5 learner drivers a day get friends to take test for them

New figures show that 455 practical tests and 1,469 theory tests in 2011/12 involved a suspected impersonator as cheats had friends take tests for them.

Police have arrested 273 scammers in that time - leading to 73 convictions, 119 police cautions and 837 licences being revoked.

The figures have been revealed by the Driving Standards Agency after a Freedom of Information request was filed by The Sun newspaper.

The findings also revealed that desperate wannabe drivers have tried to bribe or even threaten their way to a pass.

Five learners tried to offer a cash bribe to an examiner in return for a pass last year, while 12 were reported for a physical attack - and 175 for verbal abuse - on an examiner.

A Driving Standards Agency spokesman told The Sun: "At the end of the 2011/12 financial year, there were 189 individuals in the criminal justice system and 891 suspect tests being investigated."

The driving theory test underwent a major overhaul last year after it was revealed learner drivers were able to memorise answers rather than actually learning the correct rules of the road.

In January 2012 new rules came into force that saw the multiple choice questions refreshed and banned from being published in their exact form in books and other electronic learning materials.

The changes came after an AA poll revealed one in four drivers didn't know who has priority when traffic lights are out.