The private hire vehicle (PHV) rental industry in Singapore has grown significantly. Between 2012 and 2019, the number of cars that chauffeur riders in the city-state ballooned from just around 14,800 to more than 75,000.
Clearly, Grab car rental here in Singapore has been a popular career choice for many professionals. Why not? It has been accepted by the public and is now properly regulated. If you love driving and want to use your skill to make good money, it is the way to go.
Being a PHV driver in the country is not all roses. Many of those who aspire to be one understand that this career offers no path for career progression, amongst other things. However, some of its challenges are not as obvious as others.
Below are the usual unpleasant surprises that often catch rookie PHV drivers off guard.
You Could Be Too Young for This Career
Raising the minimum age requirement for PHV drivers has been a subject of legislation for years now. But it has not yet materialised. Currently, one can enter the PHV industry two years after holding a driving licence, which is attainable at the age of 18.
Many policymakers are pondering about increasing the age limit to 25. Some are even proposing 30 years old. Either way, changing the rules presently could drive more or less 16% of today’s PHV drivers out of the industry until they become old enough.
Such legislative pushes have not gotten anywhere for a long time. But it does not mean that this issue will never receive a consensus amongst Members of Parliament.
You Need to Become a People Pleaser
Unlike cabbies, PHV drivers are at the mercy of riders because of the star rating system. Due to intense competition, professionals with lowest ratings are more likely to be shown the door. As a result, PHV drivers are compelled to go above and beyond the call of duty to make every rider happy.
The problem is that some customers like to give three stars whether the commuting experience was excellent or decent.
You Might Not Receive Generous Incentives
In the past, Grab and its rivals like Uber were bent on attracting drivers to use their platforms through handsome incentives. However, all good things do not last. Such generosity was more of a marketing strategy to boost a company’s market penetration, which diminishes upon greater adoption.
Now that PHV cars are a staple of Singaporean roads, established ride-hailing firms are in a position to extend less attractive rewards to drivers without losing their relevance.
You Might Struggle to Save
PHV drivers are self-employed professionals who are not required to set aside 20% of their monthly income to beef up their Central Provident Fund (CPF). Regardless of how you feel about CPF, not contributing to it could lead to your financial ruin.
While PHV drivers must pay MediSave as a requirement for licence renewal, those who lack the discipline to prepare for retirement are more likely to suffer financially later in life.
Starting a career as a PHV driver has given numerous professionals gainful economic opportunities over the years. Despite its promise, it would be a sin not to consider all of its challenges properly before entering the industry.