Reasons For Failing Driving Tests & How To Avoid Them

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Reasons For Failing Driving Tests & How To Avoid Them

Reasons For Failing Driving Tests & How To Avoid Them

Learning to drive is an exciting time in your life. After many hours of lessons, studying, and practice, the day of your practical driving test can be a daunting one. It’s normal to feel nervous but it’s important to try to stay calm and believe in your ability.

Of course, as much as you may have been imagining how it will feel when you pass your test, there is also the possibility that you may not pass the first time.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the reasons why learner drivers fail their driving tests and the different types of faults, plus how to avoid them.

Driver faults

In 2020/21 the pass rate for driving tests in the UK was 49.8%, with 7,262 passing with 0 faults. But what is considered a driver fault?

Driver faults, also called minor faults, are driving decisions that you make that are not considered ‘good driving’ i.e. they may inconvenience other road users, but are not necessarily dangerous.

Some examples of minor faults are:

  • Not signalling correctly
  • Stalling the car
  • Using the wrong gear
  • Hesitating, for example, at a roundabout or junction
  • Coasting
  • Poor clutch use

During your driving test, the maximum number of minor faults you can get and still pass is 15.

Serious or dangerous faults

Faults that are considered serious or dangerous are also referred to as a major fault, are manouevres or actions that put you, the examiner, the public, or property in danger. For example driving on the wrong side of the road, exceeding the speed limit, and not moving off safely.

Instant fail situations 

If you cause another vehicle to swerve or stop to avoid a collision, this would result in an instant failure from your driving examiner.

Top 10 reasons for failing

According to data from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, the top 10 reasons for failing a driving test in 2020/21 were:

  1. Junctions (observation)
  2. Mirrors – (change direction)
  3. Junctions (turning right)
  4. Response to signals (traffic lights)
  5. Control (steering)
  6. Response to signals (traffic signs)
  7. Response to signals (road markings)
  8. Move off (safely)
  9. Positioning (normal driving)
  10. Move off (control)

What to do in case you fail 

If you do fail your driving test, try not to panic. Although it’s disappointing, you can learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them the next time you take your test.

If your faults were minor and your examiner feels you were close to passing, we’d advise rebooking your test and taking time to review your minor faults.

How we can help

Think about whether you would benefit from one of our refresher driving courses to prepare for your next test. We’re here to help you succeed so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss the best approach.

Olie Smith
Olie Smith
Olie Smith is a DSA Fully Approved Driving instructor with years of professional experience in driver training. Oliver set up Totally Driving to give a more bespoke, personal feel to driving lessons.

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