Learner drivers warned of fake Highway Code books that could see them fail their test

DVSA taking action as dodgy copies of drivers’ handbook containing incorrect information

Motorists are being warned to be on the lookout for fake Highway Code handbooks being sold on the internet.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has found unscrupulous retailers selling dodgy copies of the drivers’ guidebook via popular websites and warned that the fake guides contain “signifiinaccurate information that could put drivers’ licences and safety at risk. The fake guides contain incorrect road safety details that the DVSA says could leave drivers taking the wrong action on the road and put unwitting learners at risk of failing their driving test.

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The Highway Code underwent a major update this year  with the addition of eight completely new rules and further amendments to 49 more. Key additions include new rules on the hierarchy of road users, changes to guidance on who has priority at junctions and updated instructions for cyclists.

Learner drivers rely heavily on the Highway Code when preparing for their theory and practical driving tests and Mark Winn, DVSA’s chief driving examiner said student drivers should be careful to ensure they have a legitimate version. He said: “The misinformation in the fake version of The Highway Code is alarming. It puts road users at risk of breaking the law or, even worse, having an accident. As well as this, the incorrect information could cause learners to fail both theory and practical tests.

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“These fakes also damage the public’s trust in the Highway Code, which is concerning given the book’s vital role in keeping everyone safe on Britain’s roads. DVSA takes these matters extremely seriously and is taking action against the illegal sellers.”

How to spot a fake Highway Code

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According to the DVSA, the phoney copies of the drivers’ handbook are “almost identical” to the real thing but the agency has identified three simple ways to check if you have an official or fake version:

  1. Compare the bar code numbers; the official copy has an ISBN number above its barcode.
  2. On the fake version, the logos on the front cover of the book are pixelated.
  3. The official version of The Highway Code has a matte cover, the fake version has a glossy cover.
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You can check whether the information in your copy of the Highway Code is correct by comparing your version against the free online version, which is always kept up-to-date.

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