With enough practice, revision and preparation, passing your full UK moped/motorbike test should be fairly straightforward. Here we take you through the key points of the test – so you have the best chance of passing, first time round.


Theory test

In the majority of cases, before you can take your practical motorbike test you must pass your theory test. This can only be taken if you have a provisional motorcycle licence.

If you fail the theory test on the first occasion, you can re-sit it as many times as it takes to pass. However, you cannot book the next test until three working days have elapsed.

The theory test contains two sections: multiple choice questions; and hazard perception – during which you will identify hazards on a video sequence.


What to take to your practical tests

Having passed your theory test, it's time to take modules 1 and 2 of your practical motorbike test.

You must take the following with you to both module tests:

  • UK photo card driving licence
  • Theory test pass certificate (ask the DVLA for a letter if you have lost this)
  • A motorbike or moped
  • Compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate – unless you’re taking the test in order to upgrade your full motorcycle licence
  • Module 1 test pass certificate – if you’re taking your Module 2 test

Clothing

  • Take a motorcycle helmet (British Safety Standards compliant) NB: if you are Sikh and wear a turban this is not necessary.
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Protective trousers
  • Protective jacket
  • Motorcycle gloves

Have a paper licence?

You must take along a valid passport together with your paper licence if you haven’t got a photocard licence.


Module 1 off-road test: what to expect

This is taken in an off-road location where you can manoeuvre safely.

The test will take around 20 minutes and will include:

  • Wheeling the motorcycle or moped
  • Using the stand
  • Riding a slalom
  • Riding a figure of 8
  • Performing a U-turn
  • Slow-riding
  • Cornering followed by a controlled stop
  • Cornering followed by an emergency stop
  • Cornering followed by hazard avoidance

Hazard avoidance and emergency stop minimum speeds:
  • Moped: 19mph
  • Motorcycle: 31mph

Many riders fail because they do not keep to the minimum speeds.


Your result

At the end of the test you'll be told if you passed or failed.

You'll be made aware of:

  • Any dangerous faults (perilous to you, the examiner, the public or to property)
  • Serious faults (which could have led to a dangerous situation)
  • Riding faults (not immediately dangerous but could be if the mistake occurred more than once.)

Module 1 pass requirements:
  • Zero dangerous or serious faults
  • An absolute maximum of 5 riding faults

If you pass, you'll be told of any faults you made and you'll be given your Module 1 pass certificate, which you must produce at your Module 2 test.


Module 2 on-the-road test: what to expect

The Module 2 test will take approximately 40 minutes.

It will include:

  • A check to see you can read a number plate from 20 metres away (20.5m for an old-style plate)
  • Vehicle safety questions (also known as “show me, tell me”)
  • Road riding
  • Independent riding

Road riding

This will take place on regular roads (not motorways) and will include normal stops, an angle start, and a hill start.

Directions from your examiner will be given by radio. In most cases you will be followed by the examiner, who will also be on a motorcycle.

You won't know the route the examiner will give you.


Independent riding

This will take around 10 minutes and will ascertain your ability to make independent decisions on the road.

If you go off the designated route you won’t be failed and if you forget the instructions you can ask for them again.


Your result

You'll be told if you have passed or failed after the test.


You'll be made aware of:
  • Any dangerous faults (perilous to you, the examiner, the public or to property)
  • Serious faults (which could have led to a dangerous situation)
  • Riding faults (not immediately dangerous but could be if the mistake occurred more than once.)

Module 2 pass requirements:
  • Zero dangerous or serious faults
  • An absolute maximum of 10 riding faults

If you pass you'll be told of any faults you made and you'll be given your pass certificate.

You'll also be asked if you want your full licence sent to your address automatically. If so, you'll need to give the examiner your provisional licence.

Even though you don’t have your physical licence, having passed, you’ll be allowed to ride straight away – without L-plates.


If you failed

You must wait 10 working days before rebooking your Module 2 test.


Tips to pass:
  • Keep to the minimum speeds during the Module 1 test. Many people fail this because they anticipate the emergency stops by slowing down too much.
  • Make sure you do shoulder and mirror checks during the Module 1 test, even though you are in an off-road area and there are no actual hazards.
  • Go to the test centre and watch people do their tests. You’ll learn a great deal.
  • Double-check you have all your documents before you leave home – otherwise you will have to rebook and you'll lose the fee you've already paid.