Should You Learn How To Drive?
For many people, Singapore doesn’t seem like a place you’d ever really need a driving licence. The public transportation network on our tiny island nation is pretty decent. Most people don’t have space for a car, and frankly speaking, the LTA has a pretty vested interest in us not having many cars. (That’s why it’s so freaking expensive to buy one.) A car is an expensive depreciating asset, and cars have a fairly negative effect on the environment, especially when they’re gas-powered. So should you bother learning how to drive?
The answer to this is a bit of a no-brainer––of course you should learn how to drive. We’re not saying that just because we’re a car company (although we would love to show you our range of cars!). We genuinely believe driving is a skill that will stay with you for life. Here are a few reasons we think it’s a fantastic skill to have:
Independence is empowering… and hugely convenient
For many of us Singaporeans in our twenties (and even our thirties––no judgement here), total independence won’t be possible until we find someone to buy a BTO flat with (or earn enough to buy our own at 35!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t start making headway with #independentliving.
Learning how to drive is the first step. It’s incredibly freeing: as long as you have access to a car––whether that’s through family, or leasing––you won’t have to depend on parents or friends for a ride. You won’t have to wait for public transport if you live in a less well-connected area. Late nights out won’t be cut short by the last train or bus. Want to go home at 3am? There’s nothing to stop you. No more waiting for the bus in the rain for an hour. No more obscenely expensive Grab rides home. You can do all your groceries in one shot. How great is that?
Learning how to drive is also a major confidence boost, and it cultivates a real sense of responsibility in you. It’s pure personal development––no one can really force you to study for the written test, practice parallel parking, and take the exam over and over again until you pass. That’s all up to you. And it’s such an achievement once you’ve passed the test, and can confidently steer several tons of metal along highways without killing anyone. There’s also nothing cooler than being able to drive your friends (or date) home safely, and know that they’re trusting you with their lives when you’re behind the wheel.
It’s useful in the long-term
Singapore’s excellent public transit network makes it easy not to drive, which is fine and dandy when you’re young and single. However, things are likely to change when you start a family. Suddenly, you might find yourself needing to ferry your kids around from home to school to tuition to the mall… Doing groceries for a family of three or four is also very different from shopping for one. Don’t get us started on herding kids onto public transport with a bunch of suitcases for a trip to Johor Bahru.
Plus, think about when your parents or grandparents start to have mobility issues, or when their trips to the hospital start becoming more frequent. It really helps to be able to drive them around to places, just as they did for you when you were a kid!
Think of learning to drive as an investment for the long-term. Even if you don’t find immediate value in this skill, it’s bound to come in handy for all kinds of situations, and your loved ones will thank you for it one day.
It’s useful for some careers
A driving licence isn’t the first thing we think of when it comes to job applications, especially for white-collar jobs. But being able to drive might actually widen your career prospects, even in Singapore.
For instance, if you’re a real estate agent, being able to drive is a key part of the job––ferrying your clients around to view houses across the island is par for the course. Can you imagine trying to do this job relying on public transportation alone? In fact, many service-oriented jobs are likely to benefit from owning a driver’s licence: technicians, engineers, car salespeople (duh), plumbers, electricians… in short, the people who make our lives easier and way more pleasant. (Be nice to your service staff!)
Also, having a driving licence expands your commuting horizons. If you’re relying on public transport alone, you’re more likely to search for a job closer to home, which may well limit your options depending on where you live. But if you have the option of commuting by car, you might be able to take up a job you really want. Some companies might even make their hires based on whether you have a driver’s licence or not, since a candidate with instant mobility is pretty attractive compared to one who doesn’t.
In short, being able to drive can only be a bonus for your career prospects.
It’s super useful when you’re travelling overseas
If you plan to stay in Singapore for the rest of your life, learning how to drive may be an extraneous skill. But if you’ve ever considered leaving Singapore for work or leisure, learning how to drive is suddenly an essential skill. Globally, our public transportation networks are such that the moment you leave any large city, cars become entirely necessary.
Heading to Malaysia? Forget the trains. You’ll need to rent a car.
Plan to visit Thailand? You’ll need a car or scooter.
Exploring American national parks? Car.
Trip around the Canadian Rockies? Car.
Adorable hot spring town in the middle of the mountains in Japan? CAR.
You can travel without being able to drive. But your options will be limited to large cities, guided tours, and touristy resorts. Even in Singapore, being able to drive broadens your horizons for holidays at home––because that staycation at Gardenasia is going to be expensive AF if you’re taking a Grab there.
It’s a great ID to have
Having a driver’s licence is incredibly useful for situations where you need to present a valid form of ID. For example, if you’re travelling in the States or the UK and want to drink at a bar, they’ll want to see your ID. As Asians, most of us look super young to them even if our teenage years are long behind us (sob) so being prepared to prove your age is a good idea. Carrying your passport everywhere is a risky proposition, but a driver’s licence is much easier to replace if you lose it.
Learning to drive doesn’t necessarily mean owning a car––you can just lease one! Visit our dealership to find out how. We’d love to chat with you. Call +65 6464 9098 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org