Why Can't I Pass My Driving Test?

by EzLicence Last updated

If you’re a learner driver who has recently failed their driving test, you may be asking yourself, ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test?’.

While there may be a range of reasons to cause this, from speeding to signalling errors, rest assured that there is something you can do to avoid it in the future – and that’s practicing under the guidance of a driving instructor.

In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons learners fail, what happens if you do fail, and how you can nail it next time.

Let’s start with the basics.

How long does a driving test go for?

A driving test will go for around 30 minutes, split into two parts.

The first part will include assessing your basic driving skills in situations that are less challenging. 

For example, quieter roads back roads with less foot and car traffic, and no traffic lights. This portion of the test will last about 10 minutes.

The second part of the test will be assessing your skill in more challenging situations that better reflect daily driving conditions. This portion of the test will last about 20 minutes.

How many people fail their driving test?

If you’ve been wondering, “Why can’t I pass my driving test?”, hopefully it brings you some reassurance to know that you aren’t alone. 

Many learner drivers across states experience failed driving tests and are required to repeat the driving test multiple times until they pass.

The driving test pass rate in Victoria is around 60%, meaning just over half of learner drivers pass their driving test, while around 40% of learners fail.

And the same is true for NSW. A government survey found over 130,000 driving tests were attempted in NSW alone, with a driving test pass rate of 57.4%. 

You’ll be surprised, too, by how many learners fail a second or even third time! 

At EzLicence, we don’t want learners feeling anxious behind the wheel or having to repeat the test over and over again. 

We work with learners who tell us they can’t pass their driving test and learners who want to pass their driving test on the first go.

Through our guidance and education, our EzLicence learners pass at a rate of more than 90%, saving them time, money and the mental strain of needing to repeat the driving test.

What happens if you fail your driving test?

Having to say ‘I failed my driving test’ can be hard to swallow, especially if you’ve spent time and money on driving lessons and getting your practice up.

After you’ve failed your driving test, you’ll need to resit your test again before your Hazardous Perception Test lapses, which will usually be one year from the date you sat it. 

Failing your driving test may impact your employment, if your job requires driving, or other opportunities and commitments, which is why it’s important to find the right support for next time.

Despite how it may feel, failing your driving test isn’t the end of the world. But it should be an indication that you need additional training on the road. 

Rather than asking yourself ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test’ over again, it’s best to use this time to brush up on your theoretical and practical knowledge.

If it’s anxiety or the fear of failure holding you back, it’s important to note that these emotions can impact your driving test performance. 

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to regain your confidence behind the wheel, to give yourself the best chance of passing next time.

Read through your learner manuals again, and be sure to book in more driving lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Never taken a driving lesson before? Here’s what you can expect for your first time.

Why can’t I pass my driving test?

If you’ve recently failed your driving test, your testing officer should have provided you with clarity around what caused the fail, and what areas you need to improve on before resitting your next test.

The underlying issue we see resurface time and again at EzLicence is that learners aren’t fully prepared to demonstrate the correct driving competencies to their testing officer. 

We’ve unpacked some examples of failing to demonstrate the right skills below.


Driving too fast or too slow is sure to wind up in an immediate fail. Make sure you’re paying attention to any speed signs.

If you struggle remembering how fast to go on side streets where there aren’t speed signs, this is an indication you should revisit your learner manual and book a few more lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Failing to stop completely at Stop signs

A Give Way sign and a Stop sign have two different functions. If you failed to stop for an appropriate amount of time at a Stop sign, this will definitely have prevented you from passing your driving test.

Poor observation checks

Mirrors are there to be checked. At any given time, you should be aware of your surroundings: what’s happening behind you? What’s happening in front?

Your testing officer will assess how observant you are of the road, and how well you can safely adapt to the needs of your driving environment.

Not checking your mirrors frequently will result in you not passing your driving test.

Poor judgement and decision making

Whether you’ve accidentally cut someone off at an intersection, or sped up for an orange light when you should have slowed to a stop, making the wrong judgement call can land you with a fail.

For more reasons that may have caused you to fail, you can read our blog post on common mistakes here.

How can I pass my driving test?

Learning to drive is just like learning any other skill. You must first be taught the correct techniques and behaviours. 

Once you have a strong foundation, it’s time to practice until it feels like second nature.

Our instructors almost always recommend an average of seven driving lessons per learner before attempting your test. 

The more you practice, the more competent and confident you will become on the road, and the less likely you’ll fail your driving test.

Learners often make the mistake of letting their friends and family teach them. While they may be confident drivers, that doesn’t mean they’re equipped to help you pass your test, especially if it’s been a long time since they sat the test themselves. 

To increase your chances of passing the driving test, we strongly advise a series of professional driving lessons early on, rather than relying on the people around you.

Remember, 90% of learners who have completed a driving test with the support of an EzLicence driving instructor have passed on their first go, and have never had to ask themselves, ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test!’

To prevent you from dwelling on why you can’t pass your driving test, or spending unnecessary time and money on a test you’re not confident in passing, we highly recommend booking driving lessons to give yourself the best chance at passing.

About the author


EzLicence takes the hassle out of choosing a driving school by helping learner drivers find, compare and book verified driving instructors online.

The EzLicence online platform brings transparency, choice and efficiency to booking and managing driving instructors and driving lessons in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

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