Major and minor faults in the driving test

When the time comes to take your practical test, the examiner isn’t expecting perfection. Even if you pass you’ll probably make some mistakes. There are major and minor faults in the driving test. A few minors won’t cause you to fail, it’s the major faults that you really need to avoid.

What is a minor fault?

A minor fault (also known as a driving fault) is something that causes inconvenience to other road users. The crucial thing is that although it’s definitely a mistake the fault is not something that is likely to cause an accident.

How many minor faults are allowed in the driving test?

You can make up to 15 without failing. More than this, and you won’t pass.

What is a major fault?

There are two types of major fault. A dangerous fault is something that forces another road user to take action to avoid a collision. A serious fault is a similar mistake, but without another road user being put in danger.

So, changing lanes on a dual-carriageway without looking in your mirrors or over your shoulder would be a serious fault, even if the road was empty. But if someone is in the next lane about to overtake, and they have to brake to avoid hitting the back of your car, the mistake is a dangerous one.

How many major faults can I make?

None. Any major fault is an immediate failure, whether it’s serious or dangerous.

How do I avoid major and minor faults in the driving test?

If your instructor thinks you are ready to take your driving test, then you have it in you to pass. Instead of thinking, “How do I avoid mistakes?” think “How can I drive well?” Be positive in your thinking.

Whether it’s pulling away safely, turning right at a roundabout, or reverse parking, you know what you need to do. Just get out there and show the examiner your skills!

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