As we revealed in December, the lockdowns across summer led to a massive drop in the number of practical driving tests taken in 2020 as testing was cancelled.

The figures made for grim reading then and still do: Between July and September, only 188,520 driving tests were taken, which represents a 53.8% drop compared to the same period last year.

Bad news for theory tests

As for theory tests during the same period, they held up well with a drop of 8.4% compared to 2019. For the quarter October to December, figures remained robust with the drop rate only climbing to 10%.

Alas, the full impact of lockdown has now finally hit theory test figures, which reveal that between:

2019-2020 (Apr 2019-March 2020)

975,205 theory tests were taken.

2020-2021 (Apr 2020 up to March 2021)

Only 465,211 theory tests have been taken.

That represents a drop of over 50%.

It’s official: You’re a smart bunch

There is some good news however.

It is clear that those of you who managed to take a theory test spent your time wisely during lockdown by swotting up on your Highway Code.

The evidence?


of theory tests taken were passed during the quarter October to December 2020.

That’s an increase of:


compared to October to December 2019.

Staying on track

Driving lessons and theory tests are expected to start no earlier than 12 April with practical driving tests expected to resume on 22 April (though, be warned, there is some bad news re: waiting times).

Restrictions on private practice have also now been lifted as of yesterday – 29th March – so you can head out with a family member or friend without needing to make your practice session part of an essential trip to, say, the supermarket.

To get the most of your time practising, check out Theory Test Pro’s guide here.

Finally, while we wait for theory tests to kick off again – while keeping our our fingers crossed that test numbers will massively increase over the next 12 months – be sure to keep learning so you improve your chances of passing first time.

Get Ready For Your Test

Double your chances of theory test success with Theory Test Pro. Sign up for free here.