Imposter mum who made thousands taking 150 driving tests jailed

Inderjeet Kaur, 29, from Swansea, took driving tests all over the UK, including in Carmarthen, Bridgend, north Wales, Birmingham, Nottingham and London. Credit: Tarian

A mum has been jailed after taking at least 150 driving tests for other people in a money-making scheme that saw her earn thousands of pounds.

Inderjeet Kaur, of Heol Gwyrosydd in Penlan, Swansea, charged between £700-800 to take tests all over the UK, including in Carmarthen, Bridgend, north Wales, Birmingham, Nottingham and London.

The 29-year-old told Swansea Crown Court how she had previously led a normal life before being lured into the crimes by the money.

The court heard how she had taken the tests for women of Asian descent who were not fluent in the English language and most of whom had previously failed their tests at least once.

The law states that driving tests must be taken in English, Welsh or sign language and an interpreter cannot accompany the person taking their test.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Kaur could have made £120,000 from her crimes. Credit: PA Images

An investigation launched by Tarian, the regional organised crime team for south Wales, uncovered 63 cases of fraud between 2019 and 2020, but Kaur admitted that the offences probably started in 2017.

Judge Huw Rees told the court that Kaur could quite probably have made £120,000 from her crimes, as well as leaving unprepared and unqualified drivers at the mercy of Britain's roads.

Kaur was arrested in May 2021 after a driving text examiner reported his suspicions of her to the police.

The prosecuting lawyer told the court: "On September 14 2020 a DVSA examiner at a test centre in Carmarthen reported to the police his concerns of a woman taking driving tests on behalf of others.

"The defendant took a practical driving test for a woman and provided the examiner with identification in the correct driver's name - but the ID did not match the defendant's appearance."

The court heard how Kaur did not display typical behaviours of a learner driver taking their test. Credit: PA Images

A classic indicator of this kind of fraud is when a candidate asks to take a test hundreds of miles away from home, according to the DVSA.

The court was told about two candidates from Yorkshire who had asked to sit their tests in Llanelli.

Kaur had turned up for the tests in the same BMW and sat the practical tests with "competence and confidence not befitting of a novice or unlearned driver".

Suspicions were raised on other occasions, including when Kaur arrived unnerved minutes before the test was due to start and comfortably passed again.

The examiner was so suspicious that they told the DVSA they only took Kaur for the test to avoid inconveniencing other learners scheduled to sit their test afterwards.

Kaur made thousands of pounds by pretending to be a learner driver. Credit: PA Images

Kaur's home was searched in January 2021 and £21,000 was seized. A bundle of £18,000 was later linked to the fraud, although she told police that she spent all of the money she gained on food.

Kaur said she had been forced into the impersonations, but also told police she had been tempted by the money. In a prepared statement she said she charged £700 for theory tests and £800 for practical exams.

Her defence lawyer described her as a "hardworking woman with an exemplary character up to the time of offending," suggesting her good character may have been "used" by others.

Judge Rees said Kaur's offences mean there are a large number of unqualified drivers on roads, adding that this "an undoubtedly serious and disturbing case".

Kaur was sentenced to eight months - four of which she will serve behind bars. She was also ordered to pay a statutory surcharge. Judge Rees said he had been lenient in his sentencing for the sake of her five-month-old child.

Detective Chief Inspector Steven Maloney said: "The crimes Kaur committed circumvent the driving test process and in turn puts innocent road users at risk, by allowing unskilled and dangerous motorists to have seemingly legitimate licences.

"Frauds such as these pose significant risks to the general public and I urge any members of the public with information on such crimes to report them to the police or even anonymously via crime stoppers."