51 out of every 100

driving tests were failed during December 2022 in Great Britain.

If you’re not ready to pass, it’s best to move your test back. It’s the best way of getting your independence and freedom as soon as possible.

Check you're ready to take the test

You’ll usually be ready when:

You need to be dealing with every part of driving consistently, confidently and independently – without any prompting from your driving instructor.

You’ll be getting ready for your test when you’re able to adapt to situations and see why perfecting your skills makes you safer and more fuel-efficient.

You need to be a good driver to pass the driving test.

If you’re making silly mistakes that are dangerous or potentially dangerous during your driving lessons, you’re not ready to pass your driving test and drive on your own.

Find out the top 10 reasons people fail the driving test.

Lots of people who fail the driving test incorrectly think it’s because they were marked too harshly. It’s actually because they did not realise the standard that’s needed to pass.

Taking and passing mock tests with your driving instructor will help you understand how the marking works and if you’re ready to pass.

Controlling your nerves is a really important skill for driving safely.

Make sure you’ve got a plan in place to manage your nerves when you take your test.

If your driving instructor says you’re not ready to take your driving test, listen to them.

Driving instructors are specially trained road safety experts. They’ve got lots of driving experience – and they know what it takes to pass the driving test!

Remember, they want you to be a safe driver, keep your insurance costs low, and enjoy driving for years to come.

You’re ready to take your driving test when you can drive safely and follow The Highway Code without any prompts from your instructor, while keeping your nerves under control.

Mark Winn, Chief Driving Examiner

Move your test if you’re not ready

Moving your driving test back if you’re not ready can give you vital time to:

  • brush up on your skills
  • take a few more mock tests
  • make sure you’re ready to pass

By moving your test, you’ll free up an appointment for someone who is ready to take their test. This could help them get their dream job, or help with caring for their family.

It’s free to change your appointment time, as long as you do it at least 3 full working days (Mondays to Saturdays) before your test.

Keep track of your progress

It’s best to take driving lessons with a driving instructor and have private practice with family or friends. Driving instructors are road safety experts, trained to help you learn to drive.

People who have a combination of both do best when they take their driving test.

On average, it takes people 45 hours of driving lessons with a driving instructor and 22 hours of practice with family or friends to learn to drive.

If you’re making silly mistakes

1 in 5 people who fail their driving test say the main reason they fail is because they made a silly mistake on the day.

If you’re making silly mistakes during your driving lessons or private practice, it means you’re not ready to drive safely on your own yet.

The best way to avoid making silly mistakes is practice, practice, practice.

You’ll be ready to take your test when you’re reaching level 5 on all of the driving skills on the learner driver’s record during every lesson you have.

Take mock driving tests

You’d never take an exam without doing a few mock exam papers first. And you probably took more than one mock theory test before taking the real thing.

Mock driving tests are just as important.

1 in 5 people who fail their driving test say the main reason they failed is because they were marked too harshly.

Driving examiners are trained road safety experts with lots of experience of driving and marking tests. They mark based on how you drive during your test.

Benefits of mock tests

Take mock tests with your driving instructor to:

  • get used to how the driving test works
  • understand the standard that’s expected
  • understand how the marking works, so you’re not left thinking you were marked too harshly during the real thing

Talk to your driving instructor about taking mock tests.

They might suggest you take a mock test with a different instructor, so you’re used to driving with someone you do not know.

Learn to control your nerves

1 in 10 people who fail their driving test say the main reason they failed is because they were too nervous.

Everyone is nervous to some level when they take their driving test.

Driving examiners expect that. They’ll do their best to help you relax.

Being able to control your nerves is a really important skill – and not just for your driving test. You might be nervous the first time you:

  • drive in an unfamiliar city on your own
  • have to deal with a really complex roundabout
  • drive on country roads at night

So learning how to control your nerves is a vital skill for new drivers.

Talk to your instructor about mindfulness training. Mindfulness can help you to manage anxiety, feel relaxed and stay focused.

You can also search for apps that help with mindfulness.

If you cannot control your nerves, it means you’re not safe.

Take the right things to your test

On average, more than 1,100 driving tests get cancelled every month because people:

  • forget to take the right documents with them
  • take a car that does not meet the rules
  • arrive late for their appointment
  • go to the wrong driving test centre

Don’t be one of them.

How the test works