Faults

You are allowed to receive up to 15 minor driving faults but no major driving faults.
You will fail your driving test if you receive either a total of 16 or more minors or three of more within the same category. An example of this would be receiving three minors for incorrect signalling.
Major driving faults are categorised as either serious or dangerous. You will fail your driving test if you receive one or more serious or dangerous driving faults.
It is common for students to receive some minor driving faults on their driving test. Don’t worry if you end the test with over ten, 15 or under is still considered a pass.

1(A) EYESIGHT TEST
The requirement is that you are able to read either a new style car number plate (after 1st September 2001) from a distance of no less than 20 meters, or an older style car number plate (before 1st September 2001) from a distance of no less than 20.5 meters.
You are allowed to wear contact lenses or glasses but you must also ensure that you wear these during your driving test.
If you have difficulties with spoken English you are allowed to write the number plate down.
You are given three attempts to successfully read a number plate. If you cannot read the number plate the first time your examiner will ask you to read a second number plate. If you are unable to read either the first or second number plate your examiner will measure the exact distance and give you a third attempt. If you fail the third attempt then your driving test will be immediately terminated.

1(B) HIGHWAY CODE / SAFETY
This element is for specialist vehicle tests and is not required as part of the car driving test.

2 CONTROLLED STOP
Sometime during your driving test you may be asked to perform an emergency stop, also know as the controlled stop. The controlled stop is on average only assessed in one every three driving tests so it is not necessarily going to appear during your assessment.
If you are going to be assessed for the controlled stop during your driving test your examiner will ask you to pull over so he can explain what will be required. Your examiner will explain that within the next few minutes he will give you a signal to stop the car as if it was an emergency situation. The signal is likely to be when your examiner raises his hand under the rear view mirror. Your driving test examiner will tell you not to preempt the emergency stop and to wait until their signal.
When you see your examiner give the signal you will need to perform the controlled stop as if it was a real emergency. Like in a real emergency you will not have time to check the mirrors before applying the brakes.
Remember that you won’t be asked to stop if it is dangerous to do so. Your driving test examiner will check it is safe to perform the emergency stop prior to giving the signal. The test will only be performed on a 30 mph road when there is no traffic behind, vehicles approaching or cyclists.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you react to the examiners stop signal too slowly or unnecessarily allow the car to skid. Students often receive minors if they accidentally apply the clutch before the brake, check their mirrors or don’t stop quick enough.

3 REVERSE LEFT
The left corner reverse is one of the four manoeuvres you will need to learn before taking you driving test. It is one of the more common manoeuvres that you may be asked to perform to demonstrate you knowledge and ability.
Your driving examiner will be looking at how you are able to successfully keep control of your vehicle whilst effectively observing and acting correctly to your surroundings. You will be accessed in your ability to reverse left around the corner not touching the kerb or driving onto the other side of the road. You will be marked on your clutch control and ability to keep the car at a low but consistent speed.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you do not show that you are consistently observing your surroundings. It is important that you consistently check all mirrors and respond to changes to your surroundings. You may also receive a minor driving fault if you do not keep the car at a consistent slow speed or fail to demonstrate sufficient clutch control.
You may receive a major driving fault if you do not consistently observe your surroundings or fail to stop for other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists that are attempting to go around you.
If you believe you are either going to hit the kerb or go onto the other side of the road, you may be able to avoid receiving a major driving fault if you explain to your driving test examiner that you need to readjust the vehicle. You may then be given the opportunity to drive slightly forward and perform the appropriate adjustments to correct your position on the road. This may result in a minor driving fault but it is better than receiving a major driving fault and instantly failing your driving test.

4 REVISE RIGHT
The right corner reverse is one of the four manoeuvres you will need to learn before taking you driving test. It is one of the less common manoeuvres and is not often assessed in the practical driving test.
If you are asked to perform this manoeuvre, your driving examiner will be looking at how you are able to successfully keep control of your vehicle whilst effectively observing and acting correctly to your surroundings. You will be accessed in your ability to reverse right around the corner not touching the kerb or driving onto the other side of the road. You will be marked on your clutch control and ability to keep the car at a low but consistent speed.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you do not show that you are consistently observing your surroundings. It is important that you consistently check all mirrors and respond to changes to your surroundings. You may also receive a minor driving fault if you do not keep the car at a consistent slow speed or fail to demonstrate sufficient clutch control.
You may receive a major driving fault if you do not consistently observe your surroundings and fail to stop for other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists that are attempting to go around you.
If you believe you are either going to hit the kerb or go onto the other side of the road, you may be able to avoid receiving a major driving fault if you explain to your driving test examiner that you need to readjust the vehicle. You may then be given the opportunity to drive slightly forward and perform the appropriate adjustments to correct your position on the road. This may result in a minor driving fault but it is better than receiving a major driving fault and instantly failing your driving test.
 

 
5 REVERSE PARK
A reverse park is one of the four manoeuvres you will need to learn before taking you driving test. This manoeuvre can take the form of either a reverse parallel park or a bay park. The reverse parallel park is more common than the bay park but it is good practice to know both before taking your driving test.
Like the other three manoeuvres, you can receive both minor and major driving faults. For the reverse parallel park you may receive a minor driving fault if you accidentally hit the kerb, mount the pavement or get too close to the car you are attempting to reverse behind. With the bay park you are most likely to receive a minor driving fault if you are not positioned within the bay after you think you have finished parking. It is also possible to get minors for lack of observation for both of these manoeuvres.
You may receive a major driving fault if you do not consistently observe your surroundings and fail to stop for other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists that are attempting to go around you.
These manoeuvres do not have to be completed in a single move. If you believe you are getting to close to another vehicle you are allowed to go forward and readjust your position on the road. It is often better to do this than struggle with your current positioning and receive a major driving fault.
 

6 TURN IN ROAD
The turn in the road is one of the four manoeuvres you will need to learn before taking you driving test. This manoeuvre is one of the more common manoeuvres that you may be asked to demonstrate on your practical driving test.
Like the other manoeuvres you can receive minor driving faults for your lack of control or observation. Common minors are often received for this manoeuvre if you hit the kerb or do not turn the steering wheel fast enough to alter the positioning of your car. You can also receive minors for not showing that you are consistently observing your surroundings.
If you don’t think you will be able to complete the manoeuvre in three turns without mounting or hitting the kerb, reverse back one more time and attempt to complete it in five. It is possible that you may receive a minor driving fault if your examiner believes the road was wide enough to complete the manoeuvre in three but receiving one minor is better than receiving a dangerous major for accidentally mounting the pavement. Make sure you explain what you are doing so the examiner is aware of your knowledge and understanding.

7 VEHICLE CHECKS
At the start of your practical driving test you will be asked two vehicle safety questions. These are also more commonly known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
Your driving test examiner will ask you:
one ‘show me’ question where you have to demonstrate how you would carry out a vehicle safety check, and
one ‘tell me’ question where you have to explain how you would carry out a vehicle safety check
If you incorrectly answer one or both of these questions you will receive one minor driving fault. It is not possible to receive either a major driving fault or completely fail your driving test by incorrectly answering these questions.

11 PRECAUTIONS
When you take your practical driving test you will need to ensure that your seat is correctly adjusted to allow you to reach all the driving controls. As you would have most likely of driven to the test centre your seat will most likely already be in the correct position.

12 CONTROL
Throughout your driving test you need to demonstrate that you can use all the controls smoothly at the correct time. This category is broken down into eight sub sections; accelerator, clutch, gears, footbrake, parking brake, steering, balance and doors.
This is the time to remember that although you can get 15 minor driving faults and still pass your driving test, receiving three minor driving faults in any one category will result in failure.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you do any of the following:
  • Stall the vehicle due to being in an incorrect gear or because of a lack of clutch control
  • Cause the vehicle to coast by keeping your foot on the clutch when decelerating
  • Harshly steer the vehicle
  • Use an incorrect gear for the speed of the road
  • Repeatedly look at the gears stick when changing speed
  • Inappropriately accelerate when attempting to get the car up to speed

13 MOVING OFF
Every time the vehicle comes to a stop you are being accessed on your ability to move away. Your driving test examiner will attempt to create occasions where you need to move away on both level and sloping surfaces. You are being accessed on your control of the vehicle whilst effectively observing your surroundings.
Minor driving faults are often issued if the student did not use their mirrors enough to check their surroundings or did not demonstrate a sufficient level of clutch control.

14 USE OF MIRRORS
Throughout you driving test you need to demonstrate that you can use the mirrors safely and effectively. You should remember to demonstrate that you know and can use the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre routine.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you are not seen to be using your mirrors when changing direction or speed.
You may receive a major driving fault if the test examiner sees that you, for example, did not use your mirrors when pulling away from the side of the road.
This section also assesses you on your ability to lean forwards or backwards and use your windows to increase your visibility in the event of a blind spot.

15 SIGNALS
This category is broken down into three sub sections. These aim to assess you on whether the signal was necessary, if it was implemented correctly, and whether it was correctly timed.
 
You can receive minor driving faults in any of these three categories. Driving faults relating to ’necessary’ are mistakes such as applying the indicator too late or forgetting to switch it off after the turn is complete. Driving faults relating to ‘correctly’ are faults such as failing to reapply the correct signal if it stops too early, and driving faults relating to ‘timed’ are mistakes such as signalling too early or late.

16 CLEARANCE OF OBSTRUCTIONS
It is important to give parked vehicles and other obstructions (such as road furniture) enough space as you pass. You need to watch out for changing situations such as pedestrians walking out from between parked cars and people opening their door. You need to be prepared to respond to these obstructions and slow down or stop if required.
You may receive a minor or major driving fault if your driving test examiner believes you have driven too close to another vehicle or obstruction.

17 RESPONSE TO SIGNS AND SIGNALS
This category is divided into traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights, traffic controllers and other road users.
You can receive a minor driving fault in any of these categories if you fail to react correctly to traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights or pedestrian crossings. This could include failing to adjust the speed of the car when the speed limit changes or stopping too late at junction road markings.
Major driving faults in this category include mistakes such as not stopping at a red light.
Keep in mind that this category also includes signals from people such as police officers, traffic wardens and school crossing patrols. You may receive a minor or major driving fault if you ignore or fail to appropriately react to signals from any of these people.
This section also includes signals from other road users, such as other cars, bikes and lorries. You should demonstrate to your examiner that you watch out for signals given by other road users and can take the appropriate action.
 

18 USE OF SPEED
Throughout the driving test you need to demonstrate that you are able to safely progress along the road in accordance with traffic, weather conditions, road signs and speed limits.
You may receive minor driving faults if you use a speed that is inappropriate for the road or weather conditions. Be careful that driving in excess of the speed of the road may result in a major driving fault and instantly failing your driving test.

19 FOLLOWING DISTANCE
Your driving test instructor will be looking that you are able to keep a safe distance between yourself and other road users. If it is raining during your test you will need to remember to keep greater distances as on wet and slippery roads it will take much longer to stop. You may receive either a minor or major driving fault if your driving test instructor believes you are too close to other road users.
Students sometimes receive minor driving faults in this category for not leaving enough space between the vehicle they are driving and the car in from when in traffic queues. You should leave enough distance so that there is enough space for you to easily manoeuvre your vehicle around the car in front if the need be.

20 MAINTAIN PROGRESS
Throughout your driving test you need to show that you can drive at a realistic speed appropriate to the road and traffic conditions. Your driving test examiner will be looking that you are able to approach hazards at a safe and controlled speed without being over cautious.
You may receive a minor driving fault if you are hesitant and do not move away from junctions as soon as is safe to do so.

21 JUNCTIONS (INCLUDING ROUNDABOUTS)
During the driving test you will be accessed on your ability to correctly adjust the speed of your vehicle when approaching junctions and roundabouts. To drive safely and pass your driving test you must be confident that you can judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic safely.
It is possible to receive both minor and major driving faults in this category. Minor driving faults may be issued for pulling out of a junction too slow or not being seen to make effective observations.
You may receive a major driving fault if you do not slow down to a speed appropriate to the junction you are approaching. Dangerous driving faults resulting in you failing the driving test will be issued if you exit a junction when it is particularly unsafe to do so (for example, when another vehicle is fast approaching).

22 JUDGEMENT
Your driving test examiner will be assessing your judgement through out the test. You will need to show sound judgement when overtaking or crossing the path of other road users at junctions and roundabouts.

23 POSITIONING
Your driving test examiner will be watching that you are able to position your vehicle appropriately on the road. You will be assessed on your ability to keep clear of obstacles and position yourself correctly for any turns you plan to take.
You may receive minor or major driving faults if you do not keep in the middle of your lane or straddle lane markings.

24 PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
Before taking the driving test you need to be able to identify the different types of pedestrian crossing. Your driving test examiner will be watching to see that you are monitoring your speed and timing as you approach a crossing. He will be looking to see how you react if a pedestrian is trying to cross and how you keep an eye on vehicles and signs partly hiding the edge of the crossings.
Minor and major driving faults are often issued for not slowing down or stopping when a person is approaching or trying to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing. Depending on the seriousness of the fault you may receive a major driving fault for dangerous driving.
 


25 POSITION AND NORMAL STOPS
Your driving test examiner is looking that you can safely and legally stop the vehicle on the edge of the road. Although you will normally only park the car when instructed to by your examiner you should not park somewhere where you will block a junction or create a hazard.
 
You will most likely receive a minor driving fault if you accidentally mount the pavement or hit the kerb when stopping the vehicle on the edge of the road.
If you park somewhere that causes danger to other road users, you may receive a dangerous or series driving fault.
 

26 AWARENESS AND PLANNING
Your driving test examiner is looking to see that you are aware of other road users at all times. You are being assessed on your ability to plan ahead and judge what other road users are going to do. You are expected to anticipate road and traffic conditions in good time.
Minor driving faults are often issued in this category for failing to anticipate road conditions and reacting at the last moment. You may receive a major driving fault if your driving test examiner believes your reaction to a particular incident endangered other road users.

 

27 ANCILLARY CONTROLS

You are being assessed on your ability to operate all of your vehicles controls safely and effectively. Your driving test examiner is looking to see that whilst driving you are able to keep control of the vehicle whilst using the secondary controls. These include demisters, heating controls, indicators and windscreen wipers.
It is reasonably uncommon for a student to receive a minor driving fault in this section. However, you may be issued with a minor if you are seen to be constantly looking at the windscreen wiper control when turning it on and off. You may also receive a minor driving fault if your driving test examiner believes you have the windscreen wiper on an inappropriate setting for the amount of rain.