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Top 10 Reasons

Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training, combined with 22 hours of private practice.

To help you avoid the most common pitfalls here is a list of the top ten reasons why people fail according to the Driving Standards Agency.

  1. Observation at Junctions
  2. Judgement and Accuracy when Reversing Left
  3. Control when Moving Off
  4. Use of Mirrors
  5. Reverse Parking on the Road
  6. Steering Control
  7. Normal Road Positioning
  8. Response to Signals - Traffic Lights
  9. Safety when Moving Off
  10. Turning Right at Junctions

Source: DSA ~ April 2011

The 10 Principles of Driving

  1. Before driving, ensure that you are qualified, competent and fit to do so.
  2. Before driving, ensure that the vehicle is legal, safe and roadworthy.
  3. Know the capabilities and restrictions of your vehicle and yourself and always strive to be within them.
  4. Always give your driving your undivided attention.
  5. Always keep left and comply with road markings, signs and other indications that are there solely to enhance road safety for you and others.
  6. Always drive at a safe speed in relation to your surroundings and your ability.
  7. Regardless of priority always be prepared to give way to avoid an accident.
  8. Yourself, other traffic and the environment - you can control only one of these, so recognise that you are always in a minority control situation.
  9. Respect the fact that all other road users have an equal right to be there.
  10. Only stop on a road where you are not a danger or causing an obstruction.

Supervising Learner Drivers

The supervising driver must

  • be at least 21 years old
  • have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle they are supervising in - manual or automatic), which must have been held for a minimum of three years
  • ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition
  • meet the minimum eyesight standards
  • ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) if a learner is driving

Age and Driving Licence of the Supervising Driver

To help ensure that the supervising driver is likely to have significantly more driving experience than the learner, the law sets a minimum age of 21 years for anyone who is supervising a learner driver.

The law also requires that the supervising driver has held their full driving licence for at least three years. This prevents someone who has only just passed their Test, and so not had time to gain sufficient driving experience, from supervising a learner.


Make sure that your car insurance policy includes the learner. Take note of any restrictions.

If the supervising driver wishes to drive the vehicle themselves at some point during the practice then remember that they would also need to be insured to drive the vehicle.

Condition of the Car

The supervising driver must ensure that the car is in a safe and legal condition, including being properly licensed, taxed and MOT'd. It is a good idea to have the car checked and serviced before starting private practice.

You must also ensure that L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) are displayed whenever a learner is driving. Remember to remove them after each practice drive.


You must meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving. In good daylight, you must be able to read

an old style A111ABC number plates from a distance of 20.5m


a new style AB11ABC number plate from a distance of 20m


If you need glasses or contact lenses to read these number plates then they must wear them when supervising a learner. If in doubt, visit an optician for expert advice.

Other Restrictions

When you are supervising a learner driver, you have the same legal responsibilities as if you were driving. For example, the drink drive laws and the ban on using mobile phone applies to anyone who is supervising a learner - you are deemed to be in control of the vehicle.

It is illegal to receive any payment for accompanying a learner driver, unless you are an Approved Driving Instructor and hold the ADI certificate from the Driving Standards Agency.