One of the most common questions I get from learner drivers or those about to take the DVSA practical car assessment here in the UK is 'How many minor faults are you allowed on the test before the examiner fails you?'
Let me quickly clarify an issue and immediately say that on the DVSA practical car assessment, there are no such things as minor or major errors, there are only driver errors as far as the DSA examiner is concerned, and these will either be classified as just an error (with a maximum of 15 allowed before the candidate fails) or it could be marked as serious/dangerous (failure).
To be sure of what is being marked by the examiner get a copy of the official dsa guide to the test especially if you were taught to drive by family/friends or you are a foreign driving licence owner about to take their first UK practical car test.
To pass the UK driving test, you are currently (2017) only allowed 15 driver errors, and none of these can be serious or dangerous driver errors. The less mistakes you are making in your lessons as you approach your driving test appointment date, the greater the chances of passing unless you are one of those affected by bad test nerves where things go rapidly downhill once the examiner gets in the car!
If you are taking your driving test at Hendon or Mill Hill, you need to watch the video below for important information that could save you from failing!
Before I go into what is a serious or dangerous driver error, let me say that the best preparation and attitude to have if you really want to pass the driving test, is to go the driving test centre with the intention, knowledge and confidence that I will not be committing any major or minor driver errors during the test. If you know you have what you think is a slight problem (for example you tend to go wide on the left reverse round the corner), this could be your potential stumbling block, and you are relying on luck (hoping not to get that exercise) rather than skill to pass the driving test. It would be in your best interest if you get your instructor to deal with this lack of skill or find someone else who can (that is what we get paid for, and not to blame you the pupil, we MUST be able to find a way of passing our knowledge to you the learner).
Any 'minor' driver error has a potential of becoming a serious or dangerous error depending on circumstances, so don't think that you can't fail because it is a little fault. Don't get me wrong you probably will make mistakes during the driving test, but you must be confident that you have dealt with all the re-occurring problems that you are aware of. What is the point of presenting yourself for the test if you are constantly making the same mistake during the reverse parallel parking exercise, hoping that you don't get it during the test or that it will only be marked as a minor on the DL25 report sheet?
Take the example of a simple issue of not putting on the handbrake while waiting in traffic. That would not be a driver error if your car remains stationary, or doesn't get too close to the vehicle in front or enter a junction. However if the car behind you accidentally bumps you, and your car surges forward a bit without hitting the car in front of you (because you had stopped far enough behind using tyres and tarmac rule), your little mistake is now a serious error due to what you would say is no fault of yours, and you will fail the test. Even if your car does not surge forward when bumped, you are certain to fail the test because your car was not secured when stationary.
Using the same example of the handbrake, if a pedestrian was to walk in front of your car while you were stopped in traffic, with the handbrake off, you COULD fail the test if you car rolled, because that minor error is now a dangerous error, since the pedestrian was at risk while walking in front of your car, especially if the vehicle was creaking with the biting point very high. As you could see, you have failed the test by making a little mistake which went from being just a driver error to a test failing error in one moment, and the change of circumstances were not caused by you! Many would say that was bad luck, but the truth of the matter was that you made the mistake that ultimately failed you, irrespective of what happened outside the car. If you had the handbrake on those two external factors would not have changed the outcome of the test at that moment! Use your driving lessons whether they be with an ADI or family member to practice the right habits, and treat each training session as if it were the last one before a test, and don't do anything that could fail you if it were the dsa examiner sitting next to you.
Don't blame the examiner for being harsh or not using his/her discretion to let you off on that occasion, drive to the standard expected and leave no room for any doubt. While it would be a bonus to pass with zero minors, as long as you don't have any major, serious or dangerous errors staying with the 15 allowed shouldn't be a problem to anyone who has taken enough tuition and practise.
Mill Hill Driving Test Help
If you are taking your driving test at Mill Hill test centre, you might be interested in the video below, especially if you are not local to the area, as it covers the hardest route in use by the DSA examiners where you have to deal with the dreaded Apex Corner multi-lane roundabout during independent driving as well as the 70mph A1, turning right at sterling corner as well as some other tricky locations. The video has full commentary to point out the failing areas.
Download Video for £3.99
Hendon Driving Test Routes Video 2015
£4.99 Buy Now
Borehamwood Test Route Video
Providing useful tips and advice of the common places where candidates fail in Borehamwood, updated in 2015.
£4.99 Buy Now
Q: How many major mistakes or errors are allowed on the driving test?
A: As I mentioned in the article, any fault that is classified as serious or dangerous will result in failing the driving test, so the answer is none! Note there have been candidates who have failed for making just the one serious driver error (no minors as you would put it), which is very sad considering that the other 40 minutes where perfect, but that is the DSA rules for you, so don't let your guard down.
Q: How many minor errors equals a major or serious fault?
A: If you get more than 3 driver faults in the same category/section the driving examiner can give you a serious which automatically means a fail, but I have seen 4 markings in a section not being classified as serious. I would advice if you have a weakness in a particular area, then get it remedied before the day of your test, as your chances of failing are higher the more you commit the same driver error during the 40 minutes of practical car assessment.
I stalled 5 times on Driving test and Passed!!
Subscribe to my YouTube Driving Test Video Tips channel and you SHOULD follow me on twitter here!