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The most common reasons to fail a driving test

Observation at junctions
Failing to correctly use the mirrors when approaching junctions is one of the most common reasons to fail a driving test.

When you approach a junction be sure to use your mirrors, take note of the flow of traffic and slow to an appropriate speed. Also be sure to observe other vehicles and the road around you while ensuring that you don’t come to a stop over the white line.

Reverse parking
This one trips up quite a few learn drivers, which is a shame since it’s such a silly reason to fail a driving test. The key is quite simply good observation and good preparation. The manoeuvres are an easy to practise and predictable part of the driving test; you should have them perfected before you consider booking your test.

Mirror use
It’s easy to forget when you should check your mirrors, but I’ve got a simple trick to help you remember. If you are changing speed or direction or moving off in the vehicle, check your mirrors. If you’re unsure if you should be checking your mirrors, check them just in case.

Moving away safely
Failing to use your mirrors before pulling away is one of those reasons for failing a driving test that will really leave you kicking yourself. It’s such a small thing, but it really is vital: fail to look around you before you pull away and literally anything could happen.


Use of signals
Forgetting to signal is another one of those “how can I be so stupid?!” mistakes. Repeating the good old-fashioned “mirror, signal, manoeuvre” mantra is an easy way to avoid failing a driving test on this one.

Incorrect positioning
Using the wrong lane on roundabouts or coasting over the white line at junctions can slip up even the best-prepared learner. Have a refresher lesson just before your driving test and talk to your instructor to make sure you’re 100% confident when it comes to positioning.

Steering control
Don’t allow the wheel to spin freely and don’t drive with your hands off the wheel for any longer than is necessary to change gear and you should avoid failing a driving test on this particular fault.

Inappropriate speed
Hard as it is to believe, some people fail their driving test for speeding with an examiner in the car! Keep an eye on the speedo to ensure that you’re not going too fast and be mindful of the speed of the traffic around you to ensure that you’re not going dangerously slow.

Following Distance
This one is easy to get right. When you're following a vehicle, you need to leave at least a 2 second gap between the one you are following and the one you are driving. What until the car in front has passed an object (road sign or tree etc) or even a shadow on the road, then say to yourself, "only a fool, breaks the 2 second rule", if you haven't reached the object or shadow then you're OK. If you have, then ease off the gas pedal.