tips to help you pass the theory test.

1. Prepare

It may seem obvious but book your test and book it in advance incase of waiting lists. Once you book your test, buy a theory test DVD, book or the online resources available from the theory test website. With enough preparation there's no reason you won't pass the theory test first time as there's a lot of help out there.

2. Practice

Practice makes perfect and this is very true in the case of practising to pass the theory test. The test material is easily accessible and straightforward and it allows you to practice the exam repeatedly. It will give you all of the possible questions and the answers to them, so it's just a matter of learning them off. The more you practice, the easier it is to remember the answer.

3. Give yourself enough time

Don't leave it to the night before or even the week of to study for your theory test, use the time you have to prepare so you're confident taking the test. Furthermore, on the day of the test itself arrive at least 15 minutes early to prevent stress. You have allocated time to familiarise yourself with how the test works, with a short tutorial to assist you; make the most of this.

4. Bring your documents

You must bring proof of identification with you. This can be an Irish passport, a national EU/EEA identity card or a number of other acceptable forms of ID; a full list is available on their website. You must also bring two identical coloured passport sized photographs.

5. Relax

Most importantly, go into the test feeling relaxed and ready, take a breather during the test if you need to. There are 40 questions in the test for car and motorcycle licences and you have 45 minutes to answer. The pass rate is answering 35 out of 40 questions correctly. For the truck and bus test there's 100 questions of which you must get 74 correct. You have 100 minutes to complete this test. These are both enough time frames to comfortably complete the test in time.

If you pass, the next step is to apply to get the provisional licence by filling out a form and producing your pass certificate. If you're unsuccessful and fail your theory test, you can always re-sit it.

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