I am a man with high standards and demand the same for the people around me. This includes my private driving instructors as well. I would be critical and take note of everything they taught in each lesson. I was constantly evaluating my private driving instructor – whether he is teaching me as fast as he can, or whether he just wants to drag the lessons so he can earn more money from me.
I think that most learner drivers in Singapore do not evaluate their Singapore private driving instructors. Most learner drivers are timid to question the private driving instructors. There is a common mindset that the teachers will always be right and the students cannot ask anything much. Otherwise, it will be seen as a rude gesture. This common mindset enables some of the private driving instructors to take advantage of the leaner drivers over time. As long as you feel that there is something weird going on about the instructor, you should consider changing your instructor.
It is easy to change your private driving instructors in Singapore. Simply find a private driving instructor agency and let them match you up with a private driving instructor. There are usually no service charges for their services. You can find one of them here – Sglearntodrive (https://plus.google.com/+Sglearntodriveofficial). Contact them via email or phone SMS, and they should get back to you within a day. Expect to be matched up with a new driving instructor within 3 days. However, during busy periods, this could take up to 1 to 2 weeks. One benefit of using these agencies is also because of the waiver of registration fees for subsequent driving instructors should you want to change instructor. If you approach the instructors yourself, you will be paying the registration fee each time you switch instructor.
Remember, do not short-change yourself. You deserve a good private driving instructor.
Do you like to attend lessons but not sure what you will be learning from all those lessons? Do you always want to know the curriculum of your lessons before you actually go for the lessons? It’s normal. People want to know what they will be learning and how they will be different after the end of the lessons.
When I was a learner driver, I tried to find out the curriculum of the driving lessons in Singapore before my first lesson. However, there are very few sources online containing these information. I had to go to my first lesson with the private driving instructor and spent about 15 minutes to half an hour asking about the course curriculum. I feel that knowing these information beforehand will better prepare myself mentally for the lessons. Moreover, I could go online to search for the relevant information before the lessons to mentally go through the lesson first. For instance, before my actual lesson on parking, I could watch videos on car parking on the Youtube to get a general sense of how it’s done. It’s better than attending the lesson with zero idea of how car parking is done. It will help to quicken the learning.
For the current learner drivers out there, you are fortunate – I’m going to give you a run-through of the things you will be learning from your local driving instructor in Singapore.
In the first lesson, learner drivers will start off learning about the gears and buttons inside the car. The instructor will teach the student about every buttons the car have and their associated features. It will basically be a “get-to-know-your-car” session. If there are extra time to spare, you will also be practicing your driving on the road. The driving instructors will teach you the appropriate pressures to apply to the accelerator and the brake pedals. For first-timers, it is common to apply great pressure on the accelerator pedal which will cause the vehicle to move off fast and sudden. Please take note of this.
After you conquer the basic of controlling your accelerator and brake pedals, you will be taught to make left and right turns effectively. In addition, you will also be taught to navigate around the bends safely. Remember not to speed up when navigating around the bends.
After which, you will be learning to make U-turns and then the parking techniques. Parking techniques will include techniques to nail vertical parking and parallel parking. These are basically all the things you will need to know about driving.
The route to getting your driving license in Singapore is filled with excitement. I believe that almost everyone will feel thrilled to start their driving experience in Singapore. After you tackled the question of “who to learn driving from in Singapore“, it’s time to tackle the next question – how to engage those instructors in Singapore? It’s pretty straight forward to engage the school driving instructors – simply head to the driving centres and enroll in their practical lessons.
However, things are not so easy to engage private driving instructors in Singapore. Private driving instructors in Singapore are much less accessible than school driving instructors. One reason is that these private driving instructors seldom carry out marketing for themselves. You don’t find advertisements about them on the newspapers, magazines or any other offline marketing platforms. The second reason is that there aren’t a central driving centre where these private driving instructors gather. These instructors work on a freelance basis. Most of the students need to contact them directly in order to book private driving lessons with them.
Here are some of the few ways on how you can attempt to engage the Singapore private driving instructors.
1. Match up Agencies
Match up agencies such as SGLEARNTODRIVE are dedicated to match up learner drivers to private driving instructors. While some match up agencies charge a fee for their service, Sglearntodrive does not. Learner drivers can save their time looking around for the instructors on their own. Simply sit back and relax and let the match up agencies do the work for them.
If you do not trust anyone outside your social circle, then you can only ask for referrals from your social circle. Ask your relatives and close friends for recommendations on good private driving instructors in Singapore. Usually, it won’t go wrong.
For Singapore learner drivers, you can choose whether to start taking your Singapore driving lessons after you pass your Basic Theory Test (BTT) or Final Theory Test (FTT). The main advantage of taking your practical test right after you pass your Basic Theory Test (BTT) is that it will help you prepare for your FTT. By practicing on the road, you will learn better and understand the concept of driving described in your FTT book faster. This is essentially learning by doing.
On the other hand, if you wait till you pass your FTT before you go for your private driving lessons, there are two main advantages. Firstly, there won’t be unnecessary lesson gaps for you before you take your practical test. If you had started taking driving lessons after you pass your BTT, you will at least be taking lessons for four months before your practical test. This is because you will have to wait 2 months for your FTT after passing BTT. After that, you have to wait another 2 months for your practical test after passing your FTT. Hence, your lessons will be spread across 4 months instead of 2 months if you start taking lessons after you pass BTT instead of FTT. I would think that it is better if the driving lessons are tighter, instead of being loosely spread out. People may forgot some techniques if they never drive for a long time. The second advantage is that people who generally take their driving lessons after they pass FTT will take fewer lessons overall as compared to people who start taking their driving lessons after they pass their BTT. This will result in lower lesson cost for these people.
The frequency to take your Singapore driving lessons will hugely depending on your driving experience and your ability. For instance, people who had learnt driving (during their national service in Army or during their overseas stay) will take much fewer lessons than people who had not. The average number of lessons learner drivers take is about 20 lessons.
My previous post talked about what to note during your driving test. Here are things you should note during your driving lessons – yes there are things to note during your normal private driving lessons in Singapore as well. Some things are specific to private driving instructors, while others are specific to Singapore.
- Always make sure that your instructor is specific in instructions. Although most seasoned and experienced drivers do not take much mental effort to drive, it’s very difficult for a beginner driver to judge when first driving on the roads. It’s difficult to ‘estimate’. Hence, it’s important to find a private driving instructor who gives specific instructions (e.g. turn three times on the steering wheel, and then back to the left once e.t.c. for parking) so that you can easily execute these driving maneuvers even if you’re nervous during your Singapore driving test.
- Your private driving instructor will always start with a lesson outside of the circuit first. It directly opposite that of school learners and lessons where you start from within the circuit first. Do not worry about this, I have personally learnt from private driving instructors and started with outside road lessons, and I did just fine and passed on first try, thanks to my good Ubi private driving instructor from http://sglearntodrive.com.)
- You will be using the exact same car for your driving test. This is a good point of learning private versus school driving for your test. This is because every car is slightly different. For manual test takers, it’s important that you get used to a particular car’s clutch system so that you will not cause the car to stall unnecessarily. This is easy when you use the same car for your driving test as you do during your private driving lessons. However, unfortunately, it’s not the case when you learn from the public school.
Here are some practical tips to help you pass your driving test in Singapore with flying colours and get your Singapore driving licence on the first try of the driving test!
Step 1: Always look for a good local private driving instructor in Singapore. It’s so important to look for a good instructor, because no matter how much you learn about driving online, putting the tips into practice is what really matters and is what will help you get used to the actual mechanics of driving.
Step 2: Understand and accept the truth that the reason 99% of students fail is not really because of the technique, but because they make small mistakes like not checking blind spots (one too many will net you a fail), and nervousness. There are people who fail because they hit the curb while driving or turning around the corner, but the percentage of those cases are low. Most people simply fail because they make minor errors way too often. Remember that checking your blind spot doesn’t count to the tester if he or she cannot see you checking. Make sure to always physically move your head around and not just your eyes when checking the blind spots. Make sure he sees your head turning around to check every possible blind spot.
Step 3: When the traffic light turns green, please go! There are some students who try to look safe by moving off slowly… (although this is a small percentage of students) You will get penalty points for slow moving off.
Step 4: The old adage – practice like you’re in the competition, and compete like you’re in practice. This is important. Treat every training and private driving lesson as though it’s the real thing. This is important because you acclimatize yourself to the ‘stress’ you would feel during the actual exam.
Step 5: Finally, be confident. I know you may make mistakes, but still appear confident. The tester can ‘erase’ your minor mistakes if you’re confident. The last thing a tester wants to see is a scared driver. A scared driver does worse things on the road and causes more accidents than a confident one. Appear confident, and achieve this by practising during your private driving lessons as though you’re in the real test – all the time!!!
Learning to drive is something everyone that turns 18 look forward to. It’s something that you actually look forward to – driving. For years, you were not allowed to learn to drive, and finally, you’re able to learn! Who should you learn from then? There are 2 main ways in which you can learn driving in Singapore.
First of all, you can learn driving from private driving instructors in Singapore. Private driving instructors are usually experienced and old uncles in Singapore who have been teaching for a living for many years in Singapore. This is because Singapore stopped issuing private instructor licences many years ago and hence all the remaining ones are old. However, I have taken my lessons from a private driving instructor and he was super experienced and could basically pinpoint everything the tester is going to check for and teach me everything that I need to pass on the first test (which I did). However, the only sad thing was that I realized many of my friends and some cousins were not as lucky, and got bad instructors. I got mine through sglearntodrive.com, a private driving instructor agency so it was easy to get the right instructor for myself. They also do not have any fees for their customers (e.g. me) and instead charge instructors only for a referral. Essentially, I got assurance, and a better quality instructor through sglearntodrive.com than I could ever find outside, for free!
Another way you can learn driving in Singapore is through schools. There are namely three schools in Singapore to learn driving – Bukit Batok Driving Centre, Ubi ComfortDelgro Driving Centre and Woodlands Singapore Safety Driving Centre. Most students who learn from private driving instructors also take lessons around the vicinity of these schools, so chances are, you would see the school even if you took only private lessons (as circuits are also held in the school). The bad thing now is that, because so many students are encouraged to learn from schools, that the timings are all filled up AND it’s about at least 50% more expensive to learn from the schools at a BARE MINIMUM. That’s one of the reasons why many people choose not to learn from schools anymore. The advantage in the past for schools was quicker lessons and test dates, but it’s no longer true. Therefore, it’s a waste to pay that premium for the service when it’s the same as whatever you get from private driving instructors.
If you are interested to drive in Singapore, you should possess basic knowledge on Singapore roads. Every countries have their own traffic system and road conditions. Being a good driver in one country does not necessarily makes you a good driver in another country. You will have to get used to the road conditions in every country.
Here are some basic knowledge that you will need to know if you want to drive in Singapore.
1. Left-hand traffic
In Singapore, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. The extreme left lane will be for cars traveling at the slowest speed and the lanes on the right will be for faster traffic, in increasing order.
2. Vehicles are right-hand drive
As a result of left-hand traffic, vehicles are right-hand drive in Singapore. This means that the driver seat will be at the front right side of the car.
3. Safe driving conditions
In my opinion, Singapore roads are one of the safest and well-maintained roads in the world. The roads are properly smoothed out resulting in smooth and comfortable rides on the road. Good traffic systems are in placed to monitor and facilitate the flow of traffic. Good drainage system are also in place near the roads so that the roads will not be flooded in the event of rain. Adequate lamp lights are also installed along the roads in Singapore to provide a brightly lit environment during the night. Last but not least, the driving culture in road is friendly. There are not much road rage and accidents in Singapore.
4. Strict speed limit
The speed limit on most roads in Singapore range between 60 km/hour to 90 km/hour. If anyone violates this speed limit, they risk getting traffic demerit points which could cost them their driving license in Singapore. Without the driving license, you will lose the rights to drive in Singapore. Hence, do not expect to speed in Singapore. You may be able to drive at between 150 km/hour to 200 km/hour in other countries, but this is not possible in Singapore.