These days, it may seem unnecessary to learn driving in Singapore. After all, public transport networks here are efficient and well-connected, private-hire rides are just a tap away, and flexi working arrangements (as well as working from home) seem to be catching on.
However, driving is a practical, lifelong skill. Whether it is to drive out for a weekend road trip within Singapore with a rental car, or for an overseas trip you’re planning for in the distant future, it is just so much more convenient to be able to drive.
The younger you learn driving, the better as you will be able to chalk up more years of driving experience. This could put you in good standing with car insurers and help you earn your No Claims Discount earlier.
So, if you’re 18 years old and older, physically and mentally fit, and have no major problems with your eyesight or with colour-blindness, you’re all set to learn driving. Let’s count the costs of getting a driver’s licence in Singapore. (TLDR: It’s not as expensive as you think!)
- Driving schools in Singapore
- Costs of getting a driving licence in Singapore
- Driving schools vs private driving instructor
- Cost of driving licence replacement
Driving schools in Singapore
There are three driving schools in Singapore. The Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) is located in Woodlands; the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) is in Ubi; and the Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) is in Bukit Batok. These schools offer training for a range of licences, including Class 3 and 3A (for manual and automatic transmission cars, respectively), motorcycles, lorries and buses.
Most people tend to pick the school that is located closest to their home, school or workplace. However, other factors may come into play, such as the school’s fees and passing rate.
Costs of getting a driving licence in Singapore
Driving school enrolment fee
(valid for 1 year)
|Extension fee||Other upfront fees|
(add $3 facilities fee if you are enrolling online)
|CDC||$171.20||$64.20/6 mths||Induction programme: $34.24 (off-peak) and $38.52 (peak)|
Refundable deposit: $10
|Private instructors||$60 to $100||NA||NA|
Note that the enrolment fees are only for one year and that it will cost you extra should you be unable to complete your training within that timeframe.
Driving theory lessons & tests
After enrolling in a driving school, you will be required to attend lessons on driving theory before taking the Basic Theory Test (BTT). While the cost of theory lessons have been included in the enrolment fee for SSDCL and CDC, they cost $68.48 ($17.12 x 4 lessons) at BBDC.
Once you pass the BTT, you will be issued a Provisional Driving License (PDL) and can start taking practical driving lessons. Each PDL is valid for two years and costs $25.
Once you have completed your practical driving lessons, you will need to pass the Final Theory Test (FTT) before you can sit for the practical driving test. Your FTT is only valid for two years, so if you do not pass your practical during that timeframe, you will need to take the FTT again.
The Traffic Police charges $6.50 per attempt in test fees for the BTT and FTT for both driving school and private candidates. If you are a private candidate, you can just self study and take the BTT and FTT without going for any prior lessons.
Before you can sign up for the theory tests, these are what the 3 schools will charge you for trial tests and evaluations.
|BBDC||Theory Practice (45 min/session): $3.21|
Theory Evaluation (45 min/session): $5.35
|SSDC||Theory Trial Test: $5.35|
|CDC||No such fees|
Practical driving lessons
Here’s where the bulk of the cost of learning driving comes in. The total cost will vary largely based on whether you book practical driving lessons during peak or off-peak periods.
|Practical Driving Lesson Fees||Other fees|
Driving schools have a fixed syllabus to follow, with a minimum number of lessons you have to take before you can book your driving test. For example, at CDC, an average of 29 sessions (inclusive of 2 Auto transmission vehicle lessons) is required for a Class 3 licence while an average of 24 sessions may be required for a Class 3A licence.
However, if you prefer more freedom and learning at your own pace, you may opt for a private driving instructor. These instructors are known to charge from $30 an hour for a 60min class. The number of lessons you require to complete your practical training will depend on how fast you learn and the instructor’s evaluation of your skills. Some students have been known to complete their practical training in as little as 20 hours.
As a private student however, you will still have to book some sessions at a driving school for circuit training. This costs about $290 ($58 per session x 5 sessions).
Practical driving test
Once you have finished all your practical driving lessons and passed the aforementioned FTT, you can finally sit for the mother of all tests ― the most feared practical driving test. The Traffic Police charges $33 per test for both driving school as well as private candidates.
In addition to the test fee, schools will charge you for the rental of your test vehicle as well as a warm-up session.
|School||Cost of Car Rental And Warm-Up Session||Other fees|
|BBDC||$214 + $38.52 = $252.52||–|
|SSDC||$192.60 + $38.52 = $231.12||Training Vehicle Conversion Fee: $42.80|
Driver’s licence fee
When you have passed your practical driving test, all that’s left is to pay $50 for your driving licence. The licence is valid until your 65th birthday, and then needs to be renewed every three years.
And if you intend to drive within your first year of passing, you will be required by law to display a probationary licence plate (P-plate) at the top right portion of the front windscreen and the rear windscreen of your vehicle. If you do not display your P-plate, you may get a fine for the first offence, or an immediate revocation of your driving licence the next time.
Driving schools vs private driving instructor
Let’s compare the costs of going to a driving school versus a private driving instructor.
|Cost component||Driving Schools||Private Instructors|
|Enrolment||$96.30 to $174.09||$60 to $100|
|Theory Lessons and Tests||$13 to $90.04||$13|
|Provisional Driving Licence||$25||$25|
|Practical Lessons||Assuming 24 lessons|
$1,757.28 to $2,078.34
|Assuming 20 lessons, with addition of 5 school circuit lessons|
From $890 onwards
|Practical Test and Registration||$285.52 to $306.92||$285.52 to $306.92|
|Total Average Cost||$2,177.10 to $2,674.39||$1,175.52 to $1,334.92|
From the above table, it seems clear that private driving instructors could be significantly cheaper than driving schools, especially if you are a fast and self-motivated learner who is adept at hitting the minimum number of required classes before taking your practical driving test.
Private driving instructors also tend to offer a flat rate, while driving schools have higher rates for peak periods. Their enrolment fees are also lower than that of driving schools.
However, do note that private candidates in general have less time with their instructors (60min as compared to 100 to 120min at driving schools) and have fewer opportunities to practise driving on the school circuits, which could make it more challenging for you to pass the practical test on the first try.
Cost of driving licence replacement
If you have lost or defaced your existing valid Singapore driving licence, you are required to apply online using the Traffic Police’s e-services for a replacement of your driving licence. Payment of $25 using eNETS or credit card for application of replacement of QDL will need to be made online. You do not need to submit a new photograph as your existing photograph in the system will be used to print on to your new Singapore photo card driving licence.
You will need to return your original Singapore driving licence to the Traffic Police within 7 days upon receipt of your replacement driving licence or upon discovery of your lost original driving licence.
There you go! We hope this helped you to make a better decision on which driving school to choose as well as plan your finances around getting a driving license.
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