Help! I’ve failed my driving test – what now?
Whether this is your first driving test failure, or your 36th, never fear! We’re here to help you keep your head held high and look forward to passing it next time.
Failing at anything isn’t fun, but it hurts even more when you’ve racked up hours behind the wheel and spent a small fortune on lessons. So where do you go from here? Follow our 6 steps to ditching those L plates for good.
How many people pass the first time?
So you didn’t pass the first time – don’t worry. Neither do the majority of first-time test takers. It’s official:
More than 50% of drivers fail their first driving test
So look on the bright side – you’re far from alone! Don’t dwell on your disappointment, focus on the areas you need to improve.
Get back in the driving seat – book your next test NOW
The sooner the better. Keep the memories and skills fresh, and learn to correct your test mistakes straight off the bat. Book your next test now. Test centres are busy places, and there’s only one thing worse than failing your driving test – failing your driving test then finding out you can’t take your next test for 3 months.
• You can book your slot online an hour after your test is over – so take your phone and bank card with you and you can book right away
• Your next test has to be at least two weeks after your last test
• You can try and get an earlier slot than the one you’re given by regularly checking cancellations online using the handy GOV.UK Change Your Driving Test service. If you don’t see a suitable time slot there you can just exit and it won’t affect your existing booking
Listen to your examiner’s wise words
Take on board what your examiner told you at the end of your test. Their assessment of you is fresh in your memory right now and you can learn from it. Whatever you failed on will tell you where you need the most practice. Talk to your driving instructor about your weak areas and see how they can help you improve in the lead up to your next exam.
Don’t forget the basics
Don’t obsess over your specific failings in the test. The chances are that the thing that caused you to fail might not even come up next time. So don’t get hung up on this one thing at the expense of all your other basic training – examiners are always looking for safe, competent driving across the board.
Think how much more prepared you’ll be next time
Your first try at anything is going to be a real challenge. With all the preparation in the world, you can never know exactly what a driving test feels like until you’ve taken one. Well, now you have, so you’re already 10 steps ahead. Next time you’ll know exactly what to expect, so you can feel more confident, and less fearful.
“Failure is the key to success…”
Self-help quotes like this might sound corny but they’re true. Failure can actually be good for you, spurring you on, giving focus to your driver training and teaching you important lessons. You might feel like never setting foot inside a car ever again, but the only way to get better at any skill is to practise it. Don’t let one slip-up put you off.
Practice makes perfect
Keep up those private practice hours and book another lesson with your instructor where you address specific areas you struggled with in the test. You’ll get there in no time. Our Learner Driver Insurance can help you get more practice hours under your belt, in a family or friend’s car, for 30, 60 or 90 days – and the great news is you can get covered instantly online!
Learner Driver Insurance→
Get short term cover on a friend or parent's car as a learner, to help you get that magic pass!