Immediate Fail Errors

Written by Rina Capila

Immediate Fail Errors

Know what not to do, so you can pass your practical driving test!

An immediate fail error is when you do something during your practical driving test that puts yourself, other road users, or property in danger. If you make just one immediate fail error at any time during your practical test, you will immediately fail.

Here are the immediate fail errors the can occur during your practical driving test:


If the Testing Officer has to do or say something to prevent a crash or an unsafe event from happening, this results in an immediate failure.

It is important to stay alert when driving so you can identify any hazards and adjust to keep yourself and others safe.


When you hit an object, a vehicle, the kerb, or another road user. There are two exceptions:

  • Another road user is completely at fault in the collision with you.
  • If one wheel mounts or bumps the kerb hard, it is a critical error. When 2 or more wheels mount the kerb, that is an immediate failure.

Fail to carry out an instruction

When you are unable to carry out an instruction from the Testing Officer because you did not feel confident enough or did not know how.

If you did not hear an instruction properly, make sure to ask the Testing Officer to repeat the instruction. This will ensure you do not fail because you did not hear the instruction properly.

Fail to give way

It is important to correctly give way anywhere, not just at Give Way signs. Make sure you know and understand the give way rules for a range of different situations, such as:

  • Roundabouts
  • When turning right or left
  • T-intersections
  • Traffic management or police officers are present

Fail to stop

When you do not come to a complete stop where you are required to do so. This is not just at Stop signs that require a complete stop, but also:

  • When the traffic light is red (and yellow if it is safe to do so)
  • At railway crossings when the lights are flashing and/or the barrier arm is lowering
  • Traffic management or police officers require you to stop

Excessive speed

Do not go above the speed limit at anytime during the practical test. You will fail immediately if you:

  • Drive 5-10km/h over speed limit for more than 5 seconds
  • Drive more than 10km/h at any time during the test

Keep an eye on your speed, and understand what speed is required in different situations such as passing a bus, speed bumps, and/or school zones.

Stopping in dangerous position

There are certain places that if you stop, it is considered dangerous. These are:

  • At an intersection where your vehicle sticks out into traffic or blocks the stream of traffic Across railways crossings
  • On parts of the road marked with cross-hatched yellow lines or Keep Clear zones
  • On a pedestrian crossing (unless you need to stop there to see oncoming traffic)

Keep an eye on your speed, and understand what speed is required in different situations such as passing a bus, speed bumps, and/or school zones.

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