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Top 5 Reasons Why You Fail Your Driving Test


Top 5 Reasons To Fail Your Driving Test

When you have booked your driving test, you will undoubtedly be nervous and apprehensive on what to expect. Our driving instructors at Nayland Driving School will only submit students for a test once they feel confident in them being ready.

Gov.uk released a document on driving test failure reasons data, with junctions (observation) topping the list from 2006 to 2019. We have put together a guide on 5 of the top 10 reasons for not passing a driving test, so here we discuss the top 5 reasons, and how you can avoid them on your driving test!

Observation at junctions

At junctions, it’s important that you always look right, left and right at minimum. You may need to look more depending if the junction is open or closed. An open junction has very good visibility, whereas a closed junction might have buildings, hedges or even parked cars creating blind spots making it “closed”.

It is worth considering that the first time you look at a junction, there may be something in that blind spot. If you look back a second time the moving road user or pedestrian may now be out the blind spot and you can identify and act accordingly.

Moving off safely

When moving off safely, it is important to follow the P-O-M routine.

  • P, prepare the car for moving off, select the correct gear, find the biting point and set the gas. This will reduce any delay between observing and moving.
  • O, Observation. Do a full 6 point check around the car including the blind spots, finishing with the most dangerous side last which is normally roadside.
  • M, Move. If it is safe to do so, signal for anyone who you feel might benefit.

Use of mirrors

You should be using your mirrors anytime you change speed, direction or road position. You also need to use your mirrors in pairs as there are two different types of glass. Your interior mirror is made of flat glass and your door mirrors are made of convex glass. The interior mirror gives a true image of distance, whilst the door mirrors makes things appear further away but does give a wider field of vision than if they were flat.

So as a general rule, you would check the interior mirror, followed by the relevant door mirror depending whether the car was moving to the left or right.

Reverse parking

Regardless of which reverse parking exercise you are doing, make sure you keep the speed of the car slow demonstrating good control. This will help you to improve the accuracy as well as giving you time to make effective all around observations throughout the manoeuvre. Make sure you check all the relevant mirrors and blind spots and you look in the direction of travel. If you don’t complete the manoeuvre on your first go, keep calm and make the necessary adjustments. Providing you haven’t committed a serious driving fault in the process, you should still go on to pass your driving test.


Positioning, and particularly lane discipline, is a very common reason for not passing a driving test. The first thing to remember, is that you cannot be failed for going the wrong direction. The examiner can only mark you down for a driving fault and not for going the wrong direction. So if you find yourself in the wrong lane, follow that lane to the designated road or exit and the examiner will soon put you back on track. It’s very easy to panic and try and change lane at the last minute but throughout your driving test, if at any point you make another road user slow down, swear or swerve, you will not pass your driving test.

There are of course other reasons for people not passing their driving test, including responding to traffic lights, steering, positioning, turning right at junctions, control when moving off and response to road markings.

Pass your driving test with confidence with Nayland Driving School

It is normal to feel nervous before a driving test, but if you prepare yourself beforehand then there is no need to worry. Your driving instructor will only submit you for a driving test when they feel that you are ready to.

There is not set number of hours and tuition to complete in order to pass your test, but the on average, people who pass their test first time have had around 45 hours of driving lessons, and 22 hours of private practice.

If you are ready to start learning to drive, get in touch with the Nayland Driving School team today!

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I was taught by Geoff for about 2 months and I went to my test and passed the first time with this company and I would highly recommend Geoff and the company ad he teaches really well, he ensures that you end up being a driver and not a learner and i felt that is a really respectable quality when it comes to a teacher. I could not say any bad experience and was extremely happy

Alen Thomas

For any one wanting to learn to drive but not sure who to go with I definitely recommend Nayland, with his great help I passed first time and in just over three months, the lessons were great I always looked forward to them as Michael is a lovely guy and very down to earth, and up for a laugh 🙂 but he is also very patient for any one who is nervous about driving. 🙂

Harriet Osborn Davies

Thanks a lot to Dave, very calm and professional instructor. Passed after 20h, would definitely recommend.

Mikolaj Witkowski

I passed my test first time, I didn’t need to use any other instructor as Michael gave me all the advice I needed, down to earth, practical and easy to understand. While learning to drive can be stressful, Micheal made it so easy for me. I enjoyed learning and looked forward to the lessons as they were really enjoyable, if you want to learn to drive with someone that will make it enjoyable and practical Micheal is the guy! guy.

Peter Callaghan

Before having Michael as a driving instructor I was with someone else! I was given his number through a recommendation, and his lessons gave me the confidence to pass my test! Michael has great prices and deals, to suit anyone! I have now been driving a year, and I have recommended many people to go with him and they have gone on to pass very fast! 🙂

Amy Cowlin

Massive thanks to Suzanne! Amazing instructor! Helped to boost my confidence and pass my test quickly! Highly recommend!

Tom Clarke