Driving a GrabCar helped me fund my dream trip
Undergraduate Jeremy Oh, 23, is headed to the Netherlands for a four-month exchange trip that was made possible by the funds he raised while driving with Grab – and he didn’t have to give up his social life while driving either!
“In the three months that I’ve been driving, I’ve already earned enough to cover my accommodation, air ticket and visa fees.”
It’s hard for many people to believe, but driving a GrabCar has allowed me to pay for a four-month exchange programme to the Netherlands. In total, I need about $13,000 for the trip and in the three months that I’ve been driving (since April 2016), I’ve already earned about $5,000. I used that to cover my accommodations, air ticket and visa fees. I hope to earn another $5,000 before I fly off in early September.
The flexibility of driving a GrabCar is great for students like me. As there’s no quota on the number of trips or driving hours, I can choose to drive when I have time to do so. I can slot the driving in, between my obligations like lectures, internships (which I recently completed) and club activities. On a relatively free weekday, I would usually be driving from 12pm to midnight or 1am. However, if I have work during the day, I would drive from 8pm to 1am. On weekends, I usually drive when I can from 8am to midnight. This way, I don’t have to give up my social engagements with friends.
I’ve found Tribecar, an hourly rental service, really suitable for my needs too. I don’t have to rent a car on a daily basis, but just pay for the number of hours I use. The rates are quite affordable and I can usually cover the hourly rental with one or two quick trips.
At first, my parents were not very supportive of me driving a GrabCar. They were worried about my safety but I assured them that I would be a responsible driver and keep them informed about my whereabouts when I drive during the early hours.They also wondered how much I could actually earn driving a GrabCar. I did my calculations and was confident of my strategy – of renting on an hourly basis, driving as much as I can and not rejecting any trip. So, I started a new savings account at a bank and put in $50. I let my parents see how I grew it to a four-figure sum. They are now happy for me and glad that I can pay for my exchange comfortably.
Besides the financial rewards, driving a GrabCar allows me to meet more people. I’m lucky that I’ve had mostly good experiences so far. I think being friendly and polite is always a win-win situation for the driver and passenger. The positive vibe in the car makes it a good experience for both parties.
The best tip I’ve received is $20. I managed to drive efficiently, yet smoothly, to get my passenger to the airport just in time before the check-in counter closed for his flight. The fare was $30. He gave me $50 and asked me to keep the change.
The best advice I have right now for fellow drivers is to drive GrabCar in tandem with GrabHitch. This always comes in useful after my last ride, when I have to drive back to a designated carpark to return the rental car. Instead of heading back with an empty car, use GrabHitch. At the very least, the fare will cover your petrol cost but chances are, you’ll earn some from the trip. I also like to use GrabHitch whenever I don’t have any bookings and want to head elsewhere where I think there might be more potential passengers.
Overall, driving a GrabCar has been a positive experience. My friends can see it too and they’re keen to join. That’s great news for me!
– Mr. Jeremy Oh, Undergraduate
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