Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental's guide on how to avoid making common driving test mistakes


Learning to drive is never easy, you’re always bound to make mistakes.

But it’s important to keep practising and make sure you learn your new skills.

And if you’re taking lessons, Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental have put together this handy guide to help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes made by people during their driving test in the UK.

From using your mirrors to understanding road signs, we take a look at the things you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with before sitting your test.

1. Not making effective observations at junctions

What you should do:
  • Make effective observations before moving into a new road.
  • Look in the direction of travel while emerging.
  • Recognise unmarked crossroads.
  • Leave enough space when pulling out.
  • Make sure it is safe before proceeding.

2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction

What you should do:
  • Make full and effective use of all the mirrors.
  • Check the mirrors carefully before signalling, changing direction or speed.
  • Use the ‘mirror - signal - manoeuvre’ routine effectively.

3. Not having proper control of the steering

What you should do:
  • You must be able to steer the car as smoothly as possible.
  • You must steer at the appropriate time, as steering too early or late can cause the car to hit the kerb or swing out towards another road user.

4. Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions

What you should do:
  • You must be able to position the car as close to the centre of the road as is safe.

5. Not moving off safely

What you should do:
  • You must be able to move off safely while making the correct observations; from the side of the road, on a slope or hill and from behind a parked vehicle, so you have to move off at an angle.

6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights

What you should do:
  • You must act correctly at traffic lights, checking that the road is clear before you proceed when the green light shows.

7. Poor positioning on the road during normal driving

What you should do:
  • You must be able to; position the car correctly for your intended route, position the car in the middle of marked lanes and only change lanes when necessary.

8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs

What you should do:
  • You must be able to spot them, understand their meaning and be able to react to all traffic signs.

9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off

What you should do:
  • You must be able to move off under control, including on a slope or hill (gradient), from behind a parked vehicle and at junctions.
  • 10. Not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking

    What you should do:
    • You must be able to control the car accurately when you parallel park at the side of the road and reverse to park in a parking bay.

    Remember – to get in that all-important extra practice between lessons, you can hire one of our dual control cars from only £15 per hour.

    Book now Back to Latest News