S'pore teen boy, 17, learns to drive via YouTube videos, rents TribeCar using dad's NRIC, drives 8 times, once with 2 passengers

Ends up arrested at police roadblock.

Belmont Lay | January 18, 2022, 04:47 AM

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A Singapore teenage boy, 17, who learnt how to drive by watching YouTube videos, rented TribeCar cars multiple times using his father’s NRIC, and then even ferried two passengers on one occasion.

He was finally arrested for driving without a licence when he encountered a police roadblock on his eighth trip.

What happened?

The teen rented cars from Tribecar eight times without his father’s knowledge.

Application for TribeCar

Some time before Sep. 24, 2020, the teen applied for a Tribecar account using his father’s name.

The teen submitted his 56-year-old father’s particulars, NRIC and driving licence, and the application was approved.

Caught within two weeks of driving

Between Sep. 24 and Oct. 7, 2020 -- about a two-week period -- the teen rented cars from Tribecar eight times.

Ferried passengers

On the eighth occasion on Oct. 7, 2020, the teen drove with two passengers in the car.

The passengers were clueless that the teen was 17 years old at that time and did not have a driving licence.

Ran into roadblock

The teen's luck ran out at about 2.57am, when he drove right into a police roadblock along the Central Expressway slip road towards Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5

The teen admitted to police officers that he was driving without a licence and that the car was rented from TribeCar.

The police officers had requested the teen’s particulars and driving licence.

The teen also later admitted to watching YouTube videos to learn how to drive.

Cannot be named

The teen, now 19, cannot be named as his identity is protected under the Children and Young Persons Act, The Straits Times reported.

He pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 to one count each of cheating by personation and breaching the age restriction for driving, CNA reported.

One count of illegally obtaining personal information and one count of not having insurance will be considered for his sentencing, Yahoo News reported.

A probation suitability report was called.

The penalties for cheating by personation are a maximum of five years' jail, a fine, or both.

For underage driving, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$1,000, or both.

Top photo via Singapore Police Force