Updated: Aug 16, 2022
You've been a passenger for what feels like forever, but now you're ready to take the wheel and control a vehicle. Maybe you just turned 18 or getting your driver's license is one of your goals for 2022. Whatever your motivation, congratulations on your major decision!
The majority of the time, our public transportation system is dependable, and since vehicles are so expensive in Singapore, they are more of a liability than anything else.
But being able to drive is a crucial ability. Even if you have never had a car in your life, having a driving license may come in handy when you go abroad.
By the way:
When was the last time you've done a proper Investment plan or reviewed your investments?
In Singapore, having a proper investment plan could spell the difference between a rich quality of life for you & your loved ones and a not-so-good quality of life...
And people are starting to realize this.
But which institution should you attend? Do you need a private driving instructor instead? Do you have all these questions swimming through your mind? How much does a driving license in Singapore cost?
You've come to the perfect place if you're unsure about how to proceed or where to begin. We break it all down for you in this article.
What are the types of driving licenses?
In Singapore, there are two different kinds of driving licenses. Either a manual or an automatic driving license is available.
The automatic driving permit is categorized as Class 3A, while the manual driving permit is designated as Class 3.
In general, manual cars are more difficult to drive because you have to use the clutch in addition to the gas pedal to change gears. Additionally, if the clutch is released too rapidly, there is a risk of the vehicle stopping.6-month
Because the gears change automatically with automatic vehicles, they are significantly simpler to drive and allow you to concentrate more on the road. Additionally, there are more automatic cars than manual cars in Singapore.
Where can I get my license?
You can sign up for driving lessons at one of three public driving schools in Singapore. In addition to this, you can learn to drive from a variety of private driving teachers.
Most people make their decision about the desired driving center's location based on their place of residence.
The three public driving institutes in Singapore are the Singapore Safety Driving Center (SSDC), Bukit Batok Driving Center (BBDC), and ComfortDelGro Driving Center (CDC).
Step-by-step breakdown of driving license costs in Singapore
You will pay $174.09 in enrolment fees for SSDC, and this will be valid for one year. For membership renewal, it would cost $85.85 for a 6-month renewal.
You will pay $176.55 in enrolment fees for CDC and this will be valid for one year. For membership renewal, it would cost $64.20 for a 6-month renewal. There is also an induction fee of $34.24 or $38.52 for off-peak and peak periods respectively.
You will pay $96.30 in enrolment fees for BBDC and this will be valid for one year. For membership renewal, it would cost $8.13 for a 1-month renewal.
All driving schools charge the same fees for the eye exam and the photo session. You will be required to pay $1.82 for the eye exam and $6.42 for the photo session.
2. Theory Test Lessons
You may choose to enrol in theory classes if you have chosen to enrol in the driving school. Before taking the Basic Theory Test and the Final Theory Test, you can pay for theory lessons.
The theory driving lessons are not required if you decide to enrol in private driving lessons with a private instructor or if you decide to study for the tests yourself.
The theory lesson fees for SSDC and CDC are included in the enrolment fee above for a total of 4 theory courses. For four theory classes, BBDC will charge you $68.48 on top of enrolment fees.
A fee of $10.70 and $17.12 will be charged by SSDC and BBDC for a theory evaluation in addition to these expenses, respectively.
SSDC and BBDC offer a theory practice session for $5.35 and $3.21 per session respectively.
3. Theory Tests
There are two theory tests you must pass before being able to get your driving license, namely the Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT).
Once you've finished taking theory courses with the driving school, you can apply to take your Basic Theory Test (BTT). The Basic Theory Test is $6.50 for each of the three driving schools.
You can apply for your provisional driving license (PDL) for $25 after passing your basic theory test. This temporary license expires in two years.
The Final Theory Test (FTT), which also has a standard fee of $6.50 across all three driving schools, can then be applied for after that.
As previously noted, you can apply for the theory tests without having to take the theory sessions if you prefer to hire a private instructor.
However, it will be strongly advised that you take a practice test before the real test. It's also vital to remember that while the Basic Theory Test is valid indefinitely, the Final Theory Test is only valid for two years.
4. Driving Lessons and Driving Simulator Lessons
SSDC and CDC offer 3 driving simulator sessions for $71.82 and $79.62 respectively. BBDC offers 1 driving simulator session for $13.91. These lessons last 20 minutes, where you run through 15 most common and potential scenarios that drivers may face on the road, and must be taken prior to the driving lessons & practical test.
Before you can apply for the actual driving test at any of the three driving schools in Singapore, you must have completed a total of 20 to 25 practical driving lessons for class 3a as recommended by SSDC and 24 to 29 lessons as recommended by CDC.
For each practical lesson lasting 100 minutes, BBDC will charge you $68.48 during off-peak hours and $77.04 during peak hours.
For each practical lesson lasting 100 minutes, the CDC will charge you $68.48 during off-peak hours and $77.04 during peak hours.
For each 120-minute practical class, SSDC will charge you $71.69 during off-peak hours and $80.25 during peak hours.
Before taking the practical test, you must complete a set syllabus that is shared by all driving schools in Singapore. You'll often have various instructors as you progress through your practical lessons.
However, you will have to pay an additional $8.56 per session at SSDC if you would prefer to have a specific instructor.
The CDC also offers 2 special schemes-the Elite Team Scheme as well as the One Team Scheme. Over the duration of all of your driving lessons, One Team enables you to use the same vehicle and a team of six instructors and will set you back an additional $11.77.
Elite Team enables you to use the same car but offers a team of four senior instructors, setting you back an extra $14.98 per lesson.
5. Driving Exam
You can proceed to apply for the driving test once you have finished all of the necessary practical sessions.
All three driving schools in Singapore charge a regular fee of $33 for this particular test. The price of renting a car and the cost of the warm-up session are additional expenses.
You will be charged a fee of $38.52 for the warm-up session and a rental fee of $192.60 by SSDC. The total cost for SSDC is $231.12.
The total cost from CDC for vehicle rental plus warm-up session will be $289.97.
You will be charged $214 by BBDC for the use of the car and $38.52 for the warm-up session. The total cost for BBDC is $252.52.
6. Driver’s License Fees
Once your practical exam is passed, you can proceed to apply for your driver's license, which has a $50 standard charge for all driving schools in Singapore.
Private driving instructor rates
Pros of hiring a private instructor
When compared to using a driving school, hiring a private driving teacher typically costs less overall.
One factor for this is that, unlike driving schools in Singapore, private instructors are not required to adhere to a predetermined syllabus.
As a result, if you absorb information quickly, your practice sessions will just take a few hours, saving you some money.
Additionally, because private instructors do not have overhead expenses, private driving instructor rates are lesser.
For comparison, when going to a driving school in Singapore, you may expect to engage in 25-30 lessons but when engaging a private instructor you may only need to engage in 20-25 lessons.
If you decide to use a driving school in Singapore, you must make an online reservation in advance. Because of their set timetables, there can be a waiting period before you find an opening.
Private instructors, on the other hand, are far more adaptable and will be able to schedule your lessons around your schedule.
You could have to spend extra time and money travelling from your home to the driving school for your classes depending on where your desired driving school is located.
However, a private driving teacher can meet with you at a time and place that works for both of you to take lessons.
Cons of hiring a private instructor
1. Potentially High Failure Rate
Students who learn from a driving school in Singapore would get opportunities to familiarize themselves with driving circuits. However, students who learn from private instructors do not have such opportunities. Hence, such students, especially if they are first-time drivers, may have a higher rate of failure.
2. Possible Poor Teaching Quality
Since private driving instructors may not follow a strict curriculum like driving schools in Singapore and may not upgrade their skills from time to time, what they may teach may be outdated and may not match the quality you could receive when learning from a driving school in Singapore.
Options for foreigners
1. New Drivers
The process, requirements, and cost of getting a Singapore driving license for foreigners are the same as what was outlined in the earlier parts of the article.
2. Existing driver’s license holders
Individuals who already have a driver’s license from their home country, or elsewhere, must pass the BTT as normal and must also apply to convert their current license to a Singaporean one.
You would have to bring the following documents and apply for the conversion at the Traffic Police Centre in person:
Original and photocopy of passport and NRIC/entry permit/ employment pass/ dependent pass/ social visit pass/work permit
Original and photocopy of the valid foreign driving license
Matte and colored passport-sized photo with white background
$50 processing fee (via CashCard and NETS only)
Foreign license holders will also be on probation for 12 months after receiving their license.
What if I hold a Singaporean License and want to drive overseas?
There are several options if you decide to drive when traveling outside of Singapore. You may be allowed to use your Singapore driver's license in various nations, including Australia.
However, in some other countries, like Japan, you will need to have an international driving license issued by Singapore in order to be able to drive.
In Singapore, the application process for an international driving permit is straightforward. All you have to do is submit your application to the Singapore Automobile Association.
$20 will be deducted annually from your account. Your international driving permit will be ready in seven working days if you choose to apply online, however, you will be charged an additional $5.
You may also want to deliver your application, along with your NRIC and driving license, directly to the offices of the Automobile Association. It will expedite the issuance of your international driving permit, which you may then use abroad.
There are a lot of processes involved in obtaining a driving license in Singapore, but they are all necessary to maintain the safety of our roadways.
But with this manual and the advice we've provided, reaching this life milestone ought to be simpler. Soon enough, you'll be rushing onto the roadways while being cautious and safe.