Learner drivers face jail time for cheating on their tests – Driving test fraud on the rise

Learner drivers face jail time for cheating on their tests – Driving test fraud on the rise
Record numbers of learner drivers are risking jail by using impersonators to cheat on their driving tests, shocking new research reports.

According to figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), there were 889 cases of driving test fraud reported in 2018/19 – up significantly on previous years.

Learners are paying up to £1,600 for an impersonator to sit their practical test for them, while theory test fraudsters are forking out up to £800.

As well as posing a danger to other road users, offenders could be hit with driving bans, heavy fines and even face jail time if their case ends up in court.

The latest figures highlight the growing problem of test fraud, with 755 cases registered in 2014/15, but just 158 back in 2004.

Most offenders use impersonators to stand in for them in theory and practical exams, although some use corrupt instructors who will provide correct test answers in exchange for cash.

In response to the figures, the DVSA said better detection was one of the main reasons behind the sharp increase in the number of fraudsters.

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The DVSA’s Mark Dunnery said: “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.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, says offenders would be better off using the money and putting it towards lessons to ensure they can legally drive.

He said: “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.”

For more information on how to pass your driving test legally, check out our guide everything you need to know about losing your L-plates.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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