S'pore Grab driver shares he makes S$2,500-S$3,300 per week, or about S$11,200 a month

12 hours on the road per day.

Belmont Lay | July 15, 2023, 03:58 AM

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A private hire driver in Singapore has put up a TikTok claiming he made close to S$2,500 to S$3,300 a week.

The short clip consisted of four weekly statements issued to him by Grab that tabulated his earnings for seven days each time.

@dorson_chua You will never go hungry if you work hard in singapore. Let’s all work hard together! #singaporetiktok #singapore ♬ 原声 - DJ音乐

The amounts posted each week were S$3,334.95, S$2,669.27, S$2,811.78, and S$2,547.93.

These weekly figures are inclusive of incentives paid out of between S$500-plus to about S$900 a week, which can make up a good bulk of his earnings.

Incentives are given for the completion of certain number of rides and the fulfilment of certain targets.

In 28 days, the driver made S$11,263.93.

Screenshot via @dorson_chua TikTok

Screenshot via @dorson_chua TikTok

Screenshot via @dorson_chua TikTok

Screenshot via @dorson_chua TikTok

The caption of his TikTok read: "You will never go hungry if you work hard in Singapore. Let’s all work hard together!"

Responded to comments

In response to several comments on the TikTok, the Grab driver revealed he made about 30 trips a day and worked for 12 hours a day.

He also said in response to media queries that he used to earn about S$5,000 a month working in the landscaping industry, but switched to private hire vehicle driving in September 2022.

He added that he would take two short breaks -- for half an hour a day -- to eat.

When asked to clarify some of his claims further, the driver did not respond.

It is assumed he works seven days a week, which comes up to about 80 hours weekly.

Grab has recommended that its drivers take a seven-hour uninterrupted break after more than 11 hours on the road.

Response to TikTok

Naturally, the public response to his TikTok was divisive.

Beyond those who were in awe, those who were unhappy said it was not wise to share his earnings publicly as such matters ought to be confidential.

One worry was that fares for drivers might be lowered as the platform might become aware of such videos that could come across as boastful.

However, this suggestion was shot down as it was argued that platforms already know the median earnings of its driver partners with or without this TikTok.

A more likely outcome was that such videos might cause a surge in supply in drivers as others try their luck on the road, effectively causing the supply of private hire vehicles to go up, and fares to go down.

Other commenters, who were incredulous, calculated that the driver would have to continuously accept jobs that paid at least S$12 or more per trip before deducting Grab's commission, or else, it would be difficult to clock the 30-ride quota per 12-hour day, to hit the S$300 earnings target each day.

Those who were doubtful also expressed that it has been difficult to receive ride-hailing jobs continuously these days.

The implication of this naysaying was that the driver could be working more than 12 hours per day at times but was not owning up to it.

Factor in rental/ car's depreciation and petrol costs

A number of commenters on the TikTok also brought up the point that other costs have to be factored in to get a more accurate snapshot of the actual profit.

After deducting for costs of petrol -- about S$50 per day -- and rental or depreciation of the car -- anywhere between S$35 to S$90 per day -- the man could have a 28-day take-home earning of about S$7,400 to S$9,200.

Currently, the cheapest rental of a car could be S$55 to S$65 per day, while the depreciation of a car that is below 10 years old is about S$9,000 to S$10,000 or more a year, according to the most conservative estimates.

Other costs and overheads not factored in include insurance, road tax, maintenance, parking, ERP, as well as other miscellaneous costs associated with driving in Singapore, such as getting fined.

Other comments also highlighted that the driver does not receive employer CPF contribution.

Earning thousands a week not new

But such earnings feats have been done before.

A Grab driver in Singapore previously experimented driving for 24 hours straight and made S$912.

Another driver made about S$5,200 gross earnings a week in early 2023.

Top photos via Unsplash & @dorson_chua TikTok