What if I fail my driving test?
Most importantly, don’t worry. The pass rate for driving tests is only 42% currently, and for first-
time passes is even lower. Failing your test is not the end of the world, and you can treat it as a
learning experience, albeit a rather expensive one.
If you fail your test the examiner will explain why. They will show you and talk through the
Driving Test Report form DL25, on which they will have marked the errors you made during the
test. They will usually invite your instructor to join you for this conversation too.
The examiner can mark three types of fault: a minor fault is an oversight that you need to improve,
but didn’t cause a problem this time, such as hesitating, poor observation on a manoeuvre or being
slow to brake when approaching a junction. Less than one percent of tests result in a clean sheet
with no faults at all. You are allowed up to fifteen minors, but no more than three in any one
category e.g. mirror checks – more than this and you fail your test; a serious fault is an error which
could have put you or somebody else in danger, for example pulling out of a junction without
looking, and will result in a test fail; a dangerous fault is one where you or another road user was in
danger, and either you, they or the instructor had to take evasive action to avoid an accident, for
example if you pulled out at that junction without looking and nearly hit a cyclist. Any dangerous
fault is a failed test.
Once you know why you failed, you and your instructor can work out how many more lessons you
may need before applying to take the test again. It could be that you just had a bad day, and that
more practice to build up your confidence is all that you require; you might realise that you really
need to focus on your observation, or on your manoeuvres and that a few more lessons would be
productive; or you could have made a serious or dangerous fault on the test, which might knock
your confidence or show that you really don’t have enough experience to take your test yet.
If you believe that you were failed unfairly for any reason, you are allowed to make a complaint and
to appeal. Your complaint or appeal is only on the grounds that there were irregularities in test
procedure, not just because you disagree with the examiner’s judgement. In England and Wales you
have up to six months to do this with the local Magistrates Court, and in Scotland up to 21 days
with the local Sheriff. Appealing will not change the result of your test, but you may be refunded
the fee if the court finds that the test wasn’t properly conducted. It’s worth getting legal advice
before pursuing this route.
The next step is to take some more lessons or get some more practice, whichever course of action
you agreed with your driving instructor. You can apply to take your test again when you are ready,
but it must be a clear ten days since your failed test.
To find out more about learning to drive in Glasgow contact TX Driver Training now on 0141 764