Good news! Your driving test does not have to go perfectly for you to pass! You’re allowed to make a few mistakes.
But what sort of mistakes are forgivable, and how many are you allowed to make before you fail?
In this post we’ll explore driving test minors, and let you know the sort of things you should be aware of if you want to pass first time.
What Counts as a Minor in a Driving Test?
- A Dangerous Fault – This involves driving in such a way that you actually endanger you, your examiner, the public, or property.
- A Serious Fault – You don’t necessarily cause any direct danger, but you do something that, in certain circumstances, is “potentially dangerous.”
- A Driving Fault – This is what we talk about when we talk about “minors”. It’s something that’s not potentially dangerous, but if you keep doing it, it could become a serious fault.
There are many things that could be classed as minors:
- Not using the clutch and handbrake correctly when starting your engine and setting off.
- Not checking your blind spot when moving off.
- Using your clutch when making an emergency stop – as this gives you less control.
- Parking too far from the kerb, or at too much of an angle.
- Failing to activate your wipers if it’s raining, or your lights if the visibility’s poor.
- Displaying a general lack of awareness – of your surroundings, of other motorists, of pedestrians and of road markings and signs.
How Many Minors Can You Have on Your Driving Test?
You’re not allowed to make a single serious fault or dangerous fault. Make one of those and your test is an instant fail.
But you can make up to 15 minors and still pass your test.
It’s incredibly rare to not make a single minor in your test. And 15 is a good margin of error. You’d have to make a lot of small mistakes to rack up 15 minors over the course of your test.
However, three minors for similar mistakes will often result in a major, which will cause you to fail your test.
But many drivers do indeed fail their tests first time. This is extremely common, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. If you don’t pass your first time, you probably will your second time! Read our guide to what to do if you fail your test first time here.
However, if you want to pass your test first time, there are a few things you can do to minimise your chance of making minors.
How to Avoid Minors in your Driving Test
- Practice, Practice, Practice – The more practice you get in before you take your test, the less likely you’ll be to make the small mistakes that could cause you to fail. You’re allowed to practice outside of your lessons so long as you’re accompanied by a qualified driver at all times, and so long as you’re covered by learner driver insurance.
- Talk to Your Instructor – They’ll be full of good advice on what counts as a minor, and on what you can do to avoid making the most common driving test mistakes.
- Overcome Your Nerves – If you’re nervous during your test, you’ll be more likely to make mistakes. The problem is that everyone gets nervous before their driving test! Read our guide to managing your driving test nerves here.
- Don’t Forget Your Theory – Don’t stop studying and revising your highway code once you’ve passed your theory. The better you can grasp the finer details of driving theory, the less you’ll be flummoxed by unexpected signs, road markings, hazards or other situations.
- You Can’t Be Too Observant – Many minors are the result of not being observant enough. Remember: Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Check your mirrors before you attempt anything, and don’t forget your blind spot. Even if you’re coasting down a long stretch of road, remember to glance at your mirrors from time to time.
- Treat it as a Learning Experience – As we said above, if you fail your driving test, it’s not the end of the world. You can always take it again. But whatever the outcome of your test, your examiner will tell you at the end all the minors you made, and when you made them. This information is invaluable, so listen to them, and remember what they say. Then you’ll know what areas you need to work on while preparing for your second test.
Once you pass your test, you’ll have to start thinking about car insurance. Car insurance can be pricey if you’re a new driver, but we put together a guide to getting the cover you need at a price you can afford. Find it here.