learning to drive

* We test car-related phone apps * Apps for Android devices * From 'black box' video to parking locators...

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Pete Barden
21 November 2011

This section of our apps review looks at those designed to help learner drivers pass all elements of the UK Driving Test.

Hazard Perception Driving Test
Get it here
Cost 0.50p
Size: 16mb

What is it? The hazard-perception test is one part of the theory examination that all drivers have to pass before they can take the practical section of the test. This app allows learner drivers to practice using a realistic hazard-perception test on their phone.

How does it work? Users watch six videos taken from the perspective of a driver travelling along various roads, including city, urban and rural routes. At least one hazard will be present in each clip. The user should tap the screen as they spot hazards, such as a car reversing out of a drive. Beware, though, points are deducted for random screen tapping.

Verdict The first set of six video scenarios are free, but you can purchase more at 0.50 for each set. It's easy to use, with a clear interface that takes you straight to the test. Video quality is reasonable and runs smoothly at all times. The perception test is suitably taxing and covers most driving environments. A useful app.

UK Driving Theory Test
Get it here
Cost 2.99
Size 4.26mb

What is it? This app allows learner drivers to practice the multiple choice section of the UK driving theory test, which candidates must pass (along with the hazard-perception test) before they're eligible to take the practical test.

How does it work? Users can practice questions from 14 sections including attitude, motorway driving and vehicle handling. A mock theory test can also be taken, with a results page that gives a full review of the correct answers and how the user performed.

Verdict The app is easy to use and learners can monitor their progress in the different sections of the test. The results page for the mock test reveals which questions were answered correctly or not along with a useful explanation for each. However, at least one image was incorrectly cropped, preventing us from being able to answer the question.

Learn to drive
Get it here
Cost 2.99
Size 29k

What is it? This app is designed to help users gain the skills required to pass the practical element of the UK Driving Test.

How does it work? The Learn to Drive app provides access to a collection of videos, which cover topics such as how to start and stop smoothly, hill starts, reversing around a corner, emergency stops and many more.

Verdict Learner drivers might be tempted to download this app, but we wouldn't recommend it. It merely consists of a basic menu that links to 24 YouTube videos, which can be watched for free online. It's also worth pointing out that the app doesn't contain the videos, so watching them on 3G could lead to big data bills. We wouldn't recommend this app if it was free so at 2.99 we wouldn't go anywhere near it. Watch the videos online for free find one here to get you started.