Driving test fraud: More learner drivers caught cheating
More novice motorists in Britain are being caught trying to cheat the written and practical driving tests by hiring lookalikes, figures show.
From April to the end of December 2014, there were 677 reported cases, compared with 554 for the whole of 2013-14 and 628 in 2012-13, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said.
Criminals are charging up to £1,800 to sit an exam, according to the Times.
The DVSA said this type of crime was a serious offence, but extremely rare.
The figures, which were released following a Freedom of Information request from the newspaper, show 188 arrests have been carried out so far in 2014-15.
There have been 55 convictions for fraud offences, 37 people have been jailed and 97 driving licences revoked.
In 2011-12, there were 816 reported cases of driver fraud but with three months remaining of the 2014-15 financial year, that figure could be surpassed.
In 2004, on the other hand, just 158 impersonation cases were detected.
The DVSA says approximately 1.5 million written tests and 1.6 million practical driving tests take place every year.
The figures for the number of arrests and convictions include test candidates, as well as the impersonators or others implicated in the scam, it adds.
Alastair Peoples, chief executive of the DVSA, said such criminal activity "puts innocent road users at risk".
He said: "We have stringent measures in place to detect fraudulent activity and work closely with the police to bring all offenders to justice."
The BSM driving school said the fraudsters were also putting themselves in danger.
BSM head Mark Peacock added: "The process of learning to drive and taking the test can seem a lot to take on, but it is nothing compared to someone faking a test pass and then attempting to teach themselves once they have passed their test. The test is there for a reason."