Cases of driving theory test cheating triples in five years

The number of people caught cheating at their driving theory test has more than tripled in the past five years.

New research found that the number of people investigated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for cheating increased from 454 cases in 2013/14 to 1,522 in 2018/19.

The numbers were uncovered by automotive consumer magazine Auto Express through a Freedom of Information request. It says figures suggest the number of cheats could increase to 2,421 for 2019/20.

It’s believed the huge increase could be down to the fact the DVSA brought investigations in-house instead of relying on independent investigators.

To catch cheaters in the act, the DVSA uses trained observers watching CCTV to spot suspicious behaviour.

Auto Express consumer editor, Hugo Griffiths, said: “One of the most common ways of cheating is by using a hidden Bluetooth microphone and earpiece to feed questions to an accomplice outside – and there are cases of offenders even modifying their equipment to make it harder to spot.

“It’s also common for cases to involve candidates switching with an impersonator who knows the test inside out. This is typically a friend, although professional test-takers can also be paid to sit the exam.”

Researchers say they found one case where a 50-year-old London man had smuggled in a Bluetooth headset and disabled the blue light to conceal it from examiners. Once caught, he received a suspended prison sentence, a curfew order and a £1,115 fine.

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