The Five Most Common Reasons People Fail Their Driving Test In UK

Wannabe drivers are all making the same mistakes.
Failing a driving test can be a tough experience
Kenny Williamson via Getty Images
Failing a driving test can be a tough experience

With driving test wait times as long as six months in some parts of the country, there’s more pressure than ever on learner drivers to pass on their first attempt so that they can avoid waiting months to resit.

According to government data, November and December are the worst months for passing your driving test (with a pass rate of just 46.8%), so it’s more important than ever to be clued up on how to get your licence.

According to Gary Warrington, a driving instructor with more than 15 years of experience, the weather plays a big part in the low winter pass rate.

“Even though driving tests are not conducted in the dark, this variation could be down to the fact that light conditions can vary considerably during the winter months, along with poorer road conditions such as sleet, ice, wet leaves and mud,” he says.

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The car insurance team at Comparethemarket has looked into the government data to look at the most common reasons learners fail their driving test.

We probably all know the “mirror, signal, manoeuvre” mantra our driving instructors taught us. Well, they drummed it into us for a reason.

Not checking properly at junctions and not using your mirrors correctly are among the most common reasons wannabe UK drivers don’t pass their test.

The five most common reasons learner drives fail are:

  • Not making effective observations at junctions
  • Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction
  • Not having proper control of the steering
  • Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
  • Not moving off safely

Still worried about passing? Well, you could up your chances based on where you sit your test.

57% of Cardiff’s learner drivers passed their tests between April 2021 and March 2022, which is a pass rate 11% higher than the rest of the country on average during this period.

Meanwhile, Londoners only had a 45% pass rate, while Leeds had just a 39% pass rate.