Private driving lessons vs driving schools

What is the preferred choice among youths today?

Praise Yeo
Praise Yeo

Published: 7 June 2016, 10:18 PM

I recently reached a point in life where everyone around me were happily driving everywhere they went. So, I decided it was due time I got my driving licence and, hopefully, get to drive around.

My father suggested that I sign up with driving schools such as Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC), the Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC), and Comfort Delgro Driving Centre, believing that it was a worthy investment with a better guarantee of my driving licence.

Seeing how it was more costly than learning with a private instructor, I was hesitant about signing up with a driving school. Everyone I consulted seemed to have something to say about it too. Are our days of getting a driving licence through a driving school really over?

Veritably, there are some who still believe that the driving lessons conducted by public schools are more trustworthy, and I couldn’t help but agree with their points.

Firstly, getting lessons from official driving schools ensures that the entire process is hassle-free. You do not need to source for your own instructors, and you can stick to a fixed driving syllabus that is recognised by the Traffic Police testers.

This also means not having to worry about getting an unreliable and dishonest driving instructor who might try to prolong your lessons, just to rip you off.


However, the majority of youths argue that the classes with the instructors in official driving schools are always packed. The available class slots usually clash with their hectic schedules too.

“The class slots are released at the start of every month, and we all know that if you miss the booking of the classes, you can end up going a month without going for any classes,” says Deborah, 20, a graduate from Comfort Delgro Driving Centre.

Since the driving instructors are also on a rotational basis, you have to take lessons with a different instructor every week who might not be familiar with your progress.

These driving lessons are also pricier than private driving lessons, at almost double the cost. While private driving lessons go from $35 to $45 for an hour, the school fees of every lesson can add up to approximately $70 per lesson.

This is why some youths prefer taking private driving lessons – it offers more flexibility at a lower cost.


Taking private lessons equate to having a fixed instructor, where lessons will progress according to your learning speed. If you are a fast learner, you might spend less on lessons and graduate more quickly.

“I picked up driving really quickly, and got my license within four months of taking private lessons. This wouldn’t have been possible if I signed up with the school. I would’ve taken about a year then,” said Calvin, 20, a driver who recently got his licence through a private instructor.

However, some youths shared there are downsides to taking private lessons. For instance, looking for a reliable and honest driving instructor with a track record of success stories can be challenging.

You can also expect to pay for extra circuit time. In a driving school, students are allowed to utilise the driving circuits and practise in them for free. Private students, however, are required to pay for every use of the circuit.

This means you might end up having fewer practises on the test grounds, unless you are willing to constantly pay for every circuit use.


So, are the days of driving lessons in driving schools truly over? Despite asking my friends for their thoughts, I still found myself contemplating between the two, undecided of which driving endeavour I should pursue.

What would be a better choice? Let us know what you think or have experienced in the comments below!

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