Theory Test Practice – Rules Of The Road

rules of the road, theory training, theory test.

When it comes to your theory test practice, The Rules of The Road topic will explore the rules in the Highway Code. Typcially there are lots of rules to know, understand and to follow – this tutorial will guide you through the main topics of such rules.

Learner POD has compiled a unique training programme to help with your theory training studies! We have an online theory training course that you can access here. The course consists of video tutorials with real-life footage explaining the many parts of the theory exam. Alongside the course, you will also have access to our member’s area and a safe group to share, discuss and motivational support for your studies.

Here is a list of all the topics that make up the theory training syllabus:

  1. Alertness
  2. Attitude
  3. Safety Margins
  4. Safety & Your Vehicle
  5. Hazard awareness
  6. Vulnerable Road Users
  7. Other types of vehicle
  8. Road conditions and vehicle handling
  9. Motorway driving
  10. Rules of the road
  11. Road and traffic signs
  12. Essential documents
  13. Incidents, accidents and emergencies
  14. Vehicle loading


When it comes to your theory test practice, it is really important to make sure you cover all of the aspects of the exam in your training schedule. Missing one section may result in you failing your theory test. It is important to make sure this does NOT happen to you.

Learner POD has compiled a comprehensive training online theory course and an abundance of free training material which will help with your theory studies. Hop over to our YouTube channel to access lots of free resources and training videos.

Theory Test Practice – Rules of the Road

When it comes to the ‘Rules of the Road’ it is important to obey them. Some rules are legal requirements, whereas other rules are for best practice, either way, these rules are intended to make everyone’s journey and the roads a safer place to be.

In this section we shall look at a lot of rules of the road, especially in the following topics:

  • How to deal with lanes and junctions safely
  • Overtaking in town and on high-speed roads
  • The use of pedestrian crossings
  • The use of level crossings
  • Where you are allowed to park and stop and any legal requirements which you should adhere to

Speed Limits In The UK

When it comes to speed limits in the UK it is really important to not drive faster than what is permitted for the type of road you are travelling along. Dependent on what vehicle type you are driving also will determine what speed you are allowed to travel at. But firstly, we need to determine what type of roads there are in the UK. Here are some examples:

  • Built-up areas (areas with buildings)
  • Single carriageway roads (usually, but not limited to one lane without a central reservation)
  • Dual carriageway roads (usually, 2 or more lanes – with a central reservation)
  • Motorway (multiple lanes/major routes with a central reservation)

There are ‘different’ types of vehicles/road users For example:

  • Cars and motorcycles
  • Lorries – HGV and LGV
  • Buses and coaches
  • Agricultural vehicles

Each of the above types of roads and types of vehicles has different speed limits permitted. Here is an example:

You are driving a car, your speed limits are as follows:

  1. Built-up area – 30 mph
  2. Single carriageway – 60 mph
  3. Dual carriageway – 70 mph
  4. Motorway – 70 mph

Each vehicle category has there own speed limits on the 4 types of roads. You will need to learn all of these for your theory test. A general rule of thumb: Whatever the speed limit is for cars and motorbikes, other types of vehicles usually are allowed to travel at 10mph less. However, there are some exceptions. Such as coaches on a motorway are permitted to travel at 70 mph, whereas, lorries are not. For more information on speed limits, please visit out speed limits article.

National Speed Limit Sign

Cars and motorcycles are allowed to:

  • Drive at 60 mph on a single carriageway
  • Drive at 70mph on a dual carriageway and a motorway

Lower limits apply for vehicles towing trailers/caravans:

  • 50 mph on a single carriageway
  • 60 mph on a dual carriageway and a motorway

Minimum Speed Limits

Minimum speed limits are enforced where certain roads require all vehicles to travel at a minimum speed. The road sign is blue in colour and does not come with a red ring. 

These types of speeds are to encourage the free-flowing movement of such roads. For example, on dual carriageways. The driver has to make a judgement of what speed is necessary for the type of road they are on.

Minimum speed limits can appear on high-speed roads such as dual carriageways & motorways. Where a road sign is displayed you should exercise this rule when driving.

Designated Lanes

Some of the roads in the UK have designated lanes. These lanes are reserved for specific types of vehicles. It is important to understand what types of lanes are for the use of different types of vehicles, and you should obey their rules. Sometimes, cameras may be in operation, and if you flout the law, then you may be liable to breeching road and traffic laws in the UK.

Bus Lanes

Very often, you will encounter bus lanes. The purpose of most bus lanes is to promote public transport within the town or city. Some bus lanes will have signs with times, and some will not have timings. It is your responsibility to make sure you understand when you are ‘allowed’ in the bus lane, and when it is in operation. If you enter the bus lane when it is in operation then you may be fined and gain penalty points on your driver’s licence.

The use of bus lanes is to decrease congestion in high-volume traffic areas across the town or city. Some bus lanes are 24 hours, and some bus lanes only are in operation for a few hours in rush hour traffic. You should make sure you check all of the road signs that accompany bus lanes when out driving.

When you come to the end of a bus lane, a sign will be displayed stating: “End of bus lane”, understand when you are able to move back to the left-hand lane.

Cycle Lanes

Cycle lanes are also very common in towns and city centres. Again, their purpose is to promote eco-transport which-in-turn, helps the environment. Oxford is famous for being a cycling city, and the city has an active campaign to promote the use of bycycles within the city. Likewise, so does Cambridge. Cycle lanes are becoming more and more common with new road infrastructure, and are commonly also found at traffic lights. Just like bus lanes, you should avoid driving in a cycle lane, and when waiting at a set of traffic lights, you should avoid moving forward into the cyclists waiting area.

Cycle lanes display road markings and road signs, it is important that you check the road and signs frequently when driving. You must also remember, cyclists have as much right to be on the road as any other motorised vehicle, so you should give them space and respect that they deserve.

Tram Lanes

In some cities, you will come across tram lanes. Although trams are not as common as buses or cycle lanes, some places still have them in operation. You should honour their rules and keep out of all areas that involve tram lanes. Trams have diamond shaped road signs, and rail tracks that can be slippery in wet weather. Again, you should be very careful when driving and keep alert at all times.

Dual Carriageway Lanes

On dual carriageways, you must only use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. The same rule applies to three-lane dual carriageways. In this scenario, the middle and the right-hand lane are reserved solely for overtaking vehicles and turning right. When driving on a motorway,these same rules apply. Accept, that on a motorway you can’t turn right from the right hand-lane, you need to exit on the left. 

If you are planning to turn right and need to use the central reservation. It is important to fit your whole vehicle into the gap. Otherwise, you could be a hazard!

If it won’t fit, you should wait and only emerge when it is clear in both directions.

Junctions & Road Position

When it comes to junctions it is really important that you position your car nice and early. When turning left, you should keep left and follow the curb line. When turning right, you should position the car to the right of your lane, but you should NOT overahang the centre white line. 

You should check for cyclists in your left wing mirror on the approach. Especially in slow moving traffic.

If you notice you are in the wrong lane at a busy junction, it is important to keep going in that lane, and find a quiet side road to make a u-turn in. 

Box Junctions

A box junction is an area zoned off by yellow hatch markings, and this type of junction should be kept clear at all times. You should only enter a box junction if your exit road is clear. If it is NOT, you should wait until the exit road is clear before you proceed.

*The only time you are permitted to wait in the box junction is when you are turning right.*

Usually, this is because an oncoming vehicle continuing ahead is preventing you from turning right, or you have to move forward into the box junction to be able to see if your exit road is clear.

Meeting Traffic

When you encounter a meeting traffic situation, it is really important to understand all about priorities. If the blockage (parked car) is on your side of the road, then you should give way to oncoming traffic If there isn’t enough room for both vehicles to pass through! If there are parked cars or blockages are on the other side of the road then oncoming traffic should give way to you.

You should drive defensively, and not assume other road users will obey the rules of the road. If in doubt STOP and allow the other vehicle to pass through.


Roundabout junctions are designed to allow traffic to flow smoothly. You should obey and follow all road signs and markings. You should also take up position early on the approach. If you travel ahead at the roundabout it is important to not signal on the approach. You should signal left just after you pass the exit before the one you want to turn in to.

You should always drive in an anti-clockwise direction, and give way to the right. On the approach to the roundabout, you should check the road for any warning signs or destination road signs. This will help you plan your journey in plenty of time.

Other Vehicles At Roundabouts

When dealing with other ‘types of vehicles’ it is important to understand sometimes they may position themselves differently.

  • Cyclists and horse riders may position themselves left, even though they are turning right.
  • Long vehicles may also position differently as they negotiate not hitting the kerb and making the turn safely.

Level Crossings

Level crossings are where railway lines cross the road. You may see countdown markers to the crossing if the crossing is hidden around a corner or off a bend. Controlled crossings have traffic light signals with twin flashing red lights, this also acts as a warning alarm for pedestrians. Some crossings have barriers, but some don’t.

Theory Test Practice – Rules of the Road – Mock Test 1



Theory Test Practice – Rules of the Road – Mock Test 2


Theory Test Practice – Rules of the Road – Mock Test 3


Please visit our next section Road and Traffic Signs 

Useful Links

Speed limts In depth

Defensive driving 

Roundabouts – The Ultimate Guide 

Level crossings – in depth

Meeting Traffic



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