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No Pain, No Gain? Not if You Drive Strategically!

If you think that working hard will definitely get you maximum gains, it’s time to think again, says part-time GrabCar driver Stephen Moh. A veteran wedding cinematographer who has been in the business for 12 years, Stephen often finds his wedding appointments fully booked for at least a year.

“Being a GrabCar driver has complemented my primary job as a wedding cinematographer very well. Besides the extra income I earn from driving a GrabCar on weekdays, I get a vehicle to drive around for my personal needs too,” says Stephen.

His advice for fellow part-time GrabCar drivers? “Do not drive hard, drive smart.” Here are his 4 top tips.

1. Buddy Up!

To Stephen, strategising and planning his driving is extremely important. One such way to drive “smart” is to have a driving partner, he advises. “On weekdays, I take the morning shift from 5am to about 11am, which includes the peak hour from 6.30am to 10.00am. Then, after a short rest, I drive again from 2pm to 5pm, when my partner takes over just as the evening peak hour starts.

“In this way, we make sure we cover almost the whole day, including the morning and evening peak hours, which are important because drivers can earn extra incentives for driving a certain number of trips during these times,” he explains.

2. Set a Target

Stephen adds that a good way for them to ensure that they have earned enough to cover their driving cost is to set a weekly target. “We make it a point to hit the target by Wednesday, so that a base amount of earnings is “in the bag”. The rest is extra incentives. I earn about $800 to $1,000 per week from driving with Grab, after taking out commission fees, car rental and petrol costs.”

3. Know Your Passengers

In addition, Stephen stresses the need to know your passengers well by studying and identifying patterns in passenger behaviour. He elaborates: “We have found that staying around the fringe housing estates and HDB heartlands work best for us in the morning around 7am. This is when many people, such as office workers and students, are in a rush to head to work or school and thus, are more likely to book a GrabCar.”

4. Always Be Friendly

Of course, his positive rating of 4.79 definitely helps in making a better impression on his passengers. Being friendly and courteous is ultimately the most important factor, Stephen says, as this results in not only a good experience for the customers, but also makes each ride a pleasant and memorable one for him.

Stephen recalls a particular incident that made him feel very appreciated. “I had the privilege of driving a pilot back home from the airport. He was friendly but not overly chatty as he was tired. To my surprise, at the end of the trip, he gave me a box of cookies that he had bought from Zurich. He told me, “I don’t have much to offer but please have these cookies. They are very good.” Indeed, they were delicious!”