It is a well-known fact that owning a car is expensive in Singapore. Even foreigners living in other countries know that.
But do you know? The cost of getting a driving licence in Singapore is not cheap either. If you enrol for a Class 3 driving course with schools, it could easily set you back S$2,000. Even among the three driving schools, the cost of obtaining a driving licence could vary due to the non-standardised fees charged by each school.
We go one step further and break down the list of fees that you have to pay in order to get your driving licence in Singapore.
3 driving centres around Singapore: BBDC, CDC And SSDC
There are three different driving centres (or schools) around Singapore that you can enrol in to get your driving licence:
- Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) in Bukit Batok
- ComfortDelgro Driving Centre (CDC) in Ubi
- Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) in Woodlands
For those who are living in the North-East, CDC has also introduced seven service points at different sites in the North-East area for the convenience of learners living in the North-East. These service points include: Kovan (where the branch is also located), Potong Pasir, Serangoon, Buangkok Sengkang, Punggol and Fernvale.
How much will getting a driving licence in Singapore cost you?
Hidden cost: Travel time and transport fare
It is always ideal to choose the driving centre that is nearer to your place of stay so that you can minimise the transport fare and travel time for you to travel to the driving centre for your tests or practical lessons.
The first form of fees that you have to pay for as a learner is the membership fee.
|Enrolment (Valid For 1 Year)||S$112.35||S$165.85||S$90|
|Renewal (6 Months)||S$45||S$53.50||S$48.15|
2. Theory tests (BTT, FTT)
Another cost of getting a driving licence is the two theory tests: Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT). Both BTT and FTT costs S$6.50 for each seating of the test. In order to study for the theory tests, the school would recommend buying theory books from Popular, which cost S$7 each. Or you could borrow the books from a friend and save S$14.
But from the experience of many people who have gotten their driving licence, most of them would recommend that you book an e-trial test right before your BTT or FTT instead. The e-trial test costs S$4.28 per seating. An alternative would be sgdriving.org, which allows you to simulate an e-trial test for FREE!
Recently, a new compulsory internal evaluation was introduced for school learners. Everyone school learner has to book and attend the compulsory internal evaluation before your BTT or FTT. Each compulsory internal evaluation will set you back S$5.35 for a 50-minute session.
Cost: BTT and FTT (including compulsory internal evaluation) costs S$23.70 in total (assuming you choose to complete the trial on sgdriving.org)
3. Provisional driving licence
Upon passing your BTT, you would need to apply for a provisional driving licence (PDL) before you can take any practical lesson with the school. Since the PDL is only valid for a period of six months, do not apply it the moment you pass your BTT. Instead, apply for your PDL nearer to your first practical lesson, i.e. within a week before your first lesson to prolong the life of your PDL.
Cost: S$25 to apply for a provisional driving licence
4. Cost of learning from driving centres (practical lesson)
|Practical Lessons (Off-Peak) – 100 min session||S$68.48||S$68.04||–|
|Practical Lessons (Peak) – 100 min session||S$77.04||S$77.04||–|
|Practical Lessons (Off-Peak) – 120 min session||–||–||S$77.04|
|Practical Lessons (Peak) – 120 min session||–||–||S$85.60|
|07:30 – 09:10||08:30 – 16:15||08:15 – 10:15|
|13:20 – 15:00||10:30 – 12:30|
|17:10 – 18:50||13:05 – 15:05|
|21:10 – 22:50||15:20 – 17:20|
|Peak Hours (Monday-Friday)||09:20 – 11:00||16:25 – 22:20||18:10 – 20:10|
|11:30 – 13:10||20:20 – 22:20|
|15:20 – 17:00||–|
|19:20 – 21:00|
|Peak Hours (Saturday-Sunday)||07:30 – 09:10||08:30 – 18:05||08:15 – 10:15|
|09:20 – 11:00||10:30 – 12:30|
|11:30 – 13:10||13:05 – 15:05|
|13:20 – 15:00||15:20 – 17:20|
An average student will have to attend at least 25 lessons before your instructor will fill your lesson book with stamps to clear you for the practical test.
Cost: S$1,712 – S$2,140 for 25 lessons
5. Practical test: Vehicle rental and test fee
Practical driving test will set you back another $33 for each seating of the test. And if you think that’s all, then you are wrong. Not to forget, you must pay a “Test Vehicle and “Warming-up Fee” to use the car that your school provides for the test. And the cost?
|Practical Test Vehicle Rental||S$171.20||S$231.12||S$160.50|
Learning from school vs Learning from a private instructor
Compared to learning from schools, learning from a private instructor will cost you relatively less for each practical session.
|Practical Lessons (Off-Peak) – 100 min session||S$68.48||S$68.04||–||~S$51
(for 90 mins)
|Practical Lessons (Peak) – 100 min session||S$77.04||S$77.04||–||~S$65
(for 90 mins)
|Practical Lessons (Off-Peak) – 120 min session||–||–||S$77.04||–|
|Practical Lessons (Peak) – 120 min session||–||–||S$85.60||–|
Hidden cost: Circuit lesson not included
However, you would soon find out that private lessons might not be much cheaper than schools due to the additional cost from circuit lessons. For new learners, circuit lessons are practical lessons that take place within the circuit course in the driving centres (i.e. parallel parking, vertical parking, S-course, crank-course, etc).
In order for private instructors to bring you into the course, your instructor has to book a session with the driving school to allow the vehicle to enter its premise. Each session will set you back in the region of S$20-25 depending on the driving centre. The booking fee will then be charged to you for each circuit lesson that you want to take with your instructor.
Hidden cost: Driving competency is key, not the number of lessons required
While the cost per practical lesson may not be much lower, private students will be quick to point out that they do not have to fulfil the minimum number of lessons (25) that school candidates have to fulfil. As long as your driving skill is competent enough to pass the practical test, your private driving instructor would be more than willing to send you for the practical test.
Oh, and of course, you also have to pay your instructor to rent his vehicle for the test. This will set you back another ~S$250.
So, how much do you need?
There are many variables and hidden costs involved in getting a driver’s licence, including a S$50 application fee for a driving licence once you have passed your practical test (Yes, every step of the process to get a driving licence in Singapore costs you money up to the very last moment before you attain the physical licence).
If we had to put an average number to it, be prepared to budget around S$2,400 for school lessons, and around S$1,600 for 20 lessons (including 5 circuit lessons) with a private instructor.
After you have successfully gotten your licence, you should also read our post on the average cost of owning a car in Singapore.