Book Online
4 May, 2015

You did what?! 10 of the funniest reasons for failing your driving test

Driving tests are notoriously stressful, and sometimes circumstances mean that even the most competent drivers can fail their first attempt. RED Driving School has collected some of the most hilarious reasons that have caused people to fail their test.

1. Driving on the wrong side of the road

“I drove out of the test centre on the wrong side of the road (to be fair, it was a very narrow road). I told the examiner that I had just got back from France, where I had become so immersed in the culture that I’d forgotten which side of the road to drive on.

2. Queueing behind parked cars

“I thought a line of parked cars was a line of traffic waiting for the traffic lights to change. After seven excruciating minutes of waiting, the instructor asked me to drive around the parked cars.”

3. Distracted by an attractive motorcyclist

“A good-looking man on a motorbike caught my attention while I was driving and, without realising, I started to drive directly towards him. The instructor had to enforce an emergency stop as I nearly hit the man on the motorbike. I then blamed the move on my bad eyesight!”

4. Confused between left and right

“I turned left when told to turn right (twice), and lied to the examiner that I had dyscalculia, which affected my ability to turn left or right.”

5. Crossing confusion

“When crawling towards a zebra crossing, I went a little too far forward and (gently) bumped into a pedestrian before the examiner could stop me. I then argued that it wasn’t my fault as he was fine, and that his outfit had made him blend into the stripes.”

6. Wrong direction

“I tried to turn the wrong way up a one-way street, and then blamed the instructor for putting me off!

7. Energy overdose

“I took my test when I was 18, the day before my final A-level exam. At this point, I was studying like mad for my final exam and drinking at least three cans of energy drink a day. I turned up for my driving test twitching like a madman and hadn’t revised anything. I received two majors and I lost count of the minors.”

8. Movies taught me bad habits

“I failed my test the first time round because I thought the way to overtake was to zip in and out of traffic like in a car chase – the only background knowledge I had was taken from James Bond, so I blame the movies! Looking back, I can definitely see why it was so important for me to take more lessons.”

9. The engine didn’t sound right 

“I failed my manual test, so did an automatic test instead and passed. I told everyone this was because I grew up with parents who only drove automatic cars and so wasn’t used to the ‘sound’ and ‘feel’ of gears changing in the car.”

10. When in doubt, blame your dad!

“Like lots of people, my dad was my first ‘driving instructor’. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great driver, but given that he took his driving test in 1959, it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to me that he didn’t teach me the official way to do all the manoeuvres…

When it came to take my test, I didn’t know that I should be looking in the mirrors quite so often and gliding my hands around the steering wheel like a pro. So, despite my awesome driving skills, I failed big time – perhaps because my lack of mirror checks meant I nearly drove us straight onto a busy roundabout at exactly the wrong time. Thanks, Dad! But we all know all the best drivers pass second time, right?!

On a more serious note, starting off on the wrong foot meant I had to un-learn a lot of bad habits, so I’d really recommend that anyone learning to drive gets a top driving instructor behind the wheel with them – someone with up-to-date knowledge and loads of experience. That way, you’ll have no excuse when it comes to test day (and neither will your Dad).

Best of luck out there and, if you’re looking for a way to get around for less while you’re still learning, LiftShare can help you find a safe network of qualified drivers to get you across those tricky roundabouts safely!”

Ian Arrowsmith

Ian Arrowsmith, project executive,

About RED Driving School

RED Driving School, part of RDS Driving Services Ltd, is one of the UK’s largest driving school.

RED Driving School teaches in excess of 100,000 learner drivers to pass the UK government driving test each year. RED delivers a tailored teaching programme focused on helping its learners become safe and confident drivers.

RED is a franchise business, allowing driving instructors to trade under the company’s established and trusted name. Instructors benefit from a centralised lesson booking system, national promotion by association with RED and a range of technical and business development support services.