Driving Test Fraud Is On The Rise

Tue 9th Jul 2019

The number of cases of theory and practical exam fraud for driving has shot up in recent years according to a new report.

The latest figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show that last year there were 889, cases of exam fraud, compared to 755 in 2014/15. The cases of fraud include driver impersonation, where a stand-in takes a test in place of learners, whilst some corrupt instructors have also taken cash in exchange for the correct theory test answers.

The problem has risen sharply since 2004 where only 158 impersonation cases were detected, though that may be because the DVSA is getting better at detecting instances of fraud.

Speaking to the BBC one of the DVSA’s top fraud inspectors told the BBC that those cheating are risking a prison sentence.

"There can be complex cases involving a gang of people that are going around the country.

"We had one recently where the person asked a friend to go and sit his theory test for him because he couldn't be bothered leaving his work. This man was found guilty and sentenced to two months in prison.

"At the theory test centre we have CCTV which can identify whether the person is acting suspiciously.

"The message to anyone that is thinking about doing this is it won't be tolerated. We are on top of that regularly and we're having more effective results year on year. The chances are you'll go to prison."

According to the BBC report, learner drivers are willing to pay £800 for someone to sit a theory test, while the price for a practical test could be as high as £1600.

"It's ironic. If you paid that money for a driving instructor then you could perfectly legally get yourself a driving licence,” IAM Roadsmart’s Neil Greig told the BBC.

"We think it is very dangerous because there is clear evidence that people who are driving illegally are more likely to be involved in hit-and-run accidents. It invalidates their insurance and MOT.

"Once you start driving illegally it does lead you down a bit of a dangerous path for other drivers as well."