So the saying goes: Those who can do, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who have a driver’s licence become Grab or Uber drivers. You get to work whenever you want, wherever you want, plus potentially, your car pays for itself. Life doesn’t get much better than this, right? That’s why people are signing up in droves to be Grab and Uber drivers – all you need is a driver’s license.

And a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence.

And… you can read the rest on the Land Transport Authority’s website. It’s not that simple anymore.

More importantly, you need the right mentality to earn big bucks as a car-for-hire driver. You’ll need to navigate creepy or rude customers, qualify for quotas, and Electronic Road Pricing gantries. Do you think you can do it?

Take our 10 question quiz to find out if you’re cut out for it!

 

1) Are you a safe driver?

Are you a Demerit-Free Driver? Credit: DKSG

Are you a Demerit-Free Driver? Credit: DKSG

First and foremost, you have to make sure that the passenger, the car, and you stay in one piece on the roads.

A. I have the Demerit-Free Driver decal and I am think that the LTA should send me a Christmas hamper every year for keeping it up.
B. I’ve been driving for years, and I’m still alive right?
C. I’ve been rejected by every car insurance company; something about being a “national road hazard”.

 

2) Do you like making small talk with strangers?

Some passengers just talk and talk and talk. Credit: AutoInsuranceQuotes

Some passengers just talk and talk and talk. Credit: AutoInsuranceQuotes

You never know when you’re going to pick up a passenger who will go on and on about toenail clipping strategies.

A. I can make conversation with anyone, regardless of race, hygiene, or religion. (Speaking English is an LTA requirement)
B. Okay sure, but I’m not going to drive in circles to help hatch eggs in Pokemon Go.
C. My mother always told me not to talk to strangers.

 

3) Can you wake up early enough to ferry peak hour commuters?

You might need to switch the radio off. Credit: Forward Look

You might need to keep the radio on to stay awake. Credit: Forward Look

The early bird catches the surge.

A. My circadian rhythm doesn’t allow me to sleep past 6am, so might as well make it count.
B. The last time I woke up so early was when I was still in school, but I’ll do it for the money.
C. It is against my principles to wake up before the sun rises.

 

4) Can you sit down for an entire day?

You have many options to soothe your bum though. Credit: Amazon

You have many options to soothe your bum though. Credit: Amazon

You’re literally sitting in a car for work. Are you cool with physical inactivity? More importantly, is your rear cool with it?

A. Know those uncomfortable-looking bamboo bead seat cushions preferred by old taxi uncles? Those are the best for preventing haemorrhoids.
B. My buttocks actually prefer the driver’s seat to that of an office swivel chair.
C. People always scold me and say “why you so itchy backside one!”

 

5) Do you like driving?

A passenger looks nervous in A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Foreign correspondent Jürgen Hinzpeter could not have gotten past the military cordon surrounding Gwangju had it not been for his resourceful taxi driver. Yes, his driver is using the beady bamboo seat protector to prevent haemorrhoids. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Being passionate helps in any job. Sort of. Unless you collect stool samples.

A. I list driving as one of my hobbies on dating websites. Want to see?
B. I paid to play Crazy Taxi in the arcade – now I’ll get paid to sort-of-play it!
C. I break out in hives every time I’m behind the wheel – I think I have vehophobia (fear of driving). Should I see a doctor?

 

6) Are you good at navigation?

Your phone is your map. Credit: TABB

Your phone is your map. Credit: TABB

For obvious reasons, reading maps and following directions are critical skills as a car-for-hire driver. 

A. I was the topo expert during NS!/I signed on and I beat all the other recruits for topo!
B. Thank goodness we can use Google Maps instead of having to memorise the street directory like the cab drivers in London.
C. I once got lost going to the toilet at home.

 

7) Are you a good driver?

Yipes. Credit: Belfast Telegraph Local

Yipes. Credit: Belfast Telegraph Local

Driving is going to be the core function of your job, after all.

A. I laugh at the poor driving skills of Initial D characters.
B. I used to beat my friends in Daytona at the arcade.
C. Which one is the brake pedal again? The one on the left or right?

 

8) Can you handle the rough roads of Singapore?

Not all Singapore cyclists are this considerate. Credit: Love cycling in Singapore

Not all Singapore cyclists are this considerate. Credit: Love cycling in Singapore

You’re going to have to deal with P-plate drivers, huge lorries, jaywalking pedestrians, and worst of all – cyclists and e-bike users who may not even be wearing a helmet. 

A. I’ve been driving for more than 10 years and still have not developed rage issues.
B. The most evil things on Singapore’s roads are those ERP gantries in heartland areas like Toa Payoh.
C. My passenger won’t mind if I cuss and swear, right?

 

9) Can you manage simple car repairs?

Can you repair cars like Mikaela (Megan Fox) in Transformers? Credit: Transformers Movie Wiki

Can you repair cars like Mikaela (Megan Fox) in Transformers? Credit: Transformers Movie Wiki

As a driver, you might have to deal with overheating, flat tyres, or jumpstarting a dead battery. 

A. I could build an Iron Man suit if I had a billion dollars – cars are no problem.
B. I changed a flat tyre three years ago. With four friends. It took us two hours. Next time, I will just call my mechanic.
C. Real cars work like Tamiya cars right? I’ve built one of those Tamiya model cars before.

 

10) Are you tech savvy?

Father and daughter in A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The taxi driver has only his daughter to come home to, in A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Most of your work and administration will be done over a mobile app, so you’ll need to troubleshoot when necessary.

A. Apple calls me whenever they have a problem with their iPhones or iPads.
B. How do you think I stalk my ex?
C. My daughter had to print out this quiz for me because I don’t know how to switch on my mobile phone.

 

Weird situations in A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

German reporter Jürgen Hinzpeter and the protesters in Gwangju, circa 1980, in A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Scoring

Mostly A’s: You could easily make $10,000 as a private hire car driver. Maybe even more!

Mostly B’s: It’s a career option for you, but maybe as a sideline.

Mostly C’s: Please leave your license plate number in the comments, so other readers will know to avoid taking trips in your car.

A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

A Taxi Driver. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Private transport has certainly evolved from 1980’s, hasn’t it? Back in the day, taxi drivers had to pick up passengers off the street, and they would have no idea where passengers were going until they sat down in the car. And if the passenger had a questionable location, well… that’s the situation that Seoul taxi driver Man-seob (Song Kang-ho) found himself in, in A Taxi Driver.

Based on a true story, this Korean drama features the adventures of the intrepid taxi driver who picks up German reporter Jürgen Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann), who wants to go into and out of Gwangju, a city which saw a dictator slaughter scores of civilians who wanted nothing but democracy. But Hinzpeter is willing to pay a huge price for this impossible mission, so the unlikely pair embark on the most dangerous journey of their lives. It was also selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.

Do they succeed? Will Hinzpeter make it through the military cordon and expose Chun Doo-hwan‘s atrocities? Can Man-seob make it home to his daughter, alive?

A Taxi Driver will answer all your questions.

 

Credits: Golden Village Cinemas, DKSG, AutoInsuranceQuotes, Belfast Telegraph, Forward Look, Amazon, TABB, Love cycling in Singapore, Transformers Movie Wiki, Giphy, The New York Times