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We obviously want you to pass your test first time, which is why we offer you the best lessons from the best instructors. However, there are many reasons you can fail a test, from nerves to bad luck! We’ve but together this list of popular reasons people fail their tests, so you know what to be cautious of!

Moving away safely

When you’re moving off from the side of the road, you need to make sure you look around, check your blind spots - and that you’re indicating the right way! You need to check across your left shoulder and your right shoulder – observing right the way around you – as well as checking your mirrors. Miss any of these and it’s often taken as a serious fault, costing you your test!

Observations at Junctions

Poor observations at junctions is one of the top reasons that people fail their driving tests. We know that you know you need to look when you’re crossing junctions but in the pressure of a test setting, these simple and basic things can go out of the window! You’ll be marked with this fault for not taking effective observation before emerging at junctions, and emerging into the path of other vehicles. Make sure it is 100% safe before proceeding!


Positioning is really important. It can be hard to get used to a vehicle, and where about it is on the road while you’re driving. Your vehicle should be positioned correctly for the route you’re taking. If lanes are marked, make sure you’re in the middle of the lane and avoid straddling lanes.

Use those mirrors!

Failing to use your mirrors properly is one of the most common reasons people fail their driving tests. Remember that you need to use your rear view mirror and wing mirrors - and react to the information! People often get caught out for pulling up with no mirror checks, increasing their speed with no mirror checks, or using their mirrors too late.

Response to traffic lights

Giving the right response to traffic lights is something that catches people out. Some of the mistakes that people make include waiting at a green filter light when it’s safe to proceed and staying at the stop line when it’s safe to move. Other faults that count include not conforming to a red light, and stopping beyond an advanced stop line an area designated for cyclists.

Control when moving off

Repeated stalling is one of the things that counts as control when moving off. Other things that are included in this reason are moving off with the handbrake on, rolling backwards when trying to move off - and not putting the car in gear and attempting to move off. Always take your time and try not to rush to avoid making silly mistakes.


Some of the best drivers can fail driving tests again and again because they can’t control their nerves. As much as we and your instructor can tell you to stay calm and try not to worry too much, your nerves either will or won’t affect your test performance. Our best advice is –

·         be prepared (which we will make sure that you are),

·         take deep breathes,

·         take your time,

·         Have a good night’s sleep,

·         eat a proper meal.

Some people also opt for natural remedies like Kalms or Rescue Remedy. From more advice, you can read our previous blog ‘Proper prep for your Driving test’!

Just try to remember that it’s normal to be nervous before your test, but if you’re properly prepared and your instructor thinks you’re ready, then there’s really no reason to worry.

On average, people who pass the test have had 45 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of private practice. Your examiner’s not trying to catch you out - they just want to make sure that you can drive safely!