Yes, we do appreciate the convenience of just hailing a cab to get us anywhere. Thus, some of us might not see the need of learning how to drive.
“What’s the point of learning how to drive when it’s cheaper to grab than own a car?”
However, that said, learning how to drive is an important skill. If you have a family car, having an extra member of the family that knows how to drive is always better.
You can help out with groceries, picking your parents or siblings up, or even driving out to meet your friends! If you’re thinking of travelling overseas, knowing how to drive can also take you on breathtaking road trips!
Types Of Car Driving Licenses In Singapore
There are two types of car driving licences in Singapore. You can either get a manual driving licence or an automatic driving licence.
The manual driving licence is classified as Class 3 while the automatic driving licence is classified as Class 3A.
Generally, manual cars are more challenging to operate because you will need to shift gears using the clutch as well as the gas pedal. There is also the fear of stalling the car if the clutch is released too quickly.
Automatic cars are much easier to operate because the gears change automatically, and this gives you a better opportunity to focus on the road. There are also more automatic cars in Singapore than in manual vehicles.
Where Can I Apply For My Driving License?
There are three public driving schools in Singapore where you can enrol for driving lessons. Apart from these, there are also many private driving instructors where you can learn your driving from.
Most people choose the location of their preferred driving centre based on where they stay. The three public driving schools are
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC)
- ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC)
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL)
What Is The Procedure & Cost Of Getting A Driver’s License In Singapore?
The following is the breakdown of the procedure involved and the amounts charged by each driving school.
1. Enrollment Fees
The enrollment fees will cost you $96.30 across the three driving schools. The costs of the eyesight test and photo-taking is also the same for all the driving schools. The eyesight test will cost you $1.82 while the photo-taking will cost you $6.42.
2. Theory Driving Lessons
If you have opted to enroll yourself with the driving school, you will need to take up theory lessons. You will have to pay for theory driving lessons before taking the Basic Theory Test and the Final Theory Test.
If you choose to take up private driving lessons with a private instructor, then the theory driving lessons are optional.
- SSDCL will charge you $69.55 for a total of 4 theory classes.
- CDC will charge the same price of $69.55 for four theory classes.
- BBDC will charge you a slightly lower figure of $68.48 for four theory classes.
Apart from these costs, BBDCL will charge a fee of $5.35 for theory evaluation, while CDC will charge up to $7.49 for the same assessment.
BBDCL also charge an extra fee of $3.21 for a theory practice session.
3. Driving Theory Tests (BTT & FTT)
You can go ahead and apply for your Basic Theory Test (BTT) once you have completed your theory lessons with the driving school. The cost of the Basic Theory Test for all three driving schools is $6.50.
After passing your Basic Theory Test, you will be able to apply for your provisional driving licence (PDL) at the cost of $25. This temporary license will only be valid for two years.
Following which, you can then apply for the Final Theory Test (FTT), which is also a standard cost of $6.50 across all three driving schools.
As mentioned above, if you choose to engage a private instructor, then you will not need to go through the theory lessons, you can apply directly for the theory tests.
However, it will be highly advisable for you to go for a trial test before taking the actual test. It is also important to note that the Basic Theory Test does not have an expiry date, but the Final Theory Test is valid for only two years.
4. Practical Driving Lessons
For each of the three driving schools, you will need to have completed a total of between 20 to 25 practical driving lessons before you are allowed to apply for the actual driving test.
- BBDC will charge you $68.48 during off-peak hours and $77.04 during peak hours for each practical lesson of 100 minutes.
- CDC will charge you $68.48 during off-peak hours and $77.04 during peak hours for each practical lesson of 100 minutes.
- SSDCL will charge you $77.04 during off-peak hours and $85.60 during peak hours for each practical lesson of 120 minutes.
All the driving schools have a set syllabus that needs to be covered before you can take on the practical test. In most cases, you will have different instructors as you go through your practical lessons.
However, if you prefer to have a specific instructor, then you will need to pay an extra fee of $8.56 per session at SSDCL.
If you choose to engage a private instructor for your practical driving lessons, you will be charged anywhere between $25 and $35 per hour.
Depending on how fast you learn, most people go through a total of 20 – 30 lessons since each lesson will only be 60 minutes.
It is also advisable that you book for warm-up sessions in a circuit driving centre to get good practise before you take on the practical test.
5. Practical Driving Test
Once you have completed all the required practical lessons, you can go ahead and apply for the driving test.
This particular test has a standard cost of $33 for all the three driving schools. There is also the cost of renting a vehicle as well as a fee for the warm-up session.
- SSDCL will charge you a fee of $171.20 (vehicle rental) and $35.31 (warm-up session). This brings the total cost to $206.51.
- CDC will charge you a total fee of $273.92 (vehicle rental + warm-up session).
- BBDC will charge you a total of $171.20 (vehicle rental) and $38.52 for the (warm-up session). This brings the total cost to $209.72.
6. Driver’s Licence Fee
Once you have passed your practical test, you can go ahead and apply for your driving licence which carries a standard fee of $50 across all the driving schools.
7. Other Costs To Take Note
Other costs that you may incur as you go through the process at any of the above driving schools include the following.
- BBDC charge a course extension fee of $8.03 for one month.
- SSDCL charges $48.15 for a course extension of 6 months.
- CDC charge a course extension fee of $64.20 for six months.
- BBDC also gives a risk forecast training session at $247.
- SSDC charge a training vehicle conversion fee of $42.80.
The above breakdown gives a clear guideline of the total amount that you are likely to spend if you choose to go through a driving school in Singapore.
However, there is also the option of engaging a private driving instructor.
The following table gives a clear comparison between the costs of a driving school and that of a private driving instructor
|$50 to $60
|Theory driving lessons
|No theory lessons
|Basic Theory test
|Final Theory test
|Practical driving lessons
|$1400 to $1900 for 20 to 25 classes
|$1000 to $1400 for up to 40 hours of classes
|Practical driving test
|Car rental for practical test
|Driving license fee
|Between $1860 and $2400
|Between $1340 and $1790
Driving Schools vs Private Driving Instructors
Apart from the above charges, there are also several other points to consider when comparing a driving school and a private driving instructor. Some of these are listed below.
The total cost of engaging a private driving instructor is generally less than that of going through a driving school.
One reason for this is that private instructors do not need to follow a set syllabus as is the case with driving schools.
Therefore, if you are a fast learner, you will only need a few hours for your practical lessons, and this will give you some savings on costs.
Private instructors also do not incur overhead costs; therefore, their enrolment fees are lower.
If you choose to go through a driving school, you will need to book online in advance. There could be a waiting period before you get an available slot because their timings have a fixed schedule.
On the other hand, private instructors are very flexible, and they will be able to give you classes at the times when it is convenient for you.
Depending on where your preferred driving school is, you may have to spend more time and money commuting from your home to the driving school for your classes.
However, a private driving instructor can have lessons with you at a location that is convenient for the both of you.
Therefore, if you are busy Singaporean with limited free time, it could be beneficial for you to engage a private instructor.
Bukit Batok Driving Centre (Bukit Batok)
This particular driving school is at Bukit Batok, in the western part of Singapore.
It is known to have amiable driving instructors. Some Singaporeans seem to have had a good experience at this particular driving school.
Their theory and practical lessons are reasonably priced, and they have also introduced the extra luxury of a food court.
However, some Singaporeans find it a challenge to commute to the western part of Singapore where this driving school is, unless if you live around the area.
Address: 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085
This particular driving school is more centrally-located. Hence, most Singaporeans tend to take their driving lessons here.
The reviews of the instructors here are mixed. Some say that the instructors are dedicated and helpful, while others cited grouchy instructors and poor customer service.
Some unique features about ComfortDelGro Driving Centre are that they have an induction program and they also conduct an evaluation internally to ensure that you are ready for the driving tests.
Address: 205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805
3. Singapore Safety Driving Centre (Woodlands)
The Singapore Safety Driving Centre is near Johor Bahru. They are known for their efficient booking system.
However, the reviews for their instructors are also fairly mixed. Some satisfied students commented on their good customer service and friendly and helpful instructors. However, others were put off by their poor customer service and arrogant and negligent instructors.
Address: 2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387
What Happens If I Lose My Driving License?
Once you have gone through the entire process, and you have finally attained your driving licence, there is always the possibility of losing it in one way or another.
If you happen to lose your driving license, a replacement can get done in the following methods.
- Apply online for a replacement through the Traffic Police platform.
- Choose to go physically to the Traffic Police headquarters and submit your application.
- The replacement fee of a driving licence will cost you $25.
What Happens If I Wish To Drive Overseas?
If you happen to travel outside Singapore and you are planning to drive, here’s what you can do.
There are some countries where you will be able to use your Singapore driving licence.
However, there are some other destinations where you will need to have an international driving permit from Singapore before you are allowed to drive.
For example, if you need to use a car in Australia, you will not need to apply for an international driving permit from Singapore, because your Singapore driving licence will get recognised in Australia.
However, if you are planning to drive in Japan, then you will need to get an international driving permit from Singapore.
Applying for an international driving permit is a simple process in Singapore. All you need to do is send your application to the Automobile Association of Singapore.
You will get charged an annual fee of $20. If you choose to apply online, you will get charged an extra $5, and your international driving permit will be ready within seven working days.
You can also choose to submit your application directly to the Automobile Association offices together with your NRIC and driving licence. It will quicken the process of getting your international driving permit, and you will be able to use it abroad.
The addresses for the various AA Centres are as follows:
- 2 Kung Chong Road, #04-01, AA Center, Singapore 159140
- 535 Kallang Bahru, #01-08, GB Point, Singapore 339351
- 51 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 #02-02, 51@AMK, Singapore 569922