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Would you Pass the Theory Test Today? Check out our Poll!

Are you learning how to drive? Perhaps you’re teaching a teenager the first steps? Or maybe you’re just curious about how difficult it is to get a licence these days? At An Post Insurance, we’ve been providing car insurance cover and care to first-time drivers for 24 years and that means we’re familiar with all the steps you need to take to get on the road.

One such step is the Road Safety Authority Driver Theory Test — 40 computer-based questions that test your knowledge of the rules of the road, as well as your general understanding of driving behaviour and risk. 

Interestingly, many drivers on Irish roads have never experienced the ‘theory test’ as it came to be known. That’s because it was only introduced in 2001; prior to this you simply applied for a provisional licence before sitting a driving test (which only became a requirement in 1964). Although some people got a lucky break in this regard too — in 1979, an estimated 25-50,000 learner drivers were granted full licences overnight in an attempt to clear a backlog. 

Testing the Team

If you’re one of the many who escaped the theory test, you might be wondering how hard can it be? To find out, we decided to test the knowledge of our An Post Insurance team, to see if they’d pass the theory test today. Some 75 people took part, varying in age from 20’s to 60’s.

We took a sample of two questions from each of the five different sections and put our colleagues’ knowledge to the test. Interested in seeing how they fared? Read on!

Control of the Vehicle

One of the trickier sections of the test relates to maintaining control of your vehicle. Questions here might include the recommended way to operate an automatic vehicle or what can cause a vehicle to skid.

Despite the challenges, our team scored highly, with 89% providing the correct answer. Think you have it figured out too? Check out the answers at the bottom of this blog post!

What can cause a vehicle to skid?


Legal Matters / Rules of the Road

The laneways, roads and motorways of Ireland are dotted with hundreds, if not thousands of signs. But do you know what they all mean? And can you recognise hand signals from a cyclist or a member of the emergency services?

One of the toughest questions was about bus lanes, which are a relatively new part of the Irish urban landscape. As a result, it tripped up many of the survey respondents, with three quarters answering incorrectly. Take a look below, how would you have answered?

Managing Risk

Driving a car (and sharing a road) involves a certain amount of risk, but there are many steps we can take to reduce the danger of accidents occurring. Our colleagues scored well in this section, with more than three quarters answering correctly about how to drive safely and what to do in the case of an accident.

The below question got us talking a lot about taking summer trips with caravans, trailer-tents and the like.

What do you think? Which response would you pick?

What effect does towing a loaded trailer have on stopping ability?

Technical Matters

Do you know your pistons from your pumps? Any idea of the minimum tyre tread depth or how often you should check your lights? While most of us aren’t automotive experts, we are expected to have a minimum understanding of how to keep our cars safe and roadworthy.

As you might predict, these questions tend to be hit and miss: some of the answers are common knowledge, while others really challenge the ordinary driver. As a result, our survey respondents reported 92% accuracy in one question and 62% in the other. What do you think about the trickier question — what would you have guessed?

What may happen if the vehicle’s engine oil is not changed as required?


Safe & Socially Responsible Driving

Every time we drive a car, we’re in charge of a pretty powerful piece of machinery, so it’s vital that we make sure we’re safe, responsible — and fully insured.

This is a challenging part of the theory test, as it involves looking at potential situations and assessing how you should react. More than nine out of ten respondents answered correctly for every question in this section though, so it’s clear they’re a pretty responsible bunch.

What do you think; how would you approach the situation outlined in the image?


If you’re a first-time driver, a parent hoping to add a driver to a policy or even just someone looking for great value car insurance, get in touch with our experienced team at An Post Insurance to learn more.

In the meantime, check out our blog posts or social media for top tips, videos and expert advice on all things car related. We’re human about insurance, and that means we know how exciting it is to get on the road for the first time — we’re here for you with great-value policies and all-round protection when you’re ready. 

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