According to the Straits Times, applications for taxi-driver vocational licences have fallen from 9,094 in 2013 to 7,968 in 2015, a 12.4 per cent drop in the two years since ride-sharing firms like Uber and Grab entered the market.
Why are Singaporeans choosing to drive for Uber & Grab instead of the traditional Taxis?
1. Cost of rental
The cost of rental is significant in determining how much money can be made from driving. The cost of renting a Toyota Prius Hybrid taxi is $125 per day, close to double the average cost of renting a private-hire car, eg. a Toyota Corolla Altis at $65 per day.
Driving for Uber & Grab allows more flexibility than taxis. Drivers can choose when to drive according to their schedule say after work or only on weekends or only during peak or ‘surge’ hours where demand for rides are very high. Uber and Grab drivers also enjoy the flexibility of choosing the cars they like for their personal usage.
3. Earning potential – Surge and incentives
Both Uber and Grab dangle incentives to sign up new drivers and get them to drive on their platforms as they compete for market share in Singapore. Drivers get to enjoy additional monetary incentives when they meet the requirements set by Uber and Grab.
Uber and Grab drivers also benefit from ‘surge’ and dynamic pricing. This is the increased in fares during periods where there are high demand for rides. Drivers have reported fares of over $100 for a short trip during new years’ eve or when there was a breakdown in the MRT system.
4. Ease of starting
There are many requirements one has to meet before being able to obtain taxi license in Singapore. Drivers have to be at least 35 years old and above, a Singaporean with no adverse criminal and driving records, no CPF Medisave arrears and medically certified fit by a doctor. Drivers also have to go through a 95 hour training course before becoming licensed to drive a taxi.
Becoming a Uber & Grab driver is simple. Check out How to be a Uber/Grab Driver for detailed information on how to join the Uber/Grab driving programme.
With simple-to-use smartphone apps, Uber and Grab have made it easy for drivers to start earning income immediately. At a click of a button, the in-app GPS would be activated to guide you to your pickup and dropoff destination. The process is so simple that even tertiary students are driving for extra money.