More than 2,700 driving license candidates tried to cheat on the test in the first nine months of this year and were caught. That was 38 percent more than in the same period last year and more than ever before, as the Tüv Association announced on Monday based on a corresponding study. “We assume that the number of unreported cases is much larger,” said Tüv’s vehicle and mobility department head, Richard Goebelt.

Around a third of the attempts at deception were so-called substitute exams: In this case, someone stranger pretends to be the actual examinee in order to take the exam on their behalf. In another third of the experiments, unauthorized technical aids such as cell phones, headphones or cameras were used. The last third consisted of classic cheat sheets.

Nevertheless, attempts at cheating only occurred in a very small proportion of the theory exams taken. In the first nine months of this year, 1.52 million exams were taken. That was around nine percent more than in the same period last year.

In dozens of cases, the examiners were verbally attacked by those caught, and in 20 cases physical violence was threatened.

Blocking attempts at fraud

In spring 2022, the federal government introduced stricter sanctions for cheating on the driving license test. Since then, attempts at fraud will result in a ban for a further attempt of up to nine months. But according to the Tüv, the driving license authorities should also use this framework more often. “This is by no means common practice everywhere,” Goebelt continued.

At 42 percent, almost every second learner driver fails. According to the TÜV, the failure rate for class B cars is as high as 45 percent. “From the perspective of the testing organizations, a central cause is the increasingly complex and dense road traffic with more and more vehicles and the resulting consequences,” it said. “If we want to reverse the trend, we need better traffic education in schools and at home and further strengthening of driver training.”

The failure rate for the practical driving tests was around 30 percent or 37 percent for class B. A total of 1.32 million practical tests were completed between January and September 2023, roughly as many as in the same period last year.