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The 10 most common reasons for failing a driving test revealed

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

During the pandemic-related lockdowns, driving tests were put on hold, leading to a massive backlog that test centres are now working through.

With this in mind, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has contacted instructors to inform them of the most common test failures in the hope of increasing the number of passes to reduce the strain on the network.

The Bill Plant Driving School has shared this information, which reveals the most common failures include not making effective observations at junctions, not using mirrors correctly when changing direction, and not having proper control of the steering.

Bill Plant Volkswagen
(Volkswagen)

Other common failures include incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions, not moving off safely and not responding appropriately at traffic lights.

The rest of the top 10 includes poor positioning on the road during normal driving, not responding correctly to traffic signs, not having control of the vehicle when moving off, and not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking.

Peter Brabin, head of training at Bill Plant, said: “It’s really interesting to have this data broken down by the DVSA, highlighting exactly what UK learner drivers are most commonly struggling with when on their driving tests.

“What’s somewhat surprising is that a lot of the most common test failures are some of the very first things you’re taught when you get behind the wheel, but that clearly just goes to show that maintaining a regular pattern of lessons is important to keep up the fundamentals, and that nerves can play a large part in the test experience which causes silly mistakes that you wouldn’t expect.

“It’s never a nice feeling to be told you have failed your driving test, but when you consider that the average pass rate was 45.9 per cent between April 2019 and March 2020, it should also give some confidence that people aren’t just being passed for the sake of it to clear the backlog and that people really are expected to be both calm and confident behind the wheel.

“Safety must be the utmost priority – it always has been and always will be.”