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How Much Does a Driving Licence Cost in Singapore?

Embarking on the road to obtaining a driving licence in Singapore can feel like navigating a maze of costs, especially in a city renowned for its high living expenses. As someone who has, until now, deferred the pursuit of a car licence due to the perceived financial hurdles, I delved into comprehensive research. The goal? Unveil the intricate details and figuring out the affordability of securing a driving licence in this bustling city. Thankfully, getting a driving licence in Singapore is not too expensive — you can get one for between S$1,400 to S$2,800

Singapore Driving License
Source: Goody Feed

Did You Know? Singapore boasts one of the world’s highest car ownership costs, with a unique Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system that can sometimes surpass the price of the vehicle itself. However, despite the daunting reputation, obtaining a driving licence doesn’t necessarily follow the same steep financial trajectory. For a deeper dive into the intricacies of buying a car in Singapore and whether it’s worth it, you can check out my blog post here.

In this blog post, we’ll unravel the various options, costs, and considerations associated with obtaining a driving licence in Singapore. Join me on this exploration of not just the financial aspects but also the fascinating intricacies that make the journey toward a driving licence in Singapore a distinctive experience.

Options for Obtaining a Driving Licence

When it comes to getting a driving licence in Singapore, you have several options to choose from. The three driving schools – Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC), Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL), and ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) – offer structured programs. Alternatively, you can opt for private instructors who provide personalized training.

Step 1: Enrolment

The first step in the process involves enrollment. Each driving school and private instructor has its own set of fees. Enrolment is valid for 12 months, with options to extend.

Name of Driving SchoolEnrolment Fee (Annual) + Extension Fee
BBDCS$96.30 (excluding $3 facilities fee if you choose to enrol online) + S$8.03/mth
SSDCLS$174.09 + S$58.85/6 mths
CDCS$171.20 + S$64.20/6 mths
Private InstructorsBetween S$70 to S$100
Source: Singsaver

Each enrolment is valid for 12 months, although you may choose to extend your validity in blocks of one or six months, if you do not acquire your driving licence within 12 months of enrolment. 

BBDC Course Outline
Source: BBDC

Private instructors also charge an enrolment fee for taking you on as a student. There are no fixed rates, but you can expect to pay between S$70 to S$100. 

Step 2: Theory Lessons and Theory Tests

Driving SchoolTheory Lessons (4 Sessions)Theory Tests
BBDCS$17.12 x 4 = S$68.48Basic: S$6.50, Final: S$6.50
SSDCLIncluded in enrolment fees (Step 1)Basic: S$6.50, Final: S$6.50
CDCIncluded in enrolment fees (Step 1)Basic: S$6.50, Final: S$6.50
Private InstructorsNone required, self-studyBasic: S$6.50, Final: S$6.50
Source: Singsaver

Enrolling in a driving school necessitates participation in driving theory lessons, with a mandatory requirement to successfully pass the Basic Theory Test. This achievement unlocks the gateway to progressing to practical driving lessons.

Private candidates, on the other hand, are not obligated to attend theory lessons. However, undertaking self-study is strongly recommended before scheduling a test at any of the three driving schools. Achieving success in the Basic Theory Test is not only fulfilling but also essential. 

Fun Fact: A notable trend among driving students is the preference for self-directed learning when it comes to theory lessons. Instead of attending formal classes, many opt to tackle the extensive question bank, learning the ins and outs of driving theory through repeated quizzes. Websites like Basic Theory Tests SG have become popular hubs for accessing practice questions, allowing students to memorize and understand concepts in an interactive way.

The journey culminates with the final theory test, a prerequisite to undertaking the conclusive practical driving test. Each step in this process contributes to building a solid foundation for safe and skilled driving on the roads.

Step 3: Practical Lessons 

Driving SchoolPractical LessonsProvisional Driving Licence (PDL)
BBDCS$68.48 – S$77.04 (100 mins)S$25
SSDCLS$77.04 – S$85.60 (120 mins)S$25
CDCS$68.48 – S$77.04 (100 mins)S$25
Private InstructorsS$35 – S$50 (60 mins) + $58 for driving school circuitS$25
Source: Singsaver

Engaging in practical lessons marks the phase where you immerse yourself in the driving experience, mastering the safe and proper operation of a vehicle. Private instructors provide a cost-effective option, charging per minute. However, it’s worth noting that there’s an additional S$58 fee each time you choose to practice within a driving school circuit.

Additionally, acquiring a Provisional Driving Licence (PDL) is a prerequisite before you can legally practice driving in public areas, such as car parks. Without a PDL, your practice is limited to the confines of the driving school grounds. This crucial step ensures that aspiring drivers are equipped with the necessary documentation and skills to venture beyond the training environment.

Step 4: Practical Test and Registration 

Name of Driving SchoolPractical Test (Traffic Police)Vehicle RentalDriving Licence Registration
BBDCS$33S$214 + S$38.52 (warm-up)S$50
SSDCLS$33S$192.60 + S$38.52 (warm-up)S$50
CDCS$33S$273.92 (includes one warm-up)S$50
Private InstructorsS$33See AboveS$50
Source: Singsaver

When you reach the point of readiness for your driving test, it’s important to note that you must rent a test vehicle from a driving school. Additionally, there’s an option for a warm-up session at BBDC or SSDCL. At CDC, the warm-up session is conveniently included in the vehicle rental fee.

It’s crucial to highlight that your driving test must be conducted at one of the registered driving centers in Singapore. If you pass the test successfully, you’ll then be required to pay an additional S$50 for the registration of your official driving licence. This final step solidifies your journey from learner to licensed driver, making you officially recognized on the roads of Singapore.

Private Instructors vs. Driving Schools. Which is cheaper?

I’m familiar with many friends who opt for private instructors due to their affordability. However, there are also numerous horror stories circulating about private instructors who exhibit laziness or fail to provide adequate instruction, leading to the students’ failure in the practical test.

Steps To Obtaining a Driving LicencePrivate InstructorsDriving Schools
EnrolmentS$70 – S$100S$96.30 – S$174.09
Theory Lessons and TestsS$13S$13 – S$81.48
Practical LessonsAverage 20 lessons, including 5 school circuit lessonsAverage 25 lessons
Estimated Cost of Practical LessonsS$990 – S$1,290S$1,737 – S$2,165
Practical Test and RegistrationS$292.72 – S$356.92S$254.20 – S$356.92
Total Average CostS$1,365.20 – S$1,759.92S$2,100.50 – S$2,777.90
Source: Singsaver

According to my research, the average cost of obtaining a driving licence in Singapore spans from S$1,365 to just under S$2,800. Various factors influence the overall price, making the final bill subject to individual circumstances.

Yet, a clear conclusion emerges — private driving instructors tend to be significantly more budget-friendly than their counterparts in driving schools. Several key factors contribute to this:

  • Private candidates can register for a driving test after 15 to 20 lessons, whereas school candidates need to complete an average of 20 to 25 lessons. Fewer lessons translate to lower costs.
  • Driving schools often charge two prices for lessons — peak and off-peak. Circumstances may dictate that you’re unable to opt for the more affordable off-peak lessons. Conversely, private instructors typically charge a flat fee.
  • Driving schools impose higher enrolment fees and charge for theory lessons. In contrast, private candidates are exempt from mandatory theory lessons and have the flexibility to self-study for theory tests, resulting in cost savings.

As I delved deeper into the research, it became evident that the cost-effectiveness of private driving instructors doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the ideal choice for everyone. Private candidates may receive less instruction and practice time, making this option more suitable for those who are highly self-motivated.

Moreover, private candidates might have fewer opportunities to practice on the designated circuits found at driving schools, a factor rumored to be disadvantageous for passing the driving test on the first attempt. Therefore, while cost is a significant consideration, the decision should be balanced with the individual’s learning style and commitment to self-motivated practice.

Average Costs and Conclusion

Based on extensive research, the average cost of obtaining a driving licence in Singapore ranges from S$1,365 to just under S$2,800. While the costs are influenced by various factors, it’s worth noting that private driving instructors generally appear to be more budget-friendly. However, consider the trade-offs, such as fewer instruction hours.

Closing Thoughts

As I reflect on this research, I’m now better equipped to make an informed decision about obtaining a car licence in Singapore. If you’ve been postponing your driving lessons due to budget concerns, now is the time to reconsider. The benefits of acquiring a driving licence may outweigh the perceived costs, and the process might be more affordable than you think.

Also, do consider exploring various insurance plans tailored for drivers in Singapore. Understanding the importance of insurance is crucial, and you can find valuable insights on different types of insurance plans you should consider.

Remember, being well-informed about insurance options is not just a legal requirement but also a responsible step towards safeguarding yourself on the roads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to get a driving licence in Singapore?

The cost of obtaining a driving licence in Singapore typically ranges from S$1,400 to S$2,800. However, the final cost can be influenced by factors such as the choice between private instructors and driving schools.

How do I get my SG drivers licence?

To get your Singapore driver’s licence, you need to follow these general steps:
Enroll in a driving school or hire a private instructor.
Attend theory lessons and pass the Basic Theory Test.
Undertake practical lessons to learn driving skills.
Pass the practical driving test conducted by the Traffic Police.
Upon successful completion, you can apply for your official driving licence.

Can I renew my driving licence online in Singapore?

Yes, Singaporean drivers can renew their driving licences online through the official website of the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The online renewal process offers convenience, allowing individuals to update their licences without visiting a physical office.

What is Class 3 licence in Singapore?

In Singapore, a Class 3 driving licence authorizes individuals to drive a motor car, including passenger cars and other vehicles with three or more wheels. It is the most common type of driving licence for private car drivers.

Eugene Chai

With five years of financial experience (and maybe a few too many all-nighters fueled by cold brew and craft beer), Eugene tackles complex financial concepts and breaks them down for young adults. Featured on Investment sites and CNA's Money Talks, this self-proclaimed "Finance Whisperer" isn't your stuffy suit. He uses relatable narratives (think "adulting, but make it money") to turn numbers into your financial BFFs, guiding you towards smart choices with your hard-earned dough.

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