11 ‘Dangers’ of Being a PHV Driver, Despite You Being Your Own Boss

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Some people think that being a private hire car driver could well be the best job in the world: you have your own transport, you decide your working hours and you’re your own boss.

After all, you don’t need to answer to anyone except yourself.

But hold your horses, my friend.

Being a private hire car driver isn’t as simple as it seems. In fact, there are people who jumped on the bandwagon and realized the high life they’ve been expecting was not only unattainable, but far from what they had expected.

Putting the stress and the long working hours aside, being a private hire car driver isn’t exactly “safe” as well. Have you thought of these “dangers” that every driver has to face daily?

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Now, do yourself and the driver a favour and read this in entirety. You might just treat your driver better on your next trip.

Danger of You as a Driver Not Being a 101% Asset to the Company

This is purely an opinion, but let’s touch our heart and face it: every employer wants their employee to contribute to the bottom line. If an employee is just in an office sitting down and not contributing, he or she will be redundant sooner or later.

And let’s face it: ride-hailing firms are losing money every day just to gain more users (if not, what? Contribute to society? Then might as well donate money to charity, no?).

The bulk of the money is to the drivers – so, what happens when they get enough users? Market will eventually be saturated.

The drivers might no longer be an asset. And that meant one thing: pay might decrease.

Because no sane firm would lose money for years and not bow out. After all, we’ve got not one but two private-hire firms dropping out from Singapore in mere months (Uber and Jugnoo).

So you’re a driver and have contributed to bringing in users: Once market is disrupted and users are brought in, you should really be worried.

Danger of Getting into an Accident That Resulted in Injury

Here are some numbers to scare you: “accidents, poisoning and violence (including suicide), poisoning and violence (including suicide)” is the fifth leading cause of death in Singapore in 2007, and in 2016, there were a total of 140 fatal accidents and 8,277 accidents that resulted in injuries.

While not all of them could implicate the driver, he is on the road, which means the danger is much higher.

Now, think about it: 8,277 accidents mean there are 22 accidents daily that resulted in injury. If your grandparents have once told you that driving is one of the most dangerous activities in the world, they’re pretty much correct.

Danger of Getting into an Accident That Resulted in The Driver Having to Pay the Excess (Or CDW)

Most PHV drivers in Singapore rent their cars, and if they get into an accident, they would have to pay the CDW (collision damage wavier), sort of like excess for personal cars.

While they won’t need to pay a cent if it’s not their fault, it’s almost impossible for one not to have one moment of carelessness, especially when you’re driving almost eight hours daily.

The CDW could range from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the car rental company, while excess for owned vehicle is usually around $500 (vehicle owners are usually more concerned about their NCD than excess).

If a driver earns $30,000 a year and got into two accidents, with the CDW at, say, $2,000, he would have his “salary deducted by almost 13%”.

As a normal driver, you might think that getting into two accidents (without injuries) a year is not uncommon. Imagine having to drive 10 times the journey—it’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Danger of Losing the Job Due to Low Rating

Do you know that if the average rating you get is below a certain star, your account will be suspended?

This is the reason why most of the PHV drivers are politer than cab drivers, hoping that you would give them a five-star rating. But here’s when it gets tricky: some people like to give three stars as an average.

In other jobs, all you need to do is to do as you are told and you get to keep your job (mostly, at least). As a PHV driver, you need to do beyond the job of driving to keep your job.

Imagine the horror when you realize you’re out of job because you’ve fetched too many of those three-star warriors.

But of course, not all private-hire firms have this policy, but hey: it’s how the industry works. Accept or be replaced.

Danger of Becoming Redundant

This isn’t a if, but a when: driverless car technology is already here, and now, it’s a matter of how to make society accept it. In fact, Singapore is one of the seven cities featured in a Business Insider article to be the forerunner of driverless cars.

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