Number of driving theory cheats caught more than triples

By Ryan Hirons, PA Motoring Reporter

A fresh crackdown has seen the number of candidates caught trying to cheat during their driving theory test more than triple in the last five years.

Data revealed by Auto Express shows 1,522 candidates were reported for fraud to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in the 2018/19 financial year. In FY2013/14, this figure stood at just 454.

From April 1 to September 3 this year, 1,009 cases were logged — suggesting the total figure could rise again by the end of this financial year. According to Auto Express, this data comes following a DVSA decision to bring prosecutions for theory test fraud internally, rather than relying on independent investigators and the Crown Prosecution Service.

During the theory test, learner drivers are asked 50 multiple choice questions — of which at least 43 must be correctly answered to pass — while also being shown a series of video clips in which a minimum of 44 from 75 potential hazards must be identified.

It’s said common ways to try and cheat this test includes the use of Bluetooth headsets to communicate questions externally, with another method seeing someone who is well-versed in the questions impersonating a candidate.

Sarah Rees, AA Driving School managing director, said: “By trying to con their way through, these people are potentially putting themselves and other road users at risk because they may not have the necessary knowledge to navigate our roads properly.

“Hopefully anyone considering cheating will be put off by these figures and earn their driving licence the proper way.”