Driving examiner Driving

Why you don’t want to fail a driving test

The purpose of this article is to try and inform you of what happens after the test, whether you get the result you were hoping for or not. What it means for you and how it affects your driving instructor. 

What it means for you

Your test will either be a pass or a fail. Your DVSA (Driving Vehicle Standards Agency) official examiner will assess your driving and record any faults they see during the test. Faults can be marked as minor (driving faults), serious or dangerous. You are not allowed to make any serious or dangerous faults but as long as there are less than 16 minors you will pass. If an examiner needs to step in and help (ETA = examiner took action) either verbally or physically then this would be a fail too. If you do not pass your driving test you will be sent an email detailing what faults were recorded, this is something you would need to work on with your instructor before going for a test again. There can be quite lengthy waits for the next test, sometimes it can be around three months before being able to sit it again. The other thing that can happen with a fail is your confidence can take a hit, meaning the pressure you may feel going in for the next one can be increased. The best advice would be to ensure you are ready for a test, being able to deal with all sorts of situations that can arise and having passed mock tests given by your driving instructor. 

What it means for your driving instructor

If you take your test in your instructors car and their badge is displayed in the window then your performance will be recorded on their statistics. That means a fail for you is a fail for them. Your driving instructor is graded on the stats of all the results of all the tests they present learners for. They will attract an average of all the minor faults, serious faults, dangerous faults, ETA (examiner taking action) and overall pass rate. These are all key indicators which they must maintain a certain level. This is why your instructor may tell you that you’re not ready for them to present you to an examiner and offer you the option of taking the test in your own car!

What happens if you pass your driving test?

Now for the good part. The drive back to your house after the test is a very pleasant one! Joyful discussions of when will you go car shopping? What will be your first car? Where will you drive to first when there’s nobody else in the car with you? 

Post Test Training

You could choose to continue to do lessons after your test with your instructor, it’s certainly not compulsory but can help you deal with things like motorway driving that isn’t covered in normal driving lessons. Even assistance with learning your own car. Pass Plus scheme is 6 training sessions and after completion you are awarded a driving qualification certificate which you can inform your insurance company potentially leading to them offering you a discount on your policy.


Changes to the Highway Code

1. Hierarchy of road users

The introduction section of The Highway Code has been updated to include 3 new rules about the new ‘hierarchy of road users’.

The hierarchy places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. It does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.

It’s important that all road users:

  • are aware of The Highway Code
  • are considerate to other road users
  • understand their responsibility for the safety of others

The 3 new rules are numbered H1, H2, and H3.

2. People crossing the road at junctions

The updated code clarifies that:

  • when people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way
  • if people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way
  • people driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing

A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.

3. Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

There is new guidance in the code about routes and spaces which are shared by people walking, cycling and riding horses.

People cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking in these spaces, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.

People cycling are asked to:

  • not pass people walking, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle closely or at high speed, particularly from behind
  • slow down when necessary and let people walking know they are there (for example, by ringing their bell)
  • remember that people walking may be deaf, blind or partially sighted
  • not pass a horse on the horse’s left

4. Positioning in the road when cycling

There is updated guidance for people cycling about positioning themselves which includes:

  • riding in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings
  • keeping at least 0.5 metres (just over 1.5 feet) away from the kerb edge (and further where it is safer) when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them

People cycling in groups

The updated code explains that people cycling in groups:

  • should be considerate of the needs of other road users when riding in groups
  • can ride 2 abreast – and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders

People cycling are asked to be aware of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when it’s safe to do so.

People cycling passing parked vehicles

The updated code explains that people cycling should:

  • take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door’s width or 1 metre) to avoid being hit if a car door is opened
  • watch out for people walking into their path

5. Overtaking when driving or cycling

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).

There is updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:

  • leaving at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
  • passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space
  • allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there’s no pavement)

Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

The updated code confirms that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:

  • on the approach to junctions
  • when deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles

6. People cycling at junctions

The code has been updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

There is new advice about new special cycle facilities at some junctions.

Some junctions now include small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow cyclists to move separately from or before other traffic. People cycling are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.

There is also new guidance for people cycling at junctions with no separate facilities.

The code recommends that people cycling should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle where there are no separate cyclist facilities. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:

  • make them as visible as possible
  • avoid being overtaken where this would be dangerous

People cycling turning right

The code now includes advice for people cycling using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 stages. These are:

  • stage 1 – when the traffic lights turn green, go straight ahead to the location marked by a cycle symbol and turn arrow on the road, and then stop and wait
  • stage 2 – when the traffic lights on the far side of the junction (now facing the people cycling) turn green, complete the manoeuvre

People cycling have priority when going straight ahead at junctions

The code clarifies that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

People cycling are asked to watch out for people driving intending to turn across their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.

7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

The code has been updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle should:

  • not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane
  • allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout

The code already explained that people cycling, riding a horse and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.

Guidance has been added to explain that people driving should take extra care when entering a roundabout to make sure they do not cut across people cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle who are continuing around the roundabout in the left-hand lane.

8. Parking, charging and leaving vehicles

The code recommends a new technique when leaving vehicles. It’s sometimes called the ‘Dutch Reach’.

Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. For example, using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.

This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them. They’re then less likely to cause injury to:

  • people cycling or riding a motorcycle passing on the road
  • people on the pavement

Using an electric vehicle charge point

For the first time, the code includes guidance about using electric vehicle charging points.

When using one, people should:

  • park close to the charge point and avoid creating a trip hazard for people walking from trailing cables
  • display a warning sign if you can
  • return charging cables and connectors neatly to minimise the danger to other people and avoid creating an obstacle for other road users

Covid-19 Precautions

This blog explains the safety measures we have in place to ensure the safety of our learners and our driving instructors.

  • Reminders are being sent the day before a booked lesson asking the learner to inform the instructor if they have any Covid symptoms. If they do then the lesson will be postponed.
  • When the learner arrives at the car their temperature is taken with our contactless device, any elevated temperature signs would mean lesson would need to be rescheduled.
  • Hand sanitiser gel will be offered before entering the car. All our cars will be sanitised throughout covering all touch points (door handles, seat adjusters, steering wheel, handbrake, gear leaver, indicator stalks, windscreen wiper controls all mirrors, etc ) BEFORE AND AFTER each driving lesson.
  • Masks must be worn for the entire lesson except where anyone is medically exempt.
  • Windows can be kept open to allow constant fresh air flow throughout the car. Rain deflectors have been installed to stop rainwater coming in.
  • We are now accepting credit/debit card payments in car, Apple Pay, Android Pay using our contactless device. Bank transfer is an option too. Cash payments are still possible.


Scottish Government updates

📢Update on Scotland📢❕

The Scottish Government has announced an extension to the temporary lockdown in Scotland.

❌ all vehicle practical tests remain suspended in areas in temporary lockdown until at least mid-February

❌ driving lessons can go ahead in Level 3 areas as long neither instructor nor pupil live in an area in lockdown or protection Level 4

❌ theory tests remain suspended in areas in temporary lockdown and level 4 until at least mid-February

➡ We will update you as soon as the Scottish government makes further announcements.


Changes to the car theory test

From 14 April 2020, we’ll be updating part of the car theory test to make it more realistic and improve the accessibility for all candidates.

Video clip scenarios will replace the written case study part of the current theory test.

Candidates will be asked 3 questions based on the short video clip.  

Candidates will still:

  • be asked 50 multiple-choice questions in total
  • need to get the same pass mark
  • be tested on the same content