Common mistakes

While you can fail the restricted licence test for making any of the Critical or Immediate Fail Errors, there are some mistakes that are more common than others.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people fail the restricted test:

Forgetting to indicate

Common Mistake Forgetting to indicate x2

For indicating at roundabouts, follow these simple rules.

As you come up to the roundabout:

  • Turning left? Indicate left
  • Turning right? Indicate right
  • Going straight through? You don’t need to indicate before the roundabout.

Before you leave the roundabout:

  • Indicate left as you pass the road immediately before the one you’re going to take to get off the roundabout
  • E.g. if you're taking the second exit, start indicating left as you pass the first exit.

Not looking out for other traffic

Common Mistake Not looking out for traffic x2

To avoid this mistake, you should be practising these until you do them automatically whenever you drive.

Check your mirrors and look over your shoulder:

  • Before pulling out into traffic
  • When merging
  • Before changing lanes
  • Before turning if there's a chance another vehicle could have moved into your blind spot.

Double-check each way at intersections:

  • Look for anything you have to give way to.
  • Keep an eye out for smaller road users you may have missed – especially bikes, scooters, motorcycles or pedestrians.

At a railway level crossing:

  • Slow down and check both directions along the track before you cross.
  • Do this every time, even if there are bells and lights or barrier arms.

Not giving way

Common Mistake Not giving way x2

As well as following all Stop and Give Way signs and traffic lights, make sure you know the give way rules.<

Follow the five give way rules:

  • If you’re turning, give way to vehicles going straight ahead
  • If you’re crossing a footpath, bus lane or cycle lane, you must give way to any pedestrians on the footpath or road users of those lanes
  • If you’re turning right, give way to all vehicles coming towards you including those turning left
  • At T-intersections, remember ‘Top of the T goes before me’
  • If no other rules apply, give way to all vehicles coming from your right.

Pick safe gaps:

  • Pick gaps in traffic so that other drivers or cyclists don’t have to adjust their speed or change course to avoid you.

Going over the speed limit

Common Mistake Going over the speed limit x2

Look out for speed limit signs and keep an eye on your speed – you shouldn’t be over the limit for that area at any stage.

Entering a lower speed zone:

  • Watch for lower speed zones around <strong>road works and schools
  • Slow down before you get to the speed limit sign
  • You should be at the lower speed limit by the time your car passes the speed limit sign.

Entering a higher speed zone

  • Don’t speed up until after your car has passed the speed limit sign.
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