A rite of passage for coming-of-age Singaporeans is acquiring a drivers’ licence. Whether you actually have the opportunity to utilise the licence in the near future, it is no doubt a useful life skill to possess. For aspiring drivers green to the topic, this article is a great entry point to the basics of attaining your Singapore driving licence.
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Classes of Driving Licence
Prior to getting your driving licence, you first and foremost need to decide on the class of licence in relevance to your needs. The most common class of driving licence is 3A. It allows you to drive your everyday Automatic Transmissions family car.
Below is a summary of the different classes of Motor Driving Licence in Singapore:
Driving School VS Private Driving Instructor
When it comes to where to learn driving, there are two options – enrolling in a driving school or hiring a private driving instructor. There are diverging opinions when it comes to which road to take. In our opinion, it boils down to your learning style. Driving schools follow a structured program with a fixed syllabus flow. There is typically a minimum number of lessons a student has to attend to be eligible to book an actual test. For those who pick up on things fast, you are likely to benefit through a tailored program with a private instructor. A key benefit is time-efficiency; having the liberty to speed through areas you have mastered and reinforce areas of weaknesses.
There are three driving schools across the island that you can enrol in. These are also the places to register for the theory tests and the Practical Driving Test.
815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5
Tel : 6561 1233
205 Ubi Ave 4
Tel : 6848 0617
2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4
Tel : 6482 6060
Private Driving Instructor
Private Instructors are individuals who have registered themselves under self-employed instructors. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a good private driving instructor. Firstly, passing rate. It makes logical sense to look at the passing rate as a representation of an instructor’s teaching skills. However, it is helpful to go a step further to understand the average number of lessons their students attend. In a bid to maintain their high passing rates, instructors may send students for an excessive number of lessons. Secondly, location. Especially for those with a packed schedule, choosing an instructor at a convenient location or even better, one that offers services of picking you to and fro driving classes can be a real time-saver. Thirdly, character. Some learners prefer military-style instructors that drill it in while others simply cannot deal with constant nagging as they (attempt to) drive. Reviews or testimonials are a good avenue to understand this aspect.
Here’s a list of Private Driving Instructors with most of the aforementioned factors listed for consideration.
Cost of Getting a Driving Licence
Perhaps the most pertinent question you may have at this point – “How much does it cost to get a Driving Licence in Singapore?” Particularly for young adults not born with a silver spoon and paying out of your own pockets, the accumulation of costs in the journey of acquiring a driving licence can be of concern. Here is a clear breakdown of the costs payable at each stage.
Whether you are enrolling in a driving school or through a private driving instructor, there is an enrolment fee. The fees payable for a school student is $96.30 while the fees for a private candidate typically ranges from $50 to $60.
For driving school students, you are required to attend a minimum of 4 lessons and pass an internal evaluation to be eligible to book the actual test. The internal evaluations are chargeable. The total amount adds up to approximately $80.
If you are learning via a private instructor, you need not go through any lessons. Self-study materials can be purchased from bookstores at a much more cost-efficient price of $7. You can go straight for your theory tests when you are ready.
The Basic Theory Test (BTT) and the Final Theory Test (FTT) costs $6.50 each per attempt. Assuming you pass at your first attempts, the total cost is $13. You will have to pass your basic theory test before you can move onto the next stage of applying for your Provisional Driving Licence. The FTT can be taken concurrently as you practise your practical driving skills. You will have to pass your FTT before being able to book a date for your Practical Driving Test (PDT).
Provisional Driving Licence (PDL)
After passing the Basic Theory Test, the next step is to apply for a PDL at a fee of $25. The PDL is required for learners to drive, whether in the training circuits or on public roads. To be eligible to apply for a PDL, you have to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT) first. As of 1 Dec 2017, the validity period of a PDL has been extended from 6 months to 2 years. This allows you more time to obtain a full licence.
Practical Driving Lessons
The average candidate is put through 25 practical driving lessons under the supervision of a driving instructor in the front seat at all times. This aspect is probably where price differs more. Generally, school students pay a fee of close to $69 per lesson while private students pay around $55.
However, while lesson fees for school learners are more expensive, they have access to unlimited use of circuit. This works in the same line of logic as a school student being granted free access to school facilities. Private students have to book the circuit through their instructor, which is chargeable at $58 per booking.
Practical Driving Test (PDT)
The test is a two-parter. The first part consists of a circuit test where you are assessed on your driving skills. Next, you are allowed onto the roads to test your ability to interact safely with other road users. A test fee of $250 is chargeable for all candidates.
Upon passing your exam, the final fee payable will be a licence fee of $50.
Source: Dollars & Sense
After Attaining Your Licence
On passing the PDT (congratulations!), you will be issued your Qualified Driving Licence (QDL). As a QDL holder, you are subject to a 1-year probation period, where you are required to display a triangular P-plate at the front and rear windscreens. Failure to display your P-plate will result in a fine. Repeat offenders may have their licence revoked so don’t risk all your hard work!
With all that information under your belt, you are ready to start your journey of attaining a driving licence! Whether you’re looking to bring your homies on a ride or drive for Grab with your newly-acquired skill, we have a range of vehicles for your selection. At ETHOZ, we provide Short Term Car Rental and Private Hire Car Rental. Call us now at 66547788 or drop us an enquiry via the form below!