The ‘abridged’ car theory test was introduced in October 2009 by the now defunct DSA as part of an overhaul to the UK driving theory test. The test gives safe road users an opportunity to complete a shortened version of the standard exam at a reduced cost. It has proven to be a successful initiative in getting more road users to acquire the ‘Safe Road User Award’
To be eligible to take the ‘abridged’ test learner motorists must have successfully completed a voluntary course – the ‘Pre-Driver Qualification In Safe Road Use’ course – which was introduced in January 2009 and, at the time of writing (10th June 2014), is currently available at 10 locations throughout England and Scotland.
Those who successfully complete the course will be issued with a Safe Road User Award, permitting them to take the ‘abridged’ car theory exam. There are many benefits associated with taking this exam.
Firstly, the ‘abridged’ version features a reduced number of multiple-choice questions. Rather than the standard 50 questions and having to answer 43 correctly, ‘abridged’ car theory test candidates are required to answer 35 multiple choice questions, answering 30 correctly.
However, ‘abridged’ car theory test candidates are still tested on 14 hazard perception clips, in keeping with the standard UK theory exam.
Once candidates are issued with the Safe Road User Award they are required need to take the abridged car theory test within three years of getting it, otherwise the award becomes void and the process would need to be started again.
Secondly, the ‘abridged’ exam costs less, compared to the standard theory test, costing just £24. Candidates stand to save £7 and have the benefit of an accredited award certifying them as a safe driver.
The Safe Road User Award was developed in order to build positive attitudes to road use and help young motorists to take responsibility for using the UK’s roads safely. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of deaths among drivers aged between 17 and 25, which has become a scourge on British motoring over the last 10 years, according to some commentators.
To enquire about the ‘abridged’ exam it’s recommended that you consult a third party booking service or visit the official UK Government website. Either of these services can also be used to book the exam.
Using the official Government site requires you to carry out the booking, whereas enlisting the services of a third party company will mean they will book a test on your behalf.