This page carries snippets of useful information from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) (and possibly other sources) that will be relevant to your learning with me.
Ordering for teaching DVSA books/computer programs/DVDs is on a different website (https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/).This page uses links to this new site to access those titles.
Changes to the Highway code in January 2022
Various rules have changed and a new section on hierarchy of road users (who should give way to who) and also guidance for space between vehicles when overtaking has been added. The online version of the Highway Code has been updated in line with these changes already. If you are using a paper version of the Highway code but would like to know details of what changes in the new version then polease download and read the "Table of Changes to the Highway code" document.
IF you already have theory books they obviously won't have these updates. As the online sites no longer have publishing date information for these books and it's currently unclear IF they have been updated yet I would suggest that you check with the seller (be it shop or online) whether the newest highway code changes are included before you buy. I have put a request into the DVSA to see whether new learning material versions are due soon.
"What do I need to prepare for my Theory Test?"
The minimum you need for the Theory Test is the Theory Book.
The DVSA released a new version of the "Official Theory Test for Car Drivers" book last updated in October 2019 however on the new website the publication date info is no longer available. 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/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:
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
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.
Changing Driving Licence from Automatic to Manual
Occasionally pupils come to me for training to learn manual gearbox car driving having already passed the "Automatic" car driving test. This is no problem, the test for manual is the same as for automatic HOWEVER you can't book your test online - you have to do it by phone. Here's the page from the DVSA site on this one. It's probably to do with handling test failures - if you already hold an automatic license then a manual test failure DOESN'T stop you driving an automatic vehicle legally. IF you book a "manual" test and fail it then by default you would be on a list of unqualified drivers ... and obviously if you held an automatic license you shouldn't go on that list.
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
- DSA Theory Test Booking
- Changing a DSA Theory Test Booking
- Cancelling a DSA
Theory Test Booking
- DSA Practical Test Booking
- Changing a DSA Practical Test Booking
- Cancelling a
DSA Practical Test Booking
- The Highway Code (online)
This is a set of pages containing the booklet contents and is kept up to date. Changes in the last couple of years cover driver assistance systems, rule changes to allow learners with a driving instructor to drive on motorway. This online version does have the traffic signs and road markings included in sections after the rules.
Your Road Signs
The DVSA produced this booklet to help you learn road signs. A printed version is available from retailers (see the "retailer" link on this web page).
On the gov.uk site webpage the name of the document i.e. "Know Your Road Signs" is clickable. Clicking on that link will load the document (5 Mbytes) into your browser - click on the "disc" icon in Adobe Reader/Pdf reader to save a copy locally (for free!).
(NOTE: I'm sure this on-page link will disappear at some point but it is still there currently)
DVSA Books/DVDs etc.
2021 update: www.safedrivingforlife.info seems to have changed its policies, preferring to sell online theory subscriptions
or books SO items such as the Hazard perception DVD ROMs and Ebooks have been removed from sale there. It's possible that
stores like Amazon may still have stock of the DVD ROMs or Ebooks. There seems to be an issue with the online subscription
tuition now being provided on the saferdrivingforlife rather than the separate dvsalearningzone.co.uk (which shuts down in July 2021).
Also publication date information for the books has disappeared from the site so it is harder to tell when new versions are published!
Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers (Book)
Hopefully the current edition of the Theory Test book.
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'.
- Example DVSA Theory Test for practice
Car Theory Practice Test
This page on the safedrivingforlife.info site lets you try an example theory tests for free.
Theory and Hazard Perception test practice
- The Official DVSA
Theory Test and Hazard Perception Kit for Car Drivers (subscription needed)
This DVSA site supported website provides online access for all sorts of theory revision, hazard perception and learning activities.
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: 11 July 2022