In the past, your friends will always ‘jio’ you to go take-up the taxi driver licence course when you reach the eligible age of 30.
Having a taxi-licence is a safety net that can ensure your family still got money to eat if you got retrenched.
These days, fewer people still ‘jio’ you to drive taxi, they refer you to become a private-hire driver instead, driving for Singapore’s favourite Grab. so Who is better?
Eligibility – Who Can Drive
From 20 years old
Singaporean, PR, Work Permits
Hold a valid class 3/3A/3C/3CA Singapore driving licence for at least a continuous period of two years at the point of application
Possess Private car Driver Vocational Licence (PDVL). Allowed to provide only private-hire service
Find out more about commercial motor car insurance
30 years old
Singaporean holding pink NRIC
Minimum continuous 1 year valid driving licence
Possess Taxi Driver Vocational Licence. Able to drive both Taxi and Private-hIre
Rent from one of 6 taxi companies
Daily rental cost average from $75-$105
Diesel cost $30-$50 a day
Pick-up and Drop off
Strictly prohibited to pick-up and drop-off at Taxi-stands. Taxi company ask taxi drivers to sabo private-hire who pick-up/drop off at taxi stand
Not allowed to drop-off riders at some places such as Changi Airport Cargo Complex
Allowed to wait at taxi-stands
Allowed to pick-up and drop off riders at taxi stands
Classified as public service vehicles and exempted from the child seat rule
Not required to provide child seat
Traditional taxis are able to accept job bookings and pick-up riders from street-hails.
Booking services include
Uber – UberTaxi
Grab – JustGrab, GrabTaxi
Internal company booking system
Booking services include
Taxis are part of the JustGrab‘s family of vehicles and can receive JustGrab jobs through the Grab booking app. Taxi drivers are also allowed to pick up riders on the street.
Entitled to weekly incentives from Uber and Grab
Location surcharge such as from Changi Airport, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, CBD, Sentosa
Peak hour surcharge up to 50%
Entitled to JustGrab’s dynamic pricing where prices are increased during period of high demand
Driving a taxi seems to be a better option than driving as a private-hire driver.
Taxi-drivers have multiple surcharges, allowed to pick-up/drop off riders at taxi stands, can declare car costs as expenses and do not have to worry about having a child seat
BUT, Why are there more people flocking to drive private-hire than a taxi?
- More jobs for private-hire than taxi
More riders are choosing private-hire booking services than taxis
- Private-hire’s flexibility
There is no requirement to clock minimum hours or trips on a daily basis
- Social perception
Being a private-hire driver is more fashionable than being a taxi driver. Many private-hire drivers lead a double life, some are bankers by day and driver by night.
It would not have been possible if they were driving a taxi. Many of these part-time drivers would not want to be seen driving a smurf-blue taxi at their office car park.
- Lower barrier to entry
Private-hire has a very low barrier to entry and is open to permanent residents and also work permit holders whereas Taxi is reserved exclusively for Singaporeans who are aged at least 30 years and above