Driving Theory Test – 5 Questions You May Not Know

When studying for a driving theory test, the Highway Code and other car driving books should be read. The theory apps can be complimented by using other driver training aids. Focusing on the test only, has limited learning value.

When studying for a driving theory test, most learner drivers use the available apps and Practice theory test for car drivers. Which is OK to get used to the technique required for the theory test itself. This method of learning the rules of driving is limiting your knowledge to what shows up on the app or sample test paper.

Why not just use the apps?

The apps available and sample test papers will not have all of the real questions that will turn up on the actual theory test for obvious reasons. Studying for your theory test using this method does not 100%prepare you for the practicalities of driving on the road. Neither does it prepare you for your driving test.

Your confidence in the driving of a car will greatly increase once you know more rules of the road, rather than focusing on a driving theory test. Lack of confidence comes from lack of practice and knowledge. As an example, would you attempt to play a game of football without first knowing the rules? So why then would you drive a car, which is a lot more dangerous than a playing a game of football?

Best way to gain extra knowledge

Driving Theory Test U turn sign
No U Turn Sign Post. Look at the black upside down U. The red circle and red diagonal line means you must NOT do whatever is shown in the red circle.

The best way to gain this extra knowledge for a driving theory test, would be to look at the latest edition of the Highway Code which you can do here. Additional to that you would need to find an DVSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who can help you interpret some of the rules of driving you are not sure about. To demonstrate the point I was teaching doctor to drive who wanted to be dropped off at home instead of the hospital. I wasn’t familiar with the location, so I suggested that the pupil could drive themselves. So long as I was told which turn was going to be taken in advance.

After a while the pupil said they were going to turn right soon after passing this sign. Immediately after passing this sign the pupil signaled right and started to move into the section of road reserved for traffic to enter the road we were on. I said to the pupil. “What does that sign mean?” The reply came back. “No U turns.” I replied. “What does no U turns mean?”, “I don’t know.” Was the response. The pupil knew what the sign stood for, but not its actual meaning. This means the theory test would have been passed, but not a driving test.

Using horn after December 4th on the new driving test

Using horn on new driving test
DVSA Approved Instructor

Using horn after December 4th on the new driving test can be requested by the examiner whilst driving.

On the show me part of a driving test the examiner might ask:

“When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?


According to rule 112 of the Highway Code:

Rule 112

  • The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn
  • while stationary on the road
  • when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am
  • except when another road user poses a danger.

This now poses the question “How will a new learner driver view this breach of a Highway Code rule?” Since the sounding of a car horn is not complying with rule 112.

Here is a possible scenario;

The driving examiner checks all around the car whilst it is being driven by the test candidate. And it is considered, by the examiner, that the road is quiet enough to sound the horn. The test candidate should then carry out their checks to see if it is a safe time to operate the horn. The candidate thinks it is safe, just at that moment another road user (including a cyclist or pedestrian or car backing out of a drive) appears as the horn is pressed. In an overzealous moment the test candidate presses the horn too hard (test nerves are usually to blame!!!). A now potential road rage situation could be provoked, between the innocent road user and learner driver.

Learner drivers using horn whilst training

Driving lessons are normally taken by learner drivers prior to taking their driving test (there are a few exceptions). Whilst being trained the learner driver will be shown how the test is conducted and as part of this training will be asked to sound the horn. Imagine now 20 driving schools practicing ‘horn blowing’ throughout the day and early evening lessons? It is very rare for a new driver to get their techniques right first time, so every learner will need to try ‘sounding the horn’ a few times.

The thought of the local residents on a summer evening relaxing in their garden whilst having learner drivers practicing their horn techniques is mind boggling.



New driving test using sat nav

A new driving test using sat nav is being introduced for learner car drivers on December 4th, 2017. You will need to know how this new test procedure will take place if you are to be successful in passing your test.

New driving test using sat nav

The driving examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up, using one of the test routes that have been pre-installed. The learner driver will not be required to set it up, nor touch it during the test. A TomTom Start 52 sat nav will be used on the test, but it doesn’t matter which one you use on your lessons. Any sat nav in the driving

new driving test using sat nav
New driving test using sat nav

school car, or your own car, if you are using it for the test, should be turned off.

The examiner will position the sat nav on a dash-mat so it doesn’t move or fall off. However, on some cars it may have to be fitted to the windscreen. The power for the sat nav will be provided by an external powerbank, it won’t be plugged into your car.

Independent driving section

The independent driving section will be increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes on December 4th.

The instructions the examiner will give when starting the independent part of the test using a sat nav are:

“Shortly I’d like you to drive for some distance independently. I’d like you to follow a series of directions from the sat nav please. Continue to follow the sat nav until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you’re ready”.

One in 5 tests will be following traffic signs, and not directions from a sat nav.

The screen and sound

The screen will display the car’s speed, and the speed limit for the road. However, you should use the car’s speedometer and follow speed limit signs. The examiner will only use the car’s speedometer reading.

The sound will be turned on for the independent driving part, unless you ask for it to be turned off.

Why the changes are being made

Most fatal collisions happen on rural or high-speed roads (not including motorways). You should spend more time practising on these roads & during a driving test. This will better prepare you for driving on your own. Read more on why the changes.

Driving test manoeuvres are changing

Changing the manoeuvres that get tested means the test won’t need to spend as much time on the quieter side roads. The revised manoeuvres can be carried out more naturally during the test.


Learner drivers, new drivers, using phones to lose licence

New drivers with less than 2 years experience will now lose their driving licence if they are caught using a phone. The change in the law in the use of using a mobile phone whilst driving was changed on March 1st 2017. Penalties for using a phone doubled to six points on a licence.  Which means new drivers have to revert back to learner driver status. Taking their Theory and driving test again.using mobile phone new regulations

Police forces have started a seven day crackdown on drivers using their phones whilst driving. A hand held phone cannot be used even if stopped at traffic lights.

You can use your phone to listen to music if connected to a hands-free holder or via Bluetooth. A phone can be checked provided you pull over to a safe parking place and the engine is turned off.

Driving instructors and anyone supervising a learner driver cannot use their phone whilst the teaching vehicle is being driven by a learner driver.

New Speed Camera Hadecs3

A new type of speed camera is to be used to enforce the national speed limit. The first camera – Hadecs3,  is due to be used on the M25 by the summer of 2014 and further afield over the next two years.

It could be the biggest change to the way speed limits are enforced since the introduction of the 70 mph speed limit in 1967.

A recent survey for Autocar magazine found that 94.6% of drivers admitted breaking the limit.

The Hadecs3 requires no white markings to be painted on the road and will be grey instead of the bright yellow.  It is cheaper to maintain than conventional speed cameras because it does not need road markings or film (it digitally downloads). Instead of using painted white lines to give a backup calculation of a car’s speed, each Hadecs3 box contains two radars that give independent readings.

Learner Driver Fined

A learner driver whilst on her driving lesson was caught driving at 36 mph in a 30 mph speed limit zone. She had only taken 12 previous lessons and pleaded that she had not noticed her speed increase.

She was given the option to either have 3 penalty points added to her licence, or take a one day driver education course. The course would cost £110.

Her driving instructor had no part to play in the ‘eyes of the law’.

Advice to all learner drivers 

According to the law; from the very first lesson, all drivers are responsible for the safety of themselves and other road users. How many new drivers are aware of that law!

All driving instructors should mention it on the first lesson.