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08 August 2021

Getting Your Drivers License In Singapore (2021)!

As seen from the title, you probably would have guessed what this post is about. Yes! I finally got my drivers license. I wanted to jot down my journey over here reason being is that I find it real hard to get information online with only that few YouTube videos that is available and most of the blogposts that people have shared are from eons ago. Before the few days to my Traffic Police Test (TP Test) in short, I even resort to searching information on forums.

There are also many considerations to go through before deciding on getting your license. Examples like which school to enrol, private or school instructors, Auto or Manual. Well, I will list all of them here so that you can decide which one better fits your needs and criteria.

School
In Singapore, there are three school that allows you to enrol and learn your driving.
- BBDC (Bukit Batok Driving Center) Located at the west of Singapore.
- SSDC (Singapore Safety Driving Center) Located at the North/Central of Singapore near Woodlands/Admiralty/Sembawang.
- CDC (Comfort Delgro Driving Center) Located at Ubi which is the East side of Singapore.

So definitely take that into consideration when you want to enrol yourself cause you are required to go to the school center to take your BTT (Basic Theory Test), FTT (Final Theory Test), and Simulator Test (They just launch this thing recently) and made it compulsory for all students moving forward. Thus traveling takes up quite alot of your time.

Manual or Auto
Now that you have decide on which school to enrol. It is time to decide whether you would want to go for Auto (Class 3A) or Manual (Class 3). The only difference between the 2 is that Manual cars comes with a clutch that can potentially cause the car engine to stall which will result you in some demerit points during your TP Test. But on the good side, with Class 3 license you are able to drive both Manual and Auto cars and with Class 3A you will only be able to drive Auto cars. But then again, all the cars nowadays are hybrid aka auto ones sooo... You decide. But for me, I opt for Manual (Class 3) cause I want to be able to drive overseas, and to rent cars there will be more options available. Also, when you finally pass your TP Test. You will feel a tad more achievement when you got a Class 3 license compared to a Class 3A. Not trying to throw shade to anyone of you out there, just some personal opinions.

Private or School
By Private or School, it means whether you want to learn driving from a Private Instructor where all your learning sessions will be taught & conducted by that 1 & only instructor. Whereas for School, the instructors will be different unless you pay extra $$$ to book that specific instructor to teach you for every lesson. Another note to add. For private students, you will be using your instructor's car to take the TP Test and for school it will be a different car. Which is a plus point for students who opt for Manual (Class 3) license cause the "biting point" for every car is different hence by using the same car throughout you get the geez of how the car works and you will have no problem driving it.

Another factor to consider whether to go for private or school is definitely the amount of money that you will be spending. For me, I have taken approximately 30 lessons (including circuit). Yes, I'm a slow learner. But with all that adding up, I only spent a total of $2,150 including my TP Test. Which is a whooping $450! But for Private students, your fees for every lesson is generally cheaper as compared to school students. There are lots of articles about the fees online. Here is one example: https://dollarsandsense.sg/much-cost-get-driving-license-singapore/. Generally private instructors charges lesser compared to either of the 3 schools. However, every private instructors charges differently. Some may be $30 per lesson, some may be $40 per lesson. So it really depends. But it is still relatively cheaper than school.

Booking Of Lessons
This may be another factor to consider for those who wants to "Chiong" their way to get their license as soon as they can. From what I have heard from my friends who enrol as the students under the school. It takes at least 1 month of waiting time to be able to go for a lesson cause of covid and the restrictions for the number of pax allowed in the building. Which may turn some people off cause for every lesson you will need to wait at least a month. So what some of my friends did was to one shot book as many lesson as they can so they won't forget what they have learn along the way. Also, booking of lessons for school students are done by themselves. Whereas for private students, circuit lessons are booked through your instructors. So its alot more easier and hassle free.

For school students, there is a mandatory 20-25 lessons you will need to go through before you can take your TP Test. Whereas for private students, if you are a fast learner unlike me, you can just go for your TP Test as long as you are confident enough and that your instructor feels that you are good to go. Some of the private students went for their TP Test in just 15 practical lessons.

Now that you have decide which school to enrol, which license to take and whether to take up private or school. You can finally start your driving journey.

First & Foremost
Whether you enrol as a private or school student, you will need to pay a "enrolment fee" to the school. For school students, the fees is as listed below. Screen grabbed from https://dollarsandsense.sg/much-cost-get-driving-license-singapore/

For private students it is relatively cheaper as I have mention previously. I paid about $20 to enrol into the school but as a private student. And I paid my instructor $80 for a so called "membership" fee to take me in as his student. It is the standard protocol for private students but as I said, different instructor varies with their fee charges. I got my private instructor from a friend of mine cause I am lazy to find and from my friend sources, this instructor is reliable so why not?


After you have enrolled and paid the fees needed, you can also tell the counter staff that you would like to book your lessons straight up. For private students, you need not go through the lessons that is needed for students who enrol under the school. I straight up book my BBT and borrowed the Highway Code books from my friend. For the photo taking you can choose to take anytime before you go for your TP Test. No one informed me about anything so I just went to take on the spot before leaving SSDC.

BTT & FTT
Basic Theory Test & Final Theory Test in short. You will need to pass these 2 test in order to advance and take your TP Test. Passing mark for these tests is 45/50. I won't say its a no brainer but reading and understanding is definitely needed. I would advise you to read the questions twice and go through all 50 questions once more after you have completed it. There are many website and apps out there where you can download and do the test questions. Though they are not entirely the same word for word but the answer is there. You can go give this website a try which I did and I passed on my first try. http://www.basictheorytestsg.com/

It is a mandatory requirement for you to pass your BTT before you can attend any practical lesson (Driving, yes!). After you have passed your BTT you will need to head over to the traffic police website to apply for your PDL (Provisional Driving License). With this, then you are allowed to drive outside with a licensed instructor's supervision. Application for the PDL is a breeze and it only takes a few minutes. The PDL costs $25 and is valid for 2 years. You are also able to renew but I don't think anyone who wants to get their license will take 2 years to complete la hor?! If any of you guys out there would like. I have this folder in my dropbox where my friend gladly shared this with me (I couldn't have thanked her enough). It consists of all the FTT questions that the school will possibly come out. Yes, this is the one that is word for word. But there is like 10 parts and each part has got like 50 questions inside. So what I did was basically memorise each and every one of it. But most of the questions are repititive ones. So if you want just drop me a DM I will be more than willing to share it with you.


Some people may opt to complete both BTT & FTT first before going for their practical (Which is what I did). But there are some who can't wait to get on the road will just book for their practical after getting their PDL and concurrently doing their FTT as well.

Before you go take the actual BTT and/or FTT, I will highly recommend you to go for at least 1 theory trial test. For the theory trial test you can opt for practice or the "practice test". Meaning, for practice, you can try as much questions in the system for 1 hour and there will be answers given for every questions done. (I personally prefer this one) So I know which answer belongs to which questions. For "Practice Test", it will simulate an actual test and they will give you a set of 50 questions for you to do. Once you have done it, the system will then tell you whether you passed or failed. Which totally defeats the point of practicing I feel.

Simulator Test
After you have complete both your BTT & FTT. Congrats, you're another step closer to getting your license. Prior to years ago there was no such thing as a simulator test which is compulsory now by the way. Each lesson is about $25 if I don't recall wrongly. So in total that's another $75 spent. The siimulator is not much of a test so you don't need to get anxious and all about this. Its more of simulating machine for students to have a feel on how it is like to be "driving" on the road. Similar to a arcade game. A expensive one that is...

Circuit/Practical Lessons
For practical lessons it really varies and depends on individuals. Some people are fast learners and others may take a longer time. The most I spent on are my circuit lessons cause that's what causes most people to fail in their TP Test. The fees for circuit is also an additional fees on top of the lesson charges for private students cause for school students, the circuit is inclusive in the package when you enrol but for private students they will need to fork out additional charges. But bookings will be done by their instructors. :)

For on road lessons, testers will usually look out for your safety checks, checking of blind spots (VERY IMPORTANT!) and you really have to exaggerate your actions (Based on own experience). Your changing of lanes, and u-turn. For circuit, your main objective is NOT TO STRIKE OR MOUNT ONTO ANY CURB! I have seen videos from others that they retook their TP Test because they strike or mount on a curb. Striking of curb is a demerit of 10 points, and the latter is immediate failure.

Traffic Police Test
After you are confident enough in your driving and have completed the necessary (FTT, Simulator Test) you can proceed to inform your instructor that you would like to book for your TP Test. They will then inform you on a timing to choose cause they know the best which slots are the best timing to go for. But if your instructor didn't tell you. For SSDC it is best to go on a weekday, and during afternoon between 2pm to 4pm. Not sure about CDC and BBDC but I have heard from friends who are learning at CDC that the traffic there is CRAZY and there's always heavy vehicles that obstructs your way. Before any test, there will be a practice/warm up session with your instructor which is kinda crucial for any students. For me, I literally mount ALL the curb when I was doing my warm up/practice in the circuit. My instructor drilled me so badly I really wanted to give up. At that point I was thinking that my chances of passing is close to 0.

My advice will be to just go slow at the circuit. It is better to be slow and steady than to rush and you end up hitting or mounting the curb. There are also certain things to look out for when you are doing for certain stations. Examples like the Directional Change, Vertical Parking, and Parallel Parking. These three are the major causes for students striking/mounting the curb.

For those that are looking for private instructors, I came across this post from TSL where they have a list of Private Instructors for each schools. Mine was also listed inside la (I was shooked when I saw his name inside) LOL! You may wish to look up from the list there https://thesmartlocal.com/read/driving-instructors/. Alternatively you can also look up on Carousel, search on google or just ask your friends who have already gotten their license if they have any contact that can link you up with their instructors. But whether you choose to go for Manual or Auto, School or Private. It is important to always keep in mind that safety first. I'm pretty sure if I can do it, anyone also can.

P/S: Another milestone checked!✓

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