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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Lloyd

Reasons for Failing Driving Tests

Between January and March 2022, the driving test pass rate was 47.1%. Many people who failed their test made at least one of the mistakes listed below.


Lloyds Driver Training - Top Driving Test Fails

Driver Faults


Driver faults are decisions that you make that are not considered to not be good driving, for example they may cause an inconvenience to other road users but are not necessarily dangerous i.e., not signalling correctly, poor clutch use, using the wrong gear.

During your driving tests the maximum number of driver faults you can get and still pass is 15.


Serious or Dangerous faults


These are faults that are considered serious or dangerous and are actions that put you, the examiner, the public or property in danger i.e., exceeding the speed limit, and not moving off safely. A serious or dangerous fault is a fail.


According to the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency the top 10 reasons for failing a driving test are:


  1. Not making effective observations at Junctions

  2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction Mirrors

  3. Not having proper control of the steering

  4. Incorrect position when turning right at junctions

  5. Not moving off safely

  6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights

  7. Poor positioning on the road normal driving

  8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs

  9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off

  10. Not keeping control of the vehicle when reverse parking


For examples of each of the above faults look at the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency webpage



Obviously, there is no guarantee on the day when you take a driving test. However, to give yourself the best possible chance you should you need to listen to your instructor, and both agree that you are ready. Your instructor not only wants you to pass your test but also to be a safe, confident and considerate driver.


You’ll usually be ready to take your driving test when:


  1. You do not need prompts from your driving instructor.

  2. You do not make serious or dangerous mistakes when you’re driving.

  3. You can pass mock driving tests.

  4. You have practised ways of managing your nerves.

  5. Your driving instructor agrees you’re ready.


If you’re not ready to pass, it’s best to move your test back. It’s the best way of getting your independence and freedom as soon as possible.


By moving your test, you’ll free up an appointment for someone who is ready to take their test.

Moving your driving test back if you’re not ready can give you vital time to:


  • brush up on your skills

  • take a few more mock tests

  • practise managing your nerves

  • make sure you’re ready to pass


At Lloyds Driver Training we will complete mock tests with all pupils at least once. When we know that a pupil suffers from anxiety or severe nerves we will ask another instructor to take the mock test to give a more realistic experience of how it will feel on the day.

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