Car Insurance

Average Cost of Getting a Driving License in Singapore 2020

Get the Best Car Insurance in Singapore

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Although prices of COE have come down from over S$90,000 in 2013 to around S$50,000 to S$60,000, it remains true that COE prices are extremely expensive for most people in Singapore. However, such a high price level does not seem to stop people from getting their driving license in Singapore. This is in spite of the fact that the total cost of getting a driving license can be an ambitious investment as they can cost up to S$3,500.

Whether it is for the 5C-Singaporean dream or getting it “just-in-case”, you might be planning to get that coveted driving license. If you are  wondering how much it costs, this article summarizes the average cost of getting a Class 3/3Adriving license in Singapore within the shortest amount of time. We've also thrown in some tips to cut unnecessary costs to help you optimise your funds.

Average Cost of Getting a Class 3/3A License

In order to drive legally in Singapore, a significant amount of money is required in order to obtain that blue card that says you are permitted to drive. There are 4 options for people to choose from – the 3 driving school available or choose to get a private instructor. The 3 driving schools are the Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL), ComfortDelgro Driving Centre (CDC) and Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC), located at Woodlands, Ubi, and Bukit Batok respectively.

Then, after you choose your preferred pathway, there are a few procedures to follow and a few courses to attend before you earn that orange triangle as shown below.

ChoicesSSDCLCDCBBDCPrivate Instructor
Enrolment Fees
  • S$165.85 (For both Theory and Practical)
  • S$96.30 for theory lessons
  • S$50-S$60 for practical lessons
Extension Fees (If student does not pass driving test within a year of enrolment)
  • S$42.80 / 6 months
  • S$53.80 / 6 months
  • S$8.03 / 1 month
  • Depends on instructor
Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT)
  • S$69.55 for 4 lessons
  • BTT fee: S$6.50
  • FTT fee: S$6.50
  • S$69.55 for 4 lessons
  • BTT fee: S$6.50
  • FTT fee: S$6.50
  • S$68.48 for 4 lessons
  • BTT fee: S$6.50
  • FTT fee: S$6.5
  • Only at driving schools
Practical Lessons
  • S$77.04 - S$85.60 / 120 min class
  • S$68.48 - S$77.04 / 100 min class
  • S$68.48 - S$77.04 / 100 min class
  • S$25-S$35 per hour
  • +S$58 to use driving school circuits
Practical Test
  • S$149.8
  • +S$29.66 warm up fee
  • Weekdays: S$205.44
  • Weekends: S$209.72
  • S$171.2
  • +S$38.52 warm up fee
  • Only at driving schools
Provisional Driving License (PDL) (Valid for 6 months)
  • S$25
Driving License Application
  • S$50

Comparing driving schools and private driving lessons, the prices can be significantly different. For examples, assuming Student A takes lessons from CDC and Student B takes private lessons, the total estimated cost would difer by almoust a thousand dollars. This is considering the fact that Student A arranges all her lessons at non-peak hours and that she takes her driving test on a weekday, and the same goes to Student B. We show the detailed calculation in the table below.

Student AStudent B
Enrolment FeesS$165.85S$96.30 + S$50
Practical Lessons34 x S$68.4825 x S$50 + 2 x S$58
(Note)(3/3A syllabus: 31 sections and 12 test routes)(2-hour sessions of S$25/hr and 2 circuit sessions; Private lessons require fewer sessions)
Practical TestS$205.44S$205.44
Driving License ApplicationS$50
Total Estimated CostS$2,787.61S$1,792.74

Typically, students who take lessons from driving schools would pass on the first try because driving schools go through a very systematic syllabus and students are free to use to test driving circuits for more practice. In contrast, private lessons do not provide a lot of opportunities to practice at the test circuits, and many people do not pass test on the firs ttry. However, considering the prices above, even if Student B fails on the first go and takes another driving test, he may still spend less money than Student A.

Which Option to Choose?

As seen in the table above, the fees at SSDCL and CDC are generally costlier. However, they still have a consistent flow of students due to the convenience of their respective locations. For example, people staying in the east or in the central of Singapore would prefer their classes to be held at Ubi instead of Woodlands or Bukit Batok. Likewise, people residing in the west wouldn’t travel all the way to Ubi for a lesson equivalent of their traveling time. Therefore, one suggestion would be to choose a school in which its location is the most convenient for you. 

Not only that, the three schools mentioned above are considered to have more structured curriculum and may be easier for you to follow. This may work well for people who prefer an organized environment and clarity it provides. The only downside to this is that you will need to attend more lessons when you take classes from driving schools than when you choose to go with a private lesson.

If you prefer more flexibility over structure, it might be more convenient for you to get a private instructor. This is because you can simply get the instructor to pick you up from your place when lesson starts and drop you off where you prefer when class ends, and this saves you traveling time and the risk of being late should the train break down! Another advantage of getting a private instructor is that the fees are significantly cheaper as fewer lessons are required before you take the driving test.

Avoid Any Additional Costs

Firstly, if you choose to take lessons from driving schools, the foolproof way is to take lessons and test on weekdays as fees on weekends tend to be pricier due to demand. Also, fees on weekday nights are also pricier as this is when most people are free from commitments. Therefore, if you are free on weekday mornings or afternoons, take lessons then and you’ll find yourself saving tons of money!

Secondly, you can save on theory lesson fees because BTT and FTT tests are relatively easy to pass. All you need to do is get some textbooks for self –study.

Thirdly, do try to pass your driving test within 6 months of enrolment so that you can save on additional enrolment fees and renewal of PDL. This does not only save you time, it also saves you a significant amount of money because if you take long breaks in between classes, instructors will tend to take some time to refresh your memory at the next lesson and this means that time is wasted relearning things you have learnt before when you can use the time to learn new things. So, a suggestion would be to have lessons at least once a week in order to complete the course as soon as possible!

Lastly, you can save on these costs by using a good credit card that provides awards like cashback and air miles. Some cards in Singapore can provide more than 5% in rewards, so you can effectively get a 5% discount on the total cost of your license. 

Written by Lynette Tan

Duckju Kang

Duckju is the CEO of ValueChampion. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting, and investing. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds such as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital.

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