I failed my driving test - now what?

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

Failing your driving test can feel like the end of the world, but it’s important not to give up. There are a number of reasons behind why you might have failed your test; you just have to work out why you failed and how to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes next time.

Your driving test report

You’ll probably want to rip it up and never look at it again, but you should take some time to read through your driving test report to see where you went wrong.

Although your driving examiner will have taken you through the faults at the end of the test, it can be a lot of information to take in when you’ve just been told you’ve failed your driving test. Take some time to read through the report. What were your minor faults in? Do you know what you received the faults for? Recognising where you’ve gone wrong gives you a better understanding of how to improve for next time.

Likewise, if you received any serious or dangerous faults, you will need to know when you received these and what for. The chances are you will know already or that the examiner will have told you, but try and think about what caused you to make that mistake. Was it inexperience or nerves, for example.

Give yourself a bit of time to cool down before doing this – dissecting your test report as soon as you get in the door after your test isn’t going to help.

Tackling driving test nerves

Failing your driving test because of nerves is, unsurprisingly, very common. You might be able to do the perfect parallel park in your driving lessons, only for it all to fall apart on test day because you can’t stay calm.

You’re always going to feel nervous when going in for something as big as the driving test, but there are ways to control those nerves, and ways to stop them getting the better of you.

“It’s not the end of the world”

It’s the favourite line amongst mums, and it’s probably the last thing you want to hear when you tell someone “I failed my driving test”, but its true, it’s really not the end of the world.

OK, it’s annoying and frustrating, but you will always have another chance. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself next time you go for your driving test. Think to yourself ‘I might pass, I might not’, and – although of course you want to pass – it will take some of the pressure which comes with thinking, ‘I must pass’, away.

Keep your test a secret

If you don’t tell anyone you’re taking your driving test, no one will ask you how it went. If you pass, it’ll be a lovely announcement to make, and if you fail, it’s just another normal day as far as everyone else is concerned.

It’s not always practical to keep it completely secret. You might need to tell your parents, teachers or employer, for example, but making sure only a select few people know will minimise the pressure on test day.

How to prepare for your next test

You will need to keep having driving lessons and practice sessions between tests. This can be a pain, especially when you’ve spent a lot of money already, but booking some more cheap driving lessons will ensure that you don’t let your driving ability get rusty in between.

Continue to track your lessons with Midrive, and look out for our crowdsourced test route data. You can also track your mock tests with us, making sure you keep track of everything.

Look out for test cancellations

The last thing you want after failing your driving test is to have to wait ages for your next test. If your test centre has a long waiting list, it’s a good idea to look out for test cancellations which you’ll have to wait less time for.

Speak to your driving instructor about looking out for cancellations, as you won’t have much time to book it, and you’ll need to make sure your instructor is free on the day.

Of course, we want you to pass your driving test as much as you do. If, however, you don’t leave the test centre with a pass certificate, try not to feel too disheartened. It wouldn’t be called a test if it was easy!