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Best driving theory test apps 2024

Handy smartphone theory guides for beginners are rated for their test-passing features

To get a full driving licence, you need to pass a theory test before taking the practical element. But according to the latest Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency figures, between 2007/8 and 2022/23, theory test pass rates plummeted by around a third, with just 44.2 per cent now passing first time. 

These figures vary by region, with some areas getting pass rates that are as high as 75 per cent, while others can achieve a similar amount of failures. With a car (and motorcycle) theory test costing £23 per booking, it’s not only inconvenient to fail, but can get quite pricey, too.

So we looked at eight apps which aim to give you all the knowledge and techniques that you need to get your theory test passed first time

How we tested them

All eight of our apps are available on both Android and Apple devices, so there should be no issues with compatibility, as long as your phone meets the operating system requirements, which we have listed. 

We looked for the basics relating to the written theory test and hazard perception videos, while extras such as a built-in Highway Code or lists of different road signs added points. Clear graphics and an interface that was easy to use were important, but price is becoming more of a factor, with many apps now charging a monthly fee for access.

Reviews:

Driving Test Success: Driving Theory Test 4-in-1

  • Price: £4.99
  • Website: drivingtestsuccess.com
  • Platform: iOS 13.0 or later/Android 5.0 or later
  • Rating: 5 stars 

Our previous winner retains its reasonable price and the same comprehensive yet easy-to-use interface for car, motorcycle, lorry, trainee instructors and public carriage tests. You can choose to practice by category or a mix, and even search for specific subjects. 

We liked the Stopping Distance Simulator (a 19MB download) along with the progress monitor. As before it includes copies of both the Highway Code and road signs. A real bonus is that if you don’t pass first time, you’ll get your test fee refunded.

Official DVSA Theory Test Kit

  • Price: £4.99
  • Website: safedrivingforlife.info
  • Platform: iOS 13.0 or later/Android 9.0 or later
  • Rating: 4.5 stars 

This is the app from the folks who devised the test. It takes up a surprising amount of space – 1.4GB and 1.03GB for iOS and Android respectively – but a logical dashboard offers study/practice, hazard perception videos and quick/mock tests with various set-up options, including number of questions and length of tests. 

The practice questions are spoken, and after each one there is an official explanation. At a £4.99 one-off payment which includes the full Highway Code with Traffic Signs, it’s good value. 

AA Driving Theory

  • Price: £4.99
  • Website: theaa.com
  • Platform: iOS 13.0 or later/Android 7.0 or later
  • Rating: 4 stars

The AA’s opening screen was bright and colourful and took us straight to either practice, hazard perception, mock test or flashcards. The latter were useful because the questions are displayed with the answers on the flipside, which required the user to think about it, rather than just tick a multiple choice box. 

The practice questions were divided into sections for revision with a tick box for an explanation if required. Past incorrect answers were listed with the option to correct. There was no Highway Code but the price was good

RAC Driving Theory Test Study Kit

  • Price: £4.99 a month
  • Website: uk-driving-theory.co.uk
  • Platform: iOS 13.0 or later/Android 6.0 or later
  • Rating: 3.5 stars

This app – which is soon to be rebranded by the RAC – is another one full to the brim with options for drivers of buses, lorries, cars and motorcycles as well as trainee instructors. We liked that the road signs listing and Highway Code were included – which saves buying them separately. 

Everything was easy to grasp and we were soon running through practices for theory test and hazard perception before moving on to mock tests. As with some others, the monthly fee has to be considered – how long will it take you to pass? 

Theory Test Revolution

  • Price: £3.99 a month  
  • Website: theorytestrevolution.com
  • Platform: iOS 13 or later/Android 6.0 or later  
  • Rating: 3.5 stars

This has a very simple, basic layout with no cartoons or flash graphics, but is no worse for it. Practice is divided into 14 sections and you can select however many you like and then those you’ve seen, not viewed or got wrong. Select 10 ,20, 30, or all the options within the group. 

Answers came up instantly along with the DVSA explanation. It did include the Highway Code, but unfortunately, our phone was too new to access it. We liked this app but with a monthly price, its overall value will depend on how soon you pass. 

RED Complete Driving Theory

This was easy to get into and understand, a vital factor when studying for a test. We liked the training plan which adapts to your progress, complete with warm-up tests to get you in the mood. There’s section-by-section questions, divided into subjects along with the usual hazard perception videos and mock theory tests. 

The Highway Code wasn’t present and neither was a road sign listing, rather a selection of sign flashcards. As with some of the others tested, the price is paid monthly via Apple’s App Store or Google Play. 

James May Driving Theory PRO

  • Price: Android £4.99 a month/iOS £5.99 one-off  
  • Website: jamesmaytheorytest.com
  • Platform: iOS 12.0 or later/Android 8.0 or later  
  • Rating: 3.5 stars

Produced by the company behind the RED app, this one works in a very similar way, with the obvious difference that former Top Gear and Grand Tour presenter James May makes regular video appearances. 

There are a number of clips of Captain Slow chatting about various aspects of the test in his usual down-to-earth, humorous way which makes the process less intimidating and generally more friendly. We found it interesting to view the 10 most common reasons for test failure. Oddly, Apple owners get a different deal here, with a single one-off payment, compared with Android’s monthly fee.

Driving Theory Test Assistant

  • Price: £14.99 (One year)  
  • Website: drivingtheory4all.co.uk
  • Platform: iOS 11.0/Android 5.1   
  • Rating: 3.5 stars

We liked the clear dashboard layout which showed lots of information. The content search was useful, enabling specific subjects to be found. 

The Highway Code and road signs were present and included in the practice test options. It was the only one to be priced by year which made it cheaper per month than some, but of course pricier than those with a single payment. There’s a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the first time.

Verdict

All these apps will be helpful if you’re studying for the test. The Driving Theory Test 4-in-1 wins with a great spec suitable for a range of vehicles and money-back offer. The DVSA and AA options were close behind. 

  1. Driving Test Success: Driving Theory Test 4-in-1
  2. Official DVSA Theory Test Kit
  3. AA Driving Theory

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