Your journey to becoming a Grab driver starts here

Your journey to becoming a Grab driver starts here

Admit it - the lure of being a Grab driver is strong. With the ever-rising costs of cars in Singapore, one has to find ways to soften the impact on your wallet. There are various ways to do it but let’s face it, you are only reducing the cost.

Grab has disrupted the way you view your car. Instead of seeing it as a depreciating asset, your car has the potential to cover its own cost and provide you with some side income.

Except, how do you get started? Or for that matter, how do you truly turn a profit once you’re on the road? We’ve got your back with this comprehensive checklist and tips.

Get your PDVL

This is not so much a tip as it is a requirement. Since 1 July 2017, drivers who wish to drive with Grab will require a Private Hire Driver Vocational License (PDVL).

Taxi drivers who have their Taxi Driver Vocational License (TDVL) can immediately drive for Grab. In fact, both ride-hailing companies offer better rental rates for TDVL holders. You could get a TDVL instead but be aware - there are three tests instead of two and passing the TDVL test is harder than the PDVL test.

Regardless, both licenses require you to complete a medical check-up (amongst other things). The requirement list can be found at the LTA website.

There is an easier way to do this by applying for your PDVL directly with program which will handle the application and logistics for you. All you have to do is show up at the appointed time for your medical check-up, PDVL classes and tests, and lastly to collect your PDVL.

Bear tip: getting a PDVL isn’t free. For one, the medical check-up, PDVL classes and tests will cost money. Fortunately, Grab covers the cost for the abovementioned. Alternatively, if you intend to do this on your own, you can also use your SkillsFuture credit to pay for your PDVL application.

Preparing your vehicle

So you’ve passed the PDVL tests and collected your shiny new PDVL. You’re not quite ready yet because your vehicle needs to be prepared. But remember, we are talking about turning your depreciating asset into a profit-making vehicle. To do that, you’ll need to tick the boxes in this checklist:

Or, you can take the easy way out and rent a car via Grab partners. That’s quite straightforward and the rental also includes other running costs such as the commercial car insurance and maintenance too.

But in the long-run, it will cost you a little bit more than if you’ve been using your own vehicle. So if you have your own vehicle, our advice is to convert it to a Z10/Z11 class vehicle and secure your own commercial car insurance.

Bear tip: preparing your car is also about planning ahead and keeping costs low if your car gets into a fender bender. Being prepared also means you should protect your hard-earned 50% no-claim discount. Here’s a tip - even if you do end up in a bumper car situation, FWD has a guaranteed lifetime 50% NCD, as long as you continue using FWD as your commercial car insurer.

On top of that, if the accident has put your car out of commission, your income won’t have to take a hit. FWD’s commercial car insurance will provide a daily income to cover your loss of use during the repair. FWD-approved workshops are also guaranteed for workmanship defects until your car turns 10.

With the right preparations in place, you will have peace of mind when you are driving on the road.

Orientate yourself with the app and roads

The whole point of being a Grab driver is to ferry people from point A to B. You might tell yourself that all you need is the app, which not only issues bookings but also provides you with directions to your destination.

Well, that’s just the basics. To become a true master amongst private-hire drivers, don’t just rely on the apps. Familiarise yourself with everything, know how to use the Grab driver app to check your bookings and accepting it quickly without endangering yourself or your passengers.

When it comes to navigation, a GPS can only tell you so much. It brings you to the destination but are you aware of where you can safely pick up or drop off a passenger? You’ll need to up the game and be as good as taxi drivers with their years of experience; get to know the small alleys and shortcuts like the back of your hand.

Bear tip: while the abovementioned sounds like a lot of work, be glad in knowing that purchasing a commercial car insurance is a very simple and straightforward process.

For example, getting an online quote from FWD’s new commercial car insurance can be done in a few clicks. Fill in the details, such as your car’s make, year of registration and your personal details, including your years of driving. FWD’s online application process will provide a quote, and you can adjust it based on the amount of excess you’re comfortable with. The process takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

So there’s really no hassle to doing this - just a few quick clicks and you’re done.

Learn from the Grab community

If you want to be a master, you’ve got to learn from a master. Or masters in this case. The Grab driver community is huge and is a treasure trove of information – from when the best times are, where you should roam to pick up passengers, to how you should plan your day to maximise your earnings.

These communities exist on Facebook, which provides general information and is very current with the latest news about Grab. Some members have also created specialised WhatsApp groups that function based on the geographical areas of Singapore. For example, if you stay in the eastern part of Singapore, there could be a Grab drivers’ WhatsApp group chat that specialises in that area.

The important thing is to make friends and learn from each other. Just like how taxi drivers used to create communities at kopitiams, Grab has brought drivers together in an online, digital group to exchange information.

Bear tip: to start you off, you can join the SG Grab Facebook group. Spend some time and go through some of the discussions. For a start, you’ll be asking quite a few questions. But as you become more familiar with the whole Grab driving process, be part of the community and contribute tips to help your new, fellow drivers.

Here’s a tip that’ll get you into the good books of everyone – save on your commercial car insurance when you purchase with FWD. You’re looking at a 15% discount off the premium. More importantly, think about how you can use the cost savings to pay for more petrol to drive and pick up more passengers to bump up your earnings.

This article is created in collaboration with FWD to help you earn more from your Grab trips by showing you how you can save on your commercial car insurance. Visit FWD's website for the latest promotions on commercial car insurance.