The top 10 most common reasons why learner drivers fail their tests have been revealed. 

Whether you're studying for your own exam or you want to see how you compared to other prospective motorists, you might be surprised at how basic some of these driving faults are.

The leading supplier of discounted vehicles to front-line workers Motorfinity has crunched the numbers.

Looking at government data, Motorfinity has analysed the main reasons for failing so that those sitting their tests won't fall victim to the same mistakes. 


Most common driving faults that lead to learner drivers failing their tests

Here are the top 10 reasons why drivers fail their tests, according to Motorfinity's research:

1. Bad observations at junctions

Learner drivers often fail their test because they haven’t made effective observations when approaching a junction.

Every time the car enters a new road the driver must make sure it is safe to proceed by looking left and right – it’s the same for entering a roundabout, slip road and looking ahead at crossroads.

2. Not checking mirrors enough

It doesn’t come naturally when you’re starting out on the roads, but not checking your mirrors regularly can be the difference between a pass and a failure.

Mirrors need to be checked before signalling, changing speed, changing direction, along roundabouts and when changing lanes, and especially on the dual carriageway to avoid other cars from having to slow down.

3. Wrong positioning when turning right

If the car is positioned too far to the left when turning right traffic can be obstructed and cause delays and confusion; it’s important to position the car as close to the centre of the road as is safely possible.

This also includes positioning the vehicle in the left-hand lane on a roundabout when wanting to turn right.

4. Incorrectly responding to traffic lights

Learners will fail their driving test immediately if they don’t respond to traffic lights correctly.

Whether ignoring them or not anticipating a red light and proceeding through it.

5. Lack of control when steering

This includes not steering enough around a bend, steering too late when turning and mounting the pavement when pulling up or parking.

Worcester News: Here are the 10 most common reasons why people fail their driving tests. (Getty Images)Here are the 10 most common reasons why people fail their driving tests. (Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

6. Failing to move off safely

Similar to mirror checking, it may not come naturally but drivers must complete a six-point check anytime they want to move off to ensure it is safe to do so - this means checking mirrors as well as blind spots.

Drives should also indicate and pull out slowly if necessary, to avoid and alert approaching vehicles.

7. Incorrectly responding to road signs

It’s not enough to be able to understand traffic signs when driving, newbie drivers must also be able to react quickly to them.

Some of the most common road signs that learners fail to respond to are ‘no entry’ signs, speed limit changes and incorrectly driving in bus lanes.

8. Poor road positioning

Similar to being in the wrong position when turning right, general poor road positioning includes using the right-hand lane unnecessarily and driving in the middle of the road.

9. Poor response to signals

Signals are used to show a driver’s intention, they’re used to communicate with other road users and help to ‘read the road’. 

Slow reactions to, or even ignoring signals like indicators, brake lights, hazard warning lights, headlights, reversing lights and the car horn could result in disastrous consequences.

10. Progressing at an appropriate speed

You should drive at a speed appropriate for the road and traffic conditions, without holding up other road users.

Most learners will fail their driving test if they make no attempts to achieve maximum speeds when it’s safe to do so, reducing speed excessively, and making slow progress through the gears.

Worcester News: Not checking mirrors enough and wrong position when turning right are among the main reasons why learner drivers fail their tests. ( Getty Images)Not checking mirrors enough and wrong position when turning right are among the main reasons why learner drivers fail their tests. ( Getty Images) (Image: DVSA)

Motorfinity CEO, Daniel Briggs commented: “Every driver knows how nerve-racking your driving test is! You have to remember that your driving instructor wouldn’t let you take the test if you weren’t ready.

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“My top tip is to spend some extra time before your test practising those simple routines like ‘mirror, signal, position, speed, look’ – it sounds basic but it’ll get you into good habits.

“With the average driving lesson now costing £35 per hour, and learner drivers needing around 45 hours of professional instruction to pass their tests, the cost of learning to drive is over £1,500.

"With the Cost-of-Living crisis affecting more and more people, learning to drive needs to be more accessible, so it’s great to see The Driving Lesson Grant getting media attention.”