5 Costly mistakes that Private Hire Drivers make

Making a living as a private-hire driver in Singapore is not easy. Passing the Private Driver Vocational Licence test is only the beginning. Then you have to decide how you want to carry out your business as a driver.

Previously, we shared some of the challenges of a private-hire driver in Singapore.

Many drivers struggle to make ends meet. We list down some of the costly mistakes that drivers make.

Using the Wrong Type of Car

The most expensive mistake that drivers make is choosing the wrong type of car. Many drivers pay high rental prices for continental cars to drive for hire. Cars like the old BMW 3 series, the 5 series and Audi A4s are some common continental cars that drivers love to rent.

These cars generally come with many highs – high rental, high fuel consumption, high maintenance cost. The sad part is all the highs does not translate to higher fares and earnings.

Using the wrong type of car is also applicable to another group of drivers. These drivers are full-time drivers and clock high mileage every day. Yet, they are using cars that are old and inefficient. Even though older COE cars command lower rental, these cars have clocked too much mileage to be as efficient as the newer hybrid and electric cars.

No Relief Driver

Driving without a relief driver is an expensive problem. Why let your car idle in your carpark and incur a cost when you can get a relief driver to share your expenses. The practice of relief driver has been adopted by our taxi kakis for many years. Having a relief driver can effectively save you up to 50% of your daily rental.

Traffic Fines 

image- LTA

Getting ‘summon’ for traffic offences is silly and a no-no. One summon can easily wipe out your 1 day of hard-earned income. Driving safe is always a priority. Your rider will never appreciate you for your fast-and-furious driving to get them to their destination on-time.

The next time you want to consider committing a traffic offence, think carefully if you would rather have a 1-star rating or a fine and demerit points package.


Petrol is a main cost for private-hire drivers. Many try to save petrol cost by going up north to refill while some make use of the petrol fleet card and credit card rebates in Singapore.

You would be surprised that many drivers still do not make use of all these private-hire fleet cards and pay for their petrol in cash. The amount of savings lost can be significant when you do not make use of these.

Commercial Z10 Insurance

Private-hire drivers who want to use their own car for Grab/Go-Jek private-hire services need to insure their car with Commerical z10 insurance.

It is common knowledge that Commercial Insurance is more expensive than normal private-car insurance. Private-hire drivers often get a shock when they receive their notice of renewal from the insurance companies. What is even more despairing is that they just renew blindly at the high cost without getting a quote to compare.

Z10 Motor Car Commercial Insurance

At Firstlane, we have helped hundreds of private-hire car owners saved on their commercial insurance by getting our insurance partner to quote for you. And this is absolutely FREE.

Not driving private-hire but want to save on your normal private-car insurance also, you can also get a quote before your next renewal. Just follow this link

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Commander-in-Chief @ Firstlane Swam to Sunny island to escape from the half-brother who ruled with an iron-fist and feed the family with needles or to dogs. Kim is my family name and Jio is my favorite fruit. Screwing around with Uber & Grab since 2014