DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.
But it will cost you nothing extra.
Getting a motorcycle licence in the UK doesn’t just involve doing the CBT, a theory, and a practical exam.
You still have to pass the Hazard Perception test – just as if you were getting a driving licence.
In this blog, you’ll learn:
- What the Hazard Perception Test is and how it works
- 3 Hazard Perception tips (including the “3-click approach”)
- Some resources to help you practice for the real thing
NOTE: I will primarily focus on the Hazard Perception designed for the motorcycle licence, although many of these tips can apply even if you’re getting a driving licence.
Also, while the only experience I have with the test is through a mobile phone app, the advice I’ve given in this blog post is still valid and valuable to anyone who’s taking this as a part of their licence exam.
The screenshots were taken with the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit mobile app. Read the full review for it here.
- What is the Hazard Perception Test?
- How Does The Hazard Perception Test Work?
- 3 Hazard Perception Tips
- Where to practice for the Hazard Perception Test
What is the Hazard Perception Test?
Introduced on November 14th, 2002, Hazard Perception tests your ability to detect developing road hazards.
If you’re getting a motorcycle licence (or a driving licence) in the UK, you’ll have to take Hazard Perception as a part of the theory portion of your final test.
The test costs around £23, which includes the regular theory exam.
How Does The Hazard Perception Test Work?
The Hazard Perception part of the theory test consists of 14 short video clips. You’ll see everything from the rider’s point of view as you’re riding down a street, motorway, dual carriageway, etc.
At some point during the clip, one or several hazards will develop, such as:
- A pedestrian crosses the street in front of you
- A fire engine runs a red light and turns in front of you to get to a burning building
- A big lorry attempts to turn right, blocking your path of travel
When you see a developing hazard appear, you’ll have to click. When you do, a small red flag will appear at the bottom of the screen to indicate when you clicked.
You don’t have to click directly on the hazard – as long as you click, you’re fine.
Depending on how quickly you detect the hazard, you can get between 1-5 points for each clip. The sooner you detect the hazard, the more points you’ll get.
If you fail to detect the hazard in time or you click too many times, you’ll get zero points.
The Hazard Perception pass mark is 44 out of a total of 75 points (roughly 59%).
Taking the test in Australia?
Even though they’re similar, the Australian version of the HPT is different – and even harder in some ways.
For more information about the Australian Hazard Perception Test, read the blog post about it:
3 Hazard Perception Tips
Now that we’ve established how the Hazard Perception test works, how can you make sure you pass?
I have 3 main tips for you:
1. Stay alert even after you’ve detected a hazard
So, you discovered the hazard? Good work, but don’t get carried away – the video clip’s still playing.
Remember, out of the 14 clips on your test, one of them will have TWO developing hazards.
Since you won’t know ahead of time which clip has these two hazards, you must keep your eyes on the road, even after you’ve identified a developing hazard.
There could still be another hazard just around the corner (both figuratively, and in some cases literally speaking).
2. Understand the differences between potential hazards and developing hazards
To get the maximum amount of points, it’s important to not only click in time but also to understand the differences between a “potential hazard” and a “developing hazard.”
Simply put, a “potential hazard” is a hazard that might happen, but doesn’t, such as:
- A pedestrian that begins to cross the street well before you reach the crosswalk.
- A car that looks like it might pull out in front of you, but doesn’t
Since some of the clips will have scores of these potential hazards, you won’t be awarded any points for detecting them – nor will you get any penalty points.
A developing hazard is a hazard that requires the rider to take some kind of evasive action, such as braking or swerving.
This is the one that you’ll be awarded points for during your test.
3. Use the “3-click approach”
One of the most common mistakes is that you click just a split second before the 5 point marker – giving you 0 points.
In this case, the problem wasn’t that you didn’t detect the hazard, but rather a timing problem.
Don’t worry, though – there is a way to get around this, with the so-called “3-click method.”
What you do is that you click 3 times:
- When you detect a potential hazard
- If the hazard escalates into a developing hazard
- To ensure that your click is within the scoring time slot
For more information about how the 3-click approach works, check out this video from Driving Test Success:
You might be wondering “but can I really do this?” “Won’t I be penalised for clicking more than once?”
The short answer? It depends.
Contrary to what you might believe, you’re allowed to click more than once during your Hazard Perception test. If you just click three times, wait a while, and click again, you’re fine.
However, if you mash the click button or click too many times, you’ll forfeit and any points you may have got will be taken away.
If you have clicked too many times, you’ll get the following message after the video clip has finished playing: