What can be classed as automatic fails in a UK Practical Driving Test?

What can be classed as automatic fails in a UK Practical Driving Test?

There are a few things you can do in your Practical Driving Test that can result in an automatic fail. If you make just one ‘serious’ offence then you will not pass and will have to rebook another test.

Some of the most common automatic fails are:

  • Dangerous driving. This includes any behaviour that endangers anyone in the vehicle, any other road user or pedestrian. An example of this could be overtaking unsafely.
  • Serious fault. This refers to anything that has the potential to cause harm or danger to anyone in the area, for example, driving too close to another vehicle, driving the wrong way down a one-way street or failing to give way at a junction.
  • Lack of control. If the driver loses control at any time during the test, they will receive an automatic fail. Mounting the kerb, swerving or veering, and oversteering/understeering would be deemed as losing control.
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals. If the driver ignores traffic lights or road signs that instruct them to do something, like stop, then this would result in a fail.
  • Failing to follow instructions. Don’t get this confused about going the wrong way during your independent drive. If the driver fails to follow instructions then this will conclude as a fail, like refusing to carry out a certain manoeuvre.
  • Colliding with another vehicle or object. If you hit anything, whether that is a vehicle, object or pedestrian, this is a fail.
  • Exceeding the speed limit. If you speed or drive dangerously slowly, this is deemed as unsafe driving therefore will fail you.
  • Driving in a way that obstructs or blocks other road users. Driving too slowly, failing to move over, or lane hogging can all be examples of obstructing other road users.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the examiner has the right to disqualify the driver for any additional mistakes they find to be substantial or dangerous. The driver can have a total of 15 ‘minor’ offences during their test but if mistakes are made on multiple occasions in one area, then this can be deemed as a serious offence, resulting in a fail.

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