Can’t Pass Driving Test

For some, passing the practical driving test seems like an impossible task where no matter how many times they try, they simply cannot pass.

For those implying that they can’t pass the driving test, analysis needs to be completed into why they persistently fail. Many factors contribute towards failing a driving test. Often, it is due to the learner driver although on certain occasions it can be the driving examiner being a little too harsh during a particular situation, where a different examiner may let it pass.

If you really can’t pass the driving test and have failed on a few occasions, let’s take a look at the most frequent reasons and see if we can help address any issues.

Some of the following tips may help learner drivers who can’t pass the driving test, or help others who have yet to take a driving test to pass first time.

Ready for the driving test?

This of course sounds obvious, but make sure you are actually ready for the driving test and ensure you are confident in your abilities at every part of the practical test process. Read the tips and tutorials on this web site and if you are doubtful of your abilities in any areas, take further driving lessons to eliminate any weaknesses you may have. The driving test has an amazing ability to find any weaknesses of learner drivers.

can't pass the driving test
Just can’t pass the driving test

Driving test centre

If you have had several attempts at the driving test from a particular driving test centre and keep failing, try a different one. A driving test centre located in a busy city statistically will be harder to pass the test compared to a test centre located in a quieter area. Each test centre routes come with their own challenging and pitfalls, but if you struggle with the fast pace and multi-lanes of a city test, a quieter alternative may increase your chances.

Driving test routes

All driving test routes at all test centres are individually designed by the examiners who work there. They do of course feature many of the most challenging roads and traffic systems within the area of the centre. Ensuring that you are proficient in such areas will gain a substantial increase in your chances of passing. A good and established local instructor should know these areas well.

Change driving instructors

If you have taken a few driving tests but can’t seem to pass and have used the same driving instructor throughout, try a different one. Although there are bad instructors out there, your current instructor is probably just fine. The benefit is that each driving instructor although follows a similar syllabus, uses different techniques and is perhaps stricter in certain areas. A ‘fresh’ pair of eyes may enlighten you to mistakes that were not previously highlighted.

Take a semi-intensive course

If you have been taking weekly lessons and keep failing the test, try taking a semi-intensive course just before the test. Cover everything in the semi-intensive and by taking the test at the end, you will have all the information you have learnt fresh in your head and due to the fast nature of the semi-intensive and the test, it will give you little time to dwell on things and get nervous.

Don’t tell anyone that you’re taking a driving test

Telling everyone that you have a test increases the pressure on you to pass.

Ask a member of the family to book your test

Many fail the driving test because of nerves. The tension builds as the test gets closer until on the day, they’re a trembling wreck. Ask a member of your family to arrange a test with your instructor and not to tell you at the last moment. Even perhaps so that you think you are simply going for a driving lesson but in reality you’re going for a driving test.

Choose the best time of day to book a driving test

Book the driving test during the most quiet times of day. This is usually outside of morning and evening rush hour. Usually around 11 am is a good choice. Certain test centres operate Saturday tests. This comes at a slightly higher test fee but if the area around the test centre is quieter on Saturdays, it could prove beneficial.

Take driving lessons at the most hectic time of day

Combine the above driving test during the quietest times of day with taking driving lessons during the most hectic times of day. Learning to drive at the most hectic times of the day will enable you to deal with the stress of driving better. When you’re used to this, taking the test during calmer periods should feel much easier.

Strict driving instructors

The last thing you want is a passive driving instructor who is reluctant to rectify errors in your driving. You don’t want a miserable instructor who gets angry and shouts however, but you want one that will pick up each and every mistake you make and consistently bring them to your attention until perfected. If you notice your current instructor not picking up on driving errors, ask them to be stricter or find an alternative. You want all your stress and tension during driving lessons, not the driving test. A strict instructor, combined with lessons during hectic periods and a driving test during calm periods is an excellent combination.

Take mock driving tests

Mock driving tests can prove beneficial not only to establish your ability to pass the driving test, but can be an excellent confidence booster. Ideally choose a different driving instructor to the one that has been teaching you to drive. A fresh set of eyes assessing your driving may bring possible mistakes to your attention that you may have not been aware of.

Driving examiners

Driving examiners all undergo training and have a procedure they must follow for passing and failing driving test candidates. They are however permitted to use their discretion on whether certain errors made by test candidates result in a pass or failure. A simple mirror check that was missed may be a minor to one examiner and a failure to another. A questions often asked by test candidates is:

“Can you choose your driving examiner?”

Unfortunately you cannot choose your driving examiner as they’re automatically assigned to you. Although you’re not able to request a particular examiner, if a certain test centre is known to have strict examiners, choosing an alternative test centre may enable you to take the test with a friendlier examiner.

Go automatic

If you have had many driving tests in a manual car and continuously fail, an automatic may be an option to consider. Although passing the driving test in a manual will prove a greater benefit than automatic, the lack of a clutch and gears will allow you to concentrate more on your driving and what’s going on round you. See automatic or manual, which is better for further information.

Driving test attempts

The following table details the total number of driving tests conducted by the DVSA throughout the year 2011. As can be seen, whether it’s your 1st attempt or 6th attempt, anywhere between 50 and 60 percent of tests taken are successful and would appear a great many people just can’t pass the driving test.

  • 1st Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  207755
    Driving tests passed:       53.39%
  • 2nd Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  82559
    Driving tests passed:       57.78%
  • 3rd Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  27488
    Driving tests passed:       59.35%
  • 4th Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  8184
    Driving tests passed:       60.5%
  • 5th Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  2348
    Driving tests passed:       60.1%
  • 6th Attempt
    Driving tests conducted:  931
    Driving tests passed:       59.2%

61 thoughts on “Can’t Pass Driving Test”

  1. Ryan Evans

    i have failed my test 4 times I’m going in for my 5th now soon and its very frustrating and I get really bad nerves as I’m o medication aswell once I do one little mistake I do a lot more because I keep thinking about the mistake I made I really need to pass my test but its not easy to keep doing and just to fail is a big let down.

  2. Hi Ryan,
    The problem you describe is quite common. It’s anxiety and apprehension that builds from one small mistake. You should try a form of commentary driving – it’s about running through a verbal process of what you see, what hazards there might be and what you’re going to do about it. Comments are done before a situation has occurred and essentially puts you in a much safer position for driving. The other benefit is that it alleviates nerves and anxiety as your mind is always focusing on the task at hand and ahead. Ask your driving instructor or find one who can teach it – it’ll work wonders.

  3. Andrea Walters

    Am a 31 year-old woman i have faild 5 times now i feel so depressed. Every time i get on the bus i feel like a loser. I want to start a family but i dont want to be taking the bus as it will make my life harder . I dont know what to do.:(

  4. Hello Andrea,
    I think you’re focusing far too negatively on the situation and putting the ‘pass’ on a pedestal that is almost unobtainable. Personally, I would concentrate on continuing with the things that you want in life as a priority and if you happen to pass the test, then that would just be a little bonus. Losing the stress, usually makes things happen.

    Other than that, try automatic if you haven’t already – it can be much easier.
    Take lots of mock driving tests with an instructor that you don’t know – it begins to normalise the real test.
    Try a days intensive driving with the test at the end of the day – some people thrive on intensive situations, others not so.
    Break down the learning to drive process into sections – write down the parts you’re good at and the parts that need work. Take a few steps back and start again with the parts that need work. Work out a strategy on this with your instructor.
    But it’s important to take it on as a challenge and not to think of the pass as a requirement.

  5. Julie Lee

    Hi My name is Julie
    I took my test yesterday the 30th of November and failed for the second time this year I have been trying to get my licence for over 20 years, yesterday was a bad day for me as the sun made me make mistakes so much so i had to keep putting my hand in front of my eyes to help me see unforchaneley i did have sunglasses with me as i wasn’t expecting the sun to cause me a problem, the sun was so low in the sky it blinded me to the point i couldn’t see i told him i couldn’t see yet he still kept making me turn the car into the sun instead of asking me to turn the care so that the sun was behind me, but he didn’t he asked me to dive to the end of the road and turn left then take the first right i did the left turn but was then blinded by the sun making me miss the turning on the right he also said i went over the speed limmit which was 30 on a short bit of road then turning to 50 i am sure i didn’t go over the speed limit as i remember looking down and seeing 30 on the clock and i was going slow on account i couldn’t see we then went to the end of the road went round the iland did that fine got to the next iland as i pulled on to it the sun blinded me again this made me come off the 3rd turning instead of the 4th turning the hole time he didn’t listen to me about not being able to see i have had this man before and i think he recconised me as his words to me when we got in the car told me i wasn’t going to pass this is what happend he was telling about the test sheet which i understood then he told me about the other form that they fill in if you pass to get your lisence so when he showed me the paper which was green he said to me this form we will fill in after your test if you pass but we may not need to fill that one in that told me he wasn’t going to pass me no matter what i did, i have had this a lot i always get the instinct i am not going to pass i can easly pick things up and i am always write i can also see them in the office looking at me and see them descussing who is taking me out as they have all taken me for a test over the years my instructors all tell me i am a good driver and it is not very often i make mistakes in fact i have seen drivers who have there licence make more bad mistakes than i do it seems so unfair can’t they see that the small mistakes like going over the speed limit by two miles an hour will iron its self out over time ok i can see going over by a lot is not ok they don’t seem to take into account nerves and they should because people will make mistakes if they have nerve problems on there test its normal for people to be like that if they have taken there test more than once, i am taking my test one last time at this centre in Telford then i will take it again for the very last time in a different test centre if i don,t pass then i will quit if you can offer any advice it will be welcome what i need is a test centre that deals with people like me i don,t suffer with nurves on test day so we can’t put it down to that i am very carm when i arrive but up set when they tell me i have failed which is starting to get to much for me you see i need this licence as me and my husband are disabled my husband drives for now but he very often dosn’t drive because he dosn’t feel safe so i took up driving lessions again so i could take over the driving but it is a night mare getting my licence and soon we will be house bound when my husband can no longer drive, my main problem is i am only 4ft 9 and some cars i cannot drive as i can’t reach the clutch peddle i have thought of buying and exstention when i pass my test and no i can’t drive an ortomatic well i can but because we have a mobility car and most of the time we can’t get an ortomatic on mobility unless we have a lot of money because they want a masive deposit which we do not have as we live on benefits so my only optoin was to learn manuel driving my husband says i am a good driver and trust me he wouldn’t say i was if i wasn’t he never lies to me i hope you can help

    Mrs J Lee (Julie)

  6. Abeeda

    I have failed my driving test 5-6 times in the last 3 years and if I fail again I have decided that i’m not going to take the test in my town. Feel hopeless because i’ve spent soo much money and the time and energy that has gone into it.
    I feel like a failure every time because my younger brother drives everywhere, I can’t even pass the test and everyone picks on me for it.
    I’m going back to university in September and have tried a few tests this summer but have failed.
    Giving up xo

  7. Hello Abeeda,
    It takes some people many more attempts than 5 or 6, so keep at it and don’t give up. It seems like you’re piling the pressure on yourself to pass. If possible, try not to get so pressured about it and just have the attitude that you’ll pass when you pass. If you relax with the situation you should find it a lot easier.

  8. marie

    do you think your age depends on weather you pass or fail a test, or even your ability to drive?

  9. Hi Marie,
    Statistically (DVSA data) younger drivers tend to have a better chance of passing the test, but I have always found that older learner drivers tend to have more confidence / less stressed attitude which helps a great deal.

  10. Deborah

    have failed my driving test 3 times 1.i was not looking at oncoming cars on my right , and my examiner pressed the brakes. 2, i went on a bus lane and then realised my mistake which i drove out from, but the examiner failed me . 3, during my maneuver(parking on the right and reversing two car length) i did not stop for other traffic, but as i soon as i realised i should hv stop for any movement, i did, and after all movement had cleared i continued, but the examiner still failed me. i felt should hv been a little considerate, as i realised my mistake but corrected it on time . any advice.

  11. Hi Deborah,
    All examiners will fail a test candidate for anything illegal (such as driving in a bus lane during its hours of operation) and for anything dangerous (which usually involves them using the brakes or grabbing the wheel). Other things such as the manoeuvre can come down to their individual discretion. It can help to tell the examiner that you did something wrong such as not stopping on your manoeuvre and that you have now corrected this. They are then at least you are aware of your faults. But in all honesty, it comes down to the examiner and whether they’re able to offer a little leniency.

  12. Kate

    I can’t count how many times I have my driving test, I keep failing all the time on different mistakes, am really tired but I need to drive as I got three children, my fear now is will I ever pass these these test,

  13. Hello Kate,
    Have you tried a different driving instructor? That’s not to say that your current one is bad, just that a different instructor can introduce alternative teaching techniques that you may find easier to learn from.

  14. zahra

    I have just come back from university and started working, have bought a car as it is so much quicker to drive to work than take the bus and have now sat my test 3 times and failed. Each time I get only around 2 minors and 1 serious. The first was waiting at a roundabout for too long so the car behind horned at me, the second was not being in the right lane at a fork right next to the test centre and the third was while taking a right turn the oncoming van had to slow down and ‘react’ to me. I have barely ever failed anything in my life, am 23 years old now and all my friends can drive. I am a doctor and need to get into work for night shifts and emergency calls soon and this is going to be really difficult without a car so I really need to drive. My instructor even got me to do a mock test with a different instructor both who tell me I am completely ready and don’t know what else I need to do they just keep telling me to book more tests. I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on driving and I feel so depressed that so many other people seem to be able to do this and I can’t.

  15. Hi Zahra,
    Unfortunately it does take some people a few more attempts than others. Three times failed might seem like a lot, but it takes others many more. It does sound like you’re ready, but perhaps need a little work on judging traffic and timings such as at roundabouts and junctions. I would suggest you work on that a little more and take another mock test during the busiest time of the day. Mock tests, especially with an instructor you don’t know are great as they get you more prepared for the real thing.



    I have had failed 6 tests already and it is so frustrating. During my lessons, my instructor tells me that I am a good driver with few minors, while in the test I just become a new person – lots of errors. I see that same errors pop-up in the test and at this point, I do not know if my instructor is able to help me fix these errors. What would you recommend me to do?

    Kind regards,

  17. Hello Sofia,

    I would recommend trying a different instructor. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with your current instructor, but a new instructor will have different techniques and suggestions that may help you build upon your current experience. Show them your fail sheets, have an assessment lesson and explain exactly where you keep going wrong. I also always recommend mock tests with a instructor that you’ve never used before. They can see your abilities from a fresh perspective and highlight any improvements needed. Plus mock tests help you gain confidence for the real tests.

  18. ROSE

    I have failed my test twice now .i am frustrated asi keep making the same mistake of almost hitting park cars. All my three instructors have complained about it but I just cant fix the error

  19. Hello Rose,
    Some people struggle with spatial awareness more than others and the only real way around it is lots of practice. The issue being however, is where to start. When driving along the road, some learners have trouble understanding a good driving position in relation to the kerb, so for this you stop in the road (quiet road) in a good driving position and look where the kerb comes down the road and into the windscreen / dashboard. The point at which it hits is a reference point marker to use when driving along. You can even put a little sticker there if you want. The same technique can be done for parking on the left for gauging a good distance from the kerb to park – the reference point just needs altering slightly for parking.

    You can also apply this to parked cars and instead of the kerb, use their tyres as a reference point coming into the windscreen. It’s a good technique to use as a starting reference point until you do it enough so that you no longer need to so it. Always try and leave a metre when driving passed parked cars if poss (just in case any doors open). This isn’t always possible on narrow roads, but set up some reference points with your instructor and see how it goes.

  20. Anne Marie

    Hi I’m a much older learner, really dont want say my age lol, but I failed my 1st test last year a week before my hip revision operation, thing was, I really thought I had passed! But I was failed on not looking right at the end of the road leaving the test centre😢but my operation was far more complex than anyone had forseen, so I didn’t return to driving until 2weeks ago, first lesson great! 2nd one absolutely dire! My test is booked for May 8th,only because my theory runs out on May 9th!!so the pressure is immense! Are there any older learners on this thread with some inspiration for me PLEASE!!!!!!!

  21. Hello Anne,
    Older learners always seem to have an issue with being older and think it will set them back for learning to drive and passing the test, but in my experience it has been the opposite. I’ve always found older learners do great. I really wouldn’t worry about the odd terrible driving lesson, that’s perfectly normal. I’m sure you’ll do great on your test and in the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

  22. Caprii

    I have failed 3 time so far. After every test I am told that am I’m a good driver but… 1) he felt I interpreted a stop sign as a give way sign. 2) I didn’t over take a learner driver on a nation speed limit road. 3) I went to set off down a “no entry” area this was because I misunderstood the instructor when he said carry on (I should’ve turned left). I get a small amount of minors every time. I don’t know what to do to pass. I have my 4th coming up x

  23. Hi Caprii,
    It does take most test candidates a few attempts to pass, so keep at it and you’ll get there.
    After your 3 tests, do the examiners give you feedback?
    Sounds a little like some observational issues with the signs and a lack of confidence on dealing with the learner driver.
    It often proves beneficial to change driving instructors, that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with your current instructor, but some fresh eyes on your driving ability and the mistakes you make can work wonders.

  24. Arpit

    Hi I’ve got a test on the 24th December at 8:57AM. This is my 2nd time.

  25. jaszzy

    I have failed twice! its the most frustrating thing in the world. especially now I’m 18 and my friends who have been driving for a few months have passed, its so expensive aswell im getting fed up now
    I hope I pass if not I don’t know at to do

  26. Hello Jaszzy,
    It does take most people two or three (or more) attempts to pass. I’m sure you’ll pass next time, but if not, come back here and we shall try and figure out where you’re going wrong.

  27. Lewis Bishop

    I’m probably replying to this years later but oh well lol. I feel exactly the same. I’m 20 and everyone I know younger than me can drive. I’m been learning for 1.5 years and I’ve had 6 tests, and I just cannot pass. I know I but pressure on myself but I find it hard not to when being able to drive is not only convenient, but necessary for so many things! The amount of time, money and effort I’ve put into driving never seems to be enough, and all my driving instructors have said is “you need more road experience”. After about 70-80 hours of driving in all different areas and scenarios how can I possibly not have enough road experience. I always fail for different things but they are usually speed related, how much control I have of the car and how I react to different situations, and making silly mistakes I wouldn’t normally make. I feel like a pretty confident driver in lessons but as soon as I get in the car on a test my confidence plummets and I cannot concentrate and control my nerves. Idk if not having enough road experience is the problem, I think it’s mainly the confidence. I have taken breaks and not been consistent a lot of the time, especially after my first test, which coincidentally was my best one! But since then I have not been able to be at the same level no matter how many hours of driving I have. I know everyone is different, and my instructors say I have the competence but not the consistency, but it is simply REDICULOUS how after all this time, I am still not confident enough to pass a test, and I still feel that I am at the skill level of someone who’s had half the driving experience as I have had. I do not know what the solution is, because evidently just having more lessons and more lessons and more lessons is not enough.

  28. Hi Lewis,
    Have you tried the semi-intensive route? Some people get on much better doing this. So for instance, take a course over a week, say 4 hours per day with the test at the end of the week.
    Are you driving manual or automatic? For some, driving an automatic helps them to concentrate on the road more.
    Another option is to perhaps consider an alternative test centre. Test centres in busy cities are known to be challenging. Not sure where you are taking your test, but perhaps choosing a test centre in a quiet area with a few driving lessons in that area might do the trick.
    Sounds like you’ve got yourself in a mental rut (as it were), so trying something totally different might be the key to passing your test.

  29. Lita

    just had driving test yesterday, less i knew i will be asked to change a mask in the test centre. I had my own mask kn95, but had to change it for one of their cheap blue ones. Failed as i simply could not breathe in it.

  30. Thomas Scrivens

    I just failed my 4th driving test today and have been learning for over 3 and a half years.
    I felt like I did a good drive overall and only got 3 minors but was given a serious because my emergency stop was just slightly to slow.
    I’m at the point where I’m ready to give up as I now have to resit my theory again for the 3rd time.
    I have had the same examiner twice who as well and I feel like I was robbed to be honest.
    The test before I was all over the place since I struggled to keep my nerves in check but today I thought I did well.
    To rub salt in the wound I got glimpse of the only other person taking the test walk away with a pass certificate.
    Seems like it doesnt matter whether I drive well or not I can never get it right on day!
    And with all this COVID-19 stuff going on which has impacted other areas of my life as well I feel like I may aswell either give up or atleast wait until next year since the theory centre isnt open.
    I done over 100-200 hours and spent probably over £1000-£2000 I’m now debating is this even worth spending any more on.😔

  31. Hi Thomas,
    It does sound that your last test went better than those before. Still not a pass, but overall, much better than your previous attempts. That’s progress and is going in the right direction. Some people take many more attempts before they get there. Considering you are improving and making progress, I wouldn’t give up and would keep at it.

  32. Anne

    I’ve had over 80 lessons, had first test last week. I had a mock test and gotno minors and one serious. But then I did mock with someone else and fell apart. in test I freaked out and failed within 2 minutes. End of test!! I felt I was too familiar with my instructor who was too nice and let me off too much so I had an assessment with another instructor today. He tore my driving apart and said even if I had not freaked out, and actually got a proper length test (instead of not actually getting off the car park) I still wouldn’t have passed as I didn’t look like a confident driver, I was erratic and nervous. He said it would take as many lessons as I’d had to get me to test standard!! He also made derogatory comments about my instructor but I informed him that many of his pupils passed first time, so then he said it must be because I must not be following his instructions properly I’m left feeling so demoralised and confused about my driving skills that I just want to give up now. Under my instructor I think I can drive okay, but if I can’t drive without him being my comfort blanket, I’ll never progress. Any advice welcome. Thanks

  33. Hi Anne,
    I think you did the right thing by having a mock test with a different instructor. It’s good that instructors give you constructive advice on your driving, but it sounds like this instructor made things a little personal. You’ve said yourself that you feel your current instructor lets you off too much, which may make driving lessons more pleasant, but doesn’t help much when it comes to passing the test.

    It’s important that you get a realistic overview on where you’re at in regards to test standard, but perhaps not with your current overly nice instructor and equally not with the excessively harsh instructor. I think you should try another instructor. When asking around, make it clear that learning to drive makes you anxious and stressed. Some instructors deal with learners who suffer from anxiety specifically, so it’s important you choose an instructor who understands this. Also make it clear to them what your situation is and that you need a realistic perspective of exactly where you’re at and how far you need to go to reach test standard.

    80 lessons is quite a lot, but by no means as many as some learners need. I think when you find the right instructor, things will fall into place (firm but fair is a good saying). I would recommend you take time to find the right instructor and avoid rushing into it. Good luck 🙂

  34. Alana Heiman

    I failed my drivers test 4 times I feel like a failure because I’m 19 years old without a drivers license should I keep trying

  35. Hi Alana. Yes, of course you should keep trying. You’ll get there. Four times really isn’t that many, so keep at it and you’ll have passed before you know it.

  36. Alana Heiman

    Ok thanks

  37. Becky

    In reply to zahra.

    Hi Zahra, I am in the same situation, I have failed my test 3 times now and feeling defeated already. I have never failed in anything as I am very good at everything I do, I am starting my Masters in Physician Associates this September and a car I’ll be greatly needed for me as my university is very far. Have you passed your test and what did you do differently?

  38. Becky

    In reply to Lewis Bishop.

    It’s like you wrote about me! Everything you said here is me my first one failed due to one minor mistake and no serious whatever, after the first one it’s all serious mistakes I keep failing at. 60 hours of lessons and still couldn’t pass. I really do need this!!

  39. Becky

    In reply to Thomas Scrivens.

    I totally understand your frustration and I am in the same boat as you, I feel like giving up too as it’s totally depressing the hell out of me. But I I’ll say to you to never give up and keep trying because you have put so much into this. You got this!

  40. Karl

    I have failed my drivers test 4 times now and like many other learners on here iv had very little minor marks but end up having a major at some point I feel comfortable in the car with my tutor but obviously get nervous on the test day and during the test and believe me iv tried many ways to help keep calm nothing helps
    In my case I feel the examiners read into my little errors too much as it is only nerves and I would not normally make such mistakes on a normal lesson it is only because I’m under pressure as I’m being examined and it may be controversial but I know I have been failed for a major mistake that I know for a fact that I did not make but what is the point in complaining about it when it won’t change the results you here that they can only pass so many people a week and I feel that’s true considering iv been failed for something I know I didn’t do but how can I prove it I am fed up and after spending so much time and money on driving I also feel deflated especially when my younger siblings are all driving and I am not and also to top it thanks to this pandemic I have lost 1year + of my theory test as all driving was suspended this also angers me as it was hard enough to pass my theory and now I have to do it again as they won’t extend the theory pass by a year that I lost and paid for and passed it’s completely unfair and it angers me so much I feel such hatred for the entire system
    I’m stressed fed up and angry and also wonder why carry on with it as at the age of 31 I feel like a failure and a joke to friends and family and feel like I’m not supposed to drive or something it’s just depressing so depressing

  41. Wyatt C

    I’d recommend moving to Florida and still making sure to master everything they require there, it’s mostly and oftentimes all done in a parking lot and it’s driving around in it and a number of maneuvers such as a three point turn, backing, backing from a parking spot, and a quick stop. If I do decide to take my driving test while I’m in my home state and I fail enough times (I’ve only tried once but I failed, I’m definitely better now and took lessons but eh), I’m considering trying down there bc it’s really easy as long as you’re still laser focused. I wanted to be able to drive my car down there when I get my license while I’m back up here temporarily but I might not be able to.

  42. Conor

    I’ve been driving for four almost five years every day to work and have moved states again driving myself, and everyone I’ve ever drove with has told me I’m a safe and responsible driver, I don’t speed I always follow the flow of traffic and have adjusted my mirrors to show my back end blind spots and I still have failed my test 4 times. I don’t know what to do and at this point I’m giving up, if it really is that hard to pass why don’t we take a look at that issue rather then people who are literally trying there hardest to pass the damn thing.

  43. Hi Conor,
    It is very frustrating. Usually the best thing to do is to look for a pattern in the reasons why you’re failing and address those. Have you used any professional driving instructors or going it alone? A driving instructor will be able to point out areas that need improvement.

  44. Sandra

    I have failed my practical test for the 4th time today. I’m having such bad luck with my driving experience as a whole due to bad instructors and missing a whole year out due to the pandemic. My current instructor is great and truly believes I can pass the test, which I also know I can. However every test I’ve taken, I have failed on the parking manouvers. I know I can do them perfectly and have done them every single time before each test but for some reason I can’t do them on test day. Seems to me like it’s nerves but I can’t get my mindset and nerves in a good spot before a test. Any advice please?

  45. Hi Sandra,
    The manoeuvres is the part of the test where you actually have the greatest control over. You say that you know that you can do them perfectly, so my question is, do you know that you have not done them correctly during the driving test?

    This is important because the manoeuvres part of the driving test is where you can make adjustments. You don’t often get that chance during the rest of the test, so you need to make the most of it.

    If you feel that a manoeuvre is going wrong, rather than continue to make it worse, stop and make adjustments. This could be pulling forward again. moving your car a bit further away etc… Basically getting yourself to a point where you know you are back in control. Provided that you make the adjustments safely, (for example always observe that it’s safe before moving the car), then the examiner will be fine with this.

    I’ve even known test candidates who have completed a manoeuvre and totally messed it up. Tell the examiner that you’ve messed it up and that you would like to try it again. This option is a bit hit and miss; if you get a grumpy examiner, they might say no, but a fair examiner should say yes if you have enough time – so it’s worth a try.

    But the key is to know when a manoeuvre is going wrong and to sort it out before it goes too far. You have plenty of time to do this during a test, so take your time 🙂

  46. Trevor

    If one has failed 3 to 4 times, chances are that he/she CAN NOT even pass the next time. This is a money churning business and a failure in driving exam is now stuck in this loop forever. C’mon You know that you can drive, but the instructors wont let you. And it is always the case when you put your fate in others’ hands. Best at thsi point is to make a fake driving license. Peace out!

  47. Hello Trevor,
    Statistically, around 47 percent of those taking the driving test for the 4th time will pass and 45 percent of those taking the driving test for the 5th attempt will pass. Statistically there’s no reason to give up. Driving with a fake licence potentially opens up a whole world of problems. The police simply need to check with the DVLA’s database to see if a licence is genuine. Then there’s potential car insurance invalidation, where in the event of a collision, will be a huge problem.

  48. Abc

    If I had failed my first road test and received a second test date can I prepond the date

  49. Hello,
    Yes, if you manage to find a test slot sooner than yours, you can take that slot instead. This happens if someone cancels their test for example, or if the DVSA recruit an additional examiner and open up new test slots. You may have to make regular checks to find an earlier test though.

  50. Sana

    Hi,my name is Sana and today I fail my test 6th time and I feel so sorry on me and I don’t want to give up but why I can’t pass my test?

  51. Hi Sana,
    As with everything in life, some people are more good at certain things than others. For those that struggle learning to drive and passing the test, it just takes longer. Are you taking the manual or automatic test? If manual, have you considered automatic? The test is of course exactly the same, but not having to worry about gears and clutch control can help with freeing up your concentration into other areas.

    Are you consistently failing on similar issues? Run through each of your test reports to see if there’s a reoccurring issue going on. Have you tried different instructors? I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with your current instructor, but different instructors have varying methods for teaching and you may find an instructor that you really ‘click’ with and everything then starts to fall into place.

    You can also try a different test centre if you wish. A test centre that’s in a less busy area can help with increasing your chances of passing. It’s always good to have an instructor who’s very familiar with the local test routes and who can take you around the most challenging parts of the routes. Being familiar with the routes really does help on your test.

    I think the idea is to keep trying different things until you find something that works. But ultimately, it’s really about determination and not giving up. You’ll get there, it just takes some a little longer than others.

  52. Hi,
    I have had over 1 lessons and just took my second test and failed. I am oging to book my third but I am really unsure what else I should do at this point to ensire that I could pass.

  53. Hello R,
    I’m not sure how many lessons you’ve had, hopefully more than 1. The only way of increasing your chances of passing is to gain driving experience. The experience you gain needs to be with someone who knows what they’re talking about (usually a driving instructor) and this can take many hours. Most learner drivers combine professional driving tuition with private tuition (friends or family members) to gain more experience. Overall, it depends on your ability. Some can pass in as little as 30 hours or even less, others need way in excess of this. Patience and practice is key. When you feel confident that you can successfully complete each part of the learning to drive syllabus (see teach someone to drive) without much prompting from your supervising passenger or instructor, you should be ready.

  54. I’m taking my third test this month, its always mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. Just because I don’t turn my head doesn’t mean I’m not checking the mirror I’ve driven for 40 years and I can see quite well just moving my eyes. I came here 18 months ago from the US where I had no accidents, no problems. I’ve driven in the UK for 18 months now with no problems. Why are they constantly failing me when I am a mature experienced driver. I still continue to drive with a provisional license every day, L plates and a “mature driver” as my passenger. I’m fully insured and just wonder how long I can go on doing this or can I use the provisional forever as long as I’m insured.

  55. Hi Mary,
    Examiners are usually pretty good at telling if test candidates are checking the mirrors, even if they’re not making it obvious. Perhaps whilst driving, get into the habit of turning your head a little, so to make it more obvious. But as I say, this isn’t typically necessary.

    Have you taken any refresher lessons with a qualified driving instructor? If you haven’t, I would recommend it. Most of us experienced drivers acquire the odd bad habit or forget how to do things to test standard, so by taking a couple of lessons with a professional driving instructor, they will let you know exactly what you need to work on to pass your test. After you’ve had a refresher lesson or two and ironed out any issues with your driving, taking a mock driving test (also with a driving instructor) can also prove beneficial. This test simulation let’s you know where your driving standard is at and if you have any issues to sort out. Certain problems can arise under a test situation that don’t appear during normal driving lessons.

  56. Drew

    They have a thing for failing foreigners! I drive in the US, Australia, and Canada and have never received a fine. I have failed the driving test in the UK three times so far. I know that if they decide to fail you, they will find a way to do so! You can appeal, but you have no evidence/recording, and no one would believe you because you’ve failed several times. It’s also so easy to become an examiner because it is a low-paid job that no one goes for; if one goes for it, they have no choice but to offer the job. It’s similar to bus drivers and police in the UK. The driving instructors, DVLA, and examiners make money each time you fail. If you succeed, a good driver on the street will not make money for them. A bad one will. So you do the math. This is how the UK works, making success on others’ failure. When I see the a**holes driving so horribly in the street, I have no doubt the same examiners who failed me are giving them the pass. If there were an option, I’d choose an examiner who was not born and raised in the UK and has an accent. I’m sure I will pass. Unfortunately, because there is no such thing as traffic police in the UK, they can drive the car like a cowboy after they get the pass. I promised to do my worst possible driving after I pass my test and make the passed a**hole drivers pay for their unfair pass.

  57. Hi Drew,
    Personally, I think each driving test should be recorded, audibly inside the vehicle and visually to what’s going on outside. If a test candidate wishes to contest their result, the footage could be reviewed by a third party, at additional expense if necessary. It’s a little too convenient for the DVSA in that the test cannot be recorded.

  58. ashle

    Hia, Failed 23 times.

    I dove car in my motherland for 12 years and in the UK for 15 Years (Yes, unfortunately, need to get an International license every year from my country. )

    1. The system is quite primitive and 70es and all your fate on Examiner’s hand, no video and camera and you know human are very inefficient and these jobs should be given to Technology.
    2, I hope self-driving cars will come This year !!!
    3. No regrets but will never give exam again.

  59. Patrick


    Thanks for making this post. It has been super helpful to realise I’m not on my own. I started driving at 17. Though I had massive gaps in between, it feels so demoralising to not have passed in 11 years and over 250 hours of lessons. I’ve failed twice. Though I understand people fail far more times, my issue is nerves. I had to terminate my last test as it escalated into a panic attack and I was too shakey and confused to continue. I’m not sure what to do at this point,as my skills aren’t bad but the panic attacks (and all the other anxiety symptoms) completely stop me driving as i usually would. Glad for any tips on this please. Thanks in advance

  60. Hi Patrick.
    Well, you’re not alone. Nerves on the driving test destroy many candidates chances of passing. What I would do is have plenty of mock tests. Not only with your current instructor, but book them with instructors you’ve never met. What you need to do is somehow normalise the test, rather than making it into this huge hurdle to overcome. The more you do, the more normal it’ll become.

    Something else that I would seriously consider is commentary driving. It’s a technique that the police use. You simply talk your way through driving – out loud. Everything that you’re going to do, everything you see, every hazard, literally everything. Sounds a bit strange and is a little odd at the start, but keep doing it and you’ll do it without thinking. By doing this it forces the mind to focus. It can work really well if you suffer from anxiety and makes you a better driver too. Ask your driving instructor if they know about it. I’ve had learners not only do it during lessons, but on the driving test too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *