Driving Test Minors and Faults
When you take the driving test, it is rare that you have a clear or clean test report sheet at the end where zero minors, serious or dangerous faults are recorded. From August 2013 to August 2014, from 667,740 tests that were conducted, 6,534 passed first time with zero faults.
Three or more minors within the same category (all three minors for lack of mirror checks for example) may also result in a test failure. Too many repeat minors under the same category will convert into a serious fault, though how many minors required depends on the level of seriousness.
Below is the driving test report sheet along with the possible driving test minors that can be received.
Driving test report sheet
Starting from the top left of the driving test report, we shall explain the possible driving test minors, serious and dangerous faults that may occur. The boxes under ‘D’ are for dangerous, under ‘S’ is for serious and the boxes to the left of those are for minors and the total amount of minors in that section.
By viewing a larger version of the driving test report, you can compare the driving test minors on this page with the possible minors on the test report sheet. The driving test report sheet will open in a new window.
There are no minors that can occur due to the eyesight test. If you fail, the driving test will be terminated and you will lose your driving test fee. See driving test eye test for a complete guide.
1b) Highway Code / Safety
This category is for specialist vehicle tests and not the car driving test.
2) Controlled Stop / Emergency Stop
The emergency stop promptness box accumulate minors by reacting to the examiners stop signal too slowly. The control box is control of the car, for example not to allow the car to skid.
3) Reverse / Left, Reverse with trailer
Reverse with a trailer is a specialised test. The reverse left or Reverse round a corner is one of the more common manoeuvres. Typical test failures result from hitting abruptly the kerb or mounting the pavement (control) or lack of constant and appropriate all round observation (observation). Lightly brushing the kerb is likely to result in a driving test minor.
4) Reverse Right
This manoeuvre is very rare on the standard driving test as it is more dangerous that the reverse left and is typically undertaken on the driving instructor part 2 test (ADI).
5) Reverse Park
This can be either the reverse parallel park where again typical fails occur from loss of:
- Control: due to hitting the kerb, mounting the pavement or getting far too close to the car you are reversing behind
- Observation: lack of or inappropriate observation. Constant adjusting so as to complete the manoeuvre, or mounting the pavement. Lightly touching the kerb is likely to result in a driving test minor
If Bay park, frequent test failure is due to:
- Control: not staying within your bay lines when finished
- Observation: lack of constant all round observation
R – box indicates Road – reverse parallel park. C – box indicates Car park – bay parking.
6) Turn in the road
The turn in the road needs to be completed slowly. Driving test minors, serious or dangerous faults often are to do with:
- Control: not turning the steering wheel fast enough or abruptly hitting the kerb
- Observation: not looking around enough for other road users during the manoeuvre
7) Vehicle checks
Commonly known as the Show Me Tell Me driving test questions, failure to answer 1 or all of these questions will result in just one driving test minor.
8) Taxi manoeuvre
This is the turn in the road manoeuvre for taxi driver tests.
9) Taxi wheelchair
For taxi drivers to safely install wheelchair and occupant.
10) Uncouple / recouple
Trailer tests and uncoupling and recoupling the trailer.
When you sit your driving test, the precautions are to ensure that your seating is in the correct position so as you can reach all controls comfortably. On most occasions you will have driven to the test centre and therefore the seating will already be in the correct position. In this case, there will be no need to readjust.
This section covers the use of accelerator, clutch, gears, foot brake, parking brake, and steering. An excess of any of these minors above can lead to a test failure. Driving test minors often occur here due to:
- Stalling (incorrect gear or clutch control).
- Using an inappropriate gear for the road/speed.
- Coasting by keeping the clutch depressed for too long periods.
- Looking at the gears whilst changing or coasting by placing the gear in neutral whilst the car is moving.
- Harsh steering.
- Applying the handbrake too soon.
13) Move off
Many driving test minors or test failure are the result of moving off incorrectly. Moving off can involve on a gradient, at an angle (parked closely to a car in front) or on a flat surface. Most common minors are:
- Safely: Inappropriate use of mirrors and/or blinds pot
- Control: Inappropriate use of clutch (stalling) or steering when moving off at an angle.
14) Use of mirrors- M/C rear observation
General all round observations and using the mirror signal manoeuvre procedure. Many driving test minors occur on this on due to:
- Change direction: Taking a left turn without effective use of mirrors.
- Change speed: Slowing down or stopping without checking the rear view mirror.
Many driving test minors and failure occur due to this issue:
- Necessary: A signal was necessary but not implemented or a signal was implemented but not necessary, the fore causing confusion to other road users.
- Correctly: A signal was implemented, signal failed but was not applied once again and failure to cancel the signal once manoeuvre is completed.
- Timed: Signalling too late or too soon.
16) Clearance of obstructions
Again, very many test minors and failure due to passing parked cars and cyclists too close.
17) Response to signs and signals
Most common driving test minors and failure in this section are:
- Traffic signs: Failure to recognise speed limit changes and failure to notice other road signs.
- Road markings: Stopping too soon or too late for junction road markings.
- Traffic lights: Failure to stop at a red light or failure to make progress when a light changes to green (most common with filter arrows).
18) Use of speed
Appropriate use of speed depends on the speed limit of that road and an appropriate speed for the road conditions. Weather also plays a part in this. Most driving test minors or failure in this section involve driving too fast for a particular road condition, for example parked cars. Generally speaking, if the road is safe and clear then drive at the speed limit. If there are obstructions such as parked cars then a slower speed may be required.
19) Following distance
Frequent minor and failure can be due to joining a dual carriageway and remaining too close to the car in front. Remaining too close to cars in front generally or stopping to close to traffic in queues. This becomes significantly more important in wet or icy conditions. See 2 second rule for further information.
- Appropriate speed: Frequent test minors due to driving too slow for the speed limit and conditions.
- Undue hesitation: Most driving test minors occur for hesitating at roundabouts and junctions. See undue hesitation.
A vast number of driving test are failed at junctions and many minors occurred due to:
- Approach speed: approaching junctions too fast
- Observation: lack of observing other traffic at junctions
- Turning right / left: inability to judge oncoming traffic speed correctly
- Cutting corners: Making a right turn too soon and cutting the corner of the other side of the road.
- Overtaking: Overtaking is performed on dual carriageways. Most driving test minors or failure are in fact due to staying behind slow moving vehicle when progress should be made by overtaking.
- Meeting: Meeting oncoming an car in areas with parked vehicles on the road and not pulling in a space to allow the oncoming vehicle pass.
- Crossing: when making a right turn and not allowing a safe and sufficient distance between oncoming vehicles and making the turn.
- Normal driving: Driving test minors occur due to not staying at the centre of your side of the road.
- Lane discipline: straddling lanes and not staying in the centre of your lane.
24) Pedestrian crossings
Most driving test minors or failure are due to not slowing down or stopping when a person is approaching or waiting at a pedestrian crossing.
25) Position / normal stops
This section involves parking up on the left where a safe and legal position should be taken. Most minors involve hitting or scraping the kerb. Mounting the pavement is an immediate test failure.
26) Awareness and planning
The ability to be aware of other road users including pedestrians and cyclists and to anticipate their moves. Common minors or failures for this involve a car indicating in front to turn off and not noticing till the last moment. Cyclists changing direction coming up to junctions and not anticipating oncoming vehicles along roads with many parked cars and the need to give way.
27) Ancillary control
Although not too common for minors, ancillary controls include such things as indicators, lights,
windscreen wipers, demisters and heaters. A driving test minor may occur due to looking down to see where the windscreen wipers are if it starts to rain. It is important to be familiar where all ancillary controls are and how to operate them.
28) Eco safe driving
Highly unlikely to fail a driving test on this section and test minors are not too common. A driving test minor may occur due to frequently leaving the car in a low gear for too long before changing.