Congratulations, you’re finally 18 or have been 18 a while ago; either way, you feel the road calling and you want to get your hands behind a pair of wheels. Before you hit the pedal and feel the wind (but probably air-con) in your hair, this is what you need to do to get your licence.
Class 3 Licence would cover most cars but you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons between getting a manual licence against getting an automatic licence.
A manual licence will take more lessons and therefore cost more to get, however you’ll be able to drive both automatic and manual cars while an automatic licence limits you to only automatic cars.
Step 1: Choose how you want to learn
You can choose to learn at driving schools or with private instructors.
Driving Schools – There are three driving schools – Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) in Woodlands, ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) in Ubi and Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) in Bukit Batok.
Private Instructors – Private instructors are those who may be registered as self-employed instructors or registered under a private driving institution company. It’s best to find one based on good feedback from family or friends.
For those who prefer a more structured environment, the school will be the best choice. Schools also have a reputation for a higher passing rate. However private instructors are great if you are a fast learner or are able to find someone who complements your learning style. The private route can be cheaper, provided that you learn fast and pass on the first try. Here’s a simple table for comparison:
Step 2: Pass your Basic Theory Test and get your PDL
Register at any driving school with your IC. Once you’re registered, you’ll ideally want to top up your account with $46 ($33 for driving test and $6.50 x2 theory tests) at one go so you do not have to do it again.
- Basic Theory Test (BTT)
- Book Test Date Online ($6.50)
- Learn via Book (found in Popular) or practice and learn through App ($0.99).
- BTT requires you to answer 50 multiple-choice questions in 50 minutes. You will need 45/50 to pass and it is valid forever.
- Provisional Driving Licence (PDL)
- Apply after BTT ($25)
- Once you have your PDL you can start your driving lessons with an L plate car.
- Valid for 2 years
Step 3: Driving Lessons
After all that hassle, it’s finally time to hit the road! Remember to have your PDL with you for every lesson.
With private instructors, you can expect to pay between $25-$35 for one-hour lessons. Your readiness for a test depends on your instructor’s judgment. Therefore it is important to get a trusted and honest instructor or you might end up with someone who’s just trying to prolong your number of lessons.
In school, the rates vary at each center but average to about $70 for 100-minute sessions. Most people take about 20-25 sessions before they take on the practical test.
Step 4: Take your Final Theory Test (FTT)
While you are concurrently taking driving lessons, you will also need to revise for your FTT. You have to book ($6.50)and pass your FTT before you are eligible to take the driving test. Similar to BTT, you will have to answer 50 multiple-choice questions in 50 minutes and achieve a minimum score of 45/50 to pass. Your FTT result will be valid for 2 years.
Once you pass the FTT and feel ready, it’s finally time to take on the driving test.
Step 5: Driving Test
You are in your test car and ready to roll. You start off with 0 and points are added each time you make a mistake. Some errors are fatal and fail you immediately. To pass you’ll need to score below 20 (the highest you can go would be 18 points).
The test fee is $33. Additional cost for renting a test car if you are a private candidate. If you are a school candidate you’ll also get a mock test before taking on the actual test itself.
It’s natural to be nervous but keep calm, make safety your priority and you should do just fine.
Step 6: Get that Licence
Congratulations, you made it! Your psycho-motor skills have been approved by the Traffic Police and you are now fit for the road.
You’ll have to pay $50 for your licence and submit a passport-sized photo along with it. Your actual licence will be mailed to you but you’ll be given a temporary licence for the time being. Now get out there and burn some rubber.