Average Cost of Getting a Driving License in Singapore 2023
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Since 2019, the average COE price has been at some of the lowest levels in the past 9 years. With the COE costing less than it has in a while, people have jumped on the opportunity to get their driving license whether it is for the 5C-Singaporean dream or getting it “just-in-case”. However, getting a driving license is a pretty pricey endeavour, with costs up to S$3,500 (not to mention the actual cost of owning your car after you buy one). If you are wondering how much it costs, this article summarizes the average cost of getting a Class 3/3A driving 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.
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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 schools 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.
|Extension Fees (If student does not pass driving test within a year of enrolment)|
|Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT)|
|Provisional Driving License (PDL) (Valid for 6 months)|
|Driving License Application|
Comparing driving schools and private driving lessons, the prices can be significantly different. For example, assuming Student A takes lessons from CDC and Student B takes private lessons, the total estimated cost would differ by almost 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 for Student B. A detailed calculation is illustrated in the table below:
|Student A||Student B|
|Enrolment Fees||S$165.85||S$96.30 + S$50|
|BTT & FTT||S$13||N/A|
|Practical Lessons||34 x S$68.48||25 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)|
|Driving License Application||S$50||S$50|
|Total Estimated Cost||S$2,787.61||S$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 the test on the first try. 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 center 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 learned 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.