The ten most common reasons for failing your test
As we now know, failing your driving test isn’t an uncommon thing. There are many reasons learner drivers fail first (or second, or third) time round, but the DVSA has put together a list of the top ten reasons. So that you can look out for these common mistakes in your driving test, here they are in full.
1. Not making effective observations at junctions
Ensuring you are aware of your surroundings at junctions is vital when driving, to avoid being hit by or hitting another car, or causing a traffic problem if you fail to pull out at the correct time. To avoid failing for this reason, look out for the actions of other drivers and make sure you move off safely when it’s time to do so.
2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction
It’s vital to check your mirrors when changing direction, changing lanes or changing your speed. If you don’t you may get into an accident. To avoid failing for this reason, don’t forget to check your mirrors before any manoeuvre, looking for any vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists that may be in your way.
3. Not having proper control of the steering
Having good control of the steering comes with confidence, so after the 44 hours of lessons this should come naturally by the time you take your test. If not, be sure to concentrate on this in any lessons leading up to the big day so that you can focus on the more technical aspects of driving during the test.
4. Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
Turning right at a junction from the wrong lane can be very dangerous. Make sure you know the rules of the road when it comes to positioning at junctions before you take your test. If you find yourself in the wrong lane when you’re meant to be turning right, turn left instead and explain your actions to your examiner. It’s much better to turn the ‘wrong’ way than to put yourself in danger.
5. Not moving off safely
There are various checks to do before moving off, including checking your mirrors, getting in the correct gear if driving a manual car, and ensuring your seatbelt is on. Run through these checks with your driving instructor before your test to make sure you’re completely confident in them.
6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights
It may seem obvious that green means go and red means stop, but when you’re in the pressured environment of a driving test, it’s easy to get distracted by other things and not focusing on the traffic lights properly. Try to remain relaxed throughout the test, and take in all your surroundings.
7. Poor positioning on the road during normal driving
As with steering control, good road positioning should come with practice and confidence gained through the 44 hours of lessons leading up to your test. If you don’t yet feel confident in where you should be on the road, perhaps take a few more lessons before committing to a driving test.
8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs
You should have taken a theory exam before your practical driving test, which will give you the knowledge of what the different traffic signs mean. Before taking your test, do some revision of the traffic signs and make sure you know what to do when you see each of them to avoid failing for this reason.
9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off
Having control of the vehicle when moving off is very important. If you stall when moving off, this doesn’t mean an automatic fail, as long as you can calmly recover and move off safely afterwards. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing when it comes to moving off, and practice a few times before the test to make sure you are fully in control.
10. Not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking
You’ll practice all the necessary manoeuvres in your driving lessons that you may be asked to perform in your test, including reverse parking. If you are required to do this in your test, just be sure to take it slowly and remain calm. Stay in control of the vehicle, no matter how slowly you have to do it.
The most common reason for driving test cancellations
Not all booked tests go ahead. This could be for a variety of reasons, from illness to just not feeling ready. Since 2020, a large reason for test cancellations was, unsurprisingly, recent restrictions and lockdowns. Over 823,000 tests have been cancelled for this reason since the pandemic began, but what were the main cancellation reasons before this? These are the main reasons for cancellations according to the DVSA since 2010.