Top 10 Reasons For Failing The Driving Test (2019)

The body which regulates all driving instructors in the UK (including ourselves) – the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) – has released the latest set of figures (July 2019) giving the top ten reasons people fail their practical driving test. (Source)

The figures cover the 12-month period between 4th December 2017 and 3rd December 2018, the latest period for which statistics are available.

Here are those top 10 reasons for a driving test fail:

  1. Junctions – observation
  2. Mirrors – change direction
  3. Control – steering
  4. Junctions – turning right
  5. Move off – safely
  6. Response to signs – traffic lights
  7. Move off – control
  8. Positioning – normal driving
  9. Response to signs – road markings
  10. Reverse park – control

As a driving school in the Borehamwood area, there are a number of challenging roundabouts for our pupils to conquer – so we have seen ourselves that observation at junctions is sometimes the reason for our (infrequent) test failures.

2017-2018 Practical Driving Test Statistics

A total of 1,664,219 practical driving tests were taken in that 2017-2018 period, with 761,972 passes, a pass-rate of 45.8%

Give or take, around 349,000 people passed the driving test last year. That’s a lot of extra cars on the road!

18,922 people passed their practical driving test with zero faults during that time period. That’s a zero-fault pass rate of just 1.114%, or basically one in a hundred.

So if you passed your driving test last year with zero faults, you are in the top 1%.

Borehamwood DTC Driving Test Statistics

The overall driving test pass rate at our local DTC, Borehamwood Driving Test Centre, was 50.8% for the same period, which is significantly higher than the national pass rate.

Borehamwood saw 164 driving test passes out of a total of 305 driving tests taken.

The male pass rate for the driving test at Borehamwood DTC was 54.1%.

The female pass rate for the driving test at Borehamwood DTC 47.1%

Male vs Female Pass Rate

If you have a look at the difference between male and female test takers, we find that the national pass rate for males was 49.8%, whilst the national pass rate for females was 42.4%.

The male pass rate fell from 50% in the previous year.

We also find that over 100,000 more females took the driving test than males.

So Borehamwood has a pass rate way above the national pass rate. Driving instructors in Borehamwood must be doing something right….

Comment From The Chief Driving Examiner

According to ADI News, “insufficient observation at junctions and not using mirrors effectively when changing direction accounted for 368,047 test failures.”

Mark Winn, the Chief Driving Examiner, told ADI News,“It’s vital that learners can drive safely and have the skills to drive on all types of roads before taking their test. The driving test helps get drivers ready for a lifetime of safe driving and makes our roads safer for all.

“Failing to look properly at junctions is the most common serious or dangerous test fault and the largest cause of accidents in Britain. Good observation, including proper use of mirrors, is a crucial skill that drivers must learn.”