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The most common reasons why driving tests are failed revealed

By Ted Welford | October 3, 2023

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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) has recently revealed its top 10 reasons for failing the driving test

The most common reasons why driving tests are failed revealed

Passing your driving test opens up a new way of independence and opportunities, regardless of your age. 

However, learner drivers have faced increasing strain in recent years caused by lengthy waiting times to book a test, which can often be several months. It’s led to many learners waiting ages to be able to take their test, along with rushing to do it before they might be ready just so they can get a test slot. 

It’s a problem the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) is looking to address, but in the meantime issuing advice to learners to help them prepare. It’s recently revealed its top 10 reasons for failing the driving test. By ‘fixing’ these issues, it can help to improve your driving and increase the likelihood of passing your test. Let’s take a look at them…

Not making effective observations at junctions

Junctions prove the most problematic for learner drivers taking their test, accounting for the bulk of exam failures.

Common faults that fall under this umbrella include failing to judge the speed of an approaching vehicle and causing it to slow down ‘significantly’ by moving off. The same can be done at roundabouts as well. It also includes ‘making no effective observations at all’, when pulling out of a junction or joining a dual carriageway. 

Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction

As a driver, mirrors are paramount to knowing what is happening around you and should be used whenever you make a manoeuvre. The ‘mirror-signal-manoeuvre mantra should always be adopted as well, and it’s a sticking point that many drivers fail their test on. 

Common examples of this include not using mirrors when exiting a roundabout, trying to change lanes on a roundabout when there is someone alongside you and the driving examiner has to take control.

Not moving off safely

Failing your driving test at the first hurdle could be a disaster, but ‘not moving off safely’ is the third most common reason why drivers fail their test. 

Common examples that count towards this fault include moving off into the path of an approaching vehicle, as well as not doing blind spot checks and not making any rear observations when moving off following an emergency stop. 

Incorrect positioning when turning at junctions

Junctions crop up on lots of occasions when it comes to the reasons motorists fail their test, and here it’s incorrect positioning when turning right. 

Some examples of this mistake include being in the left-hand lane when turning right at a roundabout, as well as obstructing traffic when you are waiting to turn right, which can cause severe delays to other motorists 

Not having proper control of the steering

When driving you need to be in full control of a car at all times, and that includes the steering as well. It’s a reason why many fail their driving test, and it usually concerns not having enough steering or steering too late at junctions and around bends. 

It can also include repeatedly mounting the pavement when pulling up on the left, as well as steering late when moving out to pass parked vehicles and getting too close

Once you pass your test don't forget to check any used car before buying it. Regit offers free tools to help, click teh tool to find out more Free car valuation  Car History Check  MOT History Check 

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