In trying to address the seismic backlog of driving tests as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the DVSA has announced the top ten mistakes learner drivers make that cause them to fail their test.

The DVSA has contacted all UK-based driving instructors to advise them of the most common reasons learners have failed their driving tests previously.

These communications were sent out to instructors in the hope that if instructors focus on these areas during tuition and refresher sessions, with many learners having been out of practice due to lockdown, many more will pass first time and not need to rebook their tests at a later date should they fail.

News and Star: Peter Brabin, Head of Training at Bill Plant had his say on the findings. (PA)Peter Brabin, Head of Training at Bill Plant had his say on the findings. (PA)

Peter Brabin, Head of Training at Bill Plant said: “It’s really interesting to have this data broken down by the DVSA, highlighting exactly what UK learner drivers are most commonly struggling with when on their driving tests.

“What’s somewhat surprising is that a lot of the most common test failures are some of the very first things you’re taught when you get behind the wheel.

"That clearly just goes to show that maintaining a regular pattern of lessons is important to keep up the fundamentals, and that nerves can play a large part in the test experience which causes silly mistakes that you wouldn't expect.

“While we obviously want as many learner drivers passing their driving test and enjoying the freedom on the road that many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy, this just goes to show why it’s imperative learner drivers are properly scrutinised on their test.

“None of us want unsteady, uncertain and unsafe drivers on the road, causing more accidents and issues and more rebooked driving tests.”

He added: “It’s never a nice feeling to be told you have failed your driving test, but when you consider that the average pass rate was 45.9% between April 2019 and March 2020, it should also give some confidence that people aren’t just being passed for the sake of it to clear the backlog and that people really are expected to be both calm and confident behind the wheel.

“Safety must be the upmost priority - it always has been and always will be.”

Top ten mistakes causing learners to fail their driving test:

  1. Not making effective observations at junctions
  2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction
  3. Not having proper control of the steering
  4. Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
  5. Not moving off safely
  6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights
  7. Poor positioning on the road during normal driving
  8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs
  9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off
  10. Not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking