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Failed your driving test? Fear not, we’re here to help

Perhaps you failed your driving test once, perhaps you failed twice? Maybe you gave up on driving because you didn’t get on with your instructor, or simply because life got in the way.

Failing your test really isn’t the end of the world. We all have bad days, and sometimes nerves can get the better of us. You’ll be better prepared next time around because you already know what it’s like to sit the test. 

It’s likely that you’ve got a lot of experience and some skills under your belt already, which just need a bit of tweaking. Our expert instructors at RED Driving School are here to help you build your confidence on the road, so you can pass your test with flying colours and become an expert driver in no time. 

Before setting off on your lesson with RED, your instructor can talk you through your previous driving test report and any worries or concerns you may have. We can then tailor your lessons to those areas you may be struggling with, and even help with those pesky manoeuvres!

Why do people fail their driving tests?

Data released by the DVSA in 2019 showed the top 10 reasons people fail their driving test. Your RED driving instructor will be able to guide you through these areas, paying special attention to any you may be struggling with. Remember though, you’ll need to be an expert in all of them, so pay attention! 

*data for year – 2018/19  


Junctions (observation) 


It’s important to be hyper aware when pulling out of junctions, so it’s extremely important to make all round effective observation. 


Mirrors (change direction) 


Changing direction, especially when changing lanes is incredibly dangerous if the proper mirror observations aren’t made. Always check your mirrors in pairs! 


Control (steering) 


It’s important to build good driving habits now, and this starts with holding the steering wheel correctly. Driving the essential skills states ‘you should place your hands on the steering wheel in a position that’s comfortable and which gives you full control`. using both hands at all times. Failing to maintain good control of the car’s steering is one easy route towards a retest!   


Junctions (turning right) 


When turning right into a junction, learners often struggle with crossing the path of oncoming traffic and needing to judge the speed of the oncoming car before making a decision whether it’s safe. Judging the speed of an oncoming vehicle takes practise, which your instructor can help you with. 


Move off (safely) 


Pulling away safely, ensuring to check your door and rear view mirrors where appropriate (and not forgetting your blind spots!) is important to ensure that the road is safe for you to enter. 


Response to signals (traffic lights) 


Always approach traffic lights with caution, alertness and with your speed under control in order to react appropriately. Your instructor will be able to guide you on how best to focus on control and observations. 



Move off (control) 


Moving off in a controlled manner takes practice to ensure coordination of the controls to avoid stalling. Be sure to practice in all situations, uphill, downhill, as well as on flat roads and at an angle from behind a parked car


Positioning (normal driving) 


Keep to the correct position on the road, not too close to the kerb, and not too close to the white line. i.e middle of your lane. Ensure to keep a similar safe road position when passing past parked cars and other traffic.

Response to road signs & road markings

If it was a while since you’ve taken your theory test, then you might need to refresh your memory by reading the Highway Code. Always be aware of signs and road markings and act appropriately.   


Reverse park (control)


Manoeuvres can be challenging. The secret is to have good clutch control throughout. This will give you time to look around and be accurate.

Rest assured that many learners struggle with maneuvers, and if you find yourself in this group then your RED driving instructor can spend time with you to build confidence on all of the test maneuvers before your next test. 


How long do you have to wait after failing a driving test to take another one?

Although you can rebook a test from the next day, you won’t be able to take the new test for 10 working days. Demand for driving tests is often high and test centre waiting lists long, so speak with your RED instructor about getting a new driving test booked in for a suitable date, as there may be a long waiting list!  

Need to refresh your memory before restarting learning to drive? Check out our test tips below. 

Need to refresh your memory before restarting learning to drive? Check out our test tips below

when to practice manoeuvres icon

When and where to practice manoeuvres

parallel parking made easy

Parallel parking made easy

how to overtake easily icon

How to overtake safely