The conveniences of both Grab and Uber have far outweighed the long-running taxi service. You’re literally earning money at your own time and pace! Not to mention you get to keep your earnings so it’s understandable that more and more people are coming on board.
But here’s the hard truth: we don’t need more drivers, we need more experienced drivers whom we feel comfortable handing our lives over to even if it’s a mere 15-minute ride. I’ve encountered drivers falling asleep behind the wheel, drivers who struggle to keep in their lane, drivers who don’t adhere to the driving rules I learned in driving school.
In response, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) introduced a new framework known as the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PVDL) to safeguard commuter interests. If you’re looking to join the wave of Uber or Grab drivers, here’s what you should know to get started.
The Private Hire Car Driver Vocational Licence Framework
Since the on-demand service providers Grab and Uber first emerged in 2013, almost one in two point-to-point trips are private-hire rides. In order to safeguard commuter interests, in particular safety, LTA opened application for PVDL back in March this year.
Three months since the implementation of this new rule, LTA has received about 39,000 applications. Of these applications, some 33,000 have been given the go-ahead for the PDVL course with 500 having registered and attended. At the same time, about 27,000 private-hire cars have been affixed with tamper evident decals, which must be displayed on all private-hire cars from July.
Much like the Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence, a PVDL certifies private hire car drivers as having passed a course that aims to equip applications with knowledge on private hire car rules and regulations, service quality and safety, which will consist two hours of self-study and eight hours of classroom coaching components. The Land Transport Authority has worked with the training provider, Singapore Taxi Academy to issue trainees with the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL) upon completing the training programme and pass all the prescribed tests.
According to LTA, applicants must hold a valid Class 3/3A driving licence for a continuous period of at least two years. There’ll be a non-refundable $40 application fee. Singapore citizens can apply as a self-employed driver, which is a break from the norm, but non-Singapore citizen applicants must be employees of a chauffeured services company to be eligible for the PDVL.
Applicants will also need to pass a medical examination .
That being said, applicants previously convicted of extremely serious offences (eg. rape, murder or kidnapping) will be barred from obtaining a PVDL for life. Those who have committed less serious offences (eg. housebreaking, cheating) are barred for a couple of years from the date of conviction. Their applications will be considered if they have reformed and not gone back to crime.
How do you apply for it?
Interested applicants will have to fill in the application form, which can be downloaded here. Currently, applications cannot be submitted online so you’ll either have to post it or submit it in person at LTA . Here are a few things to include if you’re applying via mail:
- Completed application form with a recent passport-sized photo
- Cheque payment of $40 to LTA (for the non-refundable application fee)
- Photocopy of NRIC and Class 3 licence (front and back)
- Singapore Permanent Resident applying for PDVL must submit a copy the Employment Letter (stating that “you are employed as a Chauffeured Services Driver”) at the point of application
- For Work Pass Holder applying for a PDVL, please submit a copy of your Work Pass (stating “Chauffeur” as Vocation), Employment Letter (stating that “you are employed as a Chauffeured Services Driver”) and Certificate of Conduct at the point of application
In light of the newly implemented scheme, both Grab and Uber have responded timely to help their drivers transit into the new system.
On one hand, Grab has stepped up to cover costs incurred by the new regulations. The private operator has stepped up to sponsor not just the $40 application fee but also the medical examination and the mandatory training course.
On the other hand, Uber’s FastLane service promises an express pass to a PVDL on top of a fully sponsored medical check-up.
After obtaining a PDVL
Drivers already under Grab or Uber will probably choose to tap onto current services provided by the respective operators to obtain a PDVL as soon as possible. But those who are not yet bound to an operator, you’ll be glad to know that Singapore citizens can apply for the PDVL as a self-employed driver ie. you do not need to be employed by an external operator at the time of your application.
Say you’ve now gotten your PDVL, you’re probably thinking of registering yourself as a driver with either Grab or Uber. Here’s the catch, especially for car-less drivers: if you rent from either one of the big names, you’re literally bounded to that one service ie. if you rent from Uber, you can only drive for Uber.
That means instead of being able to double your income by leveraging for both platforms (if you had your own car), you’re stuck to a single income. Well, we’ve got just the solution for you:
ETHOZCab – Your Private Hire Car Rental Provider
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ETHOZCab provides unlimited mileage so apart from the daily rental, everything else you earn with this car is purely yours to keep. What’s more, you earn $600 rebate under a 6-months rental contract, which is equivalent to a week’s worth of free rental!
If you’re worried you’d be paying out of your pocket for maintenance, rest your concerns. ETHOZCab arranges for regular servicing to ensure your vehicle remains as good as new from the first day you start renting. And while your vehicle is undergoing maintenance, ETHOZCab even lets you earn servicing rebates to compensate you for the time you lose on the roads.
With all that said and done, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be engaging ETHOZCab!
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