How many serious faults are you allowed on a driving test?
Passing a driving test takes practice, determination, and experience. Getting a pass mark is possible with a few minor driving errors, a single dangerous or serious fault is an instant failure.
But, what are serious driving faults in the UK, what are the most common driving test majors and minors, and what can you do to avoid making them during your driving test?
Let’s find out.
All candidates are allowed to rack up to 15 minor faults on their driving test in the UK.
Minor faults, also called driving faults, are mistakes that mainly cause inconvenience to other road users. Although a minor fault is considered bad driving, it doesn’t pose an immediate danger to the driver or others.
There are two types of major driving test faults:
Dangerous and serious faults are also known as driving test majors.
The main difference between minors and majors on a driving test is that the latter refers to faults that are more likely to cause an accident.
For example, incorrectly positioning the car when approaching a roundabout, with no cars nearby, is considered a serious fault. If there are other drivers around, the mistake will be considered dangerous.
Examples of other serious faults on a driving test include running a red light, poor steer control, quickly emerging into junctions without proper observation, and changing lanes without checking the mirrors first.
Worth noting: Minor faults can turn into serious faults if repeated more than a couple of times.
Unlike major faults, minor faults on a driving test are not likely to cause an accident.
Here’s a list of the most common minor faults on a driving test:
The driving test report is a document where examiners mark minors and majors in driving tests and how you’ve handled the test overall. Every candidate has the right to see their driving test sheet after the test, regardless of whether they passed or failed.
The driving test report has a total of 27 categories, but only 21 can affect the result of the driving test. These include:
Other sections that are not relevant but don’t affect the outcome of the driving test are:
If you pass the driving test, the examiner will:
If you agree to get your full licence automatically, you’ll have to hand over your provisional licence to the examiner immediately. You can also apply for it by post.
You can start driving right after you pass the test. You should receive your full licence in about three weeks after applying for it.
If you failed your driving test, the examiner will tell you why, what faults you made, and where. You’ll have to wait for 10 working days to apply to retake the test.
If you believe that you should have passed your driving test, you can appeal the examiner’s decision within 6 months after the driving test took place. You should first check to see whether you have grounds for an appeal and if the examiner followed the law and then make a complaint with the Driver and Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA).
Even if the DVSA agrees that you shouldn’t have failed the test, it won’t change the test result, but the agency will send you a refund or offer you to retake the test for free.
In the UK, more than half of learner drivers (53.4%) fail the driving test on the first attempt. The pass rate for the practical test is 45.8% and 47.3% for the theory test.
Most drivers pass the test after their second attempt.
Here’s what you can do to avoid majors and minors in your driving test:
Taking a driving test can be a nerve-racking moment for many (potential) drivers – in fact, numbers show that less than half of Brits pass their driving test on the first try. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your driving ahead of your test. You can pass with up to 15 driving test minor faults but will immediately fail if you make even one serious or dangerous fault.
You can start driving as soon as you pass your driving test, even if you don’t receive your full licence right away.
You can fail your driving test on a manoeuvre if you show a lack of awareness or poor observation. The examiner is also unlikely to let you pass the test if you mount the kerb or end up in the wrong position.
Rolling back usually means you’re not in control of the vehicle. If the vehicle rolls back only if you react quickly to correct it, you might only get a minor. You’ll automatically fail if you make this mistake several times.
The DVLA does not set limits as to how many times you can fail the practical driving test.
Speeding and driving too slowly are generally considered minor faults unless they’re persistent throughout the test. Any driving test minors can be classed as serious faults if they’re repeated a couple of times.
You can fail your driving test for hesitation if you pass on the opportunity to exit a junction or a roundabout more than twice.
In the UK, most drivers pass their driving test after the second or third attempt.
Drivers can make up to 15 minor faults and still pass their driving test. However, driving test serious faults are not allowed– a single serious or dangerous fault means instant failure.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.