3 Changes to Private-Hire from 1 October 2017

There are changes coming into effect from 1 October 2017 that private-hire drivers need to be aware of.

Stay updated to prevent yourself from flouting the rules accidentally.

Ignorance is not an excuse

No Smoking

Be prepared to step out of your private-hire vehicle when you want to light up. Changes to the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act will now include private-hire vehicles. Both private-hire drivers and riders are prohibited to smoke in the vehicle.

The Straits Times reported that NEA officers will patrol, spot smokers in the newly prohibited areas and take action against them. They also urged members of the public to report violations to NEA.

LTA to charge for every Z10 Conversion

All cars that are intended to be used for private-hire purposes must be converted to Z10/Z11 classification. Z10 is for normal sedan while Z11 is for vehicles like SUVs and MPVs. The process is simple and can be done at Land Transport Authority (LTA) for free.

Starting 1 October 2017, there will be no more free service. In a circular sent out to car dealers and agents, LTA announced that they will be charging $100 per conversion. It means that the owners of the vehicle will have to pay $100 to convert to Z10 and pay another $100 to convert back to a normal vehicle if he intends to sell the vehicle.

Reason for the $100 fee? LTA said it is to recover regulatory costs!

The introduction of the fee will not go down well with car rental companies and private-hire drivers who use their own vehicle. This comes shortly after IRAS announced that they will be working with Uber and Grab for tax-filing for drivers. Private-hire Drivers were also incensed to find out that they were subjected to pay much higher taxes than taxi drivers.

No need to register a company

In the same circular, LTA has removed the need to register a business entity with ACRA to own a private-hire car. Individuals who conduct business under their names can now own a private-hire car without the need to register a business entity with ACRA.

Previously, all private-hire cars must be owned and registered under a limousine company. As a result, there were many new entities were formed for the sole purpose of owning a private-hire car.