What does the car theory exam look like?

The CBR car theory exam consists of three different parts: hazard perception, knowledge, and insight. To pass, you must pass each of these sections separately, and within each part, you are allowed to make a limited number of mistakes.

The first part, called “Hazard Perception,” consists of a total of 25 questions. To pass this part, you must answer at least 13 questions correctly. This means you can make a maximum of 12 mistakes.

The second part, “Knowledge,” comprises a total of 12 questions. If you answer at least 10 questions correctly, you demonstrate that you are a true expert on the road. In this part, you are allowed a maximum of 2 mistakes.

The third and final part is “Insight.” Here, you will be presented with a whopping 28 questions. To pass this part, you must answer at least 25 questions correctly and demonstrate your understanding of traffic situations. You are allowed a maximum of 3 mistakes here.

So, you can make a total of 17 mistakes, but these are specifically tied to each of the sections.


Would you like to practice with some CBR exam questions in advance?

Then quickly check out our pre-course video about intersections. Our experienced instructor Kris discusses and explains a variety of CBR questions regarding intersections.


Looking for even more CBR practice questions for the car theory exam?

Then sign up here for one of our English theory courses at our location where you’ll do plenty of practice exams guided by the best instructors around.

When it comes to driving in the Netherlands new residents can retain the use of their foreign driving license for a specific period after their arrival. The length of license validity can vary widely, ranging from six months to 15 years depending on the country and date of issue. To determine the applicable period for you, continue reading.

How long can I use my foreign driver’s license in the Netherlands?

If you’re planning to reside in the Netherlands and possess a foreign driving license, you can continue to utilize it for a period. The duration varies based on the country of issuance for your driving license and when you obtained your license.


License form the EU or EFTA

Residents of the Netherlands with a driving license in the category A(motor or moped) and B(car) issued by the European Union (EU) countries or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries are allowed to drive with it in the Netherlands for 15 years from the date of issue of the foreign driving license. There is one conditions though your foreign license must still be valid.

If your driving license was issued over 15 years ago but has not yet expired, you can still use it for 2 years from the date you moved to the Netherlands.

Once the period that you are allowed to use your license has passed(so either after the 15 or 2 years), you are required to obtain a Dutch driving license. This means you will have to exchange your foreign driving license for a Dutch one. It is very important to apply for the change in time because if you have not exchanged it before the period of 15 or 2 years has passed you will no longer be permitted to drive, even if you have already applied for the exchange. Visit the RDW website for information on how to exchange your license.


License from other countries

If you possess a valid driving license but it was not issued by a EU or EFTA country, you may only utilize it for up to 185 days after relocating to the Netherlands. After this period you will need to pass both the theory and practical exams administered by CBR and obtain a Dutch license.

There are some exceptions to these rules. Certain non EU or EFTA countries have special agreements with the Netherlands for license exchange. The license from these countries may be exchanged for a Dutch license but only if they are still valid and in the mentioned categories.

Below we have listed the countries that have special agreements with the Netherlands for license exchange.

  • Andorra – passenger car – Dutch driving licence category B
  • Canadian province Québec – Class 5 – Dutch driving licence category B
  • Israël – B – passenger car – Dutch driving licence category B
  • Japan IB – passenger car en motorcycle with more than 400 cm³ – Dutch driving licence categories A and B
  • Singapore – Class 2 – motorcycle with more than 400 cm³ and Class 3 – passenger car – Dutch driving licence categories A and B
  • Taiwan – B – passenger car – Dutch driving licence category B


30% Tax Ruling

Another exception is the 30% ruling. If you are working in the Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant and eligible for the 30% tax ruling you have the option to exchange your driving license from any country. Note that this again is only an option if your foreign driving license is still valid. To exchange your license you must possess a valid Proof of Approval (‘Beschikking Bewijsregel’) from the Dutch tax authorities. Together with your employer you can apply for the Proof of Approval.

So in short there are numerous rules and regulations to bear in mind when driving in the Netherlands with a foreign license. Aside from your license being valid or eligible for exchange the most important thing always is that you are safe on the road. In certain instances, familiarizing yourself with Dutch traffic regulations may be advisable, even if your license remains valid. If you would like to feel more secure and learn about all about the Dutch traffic regulations you can always register for one of our two day English courses at our location Amsterdam.

The CBR car theory exam begins with the section on hazard perception. We understand that many candidates feel tense and nervous during this segment. Hazard perception is all about, as the name suggests, identifying danger and responding appropriately.

This section consists of 25 situations in which you must decide: brake, release the gas, or do nothing. You have the freedom to make up to 12 mistakes, which is almost half of the total number of situations.

The challenge is that you only have 8 seconds to provide an answer. That is a really short timeframe. Our advice? Master the basics so that you can instinctively respond without overthinking.

Let’s take a moment to consider those 8 seconds. The CBR doesn’t do this arbitrarily. No, they do it to ensure that when you actually hit the road and find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, you know exactly what to do and respond appropriately. In real traffic, you don’t have all the time to calmly think. Therefore, it is crucial that all this information is well stored in your memory so that you can react immediately.

As mentioned earlier, you will be presented with 25 situations in which you must continuously choose between: brake, release the gas, or do nothing. But when is it precisely time for each action? We’ll go through the three situations below.


In which situation do you choose the option do nothing?

You do nothing when the situation is clear and manageable, and there is no (immediate) threat. So, you choose to do nothing when a situation is depicted where you can clearly oversee it, and there is no direct danger.


In which situation do you release the gas?

You release the gas when there is potential danger in the distance. Always release the gas when something is happening in the distance. There is no need to brake immediately. Pressing the brake immediately can even be dangerous for a car behind you, so it is wise to do that only when absolutely necessary. For example, if you see a situation depicted where an oncoming vehicle is approaching in the distance or you are approaching a speed bump or a curve in the distance, then you choose to release the gas.


In which situation do you brake?

You brake in the case of immediately impending danger.
For instance, if you see a situation depicted with unclear or sharp bends, a blockage or traffic jam, children, animals, dangerous intersections, or other obstacles, the answer is always to brake.

To master hazard perception, it is crucial to practice numerous situations. You need to understand the logic explained above, and the best way to achieve this is through extensive practice. Therefore, the golden tip for hazard perception is: practice, practice, and practice some more. If you are looking for additional tips or more practice opportunities, sign up for our two day theory course on location.

The first part is “Hazard Perception,” where you will have a total of 25 questions. To pass this part, you need to answer 13 or more questions correctly. So, you are allowed a maximum of 12 mistakes in this section. It’s time to sharpen your traffic hazard detection skills!

The second part is “Knowledge,” with a total of 12 questions. If you answer 10 or more questions correctly here, you prove that you are a true road expert. In this section, you can make a maximum of 2 errors.

The third part is “Insight.” In this section, you will have a whopping 28 questions. To pass this part, you need to answer 25 or more questions correctly and demonstrate a deep understanding of the world of traffic. So, you are allowed a maximum of 3 errors here.

This brings us to a crucial point: you are allowed a total of 17 errors, but they are linked to specific sections.

In the “Knowledge” and “Insight” sections, the CBR will also present two test questions. But don’t underestimate them! These test questions are masters of disguise, as they look exactly like the ‘real’ questions. They can appear at any moment, so sharpen your concentration and reflexes. These two questions do not affect your final score, but they are hidden in the mix. There is no hint to reveal them, so answer each question with the utmost precision. Good luck and happy driving! 🚗💨

Hazard perception

Within this segment, you demonstrate your ability to recognize danger and you showcase that you know how to act in certain situations. In the hazard perception part you will be asked 25 questions of which you must answer at least 13 correctly. Each question presents a photograph, requiring you to make a decision regarding your action in the given scenario: brake, release the gas or do nothing.


For the knowledge component it is important that you are able to recognize and name the traffic rules. In this section, you will encounter 12 multiple-choice questions, requiring a minimum of 10 accurate answers. You will have a total of 7 minutes to answer the questions and you are permitted to navigate between the questions back and forth in case you would like to adjust an answer.


In the insight section, you demonstrate your capacity to implement traffic regulations and make the right decisions. For this part you will have 15 minutes to answer 28 questions. You must answer a minimum of 25 questions correctly to pass this section.

In order to pass the theory test, you must correctly answer at least 75% of the questions. If you do not pass the test on your first attempt, you can retake the test.

After you have passed the theory test, you can then proceed to the practical driving test, which will assess your skills behind the wheel. This test is also conducted at one of the CBR’s test centers, and includes both a driving test on public roads and an on-road test in a controlled environment.

Overall, the Dutch CBR theory test is an important step towards becoming a licensed driver in the Netherlands. By studying the official materials and practicing for the test, you can increase your chances of success and be well on your way to obtaining your driver’s license.

Now, in case circumstances don’t unfold as planned, you might wonder: can you extend the validity of your theory? Regrettably, the answer is no; you cannot prolong the validity to extend its duration. However, you are permitted to retake the theory exam starting three months before your current result expires. For instance, if your theory exam outcome expires on May 1st, you can retake the test from February 1st. 

To summarize, keep an eye on your theory’s expiration date and prevent the need to retake the exam route.