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Theory Test Past and Present

14 June 2012

1920s car and driverWhen it comes to Theory Test knowledge, driving instructors have all the answers. But how much do you know about the history of driving in Britain? We’ve put together a tricky quiz to see how you measure up! (Sadly, Theory Test Pro can only help you teach driving theory – driving history is another matter.)

How did you do?
0: Theory Test D’oh!
1 – 8: Theory Test So-so
8 – 14: Theory Test Pro
15: Theory Test Hero (or ‘you cheated and looked up the answers’)


1) Under the Locomotive Act 1865, when on public roads, what colour of flag had to be carried by a man walking 55 metres in front of the locomotive?

A: Black
B: Yellow
C: Green
D: Red

2) According to the 1878 Locomotive Act, machines had to stop at the sight of what?

A: Royalty
B: Children
C: Horses
D: The Police

3) Under the Locomotives on Highways Act, 1896, what weight did a ‘locomotive’ need to be under in order to be exempt from the 3 crew member rule?

A: 1 ton
B: 2 tons
C: 3 tons
D: 5 tons

4) What was new top speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ under the 1896 Act?

A: 5 mph
B: 9 mph
C: 12 mph
D: 14 mph

5) This top speed was supposed to represent the pace of what?

A: An angrily-whipped greyhound
B: A furiously-driven horse
C: A terrified man
D: A cartwheel pushed downhill

6) The passing of the 1896 Act was celebrated by an ‘Emancipation Run’. Between which two locations did the Run take place?

A: Brighton to Southampton
B: London to Brighton
C: Blackpool to Southend
D: Land’s End to John o’Groats

7) What organisation was the direct precursor of the Royal Automobile Club?

A: The Self-Propelled Traffic Association
B: The Union of Horseless Carriage Drivers
C: The Motorised Vehicle Society
D: The Association of Private Omnibus Operators

8) What provision of the Motor Car Act 1903 made it easier to identify cars?

A: Flags showing the country of registration
B: Monogrammed paintwork
C: Roof markings
D: Registration plates

9) What is the vehicle registration fee set in the 1903 Act, 20 shillings, worth in today’s money?

A: £9
B: £37
C: £56
D: £83

10) Although Vehicle Excise Duty was introduced in 1889, what year were tax discs first introduced?

A: 1903
B: 1920
C: 1945
D: 1946

11) Between 1920 and 1930, vehicles were exempt from speed limits provided they carried fewer than how many people?

A: 3
B: 5
C: 7
D: 15

12) The Road Traffic Act 1930 introduced the first driving test, but only for a specific group of drivers. What was the group?

A: Disabled drivers
B: Those under 25 years of age
C: Armed services personnel
D: Those in major cities or other built-up areas

13) A speed limit of 30 mph was introduced in built-up areas after the annual number of injuries reached what level in 1934?

A: 2,300
B: 23,600
C: 231,600
D: 2,231,600

14) What year was the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre inaugurated?

A: 1952
B: 1958
C: 1962
D: 1965

15) Driving tests were suspended during the Suez crisis of 1956. Why?

A: Driving instructors were drafted to teach military personnel
B: It helped conserve petrol
C: Test centres were closed to prevent civil protests
D: All non-essential civil servants were sent home


How did you do?

1)d 2)c 3)c 4)d 5)b 6)b 7)a 8)d 9)d 10)b 11)c 12)a 13)c 14)c 15)b

Click here for more information on how Theory Test Pro could help you teach driving theory.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 June 2012 9:57 pm

    scored 11 on the test (more luck than judgement though) i like the new sit keep up yhe great work

  2. 21 June 2012 9:58 pm

    oops few typos there…… should have gone to specsavers

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