6 Tips to Get a Driver’s License at a Singapore Driving Centre 2022 | DirectAsia Insurance
The journey towards getting a driving license can be daunting. That’s why it’s important to have a good driving instructor, whether they’re from a driving centre or operating a private-based school.
In a public driving school, a driving instructor is randomly assigned to train you to drive. But if you want to choose your own instructor, we recommend asking your family and friends if they know of a good private driving instructor.
If you decide to go with a public driving school in Singapore, there are 3 options:
Ideally, you should pick the one that is situated closest to you. Generally, all 3 driving centres have standard operating procedures mandated by the Singapore Traffic Police (e.g., photo taking, eyesight test, BTT, FTT and practical test). They only differ a little with regards to the theory and practical lessons.
However, there may be other factors – like the pricing and passing rate at each centre – that may affect your decision. So how do you decide?
1. Register for the tests
The basic sequence of getting a driver’s license in Singapore is straightforward: there’s the theory, then there’s the practical part.
You can register online or in-person at any one of the 3 driving centres for the Basic Theory Test (BTT). If you pass your theoretical tests, you will be eligible to apply for your Provisional Driving License (PDL) – which is valid for 2 years – from the Singapore Traffic Police Test Centre—that’s the permission slip you’ll need, to actually get behind the driver’s wheel in Singapore for your practical lessons.
After passing the BTT, you can book and start your practical lessons even before obtaining your PDL in the circuit. But bear in mind that this is only for the first 5 lessons. To continue the rest of your practical lessons (on the road), you’ll need to pass the Final Theory Test (FTT).
Once you have passed your FTT and completed your practical lessons, you can book a date for your Practical Driving Test (PDT). The test will cost you $33. Bear in mind that you will also need to pay for the test vehicle rental and a “warm-up” session prior to the test itself.
The fees are as follows:
|School||Practical Test Vehicle Rental Fees|
|SSDC||$235.40 + $42.80 (warm up fee) = $278.20|
|CDC||$289.97 (price includes warm up fee)|
|BBDC||$214 + $38.52 (warm up fee) = $252.32|
*All fees are inclusive of GST.
You should also take note that recently the Singapore government has made the simulator training course mandatory too. You can check the centre's official websites to compare prices.
2. Compare Costs
The overall cost of learning at driving centres is steeper than learning privately, but between driving centres, prices differ slightly too.
As driving centres in Singapore have a fixed syllabus to follow, students are expected to complete about 20 to 25 practical lessons before they’re allowed to get their PDL and book their PDT. In fact, CDC states that “for Class 3, an average of 27 sessions (inclusive of 2 Auto transmission vehicle lessons) may be required to complete your Practical Driving Course.”
Keep in mind that the differences in price can become significant when multiplying the number of lessons you need to take.
3. Check the Stats
Look at the stats of all 3 Singapore driving centres. Statistics from the Singapore Police Force show that CDC had a 53.65% passing rate for first-time Class 3 drivers’ for the Practical Driving Test. This was followed by BBDC with 46.05% and SSDC with 41.62%. Class 3A drivers also saw similar statistics with a 52.75% passing rate for BBDC, 58.17% for CDC, and 50.37% for SSDC.
With a lot of money and time riding on the success of this test, you’ll want to consider the success rates at each driving centre.
4. Choose Convenience
Even if you have decided to be a private student, you’ll still need to take your theoretical and practical tests at the driving centre. So, it’s a good idea to choose the one that is located closest to you. Aside from it being time and cost-saving, this will mean that you’ll take your practical exam along a route that you’re more familiar and comfortable with.
And don’t worry, the driving centres are located on opposite ends of Singapore, so you’re bound to find one that is most convenient for you.
Here’s a quick guide; ComfortDelGro works best for eastsiders with centres located at Ubi and Kovan, while Singapore Safety Driving Centre is located at Woodlands Industrial Park. And as the name suggests, Bukit Batok Driving Centre is on the west side of Singapore at Bukit Batok West Avenue 5.
5. Strategise Location and Timing
The different locations of the driving centres in Singapore contribute to this next—and quite important—point. The PDT is the final hurdle to overcome, and choosing a strategic location, as well as good timing to take the test, may help you in getting through successfully to the end.
Students may be inclined to choose their test timing during non-peak hours as there are fewer vehicles on the roads. This means facing fewer distractions when changing lanes and probably less anxiety.
During peak hours, roads at Ubi and Bukit Batok are congested – this could be nerve-wrecking for your first-time behind the wheel. Thankfully, the allowed usage of bus lanes even during peak hours will leave students with some measure of relief during the test, leaving them with one less thing to worry about.
Also, considering that the industrial area in Woodlands has less traffic, SSDC may be a good option for those who prefer clearer roads to drive on.
6. Drive Safely
Driving for the first time ever can be both nerve-wracking and an exciting experience. However, in the hands of competent and effective driving instructors, you should be able to pass your theoretical and practical driving tests.
Once you pass the exam, make sure you stay safe by insuring yourself, your car, and other authorised drivers of your vehicle. Check out our Comprehensive Car Insurance Guide for Young Drivers In Singapore for everything you should know when buying car insurance as a new driver.