What to do if you fail your driving test


Not every driving test goes smoothly. In fact, just under half of all drivers in the UK fail their test at least once. There are many different reasons why a person might fail their test and you can even find the top ten reasons for failure on the DVSA website.

Don’t lose heart

If you’ve failed your test, resist the urge to cut and run. The old saying about get back on a horse after you’ve fallen off, applies to driving too. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. It is in fact very likely that your own nerves contributed to the test failure. Overthinking the experience is not a good approach but there are a few things you can do, once it has sunk in that you’ll have to do it again.

Prepare for the next test

Have a look at the reasons for your test failure. This will highlight what you need to work on. It may seem silly but focusing on practicing that issue will make you a better driver overall. Don’t forget that while focusing on the weak spots that are highlighted by failing your driving test, you will also reinforce and practice your driving strengths.  Part of preparation is practice, practice, practice. Your driving instructor will know how to focus on the weaknesses that lead to the test failure and guide you in a few lessons to correct the problem.

Speak to your instructor

Sometimes the test failure was down to nerves. If you are a calm person but you don’t cope well in test situations ask your driving instructor about strategies with overcoming nerves. Your instructor sees this all the time and may make some suggestions. Whatever you do, do not take anything before the test to manage nerves. You may find yourself on the wrong side of the law and even if it is a legal option, you become too relaxed and fail because of that!

Book the next test

By booking the next test, you will have a time frame and a focus on achieving your goal. Failing the test will then simply become a small hiccough in the learning process. Psychologically it is good to know that you are simply picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. Perseverance pays and rebooking the first step toward reinforcing that perseverance. However, your driving instructor may feel that you should wait a while, particularly if the reason for failing is one that is going to require some remedial work. Don’t feel disheartened. You can always check for cancellations to bring the test date forward once both you and your instructor feel that you are ready to try again, or use a service live speedytests.co.uk to do so for you.

Consider your options

It is possible to appeal the outcome of a driving test that you have failed. It is extremely rare for a learner driver to do so and even more unusual for a successful appeal. There are some grounds for appeal such as the tester not abiding by the testing regulations or you feel you’ve been discriminated against but you will need to be able to prove this. You will also still need to retake the test; however, you can be reimbursed for the cost of the second test and the use of the instructor’s car.

On the lighter side

Information held by the major insurers indicated that people that have had to resit a practical driving test and received their licence on the second attempt are less likely to have accidents and are considered safer drivers. This means that statistically speaking, if you’ve failed once, you are more likely to be a better driver.

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