How to pass your practical and theory driving tests with apps

Driving apps
Less chance of a crash this way…

Learning to drive in the UK is expensive. In fact, unless you have a friend who's willing and able to teach you to drive, there's literally no way to do it on the cheap.

That means the best policy is to get through the process while paying for as few lessons as possible, and without having to retake your practical or theory tests.

Good news: if you want to pass your driving tests first time, apps can help.

From study guides and mobile mock tests to make sure you sail through your theory test, to apps that show you whether your actual driving is really nailed down, many of these are well worth spending a few quid on – even if you buy them all, it'll cost less than a single driving lesson.

And we also have a few 100% freebies for those of you who just can't stand the idea of forking out for apps. So fill your boots…

Theory Test Pro

Theory Test Pro

£3.99 | iOS and Android

One of our top all-in-one picks is Theory Test Pro. This is the mobile version of a driving test program you can use on your web browser, and the app is pretty sweet too.

There's a free trial, but the full version costs £3.99. There's a lot in it too: a whopping 1GB of data, so make sure your phone is up to it first.

It features all the main elements of the non-practical part of your driving test. There's the theory end and the hazard perception part, which is good for driving in general.

What we like about Theory Test Pro is that it feels a lot nicer than some apps, with smooth transitions and a nice clean interface. Want a higher class of driving test app? Try this one.

Car Test: Hazard Perception CGI

Hazard Perception CGI

£1.99 | Android and iOS

Hazard perception is one of the trickiest parts of the theory test to master. It involves pointing out in a video clip whenever something appears on the scene that a driver needs to notice.

Click too many times and you might fail, but the same applies if you miss a hazard. It's a minefield.

Car Test: Hazard Perception CGI uses the official revision clips released by the DVSA, enabling you to practice on your phone. It works much like the official test, challenging you to flag up whenever anything important comes into view.

The maker of the app has also made a couple of extra apps, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, which offer extra videos with the same sort of scenes for once you get that bit too used to the official ones. They cost an extra £1.99 each. There's also a free version that enables you to try out a single video to get a flavour of what's on offer.

Driving Test Success: Theory Test

Success driving test app

Free (in-app purchases) | Android and iOS

Here's another of the best apps for really burning the theory test questions into your long-term memory. It enables you to take a full-on, timed mock test, giving you just under an hour to answer 50 questions. Alternatively, if you just have 10 minutes to kill on the train you can work through some random questions, or questions from a specific category.

The freebie download gets you 10% of the full roster of theory test questions – there are over 1,200 in the full version.

The upgrade to the full-fat version of the app costs £2.48, but it'll be well worth it if it helps you to avoid having to take your real test more than once. The app also tracks you progress so you can see if you're getting better – or, indeed, if you're not.

AA Theory Test for Car Drivers

AA Theory Test

£1.99 | Android and iOS

If you're getting too familiar with the other theory test apps we've mentioned, and want to shake things up a bit, try out AA Theory Test for Car Drivers.

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.