With its flexibility and be-your-own-boss framework, it is easy to see why an increasing number of Singaporeans have decided to take up the private hire life.
If you are considering this career choice for yourself, the first and most important thing to consider is what vehicle to choose. After all, this job revolves around it. You want to choose a car that is reliable, but also affordable. This is especially so if you are looking to rent a car for private-hire driving.
(Related story: The Best Car Rental Companies in Singapore)
In this article, we have done the heavy lifting for you and compiled a handy list of the best cars to kick off your private hire driver career!
What do I need to consider when choosing a vehicle?
When choosing a vehicle for your private hire driver career, you need to consider the following criteria: fuel efficiency, affordability, reliability and comfort. Be sure to carefully assess each type of vehicle and each specific model for these criteria and match them up to your own lifestyle and budget.
Large and in charge
Cars in this category: Toyota Estima/Previa, Toyota Sienta, Honda Shuttle, Honda Stream, Honda Freed etc.
Pros: MPVs make you eligible for trips that require more than 4 seats, making them very profitable since you will be receiving more trips at a higher value than the average 4-seater driver. In addition, their ample space makes these vehicles great if you want to provide a more comfortable experience for GrabHitch or other carpooling trips.
Cons: These vehicles are not very economical when it comes to fuel due to their large size.
You should drive this if you… are more focused on fare value instead of hitting targets for incentives.
Affordable and reliable
Cars in this category: Honda Jazz, Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Attrage, Toyota Vios, Toyota Corolla etc.
Pros: These cars are the embodiment of the phrase “old but gold”. They are affordable, as well as fuel efficient, making them some of the most popular cars in the business. Having been on the market for so long, their performance is tried and tested, and are also easy to find on the market as second-hand cars. They are also easy to drive, making them great for beginners.
Cons: Limited cabin space, and older technology and features.
You should drive this if you… want to maximise your number of trips and want an affordable option.
Cars in this category: Toyota Prius Hybrid, Honda Shuttle Hybrid, Honda Vezel Hybrid, Toyota Axio Hybrid, Honda Grace Hybrid
Pros: Combining petrol and electric power, these vehicles are incredibly fuel efficient which means that fuel costs are kept low. Many hybrids on the market are also new and are equipped with the latest features and technologies.
Cons: Precisely because they are so fuel-efficient, they are in very high demand. As a result, they are a lot more expensive to rent than other options.
You should drive this if you… are a full-time private hire driver and do not mind high rental costs.
Pros: Say goodbye to fuel costs and instead, say hello to environmental friendliness with EVs. These cars completely eliminate fuel costs and are much cheaper to “refuel” at only a few dollars per full charge. In addition to being environmentally conscious, you also get all the updated features of a newer car.
Cons: Charging is difficult since charging points are limited and takes about 2 hours. The high demand for these vehicles makes them expensive.
You should drive this if you… are a full-time private hire driver making a high number of trips per month, such as those under HDT Taxi.
Kickstarting your private-hire driver career
No matter which car you decide to choose, it is important to keep your customers’ needs as well as your own lifestyle and budget in mind. That said, we hope this article has helped you find the perfect car for you to begin your career as a private-hire driver.