How many minors can you have on a driving test?

Added on Saturday, 24th December 2022 Last updated Friday, 6th January 2023

Are you a learner driver getting ready to take your driving test? If so, you may be wondering how many minor faults you can have on your test. In this article, you'll find out everything you need to know about minor faults, how they can impact your driving test and tips on how you can avoid them. We’ll also look at major faults and the reasons many learners fail the DVSA driving test. So let’s get started – whether you're preparing for your first driving test or failed before, this guide has all the information you need!

What is the driving test pass mark?

Passing the driving test is a major milestone for many people. To pass the driving test, you must demonstrate your knowledge of the rules of the road and show that you can safely drive without putting other drivers in danger.

According to the DVSA, the latest 2022/2023 statistics show that the car practical driving test pass rate is under 50%. Both preparation and practice are essential to ensure you have the best possible chance of passing your driving test.

You can make up to 15 minor faults during your driving test and still pass. However, you will get an instant fail if you make just one major fault.

What are driving test faults?

There are three types of driving test faults:

  • Dangerous faults - something that involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • Serious faults - something that potentially could cause danger
  • Driving faults - a less serious fault. Something that is not potentially dangerous, but could become a serious fault if continued

Driving faults are often referred to as minor faults, and serious and dangerous faults are known as major faults. Just one dangerous or serious fault is enough to fail your test.

What are driving test minor faults?

When you take your driving test, you are expected to know the rules of the road. However, even the most experienced drivers make mistakes from time to time. Minor driving faults are driving errors that do not pose an immediate safety risk. While the examiner will mark down each mistake you make, they won’t result in a fail, but you may still fail if you continually repeat the same fault.

Here are some examples of common minors:

  • Not checking mirrors as often as you should
  • Hesitating at junctions or roundabouts
  • Stalling while driving
  • Driving below the speed limit

How to avoid minor faults in your driving test

It's extremely uncommon to pass your driving test without getting any minor faults. In fact, DVSA statistics show that just under 2% of learner drivers pass their driving test with zero faults. It's normal to make some minor mistakes when taking your driving test, but just be sure not to get too many!

Here are some tips on how to avoid minor faults during your driving test:

  • Practice driving - the best way to prepare for your driving test is to get as much driving experience as possible, which will help you become more familiar with driving conditions and anticipate potential hazards.
  • Familiarise yourself with all road signs and markings - this includes knowing when to stop and give way. Look out for potential driving hazards - when driving, always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Be aware of the speed limit - make sure you know the speed limit of the roads and stick to it.
  • Check your mirrors regularly - check your rear-view and side mirrors to ensure you’re aware of other drivers on the road. Good use of mirrors can save you from getting a minor fault.
  • Stay relaxed - driving tests can be nerve-wracking, so try to stay as relaxed as possible. This will help you concentrate better and make driving decisions more quickly.

Doing your best to avoid minor driving faults is essential for passing your driving test - but don’t worry if you make some mistakes! By following these tips and driving safely, you can significantly reduce the number of minors you make during your driving test.

What are driving test major faults?

A major fault is either a dangerous or serious fault that poses an immediate safety risk. Major faults are more serious than minors and can result in instant failure if just one is made during your driving test.

Here are some examples of dangerous and serious faults:

  • Not driving safely
  • Driving through a red light or stop sign
  • Poor judgement of speed and gaps in traffic
  • Failure to use signals and/or check mirrors before manoeuvres
  • Lack of steering control when driving around a corner or junction
  • Incorrect positioning on the road, such as veering off course or driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Making an illegal manoeuvre

Common reasons why learner drivers fail the driving test

Taking your car driving test can be an intimidating and anxious experience. You need to ensure you're ready to take the DVSA driving test and be well-prepared on the day of the test to give you the best chance of passing.

The DVSA has published the common reasons why people fail their driving test so you can avoid making these mistakes during your test!

Here are the most common ways to fail the DVSA driving test and tips to help you pass:

Observations at junctions

It is crucial to be aware of other road users, traffic conditions and potential hazards, especially when approaching a junction. When approaching a junction, you should always check your mirrors and reduce your speed in order to make sure you can stop safely.

Use of mirrors

Make effective use of all the mirrors before signalling, changing speed, and changing direction, such as turning left or right, reversing, or entering a roundabout. This will help you stay aware of other road users around you and ensure that it is safe for you to make the manoeuvre. Additionally, regular observations in your mirrors can help you anticipate potential hazards.

Steering control

You need to steer correctly at the right time and keep the car in a straight line when driving on a straight road. Poor steering control can result in you driving down the wrong side of the road or driving onto a kerb.

Positioning

It is vital that you pay attention to where your car is positioned at all times during your driving test to stay safe and avoid any driving faults. Positioning becomes even more important when turning right at junctions or making other manoeuvres, as incorrect positioning can lead to a dangerous situation for yourself and other drivers on the road. Position your car as close to the centre of the road as possible when turning right at a junction.

Control of the vehicle when moving off

When moving off, check all around the vehicle, including your blind spots. You should also use appropriate signals when moving off and be aware of any potential hazards on the road ahead. You can develop these driving skills in no time with practice and patience!

Responding to traffic signs and traffic lights

You must understand all traffic signs and signals, such as stop signs, speed limits, warning signs, and no entry signs. You must also know when to stop at traffic lights or give way to other drivers if necessary.

Reverse parking

Reverse parking is a manoeuvre that many driving test takers have difficulty with. While it may seem daunting, you can master the skill! When reversing, always stay in control of the car and continually ensure it is safe to carry out the manoeuvre by using your mirrors.

By understanding these driving test faults and taking the time to practice, you can be confident in your driving skills on the day of your test.

What happens after your driving test?

Once you've completed your driving test, the examiner will tell you the faults you have made and whether you passed or failed. If you pass, you'll get a pass certificate and can start driving immediately - you don't need to wait for the arrival of your full driving licence! You'll need to give the examiner your provisional licence if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically.

Don't worry if you don't pass your practical test.

You can rebook the driving test and take it again after 10 working days. The driving examiner can tell you what driving faults you made so you can improve your driving skills!

Have you recently failed your driving test and need to find a driving test cancellation quickly?

Driving tests can be hard to come by due to the high demand for slots. If you've rebooked your test and want to take it again as soon as possible, our driving test cancellations checker can increase your chances of finding a driving test cancellation quickly and move your test to a sooner date.

How many minors can you have on your driving test FAQ

You can book your driving test once you have passed your theory test. Find out more about how to book driving tests

Yes, you can rebook your driving test and take it again after 10 working days.

No, you do not get any extra points if you fail your driving test on the first attempt. You will need to retake the driving test and practice driving skills until you meet the required standards. The examiner will be able to tell you which areas of your driving need improvement so that you can focus on those areas during your next attempts.

You can take your driving test as many times as you need to until you pass.

The driving examiner will assess your driving performance and decide whether you've passed or failed your driving test. You're allowed to make up to 15 minor driving faults on the driving test but no serious driving faults or dangerous driving faults. If you make a serious driving fault or a dangerous driving fault, you'll instantly fail your driving test.

You're not allowed to make any serious driving faults or dangerous driving faults on your driving test. If you do, you'll automatically fail your test.

You can use our driving test cancellations app to find driving test cancellations at your test centre. We find driving tests that have been cancelled or postponed by other candidates - giving you the opportunity to book the driving test slot you need. Get started with a free trial

Driving tests are a challenging but necessary part of learning to drive. You now know the different types of driving test faults and how to avoid getting them. Practice regularly, and make sure you're ready before taking your driving test. And if you don't pass on your first attempt, don't worry - you can always rebook your test!

Looking for an earlier driving test date?
Find driving test cancellations now using our driving test availability checker
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