Learning to drive is both a significant milestone and an exciting achievement for many young people in Singapore. If you are a healthy Singaporean who is at least 18 years of age, then you qualify to apply for a driving license.
In Singapore, you are free to apply for either a manual driving license which is Class 3 or an automatic driving license which is Class 3A. Generally, manual cars are more challenging to operate because the gears need to be changed manually using the clutch and the gas pedal. This delicate balancing usually gives learners a difficult time at the initial stages. Consequently, fewer Singaporeans tend to pass the manual driving test. Or, they will need to retake the manual driving exam.
Automatic cars are much easier to operate because the gears change automatically and you will find the car easier to drive. Most vehicles in Singapore are automatic.
3 Public Driving Schools For You To Choose From
In Singapore, there are three public driving schools where you can apply for a driving license. These are Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC), ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) and Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL). In addition to these, there is also a large number of private instructors who offer driving lessons.
The following are some details about the three public driving schools in Singapore.
1. Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC)
If you live in the west, this driving school is for you. This particular driving school is in Bukit Batok. They are known to offer affordable rates for both the theory and practical lessons, and their instructors are pleasant. If you choose to apply for your driving license through this driving school, you will also enjoy the convenience of their recently constructed food court. The address is 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085.
2. ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC)
ComfortDelGro Driving Centre is within the central part of Singapore. At this particular driving school, you will benefit from their induction programme and internal evaluations. These internal evaluations will help to prepare you for the tests. However, you will also encounter both pleasant and unpleasant teachers. The address is 205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805.
3. Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL)
This driving school is in the north area of Singapore. For those who stay around Woodlands, Yishun or Sembawang, this driving school is the nearest for you to take your driving license. They are also known to have a smooth booking system. The address is 2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387.
With so many details, are you confused with which driving school to choose? Where do you apply for a driving license? Which driving school is the best in Singapore? Let us evaluate below.
Here’s The Process Of Getting A Driving License In Singapore
1. Enrolment fees, eyesight test and photo taking
In Singapore, the fees for enrolment, eyesight test and photo taking is a fixed amount. Enrolment fee is $96.30 per year at BBDC, CDC and SSDCL. The eyesight test is $1.82, and the photo-taking is $6.42 at all three driving schools.
However, if you choose to hire a private instructor, you will pay an enrolment fee of up to $60. This figure is much lower than the amount charged by public driving schools because many private instructors do not incur any administrative costs.
2. Theory driving lessons and theory tests
You need to pass your Basic Theory Test (BTT) before you can even get into the car. Once you have successfully enrolled, the next step will be to sign up and pay for theory lessons.
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre -$69.55 for a total of 4 classes
- ComfortDelGro Driving Centre – $69.55 for a total of 4 classes
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre -$68.48 for a total of 4 classes
Apart from the above costs, Bukit Batok Driving Centre also charge $5.35 for a theory evaluation and $3.21 for practice.
Once you have completed your theory lessons, you can apply for the Basic Theory Test, which costs $6.50 at all the three driving schools. It is in MCQ format. If you pass the Basic Theory Test, you can apply for your Provisional Driving License at the cost of $25. It is important to note that the Provisional Driving License will only be valid for up to 2 years. The next step will be to apply for the Final Theory Test, which is at a standard cost of $6.50 at all the driving schools.
If you choose to hire a private instructor, there will be no theory classes. However, you will need to go through an initial trial exam as part of the preparation process before applying for the theory tests.
A small tip from experienced drivers is to search for driving theory exam questions online. There are many free driving theory test papers online for you to practice. Or, you can book practice sessions at driving centres. Most of the questions are similar to the actual theory exam.
3. Practical driving lessons
If you have chosen to enrol for practical driving lessons through one of the driving schools, then you will need to complete the entire syllabus of up to 25 classes before applying for the practical driving test. 25 classes is an estimated number. If you are a fast learner, it might be lesser. Likewise, if you need more practice, you will need more driving lessons.
At driving centres, you can choose to fix a driving instructor. This comes at extra costs. If not, you will have different instructors during each session as you go through the lessons at the driving school. The costs of practical classes at each driving school are listed below.
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre charges $77.04 per class of 120 minutes during off-peak hours and $85.60 per class of 120 minutes during peak hours.
- ComfortDelGro Driving Centre charges $68.48 per class of 100 minutes during off-peak hours and $77.04 per class of 100 minutes during peak hours.
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre charges $68.48 per class of 100 minutes during off-peak hours and $77.04 per class of 100 minutes during peak hours.
If you prefer to hire a private instructor for your practical lessons, then this will cost you an average of $35 per hour. You will need to have a minimum of 30 classes with the instructor because each lesson is only 60 minutes long. It is important to note that you will also require to have a warm-up session in the circuit at the driving centre to prepare sufficiently for the practical test.
4. The Practical Driving Test
Once you have satisfactorily completed all your practical lessons, you can go ahead and book for your practical driving test. The cost of the test itself is a standard fee of $33 for all the three driving schools. Apart from this cost, there are also charges for the vehicle rental and warm-up session. The amounts charged by each driving school are listed below.
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre. – $171.20 for the vehicle rental and $35.31 for the warm-up fee.
- ComfortDelGro Driving Centre. – $273.92 for both the vehicle rental and the warm-up fee.
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre. – $171.20 for the vehicle rental and $38.52 for the warm-up price.
Once you have completed and passed your practical driving test, you can go ahead and apply for your driving license at a fee of $50.
Driving Schools Or Private Driving Instructors: Which And How Do You Choose?
From the above information, it is clear that there are both advantages and disadvantages of choosing to go through a public driving school as compared to hiring a private instructor. The following are some general comparisons between these two options.
Driving schools have fixed schedules that are not flexible. Therefore, you will need to find a way to fit your driving lessons into your busy work schedule, and sometimes this may not be convenient. You may also need to wait for slots to become available at the driving school. This could be very troublesome for working adults.
However, with a private instructor, there is flexibility because you can arrange to have your lessons at the time of your convenience. It will relieve you from the waiting period at driving schools, and you will also avoid the inconvenience of having to re-arrange your work schedule.
Availability of obstacle courses
The obstacle courses used during the driving test are only available in driving schools. Therefore, you will have the benefit of accessing this facility if you enrol for lessons at the school. On the other hand, private instructors do not have direct access to obstacle courses.
Location of lessons
The three public driving schools are in different parts of Singapore, and it could be an inconvenience to commute from your home or workplace to the driving school. A private instructor is not limited to any particular location, and therefore the lessons can be done at any place that is convenient for you. The location will be negotiable.
Hiring a private instructor can help you to make substantial savings because they generally charge less than driving schools. If you are a fast learner, you can also enrol for fewer practical lessons with a private instructor since there is no obligation to follow the set syllabus. That is unlike driving schools where there is an obligation to complete the full syllabus.
From the above comparison, you can make an informed decision as to which option is more suitable for you.
What If I Lose My Driving License?
Once you have obtained your driving license, there is always the possibility of losing this valuable document. In this case, the Singaporean government has set up a simple procedure of getting your driving license replaced. You can submit your application online on the Traffic Police platform at the cost of $25. Alternatively, if you are near the headquarters of the Traffic Police, then you can visit them and submit your application for a replacement.
If you are a frequent traveller and you need to drive when you are abroad, then you need to be aware of the law concerning international driving documents. There are countries where you may need to get an International Driving Permit, and there are also countries where your Singapore Driving License will be sufficient. As an example, in Japan, you will need to have an International Driving Permit to be allowed to drive. However, in Australia, your Singapore Driving License will be sufficient, and you will be authorised to drive.
How Do I Apply For An International Driving License?
To apply for an International Driving License in Singapore, you do not need to go to a driving school. You can submit your application using the online platform of the Automobile Association of Singapore, and you will receive the license after seven working days. Alternatively, you can choose to drop off your application personally visit the Automobile Association offices. The International Driving Permit will cost you $20 for one year.
Once you possess a driving license, you will begin to enjoy several benefits. Some of these are listed below.
- You will have the freedom to go to any destination at any time without having to wait for public transport or a ride from friends.
- You can safely and quickly carry any excess luggage without the inconvenience of looking for a taxi or trying to hold it using public transport.
- Some jobs may require you to have a driving license. Therefore, you will be in a better position to be hired.
- If you have young children, having a driving license will enable you to drive them to school or any other destination conveniently and comfortably.
Getting a driving license brings lots of benefits and it will take you to places, literally. If you need financial help for your driving lessons or journey, you can apply with BST Credit where we have affordable loan packages to help you achieve your goals.