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What Do Most People Fail Their Driving Test On?

There’s no denying that going for your driving test is an anxiety-inducing experience. It’s the big day where you have to put into practice all the training and theory you’ve learned previously, and you have to demonstrate that you’re a safe and capable motorist.

The sad truth is that not everyone passes their driving test on the first attempt. According to the latest figures from the DVSA, the pass rate between April 2019 and March 2020 was just 51%.

With that in mind, what is it that most people fail on their driving tests? The following delves into the most common reasons:

Not Being Observant Enough

NO LONGER A LEARNER DRIVERObservation is undoubtedly an essential skill you need to master before driving on Britain’s roads without supervision. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes learners make in their driving tests is failing to demonstrate effective observation.

When people search for driving schools near me on Google, they expect to find instructors that will teach them things like how to physically drive a car on the road. All instructors also teach their students effective observations.

The problem is nerves can get the better of people on their driving tests, and a simple mistake like not looking behind your shoulder before pulling out onto the road could cause you to fail your driving test.

Ineffective Use Of Mirrors

Mirrors are perfect for helping people see if there are any potential hazards in the road behind them. Most cars have one interior and two exterior mirrors, enabling drivers virtually unrestricted views from behind their vehicles.

Driving test examiners expect candidates to make full and effective use of their mirrors and employ MSM – mirror, signal, manoeuvre – effectively. When you learn to drive, your instructor will always check that you’re using your mirrors regularly.

As you can appreciate, failing to use your mirrors can increase the risk of collisions with other road users.

Poor Steering Control

Britain isn’t quite at the stage of having roads filled with self-driving vehicles. Until that day comes, motorists are in charge of steering their cars correctly. During the driving test, examiners want candidates to demonstrate correct steering control.

That means steering the vehicle as smoothly as possible and at the appropriate times. If mistakes get made when steering, drivers could potentially hit the kerb or other road users.

Incorrect Positioning At Junctions

During all driving tests, there will be times where candidates need to turn right at junctions and roundabouts. Unfortunately, they sometimes forget about the importance of correct vehicle position in such situations during their driving tests.

When you take your driving test, always ensure you position yourself correctly at junctions to turn right, and in the correct lane as you approach roundabouts. Otherwise, you could end up obstructing traffic or possibly colliding with other motorists and road users.


The above points are some of the top reasons why candidates fail their driving tests at the first attempt. By keeping those points in mind, you’ll ensure you have a higher chance of passing your practical driving test.


NB: Link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/996309/dvsa1202.ods

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