The way to learn to drive

Information Page

In April 2014 the Driving Standards Agency merged with VOSA to become the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).This page carries snippets of useful information from the DVSA (and possibly other sources) that will be relevant to your learning with me.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took this opportunity to put the ordering for teaching books/computer programs/DVDs on a new website (http://www.safedrivingforlife.info/).This page uses links to this new site to access those titles.


Changes to the Driving Test in 2017

On 15th April 2017 the DVSA issued a press release about the changes to the practical driving text. These changes will apply from tests after 4th December 2017.

If you want to view the press release online click here - to view a print of the release click here - to view the government produced video about the changes click here.

The main syllabus change is that you will have to learn to drive using a sat nav. The choice of reversing manoeuvres changes also - neither "reversing round corners" nor "turn in the road" will be tested (though you ARE expected to learn them) - the choice now becomes:
1) parallel park,
2) park in a parking bay or
3) pull on right hand side of the road, reverse 2 car lengths and then rejoin traffic.


"What do I need to prepare for my Theory Test?"

The minimum you need for the Theory Test is the Theory Book and also "The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception DVD".

The DVSA released a new version of the "Official Theory Test for Car Drivers" book in 2013. There is also a SET of books i.e. the updated theory book with "The Official DSA Guide to Learning to Drive" and "The Official DSA Guide to Driving - the essential skills" at a price cheaper than buying all three separately. See below for links to purchase.

For more information about the Theory Test visit www.gov.uk/driving-theory-test. For Theory test booking links see later down this page.

Local Theory Test Centre

With the redevelopment of Southgate House in the Town Centre, the Theory Test centre for Stevenage moved. It is now at:
Ground Floor,
Suite 1,
Middlesex House,
Meadway Corporate Centre,
Stevenage SG1 2EF
View on Google Maps
View on Open Street Map
It is on the SB8/9 Bus Route with the nearest bus stop at the point where Clovelly Way joins Gunnels Wood Road.

Don't get scammed - book your driving theory or practical tests with the DSA directly

TV programmes like BBC TVs "Rip off Britain" have highlighted some online scams claiming guaranteed retest and booking of theory or practical tests via themselves and not the DVSA, however these sites incurred additional charges via premium rate calls and didn't actually pay for retests for free. This Daily Mirror news article gives details of some of the companies concerned.Search engines still show many such sites so beware!

See the DVSA booking links further down this page.

Practical Test Cancellations

It's rare that the DVSA cancel tests, except in bad weather, but recent industrial actions can cause problems as some examiners report for work on those days and others not. So, unless informed otherwise by the DVSA in advance, you should attend the test and get told that your test has been cancelled.
The Good news! .... The DVSA will consider recompensing you under situations such as these. The webpage to look at is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-refunding-out-of-pocket-expenses/guidance-on-applying-for-out-of-pocket-expenses-for-a-cancelled-driving-test. There's a form online to download, fill in and send to the DVSA and they will then pay some out of pocket expenses such as travel/lost working hours - details are all on the website page.

Show me tell me - Ford Fiesta

Video courtesy of an AA instructor.

Driving Standards Agency (DSA) videos

DSA Independent Driving tips

Other Important Links

Here are some links to sites for booking your Theory and Practical tests as well as to an online version of the Highway Code and some theory test practice. These ARE the gov.uk weblinks you should use to book for

DVSA Books/DVDs etc.

  • The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers (Book)
    This is the current edition of the Theory Test book - updated in May 2016.
  • The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers 2013 Edition (Ebook)
    This is the current edition of the Theory Test book in Ebook forms - available for iPads, Kindle and Kob readers from online sources (Apple Store, Amazon, Kokobooks).
  • The Official DVSA Complete Learner Driver Pack (Books)
    This is the set of three books - 'The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers', 'The Official DSA Guide to Learning to Drive' and 'The Official DVSA Guide to Driving - the essential skills'. Updated in May 2016.
  • The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception (DVD-ROM)
    This DVD provides information about the Hazard Perception part of the Theory Test and practice clips.
  • The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers Interactive Download 2014 edition
    This is the downloadable version of the Theory Test DVD ROM. At £12.99 it's relatively cheap but is approaching a 1 Gbyte download size so the download could take a LONG time unless you have a very fast internet connection.
  • The Official DVSA Complete Theory Test Kit (DVD-ROM)
    This is the Theory Test DVD ROM and the current Hazard Perception DVD material combined and is the up-to-date version for this year(2014). At £19.99 it's cheaper than buying the two separate packages. It has the full set of questions of the question bank for revision (963 questions in total), the practice test on the DVSA website only has a limited set of questions. It also has the hazard perception clips for familiarising yourself with that test. It also has a copy of the Highway Code included.
  • The Official DVSA Complete Learner Driver Pack - Electronic
    This set of CD and DVDs covers Theory Test practice, the Hazard Perception DVD and a DVD called "Prepare for your Practical Driving Test - the official DVSA guide" provides information about the Hazard Perception part of the Theory Test and practice clips.
     
  • DVSA Theory Test iPhone app for practice
    The Official DVSA Complete Theory Test Kit app not only includes the Theory test app in full but also adds in official theory test clips etc. (at a current price of 4.99 it's much cheaper than the PC version). These are meant to be used with other media (books etc) to help you learn.
  • Car Theory Practice Tests
    This page on the safedrivingforlife.info site lets you try two example theory tests for free.

Non DVSA site Theory test practice

Other Off-site Links

I keep links to non-driving sites on a separate page - here or click on the "off site links" in the menu below.

Page last updated: 15 April 2017