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Failed First Driving test

Updated on June 9, 2012
Driving test centre
Driving test centre

Most learner drivers in the UK will do as much as possible to get prepared for their first attempt at the DSA practical car driving test, especially if they are taking lessons from an approved driving instructor, because they usually don't want to fail on their first attempt and are very optimistic that all will go well during their 40 minutes with the driving examiner and hope that all the money spent on driving lessons will pay off.

There are always those who learn to drive privately with a friend/family member or the foreign licence holder who think they know what is required, and don't bother to take professional advice before booking a test, this article might help them though it is not really aimed at them.

So having done all you can in your power, put in your best effort, kept your fingers crossed (or is it you friends that do that for you while you are out in the car?) and finally in the test centre car park you hear those dreaded words from the DSA examiner's mouth 'that's the end of the driving test, and I'm sorry to say you haven't passed, would you like me to explain why?' what can you do.

First of all let me tell you what you can't do.

You can't get the DSA driving examiner's decision reversed, even if the test was not conducted according to the right procedures. While you can appeal, the best that you can get is a free re-test, but you'll still have to wait the compulsary 10 days, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a date soon after that, depending on the business of the test centres you would like to use.

The other thing that you must not do after failing an attempt at the UK driving test is not to give up no matter how many times, I remember a saying: "Success is failure that tried one more time".

Show and Tell Question on driving test

Preparing for another driving test

This is the part where a lot of learner drivers get things wrong. If you narrowly missed out on passing your first or last attempt at the UK driving test don't think that you can now stop taking driving lessons with an instructor, and that all you need to do is to book another test, and then that a driving lesson one day before the test and hope that this time you will pass! You will not, because your standard of driving will drop, all that practise you had coming up to your first test was what made you perform very well, and though you didn't not pass for whatever reason, it is in your own interest to keep the momentum going by maintaining the practise of the good driving skills you exhibited during the test, and working on the the mistakes that you made including the one(s) you failed on.

The second driving test most candidates take has a lower pass rate for the following reasons.

They don't have the same zeal as with the first attempt.
They don't prepare adequately enough, I know what is expected.
They are more nervous due to the failure from the previous attempt.
Are more conscious of any mistakes made while on the test, get discourage and stop giving their best even when the mistake has not failed them (they didn't know that until the end).

My advice to you as an instructor who has sat in on many driving tests is to always treat your next attempt as if it were the first one.

Prepare the same way as you did for the first test by continuing to take driving lessons on a weekly basis (you can never over practise for an examination), reading the highway code, be as optimistic, don't think the examiner personally remembers you (most don't, even if they do, they mark you on what you do during this test, not the previous encounter), and most importantly learn from your previous mistakes.

I wish you the best with your driving test, hoping it will be your last, and that you do realise your goal of get a full British driving licence.

DSA Major Faults on Test


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    • profile image

      6 years ago

      speak to your doctor again!

    • profile image

      Ruth Greer 

      8 years ago

      I have a driving licence I got March 2010-all of a sudden my doctor said I should not be driving-I took a test on a computer nothing about driving I failed that-what can I do now?


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