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.

December 4th 2017 Driving Test Changes

December 4th 2017 Driving Test Changes. This date is a turning point in the history of the British Driving Test. For the first time in its history there will be no testing of the turn in the road manoeuvre [3-point-turn]. Which means there will be a majority of drivers, who have never turned a car around in the road. Ask the question. “When confronted with a blocked road, how would a driver turn around to face the opposite direction?” Never having carried out this type of manoeuvre.

The DVSA have published that the turn-in-the-road manoeuvre will still be taught by driving instructors, even though it’s not going to be tested. Yes, I agree with that, but driving schools are running a commercial business. This means that a learner driver would not normally be happy to pay for learning something that will not be needed on a driving test. The majority of learner drivers only want the ‘bare bones’ of driving lessons to get through their test. The fall in popularity of the Pass Plus training programme is evidence of that.

Driving Test Changes in Full

This is a link to the driving test changes in full Here is a quote from the official DVSA site:

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

As you can see it mentions that you will be asked to carry out one of three manoeuvres. Not strictly accurate since the bay parking exercise is divided into two possible scenarios. To my mind I see this as two manoeuvres, not one, as they require different skill sets.

driving test changes
New driving test manoeuvres. Parking on the right

The parking on the right manoeuvre cannot be legally practised by learner drivers taking evening lessons in the winter. As it would be illegal to park on the right at night except in a one way street. I wonder how many parents (hopefully not professional driving instructors) will park on the right at night with dipped headlights. Blazing away in the face of oncoming traffic and reversing over someone’s driveway?

New driving test manoeuvres

New driving test manoeuvres are being introduced on December 4th, 2017. The traditional turn-in-the-road manoeuvre and reverse around the corner exercise are being dropped. The parallel parking exercise is to remain. Only one manoeuvre will be carried out from these three.

new driving test manoeuvres
New driving test manoeuvres. Parking on the right
  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will decide).
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse 2 car lengths and re-join the traffic

 Parking on the right of a road

A new and very unusual manoeuvre of parking on the right-hand side of a road is being introduced.

Once parking on the right has been achieved a driving test candidate will then be asked to reverse the car alongside the kerb for two car lengths, before finally moving off.  The examiner will not stop you first to explain the exercise, they’ll say it whilst you are driving.

These essential skills will be assessed when parking on the right

  • Planning
  • Awareness of road users from behind and oncoming
  • Effective use of mirrors
  • Accuracy and control
  • Observation

One drawback of having this manoeuvre on a driving test is the lack of time to practice it for learner drivers who can only take evening lessons in the winter. Because it is illegal to park on the right at night!

New driving test manoeuvres

Parking in a bay

A wide variety of car parks for the bay parking exercise, such as hotels, retail parks and supermarkets will be used.

The examiner will ask the pupil to park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or revering in and driving out (the examiner will decide which method to use).

Here is the examiners instruction to drive forward into a parking bay.

“I’d like you to drive forward into a convenient parking bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).”

“Now I’d like you to reverse out either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).”

Learner drivers do not need to park in a bay where there are vehicles in adjacent bays. Driving through a first parking bay, and then parking in a bay directly in front of that bay is not allowed. When reversing out, you will not be allowed to reverse into any bays behind.

Read more on sat nav part of new driving test