People From Around The World Share Driving Test Fail Stories

People From Around The World Share Driving Test Fail Stories

If you've ever had to take a driving test, you know how stressful it can be. Someone is sitting next to you, watching everything you do, coldly issuing instructions, and taking notes on every little thing. If you manage to tick all the boxes, you get to drive home; if not, your family and friends will make fun of you for failing your road test.

The point is, even in a best case scenario, driving tests stink. But when things go bad? Oh boy, do they ever go bad.

These people from all around the world recently went online to share their driving test fail stories. Always check your blind spot.

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35. Close call or what!

I almost hit a woman with a stroller during my test. There was a shadow from a building covering her and the stroller, and sunlight everywhere else. The examiner was surprised and didn't see her herself.

I passed.

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34. Step one

I was the test taker, rather than the examiner, but I imagine this made the guy's top 3 list.

I drove to the DMV and parked really well, even though the lot was really sloped which made it tricky. Score!

The examiner checked the car and got in and asked me to operate the lights and wiper blades. I did so. Knocked it out of the park!

Examiner asked me to reverse out of the space and merge onto the road to begin the test. I take the parking break off, put the car in reverse, slowly back out with my foot on the brake because of the slope. I notice the wheel feels super weird, and it's really hard to turn. I put my muscles into it as adrenaline takes over. Finally out of the spot, I put the car in drive and press the gas. No gas. I try again. No gas.

I forgot to turn the engine on.

Yeah, I didn't pass.

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33. It's important to remember how dangerous cars can be

A co-worker of mine was an examiner, actually at the place I did my driving test! He told me about someone who went out on a test and had an accident that nearly killed them both at the first right turn after starting the test. There was a concrete light post on the opposite side of the road, and the car got slammed into it by an oncoming truck. The kid, obviously, failed, but the examiner was never really okay again, as they took the brunt of the impact with the pole.

Another person at the same spot was killed, in almost the exact same way, only minutes after passing her test. By the time I went through there to do my driving test, they had changed the route, so you would not turn right at that intersection.

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32. Next time let them hit you

I failed my first time because I failed to take the right of way because the oncoming car wasn't stopping and was going to hit me. When we got back she said, "You're a great driver! But it's a automatic fail if you don't take the right of way." Cue me explaining why I didn't. "Yeah, I saw that, but you might've been able to make it, and had they hit you, it would be their fault."

So basically I was failed for being cautious and not wanting to be rammed by a car.

Next day I waited hours to take it again and I got a 98, lost 2 points for parking too close to the curb when parallel parking.



31. Sorry, I have to take this

A friend failed when I called them during the test. He answered the phone and told me he can't speak because he's in the middle of a driving test.


30. The rain it raineth every day

My dad was friends with a guy who worked for the registry giving the road test. His best story was of a kid who took his test while it was raining. He started driving without the windshield wipers on.

The guy figured he was nervous so tried to give him a break saying, “It’s raining pretty hard, huh.” The kid was white knuckled on the steering wheel and just said, “Yeah.” Again trying to give the kid a break he said, “Don’t you think you should do something about that?” The kid said, “Yeah.”

Apparently he didn’t know where the wiper controls were so he rolled down the driver’s side window and stuck his head out. At that point he stopped the test and failed him.

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29. Pole to pole

When I parallel parked I hit the pole behind me, and the tester said "It's fine. This should be an automatic fail but I think that's a bit too harsh". Then I hit the pole in front of me head on. Did not pass.

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28. Yeah, that's a problem

Wasn't a kid, but my 80-year-old great aunt. The tester kept telling her to speed up. After a few times she said she can't see the speedometer so she doesn't know how fast she is going.

He made her pull over and she did not receive a renewal, thank god.

Drive extra careful around pharmacies. It's usually crowded with old people. It's one of the few places they need to drive to.

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27. That's gonna be an automatic fail

Last year I was making a left turn at a light, and a car swerved into my lane and hit me. Turns out is was someone taking their driver's test. I'm not exactly sure how driver's test car insurance works, but the instructor told me we had to wait for the police and take details of everything. I am guessing the driver did not pass.

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26. Lanes are generally one-way

The kids make minor mistakes, and yes, some do make scary mistakes. However, it's the adults that scare me most, especially the seniors who are up for re-exam.

Probably the worst test I've ever been on was this man in his 90's. I instructed him to turn onto a street "when it is safe to do so", and he turned, narrowly missing a pedestrian. Not only that, but he was driving on the wrong side of the road, and he came head to head with another car who pulled over to let him go. He was laughing about it, because he was under the impression that it was a one-way road.

When I got back to the office with him (I cut the test short and got him back in the quickest and safest way possible), he was astounded when I told him it was NOT a one way street.

Me: Did you see any one way signs?

Him: No, but I assumed you were going to take me on one.

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25. Training day

My Dad did testing for a few years and he once had a girl stop on railroad tracks. There was a train coming (slowly, but still it takes them a long time to stop) and it blasted the horn right into the car (passenger side, with the window open). This just made her freeze up even more. He had to reach his foot over to her side to hit the accelerator.

I should clarify: in Canada you can do your driver's test in any car you choose because (in theory) you should be good enough at driving to not need an instructional car. So this car did not have dual pedals.

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24. Zigged when you shoulda zagged

Took a test with a girl who drove on the wrong side of the road and took a left turn into on coming traffic all in the same drive. It was through my school and she was banned from taking it through the school because of that.

The road was splitting and there was a median and for some reason she took the left side. Worst part was that there was the median, so we had to drive on the wrong side until there was an opening to go back over.

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23. Ditching the test

My grandfather used to be a tester. He had one girl forget which way to turn the steering wheel, and they ended up in a ditch. It's not even like they were going in reverse; they were going forward and there was absolutely no apparent reason for her to make such a mistake.

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22. This is genuinely terrifying

This girl I went to high school with passed on her 13th try. I've been in a car with her and she drives like a complete maniac, it was horrifying.

Her main issue is that she'd never take responsibility for anything that happened; she'd nearly cause an accident and blame it on the other drivers.

She only passed because by some stroke of luck (and through lying) the person who tested her on her 13th try was her grandmother, who automatically passed her.

That same year she passed, she crashed her car, and was punished for it. except that's a lie because her parents bought her a brand new car the day after.

I have no idea how she isn't dead yet.

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21. Who tests the testers?

Opposite kind of story here. When I was taking drivers ed I was in a car that had the brake on the passenger side for the instructor to use just in case. Going 35 down fairly busy street my car all of a sudden comes to a complete stop. In horror I look over at my instructor who is sound asleep with his foot on the brake. I just sat there dumbfounded. After a couple people honked real quick he shook himself awake, mumbled a quick, “accelerate” and sat up adjusting his glasses. So that was fun.

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20. This isn't Fast & Furious

My driver's ed teacher said that one kid reclined his seat all the way back, put one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, and grabbed the top of the wheel with one hand and said "Let's go."

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19. Winning by failing

I'm not a tester, but I asked my tester during my full license test what was the worst thing someone had done.

Apparently there was an older gentleman who drove through 3 stop signs before the tester told him to pull over. The gentleman explained that he didn't want the license but his family was pressuring him, so ran the signs on purpose to fail (made sure no cars were coming first).


18. My bad, dawg

Three stories.

My ex drove a Geo Tracker (TINY car). She pulled right into the parallel parking area and fit in so unbelievably easy, the tester made her do it “properly.”

A girl in my driver's ed failed her test because she turned into oncoming traffic. Not only was there a grass median, there was some of those skinny red/white poles for about 10 feet followed by a guard rail. Each side of the median was 3 lanes. There really was no way to miss it, but she did.

On a lighter note, I did the backing up 100 feet. When the tester told me I stopped and before I put it into park he asked me a few verbal questions, then proceeded to give me directions to leave the area and back to the parking lot where the parallel parking test would be done. Never put the car in drive, pressed the gas, and car went flying in reverse for about 20 feet. He apologized and said, “My fault for distracting you. As far as I’m concerned that never happened.”

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17. The rules are the rules

I was the kid, and full transparency it was a learning drive, not the test.

We had to do 6 scheduled drives with our instructor, and had a partner. One would drive for 30 minutes, then you would stop and switch so the other could drive back. The rule when you got in the car, just so it wasn’t a constant game of “should I turn?” was that you always go straight until the instructor tells you to turn.

So one Saturday, we had a very early drive scheduled. We met up at the school, and I was the first to drive. We got about 5 minutes in, turned onto a main road, and the instructor quickly fell asleep. My partner and I quietly (with a smirk) agreed that we would still follow the rules.

We took the road for about an hour and fifteen minutes, until it dead-ended and you had to turn. I pulled over in a parking lot, and we woke up the instructor to ask him which way to turn. It took a good 30 seconds for him to realize what had happened and where we were. He yelled at us both to get in the back seat, and we witnessed some very unsafe ways to drive as we headed back towards the school.

And I didn’t bat an eye.

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16. Axe crazy

In my local area a guy in his mid twenties failed the test for some reason. At this point in time the results of the test were shared in the car. After being told he failed, he proceeded to get out of the car and grab an axe out of the trunk.

I don't know any more details beyond that but apparently it is why the results are shared inside the licensing building rather than in the car.

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15. I am the law!

I was the new driver. At the time I read about a new law where drivers could run a stop sign if the driver could see that the intersection was clear, this was considered a "rolling stop".

I went to my test. Drove a stick, fluently. Rolled through a 4 way stop. Instructor freaked. "That was a 4 way stop!!" "There's a new law to save gas you're allowed to roll through a stop if the intersection is clear. It was passed October (or whatever). It was clear so I rolled through."

Satisfied, the instructor scribbled something on his clipboard.

I passed.

Went back to work. Told the guys about the dumb instructor that didn't know about the new rolling stop law.

"That's not a law! They proposed it in October (or whenever) and it got shot down! I can't believe he passed you!"

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14. When you hit the person testing you, it's not going well

The craziest thing I ever witnessed with my own eyes was a dude who somehow managed to lose control at <15 mph, jumped the curb, and smashed into the guardrail. Needless to say, he was not issued a license.

The best story I ever heard from a co-worker happened immediately after she came inside swearing a blue streak because, during a part of the test where the examiner stands on the curb in order to observe maneuvers, her customer drove up over the curb and straight into her knee.

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13. Big truck, no luck

Not the examiner but I was involved. I was driving my regular vehicle into the parking lot of a driver testing facility to renew my licence. As I’m making a right into the lot from the public road, a semitractor-trailer comes FLYING out of the parking lot into my right of way. I avoid by pulling off into the grass, the trailer continues onto the road but crosses directly across into the parking lot opposite.

I get off the grass, park properly, grab my things and walk into the facility. I was furious, but wasn’t hit so I wasn’t going to go after the guy and cause a fight.

About three minutes later a driver examiner walks in SCREAMING about this idiot who is NEVER getting his licence, AS. LONG. AS. SHE. LIVES. And whoever brought him here better not EVER. LET. HIM. TRY. AGAIN. And needs to go across the street to collect the vehicle and the sorry excuse for a driver.

Yeah. Nearly got taken out by a newbie truck driver. I wonder if he ever did pass or if she truly was able to permaban him.

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12. Third time is the charm

Obligatory not me, but my friend. Our state had a law that stated that if you were in a crash, whether you were or were not at fault, you automatically failed. He had a branch fall off of a tree onto the top of the car while they were stopped at a light. It cracked the windshield, making it "undriveable." Therefore he failed his first attempt.

Second attempt (mandatory 30 days later) - the testing facility was in a strip mall where the parking spots were on slight inclines down to the road. He passed his test, and was waiting for a parking spot in front of the testing facility. Someone else failed to put their parking brake on, and their car rolled down and hit my friend's car. Automatic fail.

Attempt 3 (again mandatory 30 days later) - he finally passed.

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11. Backseat drivers

I memorized the manual, aced all the questions, perfect driving, turning, perfect everything. 100% awesome.

Parking the car in the DMV lot after being perfect all day, I almost backed into a parked car. My father yelled out from the back seat, "WATCH OUT FOR THAT CAR!"

The guy said because my father yelled out instructions, I automatically failed. The thing is, I did almost side swipe a car, so it was 100% my fault.

My father talked the guy into passing me and I learned how to back into a space properly.

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10. Getting them on technicalities

I almost didn't pass my driving test because my instructor took off his seat belt and hoped I wouldn't notice. I told him to buckle up that thing as soon as he got antsy. After a few minutes, he tried it again. I was confused at that point and advised him to keep his seat belt on. He wouldn't buckle it himself so I pulled over and did it for him. Afterwards he told me that most people don't pass his test.

I feel bad for all the other people who had to go through this.

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9. An emergency stop or a stop emergency

Does an examiner mistake count? Local story, the examiners used to tap their pens on the dashboard to signify when it was time for the emergency stop part of the test. This practice was stopped when, apparently, an examiner absentmindedly tapped his pen on his clip board towards the end of one unfortunate soul's test, who misinterpreted this as another emergency stop command. Pen went through examiner's eye.

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8. Making an entrance

Not a tester but there was a license center next to the sporting goods store I worked at. A LOT of people would come there and practice before their test out front in the straight on parking spots. A young lady (who only had her permit) managed to mix up the gas and brake and drove right through the front of the license center.

I was told later that she was even more upset when they wouldn’t let her reschedule her test for the following day since they cancelled her test she was pulling in to take when she wrecked the whole front of the building.

It wasn’t long after that they installed a bunch of bollards in front to protect the building. I was amazed at how marked up they had gotten in the first few months.

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7. “Why are they all mad at me?"

My tester told me something I’ll never forget.

He was driving with a girl and testing her. Here in Arizona (and probably everywhere in the US), the examiner is not allowed to say anything that isn’t a direction (i.e. turn left). Of course, this doesn’t work if the driver is a little slow.

During the test, she pulls up to a stop sign. She’s the first one there, but another car pulls up to the left. She waves them on. Not entirely wrong, but she should’ve gone first. Not a huge deal.

Then it happens again. Mind you, she hasn’t moved through the intersection. Rather, another car has approached, stopped, and been waved on. There are now one or two cars behind her.

Eventually, there’s a large backup of honking traffic and a small trickle of cars crossing through the intersection in front of her. She finally turns to the instructor and says, “Why are they all mad at me? I have a red light!”

And that’s the story of how a small point deduction failed someone’s driving test.

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6. If that's illegal, then lock me up

The instructor told me to go down a road, there ended up being construction on the road to the point where the only thing you could do was either use a drive way to turn around or do a 3-point turn around. I did the 3-point turn around. She said that was illegal and failed me. I brought the state driver's manual to her and showed her that it was legal and completely fine and she didn't believe me. She said that I had reprinted the manual (WTF?!).

I'm 32. I'm still mad about this.


5. Okay, maybe fourth time is the charm

I failed three times. The first time, I failed before I even left the test center, because I panicked and couldn't manage to do a reverse bay park. To this day I still hate them, and will park right at the other end of the the car park to avoid any situation where that might be necessary.

On my fourth time, I managed to get through the entire test pretty easily -- I think I got maybe one minor. The guy told me to park up near the test center, and when I breathed a sigh of relief and pulled in, I hit the curb -- not hard, not hard enough to mount the pavement, but we were on a low section and I would easily have gone up it otherwise. I was gutted. I'd had it drilled into me that that was an instant fail. Literally the last possible second and I'd blown it.

At least, it should have been. Instead the examiner rolled his eyes, said, "I'll pretend I didn't see that," and marked me as a pass.

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4. You gotta really sell it to them

The first time was because I had really only practiced parallel parking. I knew all the rules, had a permit for a while already, but never got enough experience driving in traffic. As far as I know I didn't make many mistakes, just looked extremely nervous when I was asked to pull out onto a four-lane cross street right at the start. Aced the parallel park, though. They don't like nervous. Don't joke about being nervous.

Second time was BS. I take failure seriously, even though it's a dumb driving test and everybody fails the first time around here, so I spent every free weekend practicing on long trips. Was perfectly comfortable shifting from one highway to another via bridges and tolls - and this was before EZ pass. That wasn't on the test, but my point is I could definitely handle some traffic and local routes. Test concludes, wasn't stopped early, and the guy says I need to take it again. I'm looking at him like he's nuts, because that was a perfect run, and I drill him until he explains every point.

He didn't think I looked both ways for long enough, or arced my head broadly enough, to see oncoming traffic. I guess I just have slightly better peripheral vision than most people.

So if I can give any advice, it's to over-exaggerate every little thing like you're a ventriloquist's dummy with an arm up your butt, making jerky movements to satisfy the underpaid part-timer sitting next to you who's going to miss out on the subtleties. Do that once and then you get to be you for the rest of your driving life, as aggravating as it is.

And that's how I passed my third one, looking like a Harry Potter puppet pal at every intersection, driveway, and stop sign.

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3. What a crook!

When I took my test, I had the worst tester of all time.

Gets in car (a little hatchback). He's a huge man and cannot fit. Says he will fail me unless I can get a car he could fit into (within 15 minutes otherwise my slot will be gone and I will have to re-book and pay again). Luckily dad was 5 minutes away who came with his sedan. Disaster averted, or so I thought.

Asks me to do a u-turn on a farm road (single lane each side, with a ditch on either side). Impossible to do based on turning circle of car. I attempted the largest angle possible, but due to ditches on each side it ends up being a 3-point turn. He asks me if I'm deaf and if I know what a u-turn is. Politely try to explain it's not possible (which I'm sure he knew). Completed the test and passed everything else. Failed me and told me to come back when I learn to drive.

Re-booked the next day and passed with a different instructor.

This was in 2005. Fast forward 15 years - he is actually in the news and sentenced to jail for accepted bribes. In hindsight he made a comment about some sort of compensation for not fitting in the car and it makes sense now.

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2. Lady, you have issues

It's pretty unbelievable but completely true.

I was really confident when I first got into the car. I had taken more classes than I needed to because I wanted to be completely comfortable driving. So we pull out and the instructor tells me to drive to the stop sign. As I ease onto the brake, she started screaming that I ran over some kids. I began panicking looking around the car saying there was no one there near the car or the stop sign.

She looks me dead in the face, absolutely serious, and says, "You killed the imaginary kids! Poor Suzy and John! You killed them!" I didn't know how to react. I lost all my confidence and started shaking. She randomly would yell throughout the test saying that I was a child killer or I killed another kid. "Parallel park. You hit the curb and killed Tommy!"

By the time we parked, I was sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. She stopped yelling and calmly told me I failed and killed at least 8 kids in less than 20 minutes.

It took me about a month to start driving again. And then I took my second test about 2 months after that. Luckily this instructor barely spoke unless needed and I passed with no infractions.

I don't know if she was messing with me or actually sick. To this day, I remember being absolutely terrified. That memory is burned into my mind.

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1. Control your emotions

I came so close to failing my motorcycle road test. They follow you in a vehicle, and you wear a vest with a radio in it so they can give you directions and instructions. I grew up about 10km from the exam center, and drove the area of the road test all my life, so I knew it really well.

Well, we left the drivers center, and turned right out of the parking lot. Did about 3 or 4km of city street driving before coming to a right hand turn. Rights on reds are not illegal where I am from, unless prohibited by a "no right turn on red" sign. All my life, there wasn't such a sign on this intersection... Until the week before my road test. I was halfway through the right turn in the red when the examiner started yelling into the radio, "NO RIGHT TURN ON RED!!!" I looked up, and saw the sign, but I was committed to the turn. Stopping there would have gotten me hit by cars approaching, or would have blocked the intersection, so I continued and pulled over.

I was so mad, because I felt like this guy had tricked me, since for 30 years of living in this area, there was never a no right turn law on that light! So, the examiner made the turn on the green, and started instructing me to get on the freeway, which was in the direction of the drivers center... I thought for sure the exam was over, and I had failed! GRRRRRRRRR!!! I was steaming, and I wanted to drop the hammer so bad and blow off some steam at 200km! I was so close to just ripping off, and heading back to the center... but thankfully I didn't.

When we got off the freeway, right would have ended the exam, but he had me go left instead! Was I still alive? Was he not automatically failing me for running a red light?

We completed the exam, and went back to the driver center, and he came over. I said, "I am so sorry for running that red light! I've lived here my whole life and it was never a illegal turn before!" and he said, "I know, I couldn't bring myself to fail you on that. I have been doing this route for years, and it was never a no turn light before. I just got back from vacation, and you're my first road test since I left. It wasn't there 2 weeks ago. I wasn't trying to trick you, and didn't notice the sign either until the other examiner pointed it out as you were halfway through."

I could only imagine how different the whole conversation would have gone had I laid a patch on the freeway and ripped off at full speed.

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