Learners more likely to fail driving test due to these common mistakes


According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), learner drivers were most likely to be caught out on issues with mirrors, junctions and responding to signals like traffic lights and signs. Junctions and mirrors have remained the top two reasons for test failures for the past five years.

Turning right at junctions placed in third, whilst responding to traffic lights and steering control came in fourth and fifth respectively. 

Other highly ranked reasons for failure were responding to signs, road markings, moving off and positioning the vehicle.

In the results for 2019 to 2020, faults for steering, reverse parking and moving off safely were all ranked higher than this year’s data.

The AA Driving School polled qualified drivers and found that one in five felt that parallel parking would be the most difficult if they had to re-take the test today.

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“As a result, learners may risk attempting a practical test before they’re ready rather than face an extended wait and fail on these common test faults.

“Countless learners have been caught out by poor observation and mirror skills, which sound simple to most experienced drivers but don’t come naturally to everyone.

“It’s a good reminder to anyone with a test on the horizon to spend some extra time practicing cockpit routines like ‘mirror, signal, position, speed, look’ to get into good habits early.

“Learning to drive is a vital life skill and it’s important learners take the time to develop their experience at the right pace so they become safe, confident drivers.

“The last 18 months have created more pressures in all aspects of young people’s lives and restrictions on learning to drive have added to this.

“The DVSA are releasing more test slots each month and we hope this will help the situation.”

One third of women said they would find parallel parking the hardest part of a driving test (32 percent), compared to just 16 percent of men.

However, men were more likely to say they would find driving at an appropriate speed more difficult (10 percent men and five percent women).

There are three types of driving test faults in Great Britain: dangerous, serious and (minor) driving faults.

Learners will fail their practical driving test if they have more than 15 minor driving faults or just one serious or dangerous fault.

In 2017, some parts of the practical driving test were changed, and the manoeuvres were updated.

Reversing around a corner and turning in a road were removed.

They were replaced with pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing two car lengths and re-joining traffic.


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