I'm a driving expert – learners must avoid these common mistakes if they want to pass their test first time | The Sun

LEARNER drivers must avoid these simple mistakes if they want to pass their test first time, according to motoring experts.

As the backlog of tests reach record highs, learners need to be on the ball more than ever when they finally manage to get in the driving test seat.

The current wait time for a test is six months, but some budding motorists even face waiting until 2023 to book one as queues build up.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) struggled to cope with the surge of bookings after the Covid lockdowns, so youngsters need to make the most of their moment with an examiner.

Luckily, motoring experts have revealed the most common mistakes which have been failing learners around the country since 2008.

If you want to get your hands on a driver's licence soon, here's what you need to remember.

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Not using your mirrors and poor observations at junctions is the number one mistake in driving tests, according to recent data from learner insurer Veygo.

The next most common reasons for failure include: turning right at a junction, steering control, positioning when driving normally, and control when moving off.

Drivers are expected to use the mirror, signal, manoeuvre routine effectively – checking mirrors carefully before signalling or changing direction or speed.  

Between January 2019 and December 2021, the DVSA recorded 363,908 serious or dangerous faults during the tests of hapless motorists, who failed to observe junctions correctly during their driving tests across Great Britain.

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During the same period, 285,465 serious or dangerous faults were recorded against those who failed to check their mirrors properly before changing direction. 

The numbers recorded for the same faults in 2020 and 2021 are lower than in 2019, but experts believe this may be caused by cancelled tests in the pandemic.

However, motoring experts believe the enormous pressure to pass tests first time has been beneficial to learners.

Now tests are so difficult to book – the backlog could even continue until 2024 – James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo, claimed pass rates are at an all-time high.

He told WalesOnline: “The driving test pass rate is at an all-time high – 4% higher than the rate before the pandemic, giving learners an almost 50/50 chance of passing their driving test.

"The number of no-fault passes is also at an all-time high of 3.3% versus 2.6% pre-pandemic.

Once you start rushing, it’s difficult to stop.

"So, while waiting to take your test can be frustrating, the extended time to practice is paying off, with learners taking advantage of the added time to prepare ahead of their test.”

Learners need fewer than 15 minor faults and no major faults to pass their 45-minute driving test.

In order to succeed, Cardiff driving instructor Louise Dale asks learners not to "rush" their driving test.

She said: “Rushing causes so many problems. Once you start rushing, it’s difficult to stop.

"Observations are also key, and inadequate observations during manoeuvres and when changing speed or direction are common.

"You can’t pass your test without knowing what’s going on around the car. Remember you can correct your manoeuvre, but you can’t redo observations that were missed.”

How do I pass my driving test?

Sadly there isn't a cheeky life hack to get you over the line – you'll have to show you can drive safely – but The Sun recommends certain simple steps.

A driving instructor has given three top tips for passing your test, but ultimately you'll simply need to be well practiced to pass.

Most people take around 40 hours of lessons, although you can do an intensive course to get you ready in a matter of days or weeks.

You can find a handy explainer on how much lessons cost here.

However, some lucky learners could land themselves up to 40 hours of lessons for free if they meet certain criteria.

Support is available for qualifying people with disabilities under the Motability Scheme.

The average learner needs between 40 and 50 hours of lessons to get to be test ready, so, for certain learners it could cover the entirety of their driving course.


  • Not making effective observations at junctions
  • Not checking mirrors properly when changing direction
  • Not having proper control of the steering
  • Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
  • Not moving off safely
  • Not responding appropriately to traffic lights
  • Poor positioning on the road during normal driving
  • Not having control of the vehicle when moving off
  • Not keeping control of the vehicle while reverse parking

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