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5 Things We Need To Prepare To Become A Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Driver In Singapore

We highlight key administrative duties to get your PHV career started!
Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
18 Oct 2022

With the recent easing of Covid-related restrictions, it comes as no surprise that demand for more mobility has increased not only for cross-border duties but also within our island nation. Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) schemes have gained popularity both from a demand and supply standpoint, especially when pitched against the inactivities of WFH habits. OneShift’s starter pack for aspiring PHV drivers might not be entirely chronological as some processes can be carried out concurrently, but we’ve provided links for each avenue of possibility - step-by-step guides if you intend to embark on this journey independently, or join notable platforms such as CDG’s Zig Driver scheme, Grab, Gojek, or ryde.

Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL)

Let’s get arguably the most tedious process out of the way first. A Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) is needed, which in the case of aspiring Grab drivers requires signing up for a course that spans 10.5 hours, excluding completion of 3 e-tests totalling not more than 2 hours. Good news for drivers with a Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL), as they need not apply for a PDVL. This seems simple at first glance, but the process of obtaining this can consume a big portion of your admin time.

Medical examination

Companies like Grab require drivers to complete a medical checkup first, before applying for the PDVL course. A medical exam costs S$58-63 for a checkup and X-ray. For GoJek, it has partnered with a couple of healthcare providers to conduct subsidised screening packages.

Vocational Licence

According to OneMotoring, a vocational licence allows you to drive a private hire car in Singapore. Each licence is valid for 3 years and the statutory age limit is 75 years old. Log in to GoBusiness Licensing with your SingPass to secure the vocational licence, and follow this step-by-step guide to begin your application.

Image credit: Professional PHV Drivers Singapore

Private Hire Car Decal

Once you’ve gotten the vocational licence, visit any VICOM, JIC or STA inspection centre to secure a PHV decal. It will cost S$20. If they happen to be damaged, have it replaced at any Authorised Inspection Centre within three calendar days.

A Private Hire Vehicle (PHV)

If you intend to convert your personal car to a PHV, log in to OneMotoring using SingPass and your vehicle’s details, and then head to Digital Services - Convert Vehicle Type or Scheme to start the conversion (step-by-step guide here). OneShift’s list of cheap and fuel efficient cars might expedite your car purchasing process, and this FAQ serves as a good introduction. Do take note of a potentially higher insurance cost when you convert a private car to a PHV. If you do not have a PHV, GoJek offers packages for GoFleet driver-partners. Or rent a vehicle from GrabRentals (part of which is supported by Borneo Motors Singapore’s fleet of Toyotas) - vehicle fleet, length of contract and incentives are provided here.

Search for your ideal PHV companion on Carousell if you’re looking to register a PHV independently.

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