useful guides for people to read

5 Reasons why Manual Transmission is better

Manual Transmission cars are getting rarer and rarer in Singapore as the vast benefits and prices of automatic transmission cars become cheaper. With that said, learning manual cars is still one of the staples of learning how to drive in Singapore. If you are not convinced, maybe at the end of this article you’ll start to see why. You can also read here to find out how to better make your decision

Manual Transmission Cars are Cheaper

It might not seem so but did you know that an automatic transmission variant of the same model can cost up to $10,000 more than it’s manual brother? Just take a look at any showroom or even used cars and you’ll realise that the cost difference is pretty large. Almost worth 1 year of depreciation. Manual cars are cheaper firstly because they just are not as popular as automatic cars. Therefore it makes more sense to charge higher for the automatic cars. In addition, repairs on the transmission are cheaper for manual cars compared to automatic transmission cars due to its simplicity.

Manual Cars Are More Engaging

Manual transmission cars are the epitome of engagement. Ask any car fanatic and they’ll swear by manual transmission vehicles. Manual cars are just much engaging and fun to drive. You control the speed, the revolutions the engine makes and even the amount of torque the gearbox provides by shifting the gears. In contrast, all you get to do is vary the amount pressure you put on the accelerator in an automatic transmission car.

 

Learning Manual is much cheaper

Learning how to drive in Singapore is already expensive enough. If you are learning from a private driving instructor, did you know that automatic transmission lessons can cost up to $6 more per hour? This might not seem alot but multiple this by 15 lessons and you would have already saved close to $100 dollars. Manual instructors are also more available than automatic instructors from our knowledge as well as more females tend to prefer learn automatic transmission cars. Take a lot at the latest rates today And this will probably bring me to my next point.

Its a Pride Thing

As mentioned earlier, if you are a guy and took automatic transmission lessons, you’ve probably been made fun of in army or within your circle of friends. Manual transmission cars are harder to learn and for guys who take automatic transmission cars, they are often seen as “pussy” or “weak” for not being able to cope with manual transmission cars. Don’t believe me? ask any of your male colleagues or friends and you’ll understand why. If you are a female and want to take manual transmission cars, good on you! You’ll probably have the respect of other guys and they’ll probably trust you more when you are under the wheel. Its a stereotypical action but it can’t be avoided =/

You can Grasp the Concept of Driving any Vehicle Anywhere

If you are intending to learn motorcycles or even drive industrial vehicles in the future, it is almost certain that you will be able to grasp the concept of driving these vehicles faster then if you took automatic transmission lessons. All of the above said vehicles are usually manual transmission and since you have already learnt the concept of a clutch and biting point, you’ll probably learn the necessary skills much faster. In addition, if you go overseas, some vehicles or countries only offer manual transmission cars which you will be able to operate. So don’t look at the small picture of the small population of manual cars in Singapore. You’ll probably find the need to learn manual cars in the future too!

Pass Your Driving Test the First Try

Pass Your Driving Test The First Try

Everything that has to do with the motor industry is expensive in Singapore. Whether it is owning a vehicle to even learning how to drive, both are just as expensive. Therefore, it is essential that you get the basics right when learning to drive and always try to pass your driving test on the first try. From September 2016 to August 2017, the traffic police in Singapore released some critical results that will help us understand the passing rates of each centre in Singapore and is in the table below:

Class 3 (1st timer)
Driving CentreTotal testedNumber passedPassing %
Singapore Safety

Driving Centre

3762202353.8%
Bukit Batok

Driving Centre

5875363061.9%
Comfort Driving Centre7088352149.7%
*Other Candidates16624564634.0%

 

*Other candidates refer to private candidates which is also what you can find from students learning from Private Driving Instructors.

It is clear to see that driving centres have a higher percentage rate but it is important to understand how do they have such a lead against private instructors. To understand this, we have to take a look at the method of teaching.

Driving Centres teaching approach

Driving Centres takes on a school approach, firstly, you start with an introductory lesson with theory lessons on what is needed while driving. Only upon clearing the few theory lessons then are you able to advance to the next step. The practical lessons.

 Each practical lesson is structured in specific manner which means you have to clear each stage at every lesson. The lesson will begin with you behind the wheel in the driving centre and repeatedly driving the same course which you are required to learn. For the purpose of example, we will take for instance, changing from first gear to third gear. Learners will then circle the driving centre repeatedly changing from gear 1 to gear 3 till you become familiar with that action. At the end of the lesson, the instructor will then assess your ability to complete that certain action. If he/she feels that you are not comfortable doing that action, you will have to repeat the same lesson again.

From this example, you can tell that the schools are extremely thorough in their approach to learning and it ensures that students are about 90% ready to take the practical traffic police test. failure to meet the their requirements for each lesson would mean repeating the same course over and over till you pass. However, this method is extremely strict and can be boring for the student when you have to repeat the action over the course of 100 minutes.

Private Driving Instructor’s teaching approach

Where private driving instructor’s teach approach differs is in the flexibility. Their teaching methods will definitely differ from each instructor but the key characteristic they have for their lesson is to ensure they cover a large range of driving skills within a particular lesson. 

The instructor usually starts off with the basics before asking you to drive around the streets of Singapore. Because they are not confined to the driving circuits unlike schools, lessons usually incorporates a range of key skill sets at a go. From left turning, right turning and even U-turns. In this manner, you receive a more holistic approach to learning and not confined to a single action like driving centres. However, the flaw in this is you do not get the same amount of practice for the specific actions like students from schools. As such, private students usually lack the discipline the driving centre students have.

Most students are always anxious to take their driving test and this can be their downfall especially if they are not thoroughly ready for it yet. Moreover, because there are no restrictions like the school has. In the end, students are faced with the consequence of failing and wasting their time and effort when they take the risk of taking their practical lessons.

Conclusion

Private Instructors are usually horrible teachers when it comes to driving. However, they are the ones who have a wealth of experience because of the amount of years they have been in the industry. When learning from private driving instructors, make sure that you take your time and not rush through the lessons. Always make sure you are comfortable with every skill set before booking your traffic police tests. Always remember that taking more lessons is always cheaper than failing your test. And with the difference of pricing from driving centres, learning privately is still the cheapest and fastest ways to pass.

If you would like to learn from a private driving instructor, we have a whole database of instructors at every venue and transmission option for you to learn from. Click here to find out more.

Can’t Decide between school or private instructors? Here’s some help

There are two methods to learn driving in Singapore. Whether you are intending to take manual transmission(Class 3) or automatic transmission(Class 3A). You have the option of going by private driving instructors or by going to one of the three schools available in Singapore. Bukit Batok Driving Centre(BBDC), Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) or Comfort Driving Centre (CDC). However, not all schools and instructors are created equal or have the same standards and it is important to know what you want before signing up. In this article, we will explain more about private driving instructors in Singapore and what you can expect from them. 

Private Driving Instructors

Private instructors have existed way before driving schools came to past in Singapore and they are mostly taught by really experienced individuals with their own personal cars. They are issued with licenses from the Traffic Police (TP) which have since stopped issuing these licenses. This means that after this generation of private instructors retire, you will only be left with the choice of learning from one of these 3 learning schools. The key points of learning from instructors are beneficial but there are also flaws in these systems. As such, the points below will help you to decide if learning private driving lessons are suited for you.

Cheaper in pricing

driving lesson cost

Private instructors are definitely the way to go if you want to save money. To learn from an instructor, you will have to pay a compulsory, no-refund registration fee of about $80-$130 without GST. Most instructors charge about $80 dollars though This is to ensure that you don’t hop instructors from lesson to lessons. Comparing this to the Driving schools They charge the following with GST: BBDC $96.30, CDC $165.85 and CDC $112.35-$165.85 depending on course. It is also stated in a table below for better reference.

MethodRegistration FeeDifference in Price from private
BBDC$96.30+$16.30
SSDC$165.85+$85.85
CDC$165.85+$85.85
Private$80

From the table it is obvious that learning privately is much more affordable. To add, all courses and lessons from driving schools are subjected to GST charges, something which private driving instructors do not charge.

Theory Lessons

In order to pass your Class 3/3A license you have to take a Basic theory test, a Final Theory Test and finally the TP test. If you were to take the private route, theory lessons are not compulsory for you and you can self study through an application like one we created with over 600 test bank questions or through one of the traffic police manuals. These lessons are not cheap by any means and as usual we have provided a table below for you

BBDCSSDCCDCPrivate
Theoretical lesson$17.12included in registrationincluded in registrationNil 
Theory Practice Session$3.21$3.21$5.35Nil 
Theory Evaluation Session$5.35included in registrationincluded in registration Nil 
Test $6.50$6.50 $6.50 $6.50 

Lesson Fees

The ambiguity of prices is even more apparent here. Manual Lessons from the private sector costs $32-$36 per hour depending on peak periods and locations which Automatic transmission Lessons cost $34-38(automatic transmission cars are costly) per hour. In Comparison, the costs of lessons from the schools are s follows: BBDC $41.10-$46.20 per hour, CDC $41.10-$46.20 per hour and SSDC $38.52-$42.80. We divided the time to per hour as driving schools normally have only 100 min or 120 min slots per lesson while private instructors are more flexible with timings. As usual, we have summed up the prices in a table below.

MethodPrice per lessonDifference in Price from Private
BBDC$41.10-$46.20+$9.10
SSDC$38.52-$42.80+$6.52
CDC$41.10-$46.20+$9.10
Private$32-$38

You can really see that the difference of price is quite large of up to 20%-30% per lesson.

For private driving instructors you normally make payment to the instructor directly via cash while for schools you always have to remember to top up your account for the lesson via cash or credit/debit cards. 

Booking of Lessons

booking driving lessons

For Private Instructors, you can only book through their personal mobile phone or usually after your lesson. However, do note that usually once you book your lesson you need to give your instructor a 48h notice if you want to cancel the lesson. Reason because the instructor’s time is precious and every last minute cancelled lesson means a gap of income for the instructor. If you do not cancel within the 48 hour window you will still have to pay the instructor for the lesson despite you not attending it.

Lesson plan

Lesson plans are very dynamic with private instructors. If the instructor feels that you are progressing quicker than usual he can then move you on to the next lesson. In addition, there is no fixed lesson plan which means the instructor can change the lesson plan at any time depending on traffic conditions. You do not have to pass any requirements as the instructor will assess you and coach you as you go along. Compared to driving schools where you have to pass a certain requirement before going onto the next lesson. This can really hinder your progress because if you do not pass the requirements you will have to redo the lesson until you are able to pass. If you are a learn who requires a rigid learning structure then this will be the way to go for you.

Conduct of Lessons

 

For private instructors the lesson normally starts at the pick up point. After which the instructor will direct you on the place to go to conduct you lessons. The lessons are usually conducted along the various test route for the traffic police test to familiarize you before your TP test. 

Schools are very different because majority of your lessons at the start will be done in the circuit. Only after you clear most of the lessons will you then be able to go out into the public roads to start your lessons.

Private instructors tend to have more experience in this domain as they know what the traffic police is looking for during their tests. That said, some private instructors tend to be more impatient because after all you are using their car and they would definitely like to avoid getting into an accident as repairs could affect their income inevitably. Instructors might also use their phones while teaching you but it is important to be understanding. The instructor is probably looking at his schedule or answering another student enquiries and booking a session.

Traffic police Test

If you have gotten this far into the course, congratulations. You only have another hurdle to clear before getting your license. For private learners, you need to rent the vehicle from your instructor which can cost from $150-$200 dollars. This might be expensive but it is worth it compared to school learners because you will use the same vehicle which you have been learning on during this whole process.

School learners won’t get to use the same exact vehicles because the vehicles you use will be rotated with all existing students. The cost are as follows for the different schools: BBDC $171.20, CDC $205.44(weekday)-$209.72(weekends) and SSDC $149.80. 

Conclusion

To conclude, There are many positive aspects to learn from a private driving instructor but the most apparent is the flexible learning as well as the cost. Many students learning from private instructors average about $800-$1200 for the entire course with registration while driving school learners reports about an average of $1500-$2500. If you would like to start learning driving, we also have a sign up page where you can get a private instructor allocated to you within 48h. The registration rate is also cheaper here at $65(usual $70-$130)

Final Theory Test(FTT) Test questions

final theory test

The Final Theory Test(FTT) is the last test that you have to take before you take your Traffic Police (TP) test. Contrary to many people’s belief, you do not need to take your Final theory test before you can learn to drive with a private driving instructor.

The order or tests are as follows for reference.

flow of class 3 license

Do take note that you can also take both your final theory test after your basic theory test then take your PDI but most people will prefer to take the above method so that they can quickly get started with practical lessons. You can apply for your theory test at the various driving schools such as bukit batok driving centre, Singapore Safety Driving Centre or Comfort Driving centre

The Final Theory Test (FTT) is very similar to the basic theory test and it involves 50 multiple choice questions. You will need to get at least a score of 46/50 which is also 90% in order to pass the test. In order to make learning easy for you. We have a final theory test question bank on the iOS application store which can help you. The application contains different categories which you can select and contains over 500 test questions which are still in use in the tests today!

If you would like to check out the application do click here. It is going for only $2.99 and contains unlimited updates. Alternatively if you would like to sign up and get a private driving instructor head over to our sign up page.

Basic Theory Test(BTT) Test Questions

basic theory test

In order to drive your own vehicle in Singapore, you will need to go through 3 different test to be eligible for the Traffic police Test. The Basic Theory Test(BTT), Final Theory Test(FTT) and lastly the Traffic Police Test(TP Test). You will also need to pass BTT in order to apply for your Provisional Driving License(PDL) and begin learning practical driving lessons.

flow of class 3 license

You can take this test at all driving centres. This test is requried for all classes of driving license which includes class 2, class 3, class 4 and class 5. The test is a computerized test which you can take at all driving centers. There are 50 questions in total which will consist on basic traffic rules and also traffic signs and miscellaneous rules. You will need to score at least 90% which means getting 45 correct. It can be very easy to fail and some questions are also misleading so do take note when preparing for the test.

There are two different ways you can study for such a test. There is a theory book which you can purchase at most major bookstores such as MPH or popular. The book usually cost about 5-7 dollars for a hard copy but do take note that there are several versions so try to get the most updated version. Studying the textbook might not be a good way to study because you won’t be able to spot questions and the scope of what you need to learn is quite large.

WhatsApp-Image-20160709

At PrivateDrivingInstructors.com we created an iOS application. The application consists of a test bank of all the possible questions in BTT. There are over 500 questions which means you can keep trying until you feel confident on taking the test. The questions are all updated questions which will be used in the test as well. Most students prefer to use this because it is more reliable and you get to know majority of the test questions before you are even tested. You can even choose the categories that you feel you are weak in. Download it from here. Many students commented that they used the application on the same day of the test and managed to pass the BTT.

BBDC SSDC CDC Passing Rate April – May 2016

BBDC SSDC CDC Passing Rate April – May 2016

Auto First Timer Passing Rates

Driving CentreParticipantsNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centre2050135766.20%
Bukit Batok DrivingCentre3556232465.40%
Comfort Driving Centre3600210558.50%
Other Candidates6324245338.80%

Auto Re-test Passing Rates

Driving CentreParticipantsNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centre114870361.20%
Bukit Batok DrivingCentre1837133172.50%
Comfort Driving Centre2175138063.40%
Other Candidates5983343757.40%

 

Manual First Timer Passing Rates

Driving CentreParticipantsNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centre3492186453.40%
Bukit Batok DrivingCentre4844323166.70%
Comfort Driving Centre5551318157.30%
Other Candidates13298464835.00%

Manual Re-Test Passing Rates

Driving CentreParticipantsNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centre3198156649.00%
Bukit Batok DrivingCentre2519177970.60%
Comfort Driving Centre3510202657.70%
Other Candidates15982850353.20%
bbdc ssdc cdc passing rates

BBDC SSDC CDC Passing Rates 2014

Results from April 2013 to March 2014

Class 3 First Time Takers:

Driving CentreTotal TestedNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centreÿ1881104855.70%
Bukit Batok Drivingÿ Centre3174230972.70%
Comfort Driving Centre3002162654.20%
Other Candidates5361204638.20%

 

Class 3A First Time Takers:

Driving CentreTotal TestedNo. PassedPassing %
S'pore Safety Driving Centreÿ1881104855.70%
Bukit Batok Drivingÿ Centre3174230972.70%
Comfort Driving Centre3002162654.20%
Other Candidates5361204638.20%

 Get a Private Driving Instructors in Singapore Now.

Benefits of learning through a Private Driving Instructor in Singapore

Benefits of learning through a Private Driving Instructor in Singapore

Benefits of learning through a Private Driving Instructor in Singapore

Many of us who are learning to drive now are either schooling or have finally found the time to learn driving(e.g job requirements or due to family duties).Either way you definitely will be paying the fees yourself. There are two different ways you can learn driving.Either through a private driving instructor or by a driving school. The benefits of learning through a private driving instructor would be that it is cheaper than school and also you would stick be able to stick to one instructor unlike a driving school where you get a different instructor every lesson.

Why are Private Driving Instructors cheaper?

  • Schoosl such as CDC , BBDC , SSDC has to maintain monthly
  • Rent (Building & Circuit)
  • Manpower (Hiring staff for customer service and instructors)
  • Transactional Cost (Nets and Credit cards take a % of the amount)
  • Large Amount of car fleet (A Lot of their cars are not utilised fully)
  • Maintenance cost (Maintaining their servers online as well as POS systems are costly)

Private driving instructors do not have the above to maintain ,these are just some of their cost thus they would need to charge at a higher amount.

What are the prices i will be paying if i went to school?

 SchoolPrivate Driving Instructors
Registration Fee$96++$70-$120
Hourly Fee (Peak)$44.94$32-$34
Hourly Fee (Off-Peak)$39.80$28-$30

Do i need to clock a minimum amount of lessons to get my license?

SchoolPrivate Driving Instructors
YesNO

Thus you can see it you compare value to the dollar wise, it would be much cheaper to go through a private driving instructor in singapore then to go through school. Also you are not limited by your knowledge and skills unlike in school where they require you to clock a certain number of lessons. My friend once told me “If you win in a rat race , you are still a rat”.

How to drive a car

Driving is a necessity in today’s world, but it is also a killer. Driving can be dangerous and deadly if you don’t have the right tools.  Driving defensively and aggressively includes being courteous. For example, if you see someone is tailgating you or following too closely behind you, move over to another lane (if possible) so they are able to pass you. This is something simple and considerate you can do to avoid a potentially dangerous or deadly accident.  Being aggressive, means don’t let another driver bully you. For example if you don’t feel comfortable driving in the fast lane, don’t move over just to make another guy happy.  In addition, go the speed that you feel comfortable with, as long as it’s within the speed limits. There are some drivers that like to drive fast, while some like to drive slow; drive where you are comfortable. However, this does have some restrictions; if you are going drastically over the speed limit you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also other drivers. While at the same time if you are going dramatically under the speed limit you will probably either cause a traffic jam, cause others to rear end or worse.

This also goes along with this is not fighting other drivers. If you are behind a slow car and there’s no way around the car just slow down. Don’t try to make the driver go faster by tailing that will only frustrate you and make for a dangerous situation.

Constantly be aware of your surroundings while in the car. Not everyone, as a matter of fact most people don’t, use turning signals so anticipation is a huge part of driving. You of course are not a mind reader (or maybe you are) so you won’t be able to detect what another person is going to do next. However, it is important that you keep a safe distance between you other surrounding cars. So that if someone does to decide to haphazardly switch lanes you will be prepared.

The car manufacturers put three mirrors in the car for you to use them, so use them! Be aware of what is going on behind you, but not for too long.  Use your side mirrors before you are planning on switching lanes or making a turn. They are also helpful to know when another driver is planning on switching over into your lane.  Make note, however, that there on blind spots on both sides of the vehicle. So before switching lanes it is important that you not only look in your side mirrors but also turn to look on the side of your car.

Keeping your distance between the car in front and behind you is also very important. You never want to be too close to another driver, while at the same time you never want to let another car get to close to you.

Using all of these tips in a combined effort is sure to get you safely to where you’re going and back!

How to become a better driver

There are over 6 million car accidents a year in any given year. That is a pretty large number and can be very scary if you don’t know what you’re doing out there on the road.  Being a driver is much more than simply controlling the steering wheel and accelerating and braking the car when necessary.  There is all type of road-rage and rude and incompetent drivers to be aware of.

The first step in becoming a better driver is to constantly be aware of your surroundings while in the car. Not everyone, as a matter of fact most people don’t use turning signals so anticipation is a huge part of driving. You of course are not a mind reader (or maybe you are) so you won’t be able to detect what another person is going to do next. However, it is important that you keep a safe distance between you other surrounding cars. So that if someone does to decide to haphazardly switch lanes you will be prepared.

Another thing that is important in becoming a better driving to be defensive and aggressive. There is a different between aggressive and rude.  Driving defensively and aggressively includes being courteous. For example, if you see someone is tailgating you or following too closely behind you, move over to another lane (if possible) so they are able to pass you. This is something simple and considerate you can do to avoid a potentially dangerous or deadly accident.  Being aggressive, means don’t let another driver bully you. For example if you don’t feel comfortable driving in the fast lane, don’t move over just to make another guy happy.  In addition, go the speed that you feel comfortable with, as long as it’s within the speed limits. There are some drivers that like to drive fast, while some like to drive slow; drive where you are comfortable. However, this does have some restrictions; if you are going drastically over the speed limit you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also other drivers. While at the same time if you are going dramatically under the speed limit you will probably either cause a traffic jam, cause others to rear end or worse.

This also goes along with not fighting other drivers. If you are behind a slow car and there’s no way around the car just slow down. Don’t try to make the driver go faster by tailing that will only frustrate you and make for a dangerous situation.

One of the most important things you can do to become a better driver is to wear your seatbelt. If you are involved in some type of accident or collision a seatbelt will save your life.  They are only there to protect you and you should use them accordingly.

If you still feel uncomfortable with driving and want to have some hands on experience with becoming a driver, there are several different classes that are offered nationwide. Drivers-Ed is the most popular of these courses and offers hands-on real life experience with a trained professional on how to become a better driver.