How your Driving Examiner marks your driving

Primarily your driving examiner is looking for a safe and confident drive as well as driving to the rules of the Highway Code. Throughout your drive, the examiner will be assessing how competent you are and how you will deal with hazards once you’ve passed. However they’re not looking for perfection.

On the examiners Driving Assessment Report that they use, there are a number of categories covering all aspects of your drive, such as, move off; use of mirrors;  giving signals. There are three levels of driving faults, depending on the seriousness of the fault.

Any mistake you make – these are called a driving faults and may be recorded on the report form.

A Minor driving fault means that what you did was not considered dangerous in any way, but was not perfect – for example, you were not driving at the speed limit, when the road conditions allowed you to, although you didn’t endanger anyone at the time.

A Serious driving fault means that although there was no immediate danger at the time, another time under the same conditions you may have had a collision. For example: – for example, you cut a corner while turning right, and there was a parked vehicle in the road you were turning into. The examiner would see that as serious as you may not have seen another vehicle approaching the junction to your right before you cut the corner.

A Dangerous driving fault, is where you had actually caused another road user to take evasive action to avoid an actual collision – say for example, you pulled out in front of another road user and forced them to slow down behind you, or overtake you.

The driving examiner will also take the circumstances into consideration when deciding to mark the fault. For example: Not giving a signal when approaching a turn. Would that have been necessary? If they could see that there wasn’t anyone following or ahead, then that would have been marked as a minor driving fault.

You are allowed to make up to 16 minor driving faults throughout the test, and pass. However, if you commit a number of minor faults in one category, the examiner will see them as a pattern developing, and would then mark those faults as a serious.

Just one Serious or Dangerous fault at all, will result in a fail. As a result, due to the pandemic, the test will be terminated immediately and you will be redirected back to the the test centre, when your examiner will give you the bad news.

The bottom line is, if you do make any faults, then it doesn’t necessarily mean you have failed. Try not to dwell on it and keep thinking about it as it might lead to a serious fault which would lead to you not concentrating on what follows. So try and stay focussed on your driving.