I failed my driving test: what do I do now?

Just because you’ve failed your driving test that doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, the pass rate is around 46%, so most candidates miss the mark at least once. With over 1.5 million driving tests conducted every year, hundreds of people are kicking themselves over a failed driving test every day. If you’re asking yourself, “I failed my driving test, what next?” here’s how to pick yourself up and get back behind the wheel.

Cut yourself a break

Don’t get down over a failed test. Driving a car isn’t something anyone is born knowing how to do. Just like riding a bike or playing a musical instrument, learning how to do it takes time and practice, and some people will get the hang of it faster than others. Even if you can drive well enough to pass the test, nerves could get the better of you on the big day.

So don’t blame yourself. In fact, we suggest you wear it with pride: some studies suggest that people who pass second time are actually the safest drivers. The extra lessons you take after failing will improve your skills, and better prepare you for independent driving.

Get back in the car

Failing your test can feel like a huge blow to your confidence and it can be tempting to have a few weeks off to get over it. But remember the old saying about getting back on the horse? The same applies with a car. The longer the break you take, the rustier your skills will become. So regroup, talk through what went wrong with your instructor, and get back behind the wheel as soon as possible.

Booking your retest

Your driving instructor won’t suggest you book a test until they feel you’re ready, so if they’ve suggested it previously they must rate your chances. When you’re booking your re-test, you need to choose a date at least 10 working days away. Your examiner won’t have a record of your previous test, so they won’t be trying to catch you out.

Remember, more drivers fail their practical test first time than pass. There’s also plenty of evidence that drivers who pass second time go on to be safer drivers than those who make the grade at the first attempt. So you really don’t have to put yourself under pressure just because you didn’t pass first time!

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