In the UK the number of people caught trying to cheat on their driving test has tripled.

As well as a practical test, learner drivers must pass a multiple choice test to get their driver’s licence.

That means getting at least 43 of the 50 questions correct.

The questions must be difficult because more than 1000 people have been caught cheating so far this year, reports Auto Express magazine.

Methods range from concealed Bluetooth devices with accomplices outside the room, to employing lookalikes who are expert test-takers – risking a prison sentence in the process.

The number of people investigated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has jumped from 454 cases to 1522 between 2013 and 2019.

This number is expected to reach a record 2421 for 2019/20.

Auto Express uncovered the increase in cheating through a Freedom Of Information request.

The number of those caught cheating skyrocketed after changes to the way testing is monitored were introduced.

The DVSA took investigations in-house instead of relying on independent investigators while the Crown Prosecution Service prosecutes offenders.

As well as answering at least 43 out of 50 multiple choice questions correctly, a hazard-perception section of the test also involves correctly spotting at least 44 potential dangers in video clips featuring 75 possible risks.

The successful crackdown on cheats typically relies on CCTV surveillance of test candidates by trained observers who are able to spot suspicious behaviour.

One of the most common ways of cheating is by using a hidden Bluetooth microphone and earpiece to feed questions to an accomplice outside.

There are cases of offenders even modifying their equipment to make it harder to spot.

It’s also common for cases to involve candidates switching with an impersonator who knows the test inside out.

This is typically a friend, although professional test-takers can also be paid to sit the exam.

DVSA’s zero tolerance approach can result in heavy penalties for offenders who are caught red-handed.

In one case, a 50-year-old London man smuggled in a Bluetooth headset, on which he had disabled the telltale blue light.

He was spotted and landed himself with a suspended prison sentence, a curfew order and a £1115 fine (about $2100 Aussie dollars).

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.