Preparing For The Theory Test – Updated

A few years ago I posted a blog about the theory test and the best products to buy in order to study. Whilst very little has changed in the intervening years, I felt it was time to update it, so here goes.

One question I always get asked when I first speak with a student is regarding the best books to get to revise for the Theory Test.  There are a multitude of books and apps available, so how do I know what to get?

Firstly, there are two books which I would consider absolutely essential, read and understand these two and you’ll pass the theory test with no problems.  The first is The Highway Code.

The Highway Code
The Highway Code

First published in 1931, The Highway Code has been updated a number of times to reflect various changes on our roads.  The latest revision was published in 2015 and costs £2.50 (currently £2.25 on Amazon).  It contains various rules and laws for any road users, from pedestrians through to motor vehicle drivers.  Any rule which includes the red words “Must” or “Must Not” is a legal requirement and failure to observe can lead to points on the licence, fines and driving bans, some of the most serious leading to a prison sentence.  Whilst other rules (identified with the words “Should” “Should not” “Do or “Do not”) are not legal requirements per-se, failure to adhere to these rules could be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts to establish liability.

The Highway Code is also available online for free at

The second book is The Official DSA Guide To Driving, The Essential Skills.

Driving - The Essential Skills
Driving, The Essential Skills

Currently £13.99 on Amazon, this book gives advice and tips on driving, above and beyond the rules laid out in the Highway Code.  Although quite a thick book, The Essential Skills is quite an easy read, broken down into logical sections and is a recommended read for experienced drivers as well as learners.

Between these two books you will gain enough knowledge to pass your theory test, although don’t forget that you aren’t just studying for the test – this knowledge is essential for driving in general.

As an addition to these two books, I highly recommend the Driving Test Success app published by Focus Multimedia. The 4 in 1 app covers Hazard Perception, Theory, Road Signs and also includes the Highway Code and is available from the usual app stores, currently costing £4.99. 

Driving Test Success - 4 in 1
Driving Test Success

Using this app you can take mock tests, keeping track of your progress. The software will chart your results over time and details the various subjects within the test so that you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are, allowing you then to focus tests on specific areas.

A good alternative is the DVSA’s own app – The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit. It’s similar to the Driving Test Success app, priced the same, but is from the DVSA themselves.

The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit
The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit

Beyond the above three essential products, I would also recommend Know Your Traffic Signs.

Know Your Traffic Signs
Know Your Traffic Signs

This book is currently £4.12 on Amazon, but is also available as a free PDF at – very handy to download onto your smartphone so you can revise on the go.  A short history of road signs and a section on the system used on British roads precedes images of most of the signs you will ever come across.  It is clearly laid out and it won’t take long before you understand any road sign you see.

So, for about £25 you can get all the essential material you need to successfully study for your theory test.  Read, understand, practice and it’ll be a doddle.


Hazard Perception

Following my blog about the Theory Test, Driving Test Success have recently published a blog with hints and tips for the Hazard Perception section of the test.

Pop over to the Driving Test Success website to see what they have to say about it.

Don’t forget you can also use their online trainer to practice for your theory test on