Reasons people fail driving test

Top 8 reasons people fail their driving test

You are not human if you don’t feel at least a little trepidation before taking your driving test.

But knowing the most common reasons why people fail their test can help you better understand what the examiner is looking for and what you should focus on as you practice in the lead up to the big day.

For a definitive list of the main reasons people fail their driving test there is no better place to look than the website of the DVSA, which collates information in this area.

Here is what the agency says are the chief reasons people fail their driving test:   

1. Observations at junctions

Every year this is the number one reason why learners don’t get to rip up their ‘L’ plates. Common mistakes include not looking thoroughly enough before emerging from a junction or pulling out into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

2. Proper use of mirrors 

Don’t just look into the mirror when you need to check your hair. You need to use your mirrors when you perform any task at the wheel: be it changing direction, speeding up or reducing your speed.

3. Steering control

Surprisingly, not being in control of your steering is a common reason why people fail their driving test. You need to travel at a safe speed and take a steady course, following the contour of the kerb. Bumping or mounting the kerb is likely to result in a fail.

4. Turning right at junctions

It is clear junctions are tricky for inexperienced drivers and not being able to turn right satisfactorily from one is a common reason many fail.

Making sure your car is positioned correctly before turning and, again, not pulling out in front of other vehicles, are key points here.

5. Moving off safely and under control

This is a basic requirement of being a driver but also a main reason why people fail their driving test.

Check your mirror, look round to make sure there are no vehicles in your blind spot and indicate clearly that you are coming out.

The much-feared hill start also comes into this category while stalling or rolling backwards, which you want to avoid at the best of times, is likely to result in a fail.

6. Positioning

Sit in the middle of your lane, not too close to the kerb or the middle line. If there are a number of lanes, don’t straddle between them.

7. Responding to traffic lights or signs

Examiners are looking to see that you are aware of your surroundings, so it is of no surprise that failing to heed what traffic lights and road signs are indicating will see you fail.

Not proceeding when a green light shows or failing to stop at a red are common pitfalls, as is encroaching into the cyclist area when waiting at lights.

Remember road signs are there for a reason. Not keeping to speed limits, or demonstrating caution when signs warn you will not impress the examiner.

8. Reverse parking

The dreaded reverse park makes into the DVSA list of top reasons why people fail their driving test. If you lose control or badly misjudge your attempt, it will unfortunately mean a fail for you.


 To get in touch with Balgores Motor Group for accident repairs or mechanical services, contact one of our local branches or our head office on 01708 344122, email

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