So, you spent lots of time and money trying to pass your Class 3 driving exam (damn those poles!), and you are now a proud owner of a Singapore driving licence. Never again will you need to flash your NRIC whenever you get carded at clubs!
Getting your drivers’ licence might not have been cheap, but don’t worry, you’ll be well able to recoup your losses if you choose to. That’s because having a Class 3/3A licence enables you to take on driver jobs in Singapore, whether full-time or on the side. Here are 4 major ones to consider.
1. Private hire driver
Remember those days when retrenched uncles would go and become taxi drivers? Well, becoming a private car hire driver with ride hailing apps like Grab or Ryde is now Singapore’s new safeguard against unemployment.
Whether you quit your job in search of a life change, got retrenched, are a student looking to make a quick buck on the side or are a working professional hoping to offset the cost of your car, you’re joining the thousands who’ve already taken to the streets as private hire drivers.
The money might be hard-earned, but there’s the advantage of being able to work whenever you want and however much you want. Plus, if you’re a vehicle owner, you get to take breaks without worrying about having to cover the day’s car rental.
Getting started: Generally, you must be at least 21 and have had your driving licence for at least 2 years. You also need to take a PDVL (Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence) or TPDVL (Taxi + Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence) course and get licensed at Singapore Taxi Academy.
In addition, the company you want to work for might require you to attend some training to learn how their system works and understand the code of conduct.
Typically you will also need to register yourself as a business, complete online registration, purchase insurance and rent a car, if you don’t already have one. Get in touch with the company you wish to work for, and they will advise on what you need to do.
See this article for more information about how to become a private hire driver in Singapore.
How much can you earn? This obviously depends on how often and when you work, whether you are able to take advantage of surge pricing and whether you own your own vehicle or are renting one.
Grab guarantees that you’ll earn a minimum of $23/hour to $33/hour depending on when you’re driving, with evenings and nights being more lucrative.
2. Taxi driver
While taxis are in decline, they won’t become obsolete just yet, as there are still customers that wouldn’t be able to do with them, such as tourists without an internet connection and people with dead smartphone batteries.
Driving a taxi is no doubt more stressful than moonlighting as a Grab driver, since you’ll need to cover the rent of your taxi and must drive a minimum distance every month.
The hours are long and this is not something you can do part-time (although you can become a relief driver if you have a friend or family member who’s a taxi driver).
However, there are a few advantages to driving a taxi. You can pick up passengers trying to hail cabs on the street and take advantage of airport and midnight surcharge.
Getting started: You must be at least 30 years old and a Singapore citizen who’s had a driver’s licence for at least 1 year.
You’ll need to apply for a Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence and go through their training course (costs about $275). Once you’ve obtained the licence, you can then apply to be a driver at the taxi company of your choice.
How much can you earn? While your earnings will depend on how much you work, the average full-time taxi driver tends to bring home about $2,800 a month.
There are some very hardworking ones who claim that they can earn over $4,000 or $5,000 a month, but these guys are driving at least 12 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week.
3. Delivery driver
If you have your own car or delivery van, you can sign up for a job at NinjaVan or GogoVan, which are the Grab or Ryde of logistics. Online grocery stores like HonestBee and RedMart also hire ad-hoc delivery drivers. You can make deliveries whenever you want, or only in areas that are convenient to you.
For NinjaVan, you simply pick up parcels from one of their warehouses, scan them in your app and then deliver them, while for GogoVan you check for delivery jobs on their app and then grab those you want.
Otherwise, there are all sorts of SMEs on the lookout for delivery drivers, some of which might be willing to hire on a part-time basis.
Getting started: Send in an application on the start-up’s website if you want to sign up as a delivery driver and they will contact you with more information.
How much can you earn? While fees vary depending on the company, each parcel you deliver typically earns you about $8 to $12, with bulky items going for at least twice the price. You maximise your earnings by loading up on parcels and making as many trips as you can.
Some people say they can earn over $100 in a day, but you’ll have to have fast fingers to grab the good parcels before other drivers do.
4. Driving instructor
Can you parallel park like a pro? Then impart your knowledge to the next generation of drivers by becoming a driving instructor.
This is a full-time position at a driving school, and you’ll have to be prepared to work rotating shifts, work on weekends at times and wear a uniform.
On the bright side, if you enjoy human interaction, your students will be trapped in the car with you for more than an hour.
Getting started: You must have held a valid drivers’ licence for at least 3 years and have a decent driving record without too many demerit points.
Head to the career section on the websites of Bukit Batok Driving Centre, Singapore Safety Driving Centre or ComfortDelGro Driving Centre and submit your job application to the mailing address provided.
How much can you earn? The starting salary of instructors at driving centres is about $2,000 a month, with the chance to own overtime pay.
Do you know of any other ways to make money with a driver’s licence? Share them in the comments!