6 Big Reasons People Fail Their Driving Test

Whatever your age, taking a driving test for the first time can be one of the most nerve racking experiences of your life. After all those months of lessons and getting to grips with your hill start and the Highway Code, it comes down to a few hours after which, hopefully, you’ll be a fully-fledged member of the driving fraternity.

Whilst pass rates vary from place to place, the overall statistics are pretty revealing. Only 49.1% of male drivers and 42.8% of female drivers pass their test first time. Here are the top six areas where people are most likely to fail when they take their driving test:

Observation, observation

Being aware of the world around us is easier for some than others. That means having a good idea of what’s up ahead, including pedestrians and road signs, as well as what is behind you and making sure you keep a good eye out. One particular area for new drivers in their test is making sure they check blind spots, especially when they are reversing.

Use of mirrors

If your driving instructor is worth his or her salt then by the time you come to the test the use of mirrors should have been ingrained into your psyche. However, it still remains one of the biggest reasons why those being tested fail – it’s better to overuse your mirrors than be seen to be inattentive.

Signal usage

Making the appropriate signals when you are turning or moving off from a stationary position is another area where tested drivers often fall short of the mark. The driver with 20 years’ experience may get away with not signalling right at the roundabout ahead but you cannot.

Lack of control

Whether its nerves or not enough hours learning to drive, lack of control is also a cause for many a failure on the driving test. This is not just about control of the steering wheel and turning corners or moving into a parking space but other areas such as gear change and breaking.

Inappropriate speed

Whilst it may be a cardinal sin to break the speed limit in your driving test, it’s also pretty bad to drive too slow. If you are in an area where the national speed limit is in force and you are still traveling at 30 or 40 miles an hour then the chances are you will fail your driving test. The rule is that you should travel to the speed limit where road conditions allow it.


Making the theory test harder over the last few years has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of candidates passing this part of the course. Whereas 7 out of 10 passed in the old days, that has come down to 50% with the introduction of more questions and a case study. The upshot is that if you want to pass your driving test you need to make sure you have all bases covered and not just the physical act of starting up and driving the car down the road.

It costs a lot of money to learn to drive nowadays and the cost of taking the driving test is not cheap either. Most reputable driving instructors will not recommend that you put in for your test until they are sure that you have a good chance of passing. It pays to make sure that you are fully prepared and that you have all the skills and knowledge you need for that big day. Yes, you will be nervous. But if you are ready and you have put in the appropriate number of hours of training then you should greatly increase your chances of passing.

Please contact us for more information on your test or Driving Lessons in Chorlton