Almost three-quarters of drivers would fail the theoretical part of the driving test if they took it tomorrow, according to a survey carried out by road safety organisation Brake and Direct Line.

Drivers were given nine questions from the test chosen at random, with the survey carried out at a number of locations throughout the country.

Only 27% of those who took part in the survey achieved a score equivalent to a pass in a real theory test. The lowest scores were achieved by drivers from Northern Ireland, with only 20% getting a pass mark.

Brake said it was concerned that more than half of drivers did not know the correct answers to basic questions such as the distance at which drivers need to be able to read a number plate from, safe braking distances when driving on ice and the legal minimum depth of tyre tread for cars.