Getting a driving license in UAE is a big deal especially for Filipino expats. It is like taking a semester of an academic course. For people who already have a driving license in the Philippines, it’s just a review with new and disciplined driving concepts. But for beginners like me, it is challenging. Aside from the rigorous training and time-consuming sets of driving lesson appointments, the process entails a hefty amount of money. You should really plan your budget allocation.
Just like saving money in sponsoring your family in UAE, it is not good to pursue it in the beginning and realize in the end that you cannot complete it because of money constraints. Based on my personal experience, I have come up with some of the money-saving tips while going through the whole process.
Money Saving Tip #1: Get the Intensive Practical Training Classes. This feature will give you an expedited set of driving lesson appointments. From the original 32 sessions for the beginners, the Emirates Driving Company (EDC) will squeeze in your schedule in only 16 sessions. The former will run for 16 days and the latter will be completed in 8 days respectively. Although this feature will entail additional 200 AED from your pocket, it is worth the price. Why? Because you will be saving a lot not only on your precious time but more importantly on the transportation cost going in and out of EDC. Transportation cost is normally at 50 AED per class. So how much is your savings?
Normal lessons: 50 AED x 16 days = 800 AED
Intensive Trainings: 50 AED x 8 days = 400 AED
Savings: 800 AED – 400 AED – 200 AED for the additional fee = 200 AED
Money Saving Tip #2: Get an additional appointment on Parking Lesson before the Actual Test. Honestly, I passed my parking test on the fourth try. The time gap in between tests is basically 2 weeks. So imagine the time and money wasted in order for me to pass through. Unfortunately, since I do not have the access to practice on the days before the test; you will be barely passing the next try. I learned that if you failed on the 3rd consecutive time, they will give you additional classes for the parking lessons. The training fee is free for the first 2 hours session because it is already covered on your full training fee. When I got these lessons, the instructor told me exactly what technique I should remember in order to pass the actual test. I mumbled to myself, if I have learned this free additional class before hand I should have passed the parking test in one take only. He even told me that in order for a student to be refreshed on the parking lesson before the actual test, he / she should get an hour of parking training on the day of the actual test itself. Through this, you will have the confidence to pass the test in the first take.
Savings: 3 tries x 50 AED parking test fee = 150 AED
Money Saving Tip #3: Invest more on your Practical Driving Lessons. You need to make sure that you will pass the road test only on the first take so that you will getaway of the hassle of going back to square one. Because failure will again extend the process by another two weeks and of course you will shell out money again for another road test schedule.
The policemen are very keen in knowing if you are confident enough to drive on the outside world. The way you handle scenarios and traffic flow will really reflect on the road test itself. The only key to be successful on your first take is to try to get the practical driving lessons with an outside trainer on a daily basis. Personally, I got the confidence to drive on a busy road because I have invested more on this aspect. I took the outside driving lessons everyday before I go to work. And the hard work and the money spent paid off because I pass the road test on the first take.
Savings: 120 AED x 12 days lessons = 1,440 AED
Money Saving Tip #4: Buddy up together with a Friend / Colleague when going through the licensing process. The bulk of your expense aside from the admin fees while undergoing the whole licensing process will be coming from the transportation cost. Acquiring the license together with a friend or colleague will ease up the burden.
How? There are white colored taxis which cater payment of 10 AED per passenger. They are situated just outside the EDC. These are really helpful when you go home after the lessons because they are cheaper than riding the metered taxis which are colored gray. In my case, going to EDC riding the white taxis is very difficult so I normally take the metered taxis which normally cost at 40 AED per trip. If you go together with a friend or colleague, you will be saving half of the cost because you will be sharing for the expense.
Savings: 40 AED x 8 days = 320 AED / 2 = 160 AED
Since it is my first time to hold a steering wheel in this part of the world and I never drove a vehicle with four wheels in my life, I took the whole cycle of getting a driving license. Fortunately in God’s grace, I finally got the road test only in one take. If not, two things will be wasted if you fail the test for the first time, your precious time and hard-earned money. The hassle of getting that appointment again and again and waiting for the long queue plus the additional fees will be avoided if we are really determined and have planned this endeavor ahead of time. Considering the money-saving tips and strategies above, you will nail that driving license and enjoy driving in UAE for 10 years in no time. Drive Safely!
Do you have other money-saving tips in getting that driving license? Share your thoughts and meet us in the comments.
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