Grab Driver Asks Woman Not to Take Grab if She Cannot Afford to Pay ERP During Heated Argument


Running late is a stressful situation most have encountered before.

Thankfully, taking a Grab could help.

Do you know what would make the stressful situation worse? 

Getting into a heated argument with your Grab driver.

Grab Driver and Woman Got into Argument over Paying ERP Charges

On 21 May 2023, a lengthy Instagram reel was uploaded on singapore_incidents detailing the incident.

The woman had requested the Grab driver to take the longer route to her destination to “avoid paying ERP”.

However, this turned into an argument instead.

The four-minute video has over 20,000 views at the time of writing.

In the video, the driver is heard telling the woman that she was not allowed to choose the route as she had decided to take a Grab.

When she threatened to lodge a complaint against him, the driver told her, “I can drop you off at the nearest bus stop if you are unhappy. You can book another ride.”

He also pointed out that his preferred route was faster.

He said, “Where got people so cheapo?”

He also told her that if she couldn’t afford the ERP charge, she should wake up earlier and take the MRT instead.

Throughout the quarrel, the woman can be heard accusing the driver of “arguing” with her.

The driver retaliated, “You want to save money? I understand, but don’t cause inconvenience to others and waste my time.”


He also told the woman to be familiar with “LTA rules” before arguing with him.

He continued, “Don’t get inside the car and tell me you want to take this route.

“I take the fastest route. Just tell me you can’t afford the ERP charges, and I will pay for it.

“Why do you want to argue with me? Your life is in my hands right now.”

Who was in the Right?

Netizens were generally on the fence about who they should side with in this situation.


On the one hand, several criticised the driver for arguing with the woman and felt that the duo didn’t have to get angry at each other.

Image: Instagram (@singapore_incidents)

On the other hand, one netizen pointed out, “To be fair, the price is already fixed and if the rider wants an alternate route that is slower, it is unfair to the driver because he has to pay for fuel fees.”

Image: Instagram (@singapore_incidents)

Some netizens noted the importance for the driver and rider to communicate their wants to avoid a nasty situation like this one.

One netizen aptly said, “It is important for both the driver and the rider to communicate their preferences and needs, the rider should have the right to choose their destination route, and the driver should not claim that the rider is cheap for avoiding ERP.

Image: Instagram (@singapore_incidents)

“It’s up to the rider to decide whether they want to take a private-hire vehicle or public transportation.”

What Grab Says

So, should passengers pay ERP charges?


The answer is not as clear-cut as you may think, with Grab having different guidelines for different kinds of rides.

The section on Grab’s website regarding suggesting a different route indicates that the driver “has the right to take the fastest or shortest route available as recommended by a GPS” for fixed-fare rides.

It also advised passengers with a preferred route to reach an agreement with their driver before starting the journey.

For GrabHitch rides, ERP charges are usually not included in the fare and are borne by the driver.

However, if the driver needs to enter an ERP zone for pick-ups and drop-offs, the Hitch driver is allowed to ask to “share the cost” with the passenger.


As for GrabShare rides, passengers need to pay the ERP charge if they are in the car and the car passes a gantry.

Furthermore, the ERP amount payable will be rounded up to the nearest $0.05.

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Other Driver x Rider Fiascos

Recently, it was reported that a passenger made a private-hire driver wait 30 minutes before being paid.

The incident occurred on 18 May.

STOMP contributor Mr Wong was picking up a woman from Little India with Punggol as her destination.

When he arrived at her destination, the passenger said she had no cash and her phone battery was low, requesting to go to her house and charge her phone before paying the fare through PayNow.

Providing screenshots, Mr Wong said he had to wait for 30 minutes.

It was only when he threatened to make a police report over text message that the passenger transferred him the money and cursed him out.