Top Driving Test Faults

The DVSA is encouraging learner drivers to spend more time practising their driving skills and techniques, using a variety of different roads, such as country roads and dual carriageways. This also means more driving in the rain and the dark! 

Top 10 reasons for failing the driving test

The most common faults made during driving tests between 4th December 2017 and 3rd December 2018 were: 

  1. Junctions - observation
  2. Mirrors - change direction
  3. Control - steering 
  4. Junctions - turning right
  5. Move off - safely
  6. Response to signs - traffic lights
  7. Move off - control
  8. Positioning - normal driving 
  9. Response to signs - road markings 
  10. Reverse park - control


The driving test report tells you what each area means, and what you need to do to pass. 

Insufficient observation at junctions and not using mirros effectively when changing direction accounted for 368,047 test failures.

Driving test fauls reflect the factors that cause accidents 39% of all accidents in Great Britain in 2017 were a result of a driver failing to look properly. 

The faults being made in driving tests reflect the factors that cause accidents on Great Britain's roads. In 2017, drivers failing to look properly contributed to 35,993 accidents. It was the most common contributory factor in accidents. 

The Highway Code provides rules, guidance and advice on avoiding these common faults, including:

  • looking all around before emerging from a junction, and not crossing or joining a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely
  • using your mirrors frequently so that you always know what is behind and to each side of you, and using them in good time before you signal or change direction or speed
  • maintaining a steady course and positioning the vehicle correctly in the road

Dealing with nerves

It’s normal to be nervous before your test. If you’re properly prepared and your driving instructor thinks you’re ready, you do not need to worry. The driving examiner is not trying to catch you out - they just want to make sure that you can drive safely.