top of page
  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Three quarters of motorists are confident they would pass their driving test if they took it again

Twenty-five years since the introduction of the UK’s driving theory test, Aviva has scrutinised the nation’s motoring habits in a new study.

The insurer interviewed more than 1,400 UK drivers about their driving skills and bad motoring behaviours, to support the launch of two handy online tools which allow people to check when their vehicles’ road tax and MOT are due.

The research discovered four out of five drivers (82%) are confident in their knowledge of the Highway Code, rating it as “good” or “very good”. Men are more likely than women to sign up to this view, accounting for 86% of male drivers and 77% of female drivers.

More than half (56%) of drivers believe they would pass the driving theory test if they took it today. This figure decreases in line with the length of time people have held their licences, which is perhaps unsurprising, given that many older drivers wouldn’t have taken a theory test before it was introduced in the UK on 1 July 1996. Interestingly, a third of non-drivers (33%) also believe they would pass.

Motorists are generally more confident about their practical abilities. More than three quarters (78%) of drivers feel they would pass their practical driving test if they sat it again today. Again, there are a number of confident non-drivers: more than a quarter (26%) of non-drivers think they would pass.

However, in spite of being self-assured about their skills, many drivers also admit to offences – even if they didn’t always get caught!

Two fifths (42%) of drivers questioned said they had committed motoring offences which resulted in penalty points, a fine or ticket, a driving ban or a prison sentence.

Many more motorists own up to offences and poor driving habits for which they weren’t charged, as the table below reveals:

Motoring offence / behaviour

Percentage of drivers questioned who were charged for this offence

Percentage of drivers questioned who admitted to this offence but weren’t charged with it




Drink / drug driving



Jumping a red light



Using horn while stationery



Parking across more than one space



Parking on wrong side of the road at night



Driving without a valid MOT



Holding phone / sat-nav while driving



Driving without screen-wash



Driving without tax



Driving with snow on the car



The research reveals that one motorist in 10 has driven without an MOT and 8% have driven without tax. However, in many cases drivers claim that this was due to an oversight or because of confusion about the rules.

The majority of people who have driven without an MOT (54%) forgot that it was due, while 18% failed to take their car to the garage on the right day.

Similarly, forgetting to renew tax is the main reason for driving without it (36%), although 24% said they needed to sort something else out on the day their tax was due. More than a quarter (28%) of people who had vehicles exempt from tax charges, didn’t realise that they still needed to tax them.

Less than half (45%) of drivers know the exact date of their next MOT and a similar number (47%) of drivers know exactly when their tax is due.

To assist drivers, Aviva has launched a set of new online tools, to allow people to check when their vehicles’ road tax and MOT are due for renewal. People just need to type in their vehicle registration numbers and the tools will tell users their renewal dates.

Sarah Applegate, Data Science Lead for Aviva says: “Motoring brings with it a wealth of responsibilities, from knowing the Highway Code to making sure a vehicle is roadworthy, to checking that paperwork is up to date.

“With people living such busy lives, it’s easy for important things like MOTs and tax renewals to slip their minds. Our new tools can help people to get organised, giving them one less thing to worry about and helping them to follow the rules of the road.”

* Figures are taken from a survey of 2,000 UK adults including 1,408 drivers, carried out by Censuswide Research on behalf of Aviva in June 2021.

13 views0 comments


Recent Blog Posts


bottom of page