If you’ve ever wondered about the many weird and wacky ways that cause many to fail, then you’re in for a good read!
There are a lot of ways in which to fail here that won’t surprise you, and a few that probably will! And make sure that, come to your test, you don’t do anything similar to what you read here!
With that, let’s begin……….
If this happens to you, then you could not possibly have gotten off to a worse start on your test. This will usually be classed as just a minor, but if there’s a pedestrian close to the car when you do it, it will be classed as a major. Meaning that you’ve failed before you’ve even moved a few feet! To avoid this, you need to get into the habit of putting the car into neutral every time you switch off the engine. If you didn’t know already, when you start the engine with the car in gear, the car will stall and go jerking forwards uncontrollably. So beware!
When you pull away from a kerb, you’re first required to check your blind spot to make sure that nothing is coming. Of course, you should check your mirrors before you check your blind spot, but you still have to do it. If you pull out in front of someone as a result of this, it’s an immediate failure. And you’re only just pulling away from the kerb outside the test centre. What a terrible start that would be!
Before you indicate, you should first check your mirrors to see if anything’s coming. If there is anything anywhere, then you must indicate it before you pull away from a kerb, otherwise, you’re classed as being a hazard to whatever’s there. You’ll fail if this happens.
If you do this, you’ll fail instantly. Depending on the strength of your handbrake, the car will either stall or just seem like hard work to move forwards! Your examiner will be looking to make sure that you release the handbrake, so don’t think that just because you’ve got a weak handbrake you might get away with it! If you do this, you’ll be the laughing stock of all your friends (if you have the guts to tell them, that is), so make sure you don’t do it.
When you turn a corner, you’re expected to feed the wheel through your hands. That means that your arms should always be straight when you turn a corner, and the wheel should be fed through them. If you keep your hands fixed on a certain position on the wheel, then your arms are going to cross over when you make a steep turn. If you let this happen, then it’s all over!
This may sound like a bad offence, or it may not. Whatever you think, it will certainly cause you to fail your test! When you’re on your test, you should always have at least one hand on the wheel, or you’ll fail straight away. Even if you only have them both off for a fraction of a second, you can bet that your examiner will notice. When you change gear, you should move your left hand back to the wheel straight away. The only time in which your right hand will ever be off the wheel is when you switch on the ignition, so make sure that, when you do this, you have your left hand firmly on the wheel.
If your car has power steering, then this can be easy to do. You must, however, make sure that you don’t do it. Quite obviously, you must be in complete control over the steering wheel at all times. Expect to fail if you do this more than once!
You’d be amazed if someone told you that they failed their test because of this wouldn‘t you? Well, many have done, and many still will! There is nothing that will give your examiner the impression that you’re too relaxed and not paying enough attention quite as much as doing this. Your arms should be virtually straight. If you’re sitting in a position in which you would feel more comfortable doing this, then you should move your seatback. If it’s as far back as it goes, then you just have to concentrate and make sure you don’t do it.
You need to have a good feel for the accelerator of the car you’re going to be driving when it comes to your test. If you press it down a little too hard, especially when you’re in a lower gear and moving away from a kerb, then you’re likely to fail if the consequences are too dramatic. If the car suddenly flies forwards uncontrollably, then you’ve had it!
A wheel spin is a skid. If you apply the accelerator too hard before you lift the clutch, then it’s possible that this could occur. And no surprises for guessing that a ‘wheel spin’ fails! To avoid doing this, make sure that the revs aren’t too high before you release the clutch. This may sound hard, but it’s all common sense, as you would have to apply the accelerator very hard to wheel spin.
If you didn’t know already, you have to let your foot off the accelerator before you attempt to change gear, otherwise, the engine will make a horrible noise. Oh yeah, do this repeatedly and you’ll fail your test as well! You don’t have to brake or anything, just let your foot off the accelerator for the time it takes to change gear (not long).
Do this and you’ll fail, simple as. The handbrake should only be used to secure the car once it’s already stopped, not to stop it when it’s moving. That’s what the footbrake is for! Again, if you do this you’re likely to skid, resulting in a dangerous situation for both yourself and other cars.
Coasting is allowing the car to travel when your foot is on the clutch, and you’ll fail if you do it. There’s no point in asking what the reason behind this is, as you’re simply not allowed to do it! When you’re not using the clutch, you should be resting your left foot on the floor. You should only be using the clutch for stopping the car, and for the duration of the time, it takes to change gear.
You must do this, or you’ll have trouble selecting the gears, which is never a good thing! If the car seems to be making a noise when you change gear, you’re likely doing this. If you know that you’re not doing this but you can still hear a noise, then have a look back at No.10! If you repeatedly fail to press the clutch fully down, then you will also fail to do something else – pass your test.
If you think you have time to stop at an amber light, then you should stop! Your examiner will expect you to stop at such an occasion, as amber means ‘stop, unless you cannot do safely’. If you do have time to stop, then going through the amber light is going to be dangerous. It doesn’t spend very long on amber, and, likely, you’ll still be going through when the other flow of traffic is shown a green light.
Often in city centres, there exists a no-car lane and a bus lane. This no car lane is for, well, anything but cars! It’s for taxis, lorries, etc. Rest assured though, that such a lane is always marked with a huge ‘NO CAR LANE’ sign. So if you’re concentrating, then you shouldn’t have any worries.
I’m not going to insult your intelligence by stating “Driving through a red light” as a reason for failing your driving test. However, if you make even the slightest suggestion of this offence, you’ll fail straight away! If you see a red light, you must wait until it changes to green before you do anything. You shouldn’t be releasing the handbrake, lifting the clutch or revving the engine until you see the amber light flash on.
If your examiner tells you to turn left or right, make sure that you indicate in good time: at least four seconds before you reach the turn. If you didn’t register what he said to you until the last minute (or the last half a second, as the case may be) then don’t attempt to quickly indicate before dashing around the corner. Just pretend that you didn’t hear what he said, and carry on driving as normal. He’ll just have to find another way to take you.
Even if the first road is just an old abandoned farmhouse or something, make sure you don’t do this! You’re seen as giving an incorrect signal, and you will no doubt fail.
Even if there is no one on the zebra crossing, your examiner will likely fail you if you showed no sign whatsoever that you knew it was there. For example, if you were behind a bus, your view of the road ahead would be restricted and you might not be able to see any zebra crossings in the distance. You should be looking for white zigzag lines at the side of the road if you suspect that there is one coming up. If your examiner knows that you can’t see a zebra crossing, he will be expecting you to be expecting it.
You should ALWAYS check your mirrors before you indicate. It’s no good indicating and then checking your mirrors to see if all is clear! If there was something in the way, then you’d have to cancel your indication or you’d cause them to slow down unnecessarily. This applies mainly in the context of changing lanes, but you should still NEVER do it.
When you don’t have a lot of experience, this can be surprisingly easy to do! You’re usually only required to reverse during your manoeuvres, so if you’ve practised them enough (which you should have done!) then you shouldn’t be doing this come to your test! It’s when you start to panic that this is most likely to happen, so DO NOT let this happen! I’m not discussing the issue of panicking right now, however. Anyway, if you allow yourself to travel any reasonable distance when doing this, you can expect to fail as a result.
This has the very same effect as coasting does – it reduces the amount of control you have over the car. Don’t ever be tempted to just take the car out of gear and ‘roll’. You will fail instantly.
If you’re leaving at the first or the second exit at a roundabout, then you should be in the left-hand lane on your approach. This is not where most failures occur, however. Most people who fail for this reason still approach in the left-hand lane, even though they intend on taking the third exit or after! If you’ve been instructed to take the third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth exit, you should be approaching in the right-hand lane.
If you’re on a road that has a 60mph limit, then you must drive at 60mph. This may seem rather silly, as sometimes you might not think it appropriate to drive at this speed (such as when it’s lashing down with rain). Despite this, you must still drive at it! If you drive under the speed limit, you’re becoming a hazard to other road users who wish to be driving at the correct speed.
This is usually only classed as a minor. That alone should be a reason for not doing it, but if you find that you’ve inadvertently done it on your test, you must be on the lookout for anyone wishing to enter/exit the driveway. If someone was to try and do this and you failed to notice, again, you would fail.
If you’re on a dual carriageway and you find it necessary to overtake (which you most likely will do) make sure you take your very first chance to move back in, which will usually be immediately after the first car you had to overtake. If you fail to do this, and you stay in the outside lane for too long, then you can expect to fail. You should keep in the lane to the left at all times unless you’re forced to do otherwise.
When you’re making a right turn, especially if it’s a sharp one, it can be very easy to do this. You should treat the corner as if you physically couldn’t drive over the wrong side of the new road to get around. Imagine there is a brick wall in place preventing you from cutting the corner.
If you’re driving along a busy road where you’re having to get close to parked cars, you should always be on the lookout for this happening. If someone opens their car door, whether they’re getting in or out, then you must slow down until they have shut it again. If you think you can move out across the road to get around, then by all means do so.
If you think that it’s necessary to use the horn, then use it! If a pedestrian walks out into the middle of the road oblivious to the fact that you’re about to hit them, then don’t be scared to sound your horn. You must remember that, as long as you’re taking the safest action possible, then your examiner is not going to fail you. Once you’ve sounded your horn, the pedestrian will very likely look up and quickly get out of the way, and you’ve avoided having to perform an emergency stop.
We touched on this just before, but let’s make it crystal clear: If you can’t see a pedestrian crossing or any part of a pedestrian crossing, then you should reduce your speed on the approach! Especially if it’s a zebra crossing, there is a high possibility of somebody stepping out from the side that you can’t see.
At first, you may laugh at this, but not if you fail your test for it! I’m yet to hear from someone who has done this on their driving test, but you can be positive that you’ll fail if you do! For example, don’t sound your horn at an old man taking his time to cross, or a child who drops her mars bar on the crossing. If there is any hullabaloo such as this on a crossing whilst you’re waiting there, you just have to sit and wait patiently.
When turning right, you need to position your car as close to the left of the centre of the road as possible, without obstructing oncoming traffic. This is especially important if you’re on quite a wide road, as you could be causing the unnecessary obstruction of traffic behind you as well! If the road has a special place just for drivers who intend to turn right (as a lot of roads do), then you must wait in this area. And it doesn’t matter if the road you’re on has no other cars on it, you still have to stick to these rules!
I know of someone who has done this, and she didn’t find it funny in the slightest, so don’t laugh! Remember, you must give way to cars that are coming from your right at a roundabout. Anyone who is waiting to come on from your left must therefore give way to you. It can sometimes be confusing when you realise that you’re in fact at a roundabout, and not just at a normal junction as you originally assumed. You must be alert to such happenings.
In my opinion, there is NO excuse for doing this! As your test only lasts for about forty minutes, that is more than one minor every three minutes. If you can last forty minutes without getting a major, then you can certainly last without getting sixteen minors! If this happens to you, you obviously can drive, but you’ve just let something go badly wrong. Such as… your concentration maybe?
This is a very common reason for failing, and (read legal disclaimer), is usually given as a reason for failing when the examiner knew that you couldn’t drive, but couldn’t come up with a better reason with which to fail you! So to avoid falling for this, avoid doing everything else! Oh, and it would help if there was ever a situation in which you have to squeeze around a parked car, to make sure that you WAIT until it’s entirely clear before you go around. It kills me when people fail due to this!
This shows a clear lack of confidence in yourself as a driver, and quite frankly, you’re not ready for your test if you do this. Unless there is a car that appears to be travelling abnormally fast, then you should always be able to judge when it’s safe to pull out from a junction. You should be able to move out quickly enough to take any opportunity you get to move out, and if you’re not comfortable doing this yet, then don’t book your test!
Absolute certain failure. Period. If you’re ever unsure as to what someone is going to do at a roundabout, then don’t move out. If you’re unsure, the chances are they’re coming around and your suspicions are correct.
If you see a situation such as the above about to develop, make sure you move out to get around the parked car well before you get there. This way, your position is giving a clear indication to other road users of your intention to pass the parked car, without you having to indicate and give a wrong signal that you’re going to turn right. If you absolutely cannot get past the parked car as it’s too busy on the other side of the road, then you must wait behind until it’s safe to move out. When you finally do move out, you might want to give a quick indication and cancel it immediately after you move off. Otherwise, don’t indicate.
At a busy junction, you should be having a good look before you move out. Even if you’re only turning left, you should still have at least one look to your left, just in case. And if you’re turning right, make sure you look both ways at least once before you decide to pull out.
If there is a set of speed bumps that cause you to ‘bump’ when you go over them (as most do) then you can expect to fail if you repeatedly go over them without slowing down. If the speed limit on such a road is 30mph, which is likely, then you should be dropping down to second gear when you go over them if they are that bumpy.
When you intend to change lanes, you mustn’t begin indicating once you’ve already started moving out! You should have been indicating for about 2-3 seconds before you make even a suggestion of actually moving out. If someone is coming past you in the outside lane, then you shouldn’t indicate until they’re safely past.
During each one of your manoeuvres, you’re required to check over your right shoulder at least twice. On the reverse around a corner, you should check just as you reach the point of turn, and directly in the middle of the turn, when the car is swinging out at its most. You’re checking to see if anything is coming, and if you forget to do this, then you’ll fail!
If you’re going slow enough, then you should NEVER do this. If you hit the kerb at any point, just drive forwards again and begin reversing when you’re away from the kerb again. The only way in which you could mount the kerb is if you were going too quickly and couldn’t act fast enough once you realised that you’d hit it. If you take it slowly, then you’re giving yourself longer to react if you were to hit the kerb.
After you’ve done your emergency stop, you must check over your left shoulder, followed by your right shoulder before you move away. This is because you’ll be stopped in the centre of the road, so anything wishing to overtake you could feasibly do so on either side. You’ll fail if you don’t do this.
Believe it or not, you do have to finish parallel with the kerb on the parallel park you know! Again, I’m going to recommend checking your left door mirror on several occasions throughout these manoeuvres, even though any driving ‘official’ would never do so. You just need to time your glances in this mirror to perfection, so your examiner doesn’t think that you need to look in it and that you still spend more time looking out of the back, which is where you’re supposed to be looking.
You need to do this at least twice during every manoeuvre, and at least three times during your three-point turn if you want to be sure that you don’t get ‘done’ for it. You’re just checking that nothing else is coming and you aren’t causing an obstruction to them in any way. If you forget to do this, you’ll fail so watch out!
Before you even get into your car, you’re required to do a short eyesight test. If you can’t read the number plate of a car 20.5 metres away, then it’s an immediate fail. This means that if you know that you’re short-sighted, you must be wearing your glasses/contact lenses for your test.
You should be checking your interior mirror roughly once every six seconds (this is a guideline only – it’s not a ‘rule’). And you need to know exactly which mirrors to check and when to check them. If you fail to do this on several occasions throughout your test, then your examiner will fail you no doubt about it.
Doing this once is enough to warrant a failure. You must indicate left before you exit a roundabout. And you should begin indicating left as you pass the exit before the one which you wish to take. If you fail to do this, you could be holding up other drivers unnecessarily and you’ll fail if you do that.
You absolutely must do this at every roundabout! Just as you begin turning the wheel to exit the roundabout, have a quick check of your left door mirror. However unlikely it may be, you’re checking to see if anything is coming up on your outside that is also leaving at your exit. The most likely culprit here would be a motorbike, and if you see one doing this you need to slow down and take action! Don’t get worried though, as it’s very unlikely that this will happen.
This scenario is an absolute nightmare for learner drivers. Whether you’re attempting a hill start, or whether you’re just in a queue of traffic on a hill, you’re likely to be very nervous about rolling backwards. I hate to reiterate it, but if you roll backwards you’ll fail straight away! And it just gets worse if you don’t have the time to keep applying and re-applying the handbrake. To avoid having any chance of this happening, you do need to get a good ‘feel’ for the clutch, and where the biting point is. If you’re going to be stopping for a period not long enough to apply the handbrake, then you’re going to have to briefly use the clutch to prevent yourself from rolling backwards.
You need to grip the gear stick with the palm of your left hand in the ‘back hand’ position, especially when you’re changing into second gear. This will help you avoid selecting fourth gear instead of second. If you do this too often on your test, expect to fail.
Although your left door mirror helps you greatly on your manoeuvres, you’ll fail if your examiner thinks you’re checking too often. To avoid this, make sure that when you do check it, you have a good check and remember what position the kerb was in!
You must use the gear that you select, and not fiddle around with the gear stick too much before you begin accelerating. You don’t have to change down through every gear when you’re slowing down, you should use block changing of gears instead. If you’re having trouble selecting the correct gear, you should sit in a car by yourself and practice-changing gear with the engine off, if this option is available to you, of course.
You should be looking ahead of you and constantly anticipating when you’re going to have to stop, and when you’re going to have to begin slowing down. If you’re doing this, you should never have to apply the foot brake so hard that you feel a force moving you forwards (unless you’re on your emergency stop, obviously). If you do this more than three times, you’ll be very lucky if you don’t fail as a result.
Although it’s referred to as a three-point turn, you can take as many turns as you like. However, unless your examiner is harsh on you and asks you to perform it on an exceptionally narrow road, then the above offence would fail. The chances of you not being physically able to complete a ‘turn in the road’ (as your examiner will call it) in five turns or less are almost nil, so if you can’t do it then you’ll fail!
Just because a roundabout is painted onto the ground doesn’t mean that it’s any different from a normal roundabout! Would you drive up and over a roundabout that had grass/trees/fountains on it? No! So don’t even consider doing it on a mini-roundabout that is painted on the ground either. At least not when you’re still a learner, anyway….
When you stop, you should begin applying the brake before you apply the clutch. If you apply the two at the same time, then you’re coasting and you’ll fail. There is just no need to do this, as you don’t need to apply the clutch until you’re travelling less than 10mph. If you begin to slow down whilst travelling at 30mph, you don’t need to apply the clutch for quite a few more seconds. The most common reason for doing this is fear of stalling, so you must get over this fear! You should not be thinking in this way come the day of your test.
You should never really be braking hard and steering hard at the same time. If you did this excessively, you are liable to skid, which would result in a major. To avoid this, I recommend braking only when you’re travelling in a straight line. There will be times when this is not possible, but always avoid doing it if you have the chance.
Doing this shows a complete lack of judgement and control, and you’ll fail as a result. Especially when there isn’t any pressure to pull over in a hurry, you should be taking your time whilst doing this. Combined with the fact that it’s easy to do anyway, you should never strike the kerb! Again, if you’re unsure have a check in your left door mirror to see where you are on about the kerb. Only a glance though!
This may sound obvious and were I referring to the context of driving 40mph in a 30mph zone, then it would be obvious. However, I’m referring to the context of driving 32mph in a 30mph zone. If you repeatedly do this on your test, make no mistake about it, you WILL fail as a result. You may think that the examiners are being harsh on you here, but hey, a speed limit’s a speed limit.
If, after finishing either of the above manoeuvres, the phrase “Taxi to the kerb please!” comes to mind, then you need to move forwards and adjust your position. You can tell your position on the kerb by a glance in your left door mirror, and if you think you’re too far, you must do something about it. You should be no further than ten centimetres away from the kerb.
At the beginning of your parallel park exercise (if you get asked to do it), your examiner will ask you to finish within two car lengths of the car you park behind. A lot of people get confused with this and think that they have to finish two car lengths away, or they’ll fail if they finish any closer. Within two car lengths, means that you’ll fail if you finish any further away than this! So make sure that you finish this manoeuvre within two car lengths, just to reiterate it! This is very easy though, as if you do finish outside of two car lengths, you can just move forwards! You’re allowed to do that without any complaint from the examiner whatsoever.
When you wish to overtake someone you will almost certainly be travelling at 70mph. When you’re travelling this fast, you should be nowhere near the car in front of you! If you’re fast approaching a car in front and you’re going to have to overtake, make sure that check your mirrors, indicate, and move out into the right-hand lane all in good time.
When you stop at a zebra crossing, you have to wait until everyone and everything is completely off the crossing before you begin to move off. If someone is taking their time to get off the crossing, then you have to wait, even if the section of the crossing directly in front of you is all clear. It’s a guaranteed failure if you do this, so don’t do it as it’s a silly and pointless mistake to make!
If you forget to do this, especially if you were indicating left, then you’re going to cause a lot of confusion and increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Oh, and you can say goodbye to any chance of passing your test as well!
Here’s the bottom line: STOP MEANS STOP! And STOP means that you must apply the handbrake. Even if you find it unnecessary, you still have to apply the handbrake at one of these signs. Such a sign is always in place for a reason, and you’ll likely have to apply the handbrake anyway, so you might not even have to think about it. “When a pause becomes a wait, apply the handbrake”. If you brake this rule, it’s a fail straight away.
Again, this is an absolute cast-iron failure. By doing this you’re causing an unnecessary obstruction for traffic in EITHER lane, as they don’t know whether it’s safe to go past you or not. You may be wondering if you’re classed as taking up two lanes whilst you’re changing lanes: of course not! As long as you don’t spend ages in the process of changing lanes, then don’t worry about this happening. And make sure that you don’t allow yourself to ‘drift’ over into the middle of the two lanes when travelling on a dual carriageway.
Even if the slow down of the other car isn’t obvious and the driver doesn‘t make a fuss about it, you can bet your examiner will notice this straight away and fail you for it to boot. Remember, he has his interior mirror to check such things! It’s important that you can judge how fast you’re going to have to pull out at a busy junction to be sure that no other car is going to have to slow down.
The result of being indecisive depends entirely on the situation in which it happens. In most cases though, it will usually be enough to warrant a failure. For example, if you decide to pull out from a junction, but then change your mind and jam on the brakes at the last minute, you can be certain that you’ve just failed your test.
Before you begin this exercise, you will be told that you’re going to do it before you drive past the road you’ll be reversing into. So when you do drive past the road, you need to be looking out for anything that may obstruct you during the manoeuvre. Examples of such obstructions are skips, parked cars or children playing at the end of the road. If you notice anything like this, tell your examiner about it as he won’t tell you himself! He will then find you another corner in which to carry out the exercise. If you begin the manoeuvre without noticing anything like this, then you’ll fail.
Each lane at a set of traffic lights has a line in which you must wait. If you don’t stop at this line; be it you stop too far behind or too far in front, then you’ll very likely fail your test there and then. Again, this is a very easy mistake to avoid making, as the line is often directly in line with the traffic lights (but not always)! Just position the front of your car with this line every time you approach a set of traffic lights on red, and you’ll be fine.
Fail, fail, FAIL! Don’t do this! Before you move out, you should check your interior and right door mirrors, and if you’re still not sure, quickly check your blind spot. If anyone is approaching in the outside lane, you must wait until they’re safely past. If this means that you have to slow down to avoid gaining on the car in front, then so be it. Don’t go worrying about travelling under the speed limit in such a scenario, as you’re only taking the safest and most appropriate action.
If you see a bus indicating to pull out of a bus stop, you absolutely must let it out. As long as you’re not virtually level with the bus when it begins indicating, then you’ll fail if you don’t slow down and let it out. Although at first, this may seem like the bus should give way to you as you’re already on the road, imagine what would happen if no one let the bus out. That’s right, it would never reach its destination, resulting in mayhem for anyone on the bus, or anyone waiting to get on the bus at a later stop. So make sure you let it out!
If you do this, expect to fail immediately. To get out of a skid, you need to remove your foot from the brake as soon as you detect that you’ve begun to skid. Don’t press it down harder, or you’ll just make it worse, and don’t press it down again until the wheels are rolling normally again (when you can no longer hear the screeching sound). The best way to avoid falling for this is to avoid skidding in the first place, so don’t brake too hard.
If you’re sitting there hoping that it doesn’t rain on your test because you don’t know how to use your demisters, then snap out of it! The demisters are very simple to use, so there’s no need to be thinking in this way. If you don’t know how to use them, all you have to do is ask your instructor, or whoever drives the car you’ll be taking your test in. I can’t describe it here, as it differs between every car, but what I can tell you is that you’ll fail if you don’t take action when you can’t see out of your front or rear windscreen! 78. Not noticing a filter light come on. This is the same as failing to notice a red light changing to green, just to give you an idea of how much of a certain failure it is. You must be aware of when there is a filter light in place, or when there is likely to be one. If you don’t notice that it’s come on for at least one second, then you will almost certainly fail. 79. Dry steering on your three-point turn. Or dry steering at any time, for that matter. Dry steering is when you turn the wheels when the car isn’t moving and is most commonly done by mistake during the three-point turn. You must stop turning the wheel around the other way when you think you’re about to hit the kerb, regardless of whether or not you’ve made it to full lock. If you haven’t you can easily rectify this once you begin reversing, so there’s no need for dry steering!
When you stall, you must immediately apply the handbrake. If you don’t do this, you will fail. Period. You must then make sure that you don’t stall again when you restart the engine. I hate to mention it here, but the key to all of this is not to panic. Just think: “it doesn’t matter if I stall.”
Bikes need plenty of room, as they are liable to swerve out in front of you. If you don’t give them plenty of room, you can expect to fail your test as a result. You should be giving them more room than you would give your average car, and you must make sure that there is a suitable gap in the oncoming traffic before you decide to overtake. If a bike is signalling to turn right, then don’t even think about overtaking! And make sure that you don’t overtake on the approach to a zebra crossing.
You may be wondering where some of these more obscure reasons for failing are coming from. Well, I do know of someone who failed his test for this very reason! It had been raining and he went through a large puddle too fast when there was a pedestrian right next to it, and this is why his examiner chose to fail him. If you think about it, it probably should warrant a failure, as you’re supposed to treat pedestrians with the utmost respect. To avoid this, slow down when approaching a large puddle at the side of the road, regardless of whether or not a pedestrian is nearby!
Never do this. You must choose the correct lane on your approach to a roundabout, and if you attempt to change once you’re on the roundabout, you will almost certainly fail. If you ever do find yourself in the wrong lane on a roundabout, then you must take the appropriate exit for the lane you’re in; NEVER change lanes!
This is possibly the most avoidable reason for failing out of the entire 101 ways. If you fail your test for this, then there’s something wrong. If you don’t know how to use your windscreen wipers, then you do need to ask someone. On top of this, there are also usually several settings for the windscreen wipers. You can have them going slow, normal or fast. Surely I don’t need to tell you that the setting you put them on depends on how heavy the rain is, but oh look….I just did. You should choose the most appropriate setting for the amount of rain.
For example, at a tailback at a set of traffic lights. If you were to stop in a place where you were blocking anyone from entering or exiting another road, then you’d certainly fail as a result. If you don’t think you can get fully past the junction without causing a blockage, then don’t do it. This is very similar to how you should behave when approaching a zebra crossing; remember, never stop on those either!
DON’T DO THIS! You would have to be extremely unlucky to be forced into overtaking on a single carriageway on your driving test, and as a general rule, don’t ever even consider doing it. If it wasn’t necessary, you’d very likely fail even if you did have a full view of the road ahead. However, if this does happen to you, then make sure that you’re 100% certain that you can get past safely, or you will be awarded a dangerous fault by your examiner.
If you fail to notice such a hazard in good time and don’t brake until ages after you should have done it, you can expect to fail even if you only do it once. If you’re concentrating, this should never happen.
When reversing, you should be primarily looking out of the back windscreen. Despite this, you still need to have the occasional check out of your front windscreen and over your right (or left – depending on which way you’re reversing) shoulder. When you turn around to do this, now is the time to quickly check your left door mirror! Your head should be turning back to face forwards about once every five seconds (guideline only).
Before you begin to reverse and throughout your manoeuvre, you need to check your mirrors to make sure that it is safe to reverse. If any pedestrians are approaching your car – even if they’re on the pavement (which they most likely will be), then you must STOP and WAIT! Wait until they are safely past your car before you begin reversing again. Don’t worry about this happening too often, as your examiner should choose a suitably quiet location to carry out your manoeuvres.
Undeniable, cast-iron, no questions asked absolute 100% failure. Full stop. Get the picture yet? Good. The action of indicating either left or right needs to be almost like a reflex action by the time you come to your test, and if it’s not then you’re liable to fail due to this!
If you’re confident when it comes to driving, then you should never do this. If there’s nothing in front of you that would warrant you to apply the brakes, then don’t apply them! If you’re not travelling too fast in the first place, this should never happen. You must be in full control of the car at ALL times.
To avoid doing this, simply slow down before you make a sharp left turn. If it’s sharp, or worse – if there’s a car waiting to pull out of the road you’re turning into, you might want to consider selecting first gear for such a turn. You’re the only judge of this, but don’t be scared to do this if you find it necessary. You should always be able to make the turning though, so whatever you do, don’t attempt to give any sort of signal to any car that may be waiting to turn out from the road you’re turning into to make it easier, as you’re examiner would not be happy!
You should not move back in until you can see the car that you’ve just gone past entirely in your interior mirror. If you can only see it partially, or if you can’t see it at all(!), then you’re very likely to fail there and then. It shouldn’t take you too long to get to this point, as you’re travelling a lot faster than the other car. And remember, don’t indicate when you finally do move back in.
An important note here – the chances of you having to use your horn on your test are extremely low, and if you use it in the wrong context you’ll certainly fail! As a general rule, don’t use it. Don’t use it unless it’s 100% necessary (e.g. someone running out into the middle of the road), and NEVER use it as a signal of anger.
If you get asked to perform an emergency stop, it’s imperative that you are gearing up to stop before your examiner has given you his signal, and that you act QUICKLY when he does give you it. If you’re not prepared, then the time it takes to react will be substantially increased, most likely failing. Don’t panic when he gives you his signal though, just keep things nice and calm, and then hopefully you won’t brake too hard.
You know what box junctions are, those (usually) large yellow boxes with the diagonal lines in them. If you get stuck in one of these, not only will you fail your test, but in some cases, you can face prosecution! So be warned! To avoid this happening to you, simply DO NOT enter a box junction unless you are 100% certain that you can get out without stopping. If you’re not 100% certain, then it makes sense to wait before the junction until you are.
The question is ‘when does a pause become a wait?’. My recommendation on this is that a pause becomes a wait if you’re waiting for FOUR seconds or longer. However, that does not mean that you should wait four seconds before you apply the handbrake. It means that you need to accurately judge the time you’re going to be stopped BEFORE you stop. If this time is longer than four seconds, then apply the handbrake. If you sit there for longer than this without the handbrake on, you can expect to fail your test.
This can be surprisingly easy to do, and what a nightmare if it does happen! If you enter it on the wrong side, then you’ve just failed your test with literally less than a minute to go, If you exit it on the wrong side, then you’ve just failed before your test has even begun. Most car parks have an exit for cars leaving and a separate entrance for cars coming in. Go through the wrong one, and you’ve had it!
When driving on a slope, it helps you A LOT if you select a lower gear whether you’re travelling up or down. It gives you greater control over the car, which is what you need in this situation. You won’t have to do this unless you’re on quite a steep slope, and the gear you choose will depend entirely on the steepness. However, never choose first gear! If you fail to do this when your examiner thinks you should have done it and lose control of the car, then you know what will happen.
In a lot of cars, the lever to operate the windscreen wipers is directly opposite the lever to operate the indicators (on the other side of the wheel). If you confuse yourself about which one is the indicator at the wrong moment (for a fraction of a second) then you’re likely to apply the windscreen wipers instead of indicating. This will most likely cause you to panic, and either give a late indication or not indicate at all. Again, the key is not to panic, however hard this may be! Also, I recommend not making the proposed turn if you do this, as then you’ll avoid giving an incorrect indication.
I know of someone who failed his test due to this, and how much did we all laugh! If you want to avoid a similar fate, then you need to be aware of when there is a possibility of this happening. If you’re ever in any doubt as to if that line of cars you can see are waiting at a junction/traffic light/crossing, or if they’re just parked at the side of the road, you need to look at the driver’s seat to see if anyone is sitting in them! If you ever stop and wait behind a row of parked cars, you can expect to fail unless you notice immediately. Well, we come to the end. That was 101 ways in which you may or may not fail your test. I hope, however, that you don’t fail for any of the above reasons after reading about them. Best of luck come to your test, Dan J.