Yes, we realize how handy it is to call a cab to take us anywhere. As a result, some of us may not see the benefit of learning to drive.

“What’s the sense in learning to drive if it’s cheaper to hire than buy a car?”

However, that said, driving is a vital skill to master. If you have a family vehicle, having another person on board who knows how to drive is always ideal.

You can assist with food, pick up your parents or siblings, or even drive out to meet your pals! If you’re thinking of traveling abroad, understanding how to drive could take you on some incredible road trips!

Types Of Car Driving Licenses In Singapore

In Singapore, there are two different kinds of automobile driving licenses. There are two kinds of driving licenses: a MANUAL and an AUTOMATIC.

Classification of the MANUAL driving license as Class 3 and the AUTOMATIC driving license as Class 3A reflects that both are valid for cars built before 1.5 liters or less (1-liter engine capacity or under; 2 liters engine capacity or under).

  • MANUAL cars are more difficult to drive since you’ll need to shift gears with the clutch and gas pedal. The fear of stalling the vehicle if the clutch is released too quickly may be another deterrent.
  • AUTOMATED cars are simpler to drive since the gears change on their own, giving you more time to concentrate on the road. Singapore has a greater number of autonomous vehicles than manual cars.

Where Can I Apply For My Driving License?

There are three public driving schools in Singapore where you can get driving lessons. Aside from these, there are numerous private driving instructors that will teach you how to drive.

The majority of consumers select their preferred driving center’s location based on where they reside. 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 a breakdown of the procedure and fees 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 charges 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 license (PDL) at the cost of $25. This temporary license will only be valid for two years.

Following this, 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 warm-up sessions in a circuit driving center to get good practice 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 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 license 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:

ItemDriving schoolPrivate Instructor
Enrolment fees$96.30$50 to $60
Theory driving lessons$69.55No theory lessons
Basic Theory test$6.5$6.5
Final Theory test$6.5$6.5
Practical driving lessons$1400 to $1900 for 20 to 25 classes$1000 to $1400 for up to 40 hours of classes
Practical driving test$ 33$ 33
Car rental for a practical test$195-$231$195-$231
Driving license fee$50$50
Total: 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:

1. SAVINGS

Because there are several different types of driving lessons and instructors, the total cost of hiring a private driving instructor is usually less than that of studying at a school. Another advantage of private instructors is that they are not obligated to follow a set curriculum like driving schools are.

If you’re a quick learner, you’ll only need a few hours for your practical classes, which will save money.

Small group and one-on-one instructors also do not have to pay overhead, so their tuition rates are lower.

2. CONVENIENCE

If you want to learn how to drive, you must make a reservation ahead of time. There may be a waiting period before you are able to take an open spot because their timings are fixed.

On the other side, private instructors are quite flexible, and they may provide lessons to you at times that are convenient for you.

3. LOCATION

Depending on where you want to study, you may have to commute from your home to your chosen driving school for lessons. However, a private driving instructor may teach you at a time and place that is convenient for both of you if you live too far apart.

As a result, if you’re a busy Singaporean with little free time, hiring a private coach may be beneficial to you.

1. 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 you live around the area.

Address: 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085

2. ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (Ubi)

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 plan to drive outside of Singapore, there are certain things you should know. You can use your Singapore driving license in a few countries. However, you will need an international driving permit from Singapore before being able to drive in a number of other places.

If you’re visiting Australia and plan to use a vehicle, you won’t need to acquire an international driving permit from Singapore since your Singapore driving license will be accepted there.

However, if you want to drive in Japan, you’ll need an international driving permit from Singapore. In Singapore, applying for an international driving permit is a straightforward procedure. All you have to do is send your paperwork 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