How Much Does it Cost to Get a Driving Licence in Singapore?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 26 January, 2024

Yes, car ownership in Singapore is expensive, but that doesn't mean you completely dismiss the idea of getting a driving licence.

After all, driving is an important life skill that you may find handy, especially when you’re holidaying (think driving down the coastal highways of Australia), or as a means of increasing your income (by being a private-hire driver, for instance). 

Thankfully, getting a driving licence in Singapore is not too expensive — you can get one for between S$1,400 to S$2,800, or the price of an average year-end holiday. You can also choose to enrol into a driving school, of which there are 3 in Singapore: Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC); Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL); and ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC). If that’s not enough, there’s the option to book a private instructor to teach you how to drive. 

Here’s what you need to know about how much it costs to get a driving licence in Singapore. We’ll split up the process into 4 steps, and will go through each of them as individually. 

Table of contents:

 


Average costs for step 1: Enrolment

Name of Driving School Enrolment Fee (Annual) + Extension Fee
BBDC S$105.84 (excluding $3 facilities fee if you choose to enrol online) + S$9.72/mth
SSDCL S$188.24 + S$59.95/6 mths
CDC S$179.85 + S$65.40/6 mths
Private Instructors Between S$80 to S$120

The costs above are payable if you choose to attend a driving school. 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. 

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$80 to S$120. 

 

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Average costs for step 2: Theory lessons and theory tests

Name of Driving School Theory Lessons (4 Lessons) + Simulator Lesson Theory Tests
BBDC S$18.53 x 4 = S$74.12 + S$23.49 Basic: S$6.50
Final: S$6.50
SSDCL Included in enrolment fees (Step 1) + S$24.38 (simulator lesson) Basic: S$6.50
Final: S$6.50
CDC Included in enrolment fees (Step 1) + S$27.03 (simulator lesson) Basic: S$6.50
Final: S$6.50
Private Instructors None required, self study + S$25 Basic: S$6.50
Final: S$6.50

Enrolling in a driving school will require you to attend lessons on driving theory, and you’ll be expected to pass at least the Basic Theory Test before you can proceed to take practical driving lessons properly. 

Private candidates are not required to attend theory lessons, but it would be wise to study on your own before booking a test at one of the 3 driving schools. Passing with flying colours is always exciting.

As for the final theory test, you’ll need to pass that before you can move to take up the final driving test.


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Considering Car Insurance Early: Why It Matters

You might be thinking — considering car insurance way before I get my license? Nah, that's too early. But it does reap benefits more than you think.

Understanding potential costs — Regardless of whether you're purchasing your own car after getting your licence or borrowing your parents' car, it's always good to know about the costs of car insurance if you decide to add yourself as a named driver for the latter. If you're getting your own car insurance, you can factor insurance premiums into your budget from the start, and better plan for the overall expenses of learning to drive.

Explore different coverage options — Learning about the three types of car insurance early is essential, as it helps you make a more informed decision later on when you finally purchase one. Know your needs and choose a plan that fits your lifestyle.

Encourages responsible driving behaviour early — As you understand how a clean driving record could affect your NCD and premiums of your car insurance, inculcating responsible driving behaviour from an early stage is essential in keeping costs low in the long run.

 

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Average costs for step 3: Practical lessons 

Name of Driving School Practical Lessons Provisional Driving licence (PDL)
BBDC S$71.94 - S$80.66 (100mins) S$25
SSDCL S$73.03 - S$81.75 (100mins) S$25
CDC S$69.76 - S$78.48 (100mins) S$25
Private Instructors S$35 - S$50 (60mins)
Add: $58 for driving school circuit
S$25

Practical lessons are where you actually get into a car and learn how to operate it safely and properly. Private instructors offer cheaper lessons on a per-minute basis, but you’ll need to top up S$58 each time to practice in a driving school. 

Also, you’ll need to apply for a Provisional Driving licence (PDL) before you can legally practice driving in public areas such as car parks. If you do not have a PDL, you may only practice driving within the driving school grounds.

 

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Next Steps After Your Licence: Exploring Car Insurance Options 

After getting your driver's license, the next step is to explore car insurance options to ensure you're adequately protected on the road. With the freedom of driving comes the responsibility of safeguarding yourself, your vehicle, and others on the road.

You can start by researching different insurance providers to compare coverage options and premiums. Consider factors such as your driving history, the type of vehicle you own, and your budgetary constraints when selecting a policy.

Additionally, check out the NCDs available provided by each insurer, when you're able to maintain a clean driving record.

It's also good to understand the terms and conditions of your policy thoroughly to avoid any surprises in the event of an accident or claim.

 

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Average costs for step 4: Practical test and registration 

Name of Driving School Practical Test (Traffic Police) Vehicle Rental Driving Licence Registration
BBDC S$33 S$250.70 + S$39.52 (warm-up) S$50
SSDCL S$33 S$239.80 + S$43.60 (warm-up) S$50
CDC S$33 S$295.39 (includes one warm-up) S$50
Private Instructors S$33 See Above S$50

When you’re finally ready to take your driving test, know that you’ll have to actually rent a test vehicle from a driving school along with the option for a warm-up session at BBDC or SSDCL. At CDC, the warm-up session is bundled together with the vehicle rental fee. 

And, yes, this also means you’ll need to take your driving test at one of the registered driving centres located in Singapore. If you succeed, you’ll need to pay a further S$50 for the registration of your actual driving licence. 

 

 


Private Instructors vs Driving Schools: A Cost Comparison

Steps To Getting A Licence Private Instructors Driving Schools
Enrolment S$80 - S$120 S$105.84 - S$188.24
Theory Lessons and Tests S$13 S$13 - S$80.62
Practical Lessons Average 20 lessons, with 5 school circuit lessons + simulator lesson
S$1,015 - S$1,315
Average 25 lessons
S$1,793 - S$2,096
Practical Test and Registration S$292.72 - S$356.92 S$316.40 - S$378.39
Total Average Cost S$1,400.20 - S$1,804.92 S$2,228.24 - S$2,743.25

Based on our research, the average cost of getting a driving licence in Singapore ranges from S$1,400 to just shy of S$2,750. There are, of course, many factors that affect the price you pay, and your final bill may be different. 

However, there is one conclusion that seems to stand out — private driving instructors do seem to be much cheaper than driving schools, and there could be a few main factors for this: 

  • A private candidate may register for a driving test after 15 to 20 lessons whereas a school candidate needs to complete an average of 20 to 25 lessons. The fewer lessons you attend, the lesser you have to pay.
  • Driving schools charge two prices for their lessons — peak and off-peak. Your circumstances may prevent you from going for cheaper off-peak lessons. Meanwhile, private instructors generally charge a flat fee.
  • Driving schools have higher enrolment fees and charge for theory lessons. Private candidates do not have to attend theory lessons, and may self-study for the theory tests, saving some money in the process. 

Does this mean cheaper private driving instructors are better for you? Well, not necessarily, as private candidates receive less instruction and practice time with their instructors, and may be more suited for those who are super self-motivated. 

Private candidates also may have fewer opportunities to drive on practice circuits found at the schools, which is rumoured to be detrimental to passing the driving test on the first try.

 

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Cost of getting your driving licence from a driving school

Driving School Address Approximate Cost Of Driving License*
Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085 S$2,471
Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL) 2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387 S$2,574
ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) 205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805 S$2,498

*Assuming:
- That you complete your driving license within 6 months.
- Pass your basic and advanced theory on the first attempt.
- Pass your simulator lesson on the first attempt.
- Attend 10 practical lessons during off-peak timings.
- Attend 15 practical lessons during peak timings.
- Pass your practical test on the first attempt.
- Proceed to register for your driving license thereafter.

Driving schools, on the other hand, offer more thorough instruction and overall more practice time, including on driving circuits, which replicate conditions encountered during the driving test. They also offer a slew of support services such as extra practice sessions, e-learning modules and simulation sessions that some learners may find useful or advantageous. 

If you’ve been putting your driving lesson plans on hold because of uncertainty on the budget required, now is the time to think it through and just go for it.


Conclusion

Getting a driving license has become some sort of a rite of passage for many young adults once they step into adulthood. Regardless of how old you are or whether or not you have your own car to drive, learning how to drive is an important life skill which may come in handy in the future.

But while you prepare for your lessons and practical tests, it's advisable to keep an open mind about exploring the car insurance options in Singapore so you can better plan for your finances when it really comes down to it.

 

Score up to S$300 cashbackS$280 petrol vouchers or up to 23% in discounts on your car insurance premiums when you purchase it via SingSaver.

Plus, unlock an exclusive chance to win S$500 worth of FREE PARKING when you buy now! Promotion ends 30 June 2024. T&Cs apply. 

 


 

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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