Average Cost of Getting a Driving License in Singapore 2024

People often view getting your driver’s license as a right of passage into adulthood. Find out how much it costs to get your driver’s license in Singapore, and how you can go about saving money in the process.

ValueChampion Editorial Team

by ValueChampion Editorial Team on May 24, 2024

driver fist pump

Many view learning how to drive as a valuable life long skill or even a rite of passage into adulthood. Despite COE prices being at record highs, there are still many Singaporeans out there seeking to get their drivers license whether it is for the 5C-Singaporean dream or “just-in-case”.

Getting a driving license can be a pretty pricey endeavour, with costs up to S$3,500 (not to mention the costs of buy and owning a car in Singapore that you might have to incur after actually getting your license).

If you are wondering just how much it it works out to be, 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.

Table of Contents

Average Cost of Getting a Class 3/3A License

A significant amount of money is needed to obtain that blue card that says you are permitted to drive legally in Singapore. There are four options for people to choose from – you can take driving lessons at one of the three driving schools available or get a private instructor.

The three 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. 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.

SSDCCDCBBDCPrivate Instructor
Enrolment FeesS$188.24S$179.85S$106.82 S$80-S$90
Extension Fees (If student does not pass driving test within a year of enrolment)S$59.95 per 6 monthsS$65.40  per 6 monthsS$9.81 per monthDepends on instructor
Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT)
(Only administered at driving schools)
S$6.50 per testTo be taken at a driving school
Practical LessonsS$73.03 – S$81.75 per 100 min lessonS$73.03 – S$81.75 per 100 min lessonS$71.94 – S$80.66 per 100 min lessonS$40-S$75 per hour, plus an additional fee to use driving school circuits
Simulator LessonS$24.38 per sessionS$27.03 per sessionS$14.17 per sessionTo be taken at a driving school
Practical TestS$272.80 + S$43.60 warm up practical lessonS$331.33 (incl. of warm up fee)S$283.70 + S$39.24 warm up practical lessonApproximately S$330
Provisional Driving License (PDL) (Valid for 2 years)S$25
Driving License ApplicationS$50
*Prices as of May 2024

Comparing driving schools and private driving lessons, the prices can vary significantly.

To illustrate this, we compare two students. Student A takes lessons from CDC and Student B takes lessons from a private instructor. We assume that both Student A and Student B arrange all their lessons at non-peak hours and take their driving tests on a weekday. A detailed calculation is illustrated in the table below:

Student A – CDCStudent B – Private Instructor
Enrolment FeesS$179.85S$90
BTT & FTTS$13S$13

(done at driving school of choice)

Practical Lessons34 x S$73.03

(assuming off-peak lessons only)

30 x S$50
Note:(3/3A syllabus: 31 sections and 12 test routes)(2-hour sessions of S$44/hr and 2 circuit sessions; Private lessons typically require fewer sessions)
Simulator Lessons3 x S$27.033 x S$27.03

(done at driving school of choice, assuming its done at CDC)

Practical TestS$331.33S$330
Driving License applicationS$50S$50
Total Estimated CostS$3,163.29S$2,039.09

While it may seem that opting for a private instructor is only marginally cheaper, the true extent of your savings is dependent on your speed of learning.

Students who opt to learn through a school often find it difficult to get lesson slots due to the high demand. This could draw out their learning process and require them to take more lessons as they are more likely to use lesson time to refresh things they previously learnt. Meanwhile, with a private instructor, you are more likely to be able to have multiple lessons a week, which could accelerate your learning exponentially. The largest cost of learning how to drive is the practical lessons. By cutting down on the number of lessons you need, you will save a significant amount.

That being said, students who take lessons from driving schools typically 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.

woman driving a car
Source: Unsplash

Driving School vs Private Lesson, 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 organised 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 and cutting into your class time. Another advantage of getting a private instructor is that the fees are usually cheaper as typically fewer lessons are required before you take the driving test.

How to 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. The 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 and self–study.

Thirdly, do try to pass your driving test within one year of enrolment so that you can save on additional enrolment fees and renewal of your 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 for Class 3A and twice a week for Class 3 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 up to 5% in rewards, so you can effectively get a 5% discount on the total cost of your license. Even after you pass your driving test, keep in mind which credit cards give the best rewards for petrol to save as much as possible on driving expenses.

Compare The Best Credit Cards in SingaporeFind Out More

After you pass your driving test, you’ll likely need some sort of car insurance coverage to drive on roads. Learn more about the different car insurance plans in Singapore.

Find The Best Car Insurance PlansFind Out More

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Cover image source: Unsplash

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