Are you thinking of learning how to drive in Singapore? One of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to go with a private driving instructor or enroll in a driving school. Both options have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your personal preferences, budget, and learning style.
Drive lah brings you a simple guide that will help you explore the key differences between private driving instructors and driving schools in Singapore helping you make an informed decision when it comes to acquiring your driving license, let's begin! 

Driving Schools in Singapore

In Singapore, there are three main driving schools:

1. ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) 

2. Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) 

3. Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) 

All three offer Class 3 (manual) and Class 3A (automatic) licences. 

Practical Lessons at Driving Schools

Practical lessons at driving schools follow a fixed syllabus. You'll need to attend a minimum number of classes before you can book your driving test. Lesson fees vary based on peak and off-peak hours, but all driving schools now offer 100-minute lessons, making it cost-effective in terms of time spent per session. Typically, you’ll need about 20 to 25 lessons before taking the driving test. CDC and BBDC offer better value for money, with BBDC being particularly appealing for those looking to save.

Costs at Driving Schools

Here's a comparison of the estimated costs at driving schools:

Driving Schools
Private Instructors
$106.82 - $188.24 (1 year)
$80 - $90 (one-time)
Theory Lessons
Approx. $296.48 (for 4 lessons)
Practical Lessons
$1,438.80 - $2,043.75 (for 20 to 25 lessons)
$1,140 - $1,800 (for 30 hours of lessons)
Basic Theory Test
Final Theory Test
Practical Driving Test
Practical Test Vehicle Rental
$239.80 - $295.39
$216 - $292.68
Driving Licence
Estimated Total
$2,377.90 - $2,919.86
$1,532 - $2,278.68

Private Driving Instructors

Private driving instructors offer a more personalized approach to learning how to drive. Here are some key points to consider:

Flexible Scheduling

Private instructors offer more flexibility in scheduling lessons. This can be especially beneficial if you have a busy lifestyle with work, school, or other commitments. You can arrange lessons at your convenience, making it easier to balance your driving lessons with other activities.

Customized Learning Experience

With a private instructor, you receive one-on-one attention, allowing for a customized learning experience tailored to your specific needs and pace. This personalized approach can be particularly beneficial if you prefer individualized attention and instruction.


In many cases, private driving instructors may be more cost-effective compared to driving schools. They generally charge between $38 to $60 per hour, and you may need fewer lessons if you progress quickly. However, you still need to pay for enrollment into a driving school to take your tests. 

Driving School vs. Private Instructor: Pros and Cons 

Driving Schools
Private Instructors
Higher overall cost ($2,377.90 - $2,919.86)
Lower overall cost ($1,532 - $2,278.68)
Fixed schedules, less flexibility
Flexible scheduling, convenient for busy individuals
Less personalized, group settings
One-on-one instruction, tailored learning experience
Access to modern facilities, in-house test circuits
Limited resources, need to book test circuits separately
Quality of Instruction
Consistent quality, qualified & experienced instructors
Varies widely, important to choose reputable instructors
Centrally located (CDC), can be inconvenient for those far from schools
Flexible meeting locations, saves commuting time
Test Preparation
Comprehensive test preparation with simulators and mock tests
Must book test circuits independently for practice
Learning Pace
Follows a fixed curriculum
Self-paced learning, progress based on individual pace

Key Factors to Consider: 


While private instructors are generally cheaper, driving schools offer comprehensive packages that include theory lessons and access to test circuits. It’s essential to weigh the overall cost against the benefits provided by each option. 

Convenience and Accessibility 

Driving schools have in-house test circuits and fixed schedules, which can be less flexible compared to the personalized scheduling offered by private instructors. Private instructors can also book test circuits for you, ensuring you get familiar with the testing environment. 


Driving schools, except for CDC which is centrally located, might not be easily accessible for everyone. Private instructors, on the other hand, can meet you at convenient locations, saving you time on commuting.

Choosing between a driving school and a private driving instructor ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and learning style.

Here’s a quick FAQ to help you decide:


 Q: Which option is cheaper?

A: Generally, private driving instructors are cheaper, but driving schools offer structured packages that might be worth the extra cost.

Q: Which is more flexible?

A: Private instructors offer more flexible scheduling options, whereas driving schools have fixed timetables.

Q: Do driving schools offer better facilities?

A: Yes, driving schools typically have modern facilities, including test circuits and simulators, which can enhance your learning experience.

Q: Can private instructors book test circuits?

A: Yes, private instructors can book test circuits for you to practice before your test.

Q: Which option is better for someone with a busy schedule?

A: A private driving instructor is better for those with a busy schedule due to the flexibility in lesson timings. 

Check your driving knowledge with a free basic theory test  Conclusion


Whether you choose a driving school or a private instructor, once you’ve passed your driving test, you’ll need a car to drive. That’s where Drive lah comes in. With a wide range of vehicles to suit every budget and need, Drive lah offers the best car rental solutions in Singapore. From economy cars to luxury vehicles, we have it all. Plus, with our comprehensive insurance coverage and hassle-free booking process, you can enjoy the freedom of driving without any worries.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the best promos and tips on car rentals. With Drive lah, your journey from learner to licensed driver is smooth and enjoyable. Embrace the joy of driving with confidence and peace of mind, the Drive lah way!

Note: The information provided in this article is based on information available at the time of writing and may be subject to change.

Also read: 
Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Driver's License at SSDC
Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining a Driving License from CDG
Comprehensive Guide: Obtaining Your Driving License at BBDC in Singapore ​