Grab private-hire drivers will no longer be allowed to drive cars over 10 years old starting July 2022. This comes as a response to stricter regulations placed to level the playing field for taxi drivers and ride-hailing firms.
The ride-hailing operator made the announcement on 30 October 2020. Grab also mentioned that cars above 7 years old will be required to undergo additional maintenance and safety courses.
These stricter regulations are part of the Point-to-Point (P2P) Passenger Transport Industry Act passed in Parliament last year. Although it was slated to be enforced this June, the regulations were postponed due to COVID-19.
Grab says that phasing out old cars would help drivers pass mandatory inspections. Cars must obtain a minimum 90% passing rate on their first inspection to be allowed on Grab. Vehicles are evaluated based on roadworthiness and emissions, as per safety guidelines by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Although Grab has not revealed the number of drivers that will be affected by this change, it promises to help affected drivers.
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The other three licensed ride-hailing operators in Singapore, Gojek, Tada Mobility, and Comfort Transportation, are expected to follow suit. Gojek has announced on The Sunday Times that it will work with its drivers to comply with the P2P Act. While the others have yet to comment, it is likely that similar regulations will be rolled out.
According to LTA and the Public Transport Council (PTC): “The new framework provides LTA and the PTC with greater regulatory oversight over the P2P sector, to protect the safety and interests of P2P commuters and drivers.”
PTC also mentioned that the new regulations enable it to take action against users and drivers who exploit these platforms. Those found responsible for fare evasion and overcharging on trips will be dealt with accordingly.
Grab also acknowledges that old cars up to 12 years old can meet inspection standards. Hence, from 1 Nov 2021, existing drivers can drive only cars that are below 12 years old. However, with the cost of renewing car ownership, Grab made the decision to cap the limit to 10 years by 2022.