The easiest ways to fail your driving test in London

Here at London Driving School we want you to pass your practical driving test first time

But quite often people do not pass their practical driving test the first, second or even third time. Sometimes the reason why people fail their driving test is nothing to do with their driving ability. More often than not it is about their confidence or over confidence. So lets look at these two top reasons for failing our driving test.

Some of the most frequent questions we get asked by people taking their practical driving test are:

In this next secion we will try to answer these questions under two main heading confidence and over confidence. Both are generally the main two reasons why people fail their driving tests

Top reasons for failing driving test

Lack of Confidence vs Overconfidence

If you are lacking in confidence this will probably lead to nerves and under exam style conditions where your every move is being scrutinised by an examiner this where people will fail. Sometimes it is not because you are not ready or a good driver it is that you just buckle a little bit under pressure. Some people can handle pressure better than others and this can be down to a simple mindset or way of thinking. So what if you suffer from nerves? There are several things you can do, firstly the more you drive the more confidence you will gain. Secondly get your driving instructor to carry out a mock driving test with you, he can use a fellow driving instrutor who you have not taken any driving lessons with before. Have him sit their with a clip board and get him to mark down your driving as they would in a real driving test. Here is a copy of the driving test sheet as used by the examiner. You will be amazed at how just having someone unfamiliar with you in the car with a clipboard and pen can suddenly put you under a bit more pressure. But if you try this out once or twice before you actual test you will become used to this environment and you will be more relaxed on the day of your test as this has now become familiar.

Lack of Confidence

Another main reason that a lack of confidence can lead to you failing your driving test is what we call the Domino Effect. You make one simple mistake and you see out of the corner of your eye what you think is the examiner marking a X and suddenly you start making a multitude of mistakes and driving errors. You have become flustered and you have become fixated on that one mistake you made and everything else flies out of the window and you are now thinking about it too much and you have stopped concentrating on the driving, then all the basics are forgotten, and what was only one minor suddenly escalates into several.

If this happens you need to draw a line in the sand and forget about it quickly, do not dwell on the error, move on and get back to driving. Stop and start again.


Over confidence as a driver is as dangerous if not more so than being a nervous or cautious driver. Why?. Well this is because overconfidence and the desire to prove you are a good driver can lead to you make rash decisions which will be seen as careless, overzealous and quite frankly dangerous to other road users. Such as pulling out into a road, when there is not a sufficent gap in the traffic and causing other motorists to slow down or breaking sharply, which is essentially showing disregard to other drivers. Another example is you see a potential hazard unfold in front of you, such as a red light or a pedestrian or another motorist pull out in front of you and you wait till the last second to react, expecting the potential hazard to have cleared. And when it does not this will cause you to break laster and harder than you normally should, which can get you rear ended. But this is also seen by the examiner as a failure to preempt the danger ahead. Remember your hazard perception test? By slowying down in a timely manner way before you approach a potential hazard shows the examiner that you can read the road and the potential hazards and issues in front of you.

Another reason why over confidence can lead to you failing your driving test is that you have quite frankly not taken enough lessons. Your over confidence has lead to you believing you are a better driver than you actually are. Also this is the most common reason why leaner drivers become disgruntled. They believe the driving instructor is holding them back and trying to get more lessons out of them. THIS IS SO UNTRUE. Instructors want you to pass the driving test and they will sometimes be unwilling to put you in a driving test as they know you will fail and this reflects badly on them. Driving instructors do not like turning up at Test Centres an become labelled as a bad instructor by the examiners. So if you are a very confident person trust your driving instructor when he tells you "you are NOT ready!" Also bare in mind the cost of a driving test can be the price of 3 or 4 lessons. And multiple failures can cetainly then become costly.

It is also a good idea when you go into your driving test to be aware of your confidence levels and then reign it in a little bit, try to be a little more cautious and patient. And remember check those mirrors every 5 seconds and actually make a point of moving your head to make it obvious. Many drivers who are over confident forget the basics.

Or are so relaxed they leave just one hand on the wheel................!

Remember just be confident and calm, your driving instructor would not have put you forward for your practical driving test if he was not confident in your abilities.

Also see Medication to help tackle your driving tests nerves.


You can rebook a test using the DVSA fast track phone service if you’re an approved driving instructor (ADI).


Need a London Driving Test at short notice we have access to Late Cancellation Driving Test Dates

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NOTE: You will need to have passed your driving theory test before sitting your practical driving test.

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