The private hire vehicle (PHV) industry in Singapore has provided economic opportunities for tens of thousands of people over the years. The number of PHV drivers would not have soared if the job was not fulfilling and rewarding. However, the profession is not as rosy as aspirants might consider it to be.
If you are planning to rent a private hire car here in Singapore to join Grab, Gojek or any other ride-hailing platform, dispel the misconceptions below first to set your expectations accordingly.
You are Your Own Boss
The desire to be nobody’s employee is a motivation strong enough to pursue self-employment, especially among aspiring PHV drivers. In addition to having no superior watching your every move at work, you can also have the freedom to ply your trade only when you want, which can be convenient as much as it is liberating.
While you will be self-employed if you decide to start a career as a PHV driver, do not believe that notion that you will answer only to yourself. The truth is that you will have multiple bosses in the form of riders. You have to please each and every one of them in hopes of receiving a high rating and establish your reputation in the business.
You Could Enjoy Generous Income
Being a PHV driver gives you the power to make as much money as you can. You could work long hours and use platforms that offer the best incentives to jack up your earnings. The problem is that you will also have to contend with overheads.
The typical operating cost of a PHV driver in the Lion City consists of petrol and insurance, not to mention rent. If you get into an accident, you may be forced to touch your savings. Furthermore, ride-hailing apps are no longer as generous as they once were.
The large number of PHV riders on the road means these tech companies do not have to spend a handsome sum to lure professionals to use their platforms anymore. After years of offering liberal incentives, ride-hailing firms must tighten their budget to recoup their losses and maximise their returns.
You Will Never Run Out of Riders
Despite being a tiny republic, Singapore has been attracting more and more international tourists. In 2019, the foreigners who visited the city-state went over 19 million. The booming tourism industry means an abundant supply of potential riders for PHV drivers.
However, not every day is Christmas. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has been driving down Singapore’s international tourist arrivals. And when the country’s tourism industry sneezes, PHV drivers catch a cold. If things do not get better soon, the trade might not become sustainable for many PHV drivers.
You Could Stay in the Industry as Much as You Like
Singapore is a willing adopter of autonomous vehicles. Although early versions of self-driving cars can’t roam the streets without skilled drivers in them, it would not be far-fetched to think that professionals in the PHV industry could be replaced by artificial intelligence someday.
Before you start a career as a PHV driver, pay attention to the industry’s challenges as much as its promises. You ought to balance things out to take calculated risks and make informed decisions.