As announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng last April 12, 2016, private drivers will be required to undergo the Private Hire Driver’s Vocational Licensing (PDVL) Framework starting on the first half of 2017. The government expects to leverage the industry by also revising the existing Taxi Driver Vocational License (TDVL) framework.
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Over the years, UberX and GrabCar had flourished in the industry. As they improved the spot-to-spot driving service, they also created a sudden unrest with the taxi companies. Soon the taxi companies recreated their business process by booking services via apps. For the last three years, the pre-booked taxi trips for clients had improved by 50% with most of the customers booking trips through apps such as Karhoo.
This proves that the third party booking apps has been useful to help taxis get back on track and keep the competition healthy. Taxi drivers started to earn more over the past three years and the commuters greatly benefitted with increased number of available rides during the peak hours.
Private Hire Driver’s Vocational Licensing (PDVL) Framework
The regulation has been created to ensure both the chauffeurs and the public’s interest and safety through the driver’s sufficient training. Taxi drivers who want to avail of the vocational license will just have to attend a two hour briefing for private hired drivers. Under the new framework, the applicants will have to go through strict medical and background screening.
Only individuals who are registered owners of a chauffeured service company or an employee of a limousine company can apply for the vocational license. This means that only Singapore citizens are allowed to undergo PDVL.
UberX has been requiring their private drivers to have a Class3/3A driving license for at least a year, however, the PDVL requires 2 years prior the application.
Each applicant must attend the required PDVL course of approximately 10 hours and pass the given examinations. Upon passing, the drivers who successfully kept their license are also mandated for a 3-hour refresher course every 6 years.
For stricter regulation, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will use a demerit point system. All drivers who never incurred any demerit points will be exempted of the refresher course. This will also apply to the limousine company drivers only if the company meets the LTA laid requirements.
Aside from the driver’s vocational license, the private drivers are required to display their license and tamper proof decals on their cars. These decals can only be used once. This will assure the commuters that the driver has undergone sufficient training and the car is registered with the LTA.
Revised Taxi Driver Vocational License (TDVL) Framework
After months of survey and evaluation, the ministry found out that most taxi drivers feel the current TDVL has to be revised to provide them needed leverage as the competition with UberX and GrabCar continues to be tight. In response, the ministry is incorporating technology to the framework. This also shows that the industry is quickly changing and innovation is a must.
Under the reconstructed TDVL framework, the taxi drivers are required to learn using the Global Positioning System (GPS) instead if the just maps. From 60 hours, the course will be shortened to 25 hours. More trainings will be done online rather than in classrooms. The refresher course will also be shortened to 3-5 hours from 6-9 hours. Like the private drivers, taxi drivers without any demerit points will be exempted from the refresher course. The government expects better service with the said incentives.
On the other hand, taxi drivers who want get a vocational driving license can just attend the 2 hour shortened course without having to pay $40.
UberX Driver Requirements
You must be a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident with at least 25 years of age and a holder of a Class 3/3A driving license for a year. However, as discussed above, the LTA will soon require the private chauffeur drivers to have a license for at least 2 years.
All drivers have to register as a limo car company in ACRA which can easily be done in less than 20 minutes online at $65. However, if you are driving a limousine and you want to apply as a UberExec driver, you need to have at least two years of professional driving experience with an active license.
Your vehicle has to be a four door car and less than 10 years old with a capacity of 1.4L or larger. Your car does not have to be new nor expensive, just ensureit in good condition. It is a common notion that no owner of an expensive car will let a stranger use their beloved vehicles due to fear of premature wear and tear, yet it is up you as Uber now offers services for commuters who want to ride luxury cars. Uber recently raised its minimum hourly guaranteed rate fare of $25 per hour during non-peak seasons, it rises to $27 – $36 during peak hours.
You can negotiate with your car insurance company to keep your No-Claim Discount when changing from private car insurance to commercial insurance. Depending on your bargaining skills, this may cost about $2,500.
If you are in need of quick cash and you do not plan to go through the whole trouble just to get a driving vocational license, you can just drive to a money lender in Singapore such as Cash Mart and the friendly staff will be willing to assist you with your personalized loan.
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