Making a mistake during your driving test won’t necessarily mean that you fail. This will depend on what your examiner classes as a major or minor fault.

A driving test fault is an error the driver makes during their test.

You can receive 15 minors and still pass, though of course any fault should be avoided if possible.

Major faults, on the other hand, will result in an instant fail.

Read on and find out which faults are classed as major and minor, and what to do if you fail.


What Are Driving Test Major Faults?

Technically, there is no such thing as a major or minor fault.

If you make a mistake during your driving test, then the examiner will class it as one of the following:

  • A dangerous fault
  • A serious fault
  • A driving fault

Committing a dangerous or serious fault – both of which are generally referred to as major faults - will result in an instant fail.

Even so, you will be expected to continue with the test, and will find out your result at the end.

Driving test major faults can lead to dangerous situations on the road, which is why you should always take your time and remember what you have learned during your driving lessons.

Examples of major faults include failing to observe traffic signals or road signs, endangering other road users, and losing control of the vehicle.


What Are Driving Test Minor Faults?

Whilst minor driving faults may cause an inconvenience to other drivers, these are mistakes made by the driver that don’t pose an immediate danger to other road users.

It could be potentially dangerous, and if you keep making the same fault then it could turn into a serious fault.

Examples of minor faults include not checking mirrors frequently enough, stalling, hesitating, and touching the kerb.


What Do I Need to Pass My Driving Test?

To pass your driving test, you cannot:

  • Make more than 15 driving faults (minors)
  • Make any serious or dangerous faults (majors)

If your examiner told you to do something or took control of the car to avoid an accident, then your result will show that the ‘examiner took action (ETA)’.

You should talk to your driving instructor about your result so that they can focus any future lessons or Pass Plus training you may need on the right skills.


What Should I Do If I Fail?

If you fail on this occasion, you should talk to your driving instructor about when to rebook your test.

Only rebook the test when the instructor agrees that you are ready to take it again.

You can check the ‘Ready to Pass?’ section on the website to prepare for your next test.


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With enough practice, you'll be on your way to passing your driving test in no time. 

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