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Can Singapore PRs Drive for Grab? Examining Regulations and Requirements

Goh Jun Cheng

Grab is a popular ride-hailing and delivery platform in Singapore leveraging private drivers. But can Permanent Residents sign up as Grab driver-partners?

This article looks at eligibility criteria and regulatory considerations for Singapore PRs to drive with Grab.

Overview of Grab in Singapore

Headquartered in Singapore, Grab provides on-demand transportation and delivery services through its superapp platform connecting drivers and riders.

Beyond ride-hailing, Grab offers services like food delivery (GrabFood), parcel logistics (GrabExpress), digital payments (GrabPay) and micro-insurance.

Grab has over 1 million driver-partners across Southeast Asia. In Singapore, it has dominance in ride-hailing with over 50,000 drivers registered.

Benefits of Driving with Grab

Driving with Grab offers PRs these key advantages:

  • Flexible work hours based on their availability, with freedom to drive part-time or full-time
  • Ability to earn extra income alongside their regular jobs or duties
  • Gainful employment opportunity for family members of PRs like spouses who cannot work full-time
  • Lower barrier to entry compared to traditional vocations like taxi driving
  • Option to drive only during peak demand hours through GrabHitch for optimized earnings

Vehicular Requirements

To drive with Grab, PR applicants need a suitable private vehicle that meets Grab’s requirements:

  • The vehicle should have 4 doors and be able to seat at least 4 passengers. Popular models include sedans like Toyota Vios and Honda City.
  • The car cannot be more than 6 years old from its registration date to ensure good condition.
  • Rental vehicles are allowed as long as proper permission is obtained from rental companies.
  • Specific car modifications like tinted windows may be disallowed. Cars must be well-maintained.

Licensing and Regulatory Requirements

PR drivers need to possess a valid Class 3/3A driving license allowing driving of small passenger vehicles:

  • Applicants must have held a Singapore driving license for at least 1 year. A probationary license is inadequate.
  • PRs can convert their foreign license to a Singapore driving license after passing the necessary tests.
  • Grab conducts DMV license checks and requires medical certificates as part of onboarding verification.
  • PR drivers must inform Grab and authorities immediately if their license is suspended or revoked.

Private Hire Car Driver Vocational License (PDVL)

  • Beyond just a Class 3/3A license, PR drivers must also obtain a PDVL from the Land Transport Authority which allows driving private hire vehicles.
  • The PDVL involves a medical exam, 10 hours of course modules and exams on regulations, service quality and safety.
  • PRs should budget 4-6 weeks to complete the PDVL application including booking slots for the LTA tests.
  • The PDVL must be renewed annually. Refresher courses and fee payments are required for renewals.

Private Hire Car Insurance Requirements

Sufficient insurance coverage is mandatory for PRs driving Grab:

  • Vehicles must be insured as Private Hire Cars with the specific PHV coverage. Private car insurance is insufficient.
  • Insurance must cover third-party liability of S$1 million. This compensates passenger injuries in accidents.
  • Loss damage coverage against theft/damage is optional but recommended. Comprehensive insurance is best.
  • Insurance providers offer policies catered for Grab/Gojek drivers starting from ~S$1300 annually for basic coverage.

Other Regulatory Responsibilities

PR drivers need to be aware of additional rules like:

  • Restrictions on picking up street-side passengers, operating in taxi stands etc. Pre-booked jobs only.
  • Compliance with safety requirements like child restraint seats.
  • Accounting for ERP charges and parking costs.
  • Renewing in-vehicle licenses like vocational license yearly.

Conclusion

In summary, Singapore PRs can sign up as driver-partners with Grab provided they fulfill the qualifications around driving history, licenses, insurance coverage and car condition.

Although more paperwork is required compared to citizens, ride-hailing offers income opportunities for PRs. Responsible service and compliance with regulations will enable PR drivers to maintain good standing.

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