New figures claim the number of people cheating has increased threefold in just 5 years!


According to DVSA data, there’s been a huge increase in the number of people cheating on their driving theory test.

Over the past five years, the number of people investigated for cheating on their driving theory test has tripled – in 2013/14, the DVSA’s fraud department dealt with just 454 cases, whereas in 2018/19, they’ve investigated 1,522 cases of cheating in comparison.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are cracking down on those who think it’s okay to cheat, prosecuting those who get caught using their own in-house team instead of relying on independent investigators and the Crown Prosecution Service to have cases brought to court.

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In the UK, learner drivers must pass their theory test before they can take their driving test. © Copyright Gary and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And so far in the first five months of 2019/20, they’ve already had to look into a suspected 1,000 cases of cheating which could result in a record 2,421 people being investigated and prosecuted during this financial year.

Compared to how many take the test each year (around 2 million), the number of candidates caught cheating is relatively small, however anyone who tries to cheat is committing fraud and could risk being given a custodial sentence if caught, as the DVSA says its policy is to prosecute all cases if “evidence show[s] that a criminal offence has occurred.”

The DVSA’s head of counter-fraud and investigation, Andy Rice, said his organisation “will take the strongest action against anyone caught cheating the theory test,” adding that the test is a vital part of ensuring “candidates have the knowledge and attitude to drive safely and responsibly, as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.”

Managing director of the AA Driving School, Sarah Rees, said the increase in the number of people prepared to cheat on their driving theory test was “staggering” but also said that “it is good to know the DVSA’s systems are catching these people.”

There are two ways in which people try to cheat whilst taking their driving theory test. One has sitters using Bluetooth telephone headsets that are hidden out of sight that they use to quietly read the questions to an accomplice not in the examination room. The other involves someone clued-up on the test questions impersonating the genuine candidate, either just to help someone they know or for a financial reward.

The way the DVSA looks for cheats is by using trained investigators and CCTV cameras, whilst staff look out for telltale signs such as a candidate messing with a headset hidden in their ears.



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