Being a private-hire driver in Singapore can be nerve wrecking.
It does not matter how long you have been actively driving, driving riders for reward is a totally different ball game.
Everyone starts off as a newbie and most newbies make these mistakes when they just started their engine.
Chasing the high fare Surge Zones
Both Uber and Grab applies dynamic surge pricing during periods of high demands. Drivers can see where the surge zone are in the driver app. It is marked by different shades of shades, the darker the red indicates the higher the demand. New drivers have a tendency to chase the surge but are often disappointed as the surge usually disappears when they reach their desired surge zone.
Poor knowledge of the traffic rules
There are many traffic rules that a private-hire driver need to know to prevent paying a heavy price for their mistakes. They include knowing what is the ‘safe’ pick-up and drop off points for riders, child seat requirement for children and the common speed camera zone.
When drivers do not know how to play by the rules, they often have to pay for their mistakes.
Over-Reliant on Google Map, Waze and Uber’s Map
Poor navigation is a frequent complaint rider make about private-hire drivers. New drivers often rely heavily on the navigation app to the extent that they would rather follow the app blindly then to trust their own road knowledge. Many drivers are also young and inexperienced on the road, partly due to the low barrier of entry of the private-car driver vocational licence (PDVL) system.
Let’s put it simply, these apps are not perfect and should not be fully relied on all the time. When these apps become perfect, that is when driverless cars will replace private-hire drivers.
Letting rider bully them
Newbies are always bullied in any job. This is no exception in being a new driver. Riders can be scheming and have many ways to take advantage of the driver. Some of them book UberPool/Grabshare and appear with 3 riders, book UberX/JustGrab while travelling with a child, book a normal 4 seater for 5 passengers. The list goes on.
When driver say no to any of these, riders would always say their favourite line “Why other drivers can, why you cannot?”
If you have no idea why are these wrong, it is time to run the FAQs for Private-Hire Drivers.
Lack of Pacing
When a new private-hire driver starts their private-hire ‘career’, they are usually off to a bustling start. Why? because new drivers are given ‘special incentives’ during the first month of driving and they will do all it takes to achieve it.
A big mistake that new drivers make is forgetting to pace themselves. Driving is tiring and it is not sustainable to drive 16 hour days for a continuous period. Fatigue is one of many challenges of being a private-hire driver in Singapore and often a key factor in getting into an accident.
As a result, many drivers burn out after the first month of driving.