Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Learner Driver – Insights from BDS London

Published by BDS London Marketing on

Driving is a vital skill that offers freedom and independence, but the journey to becoming a proficient driver can be fraught with challenges, especially for novices. At BDS London, we’ve identified common pitfalls that learner drivers encounter, and by highlighting these, we aim to help you navigate your learning experience more smoothly. Here’s an in-depth look at the top five mistakes to avoid.

1. Overlooking the Importance of Professional Instruction

Many learner drivers underestimate the value of professional driving instruction. A study by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) shows that, on average, those who pass their driving test have had about 47 hours of professional training combined with 20 hours of private practice. Skipping professional lessons can lead to ingrained bad habits that are difficult to unlearn.

2. Neglecting Theory Test Preparation

According to a recent report, approximately 49% of candidates fail their theory test on the first attempt. Comprehensive preparation for the theory test is crucial as it forms the foundation of a driver's understanding of road signs, rules, and safety. Resources like the official DVSA guide and practice apps can be immensely beneficial.

BDS London has everything you need to PASS your theory including a study app and 1-to-1 theory tuition. Click here to read more

3. Not Practicing Enough in Different Conditions

The DVSA suggests that practicing in a variety of driving conditions—such as at night, in rain, or on different types of roads—can significantly enhance a driver's adaptability and confidence. Data indicates that learner drivers who avoid diverse driving conditions are less prepared and more likely to experience anxiety and make critical errors when confronted with unusual driving scenarios.

4. Failing to Use Mirrors Correctly

Improper use of mirrors is one of the leading causes of failing the driving test. A study found that 18% of all driving test faults recorded in the UK were related to observation errors, including inadequate use of mirrors before maneuvering. Regular mirror checks should become a habitual part of driving practice to ensure all-round awareness.

5. Underestimating the Mental Preparation Required

Driving is as much a psychological challenge as it is a physical one. The AA Charitable Trust reports that about 61% of new drivers often feel unprepared mentally, leading to heightened stress and poor decision-making. Techniques such as mindfulness and pre-test routines can significantly reduce test-day nerves and improve overall performance.


Avoiding these common mistakes can dramatically improve your chances of becoming a proficient driver. At BDS London, we focus on providing comprehensive training that addresses these issues head-on, ensuring our students are fully prepared not just for the test, but for a lifetime of safe driving.

Remember, learning to drive is not just about passing your test—it's about building the skills and confidence necessary for safe and enjoyable driving experiences.

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So, why wait? Complete the form found when you click on the Book Now button and one of our friendly team members will call you to discuss how we can assist in making your journey to a driving licence as seamless as possible. With our help, you'll focus on what truly matters: becoming a confident, safe driver. We can't wait to help you hit the road!

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