Grab is the one biggest and most used e-hailing app in Malaysia (and in many other countries in Southeast Asia). Being a Grab driver in Malaysia has its perks as well as the flipside. But is it worth being an e-hailing driver these days?
Alternative or full-time job?
After the government of Malaysia imposed regulations for e-hailing drivers, there are now lesser people who take this up as a part-time job or for alternative income. That is because the cost does not justify the income. Meanwhile, only those who drive e-hailing cars full-time could enjoy some form of the steady income usually around the bracket of RM4,000 to RM8,000, depending on the number of hours you put in.
Grab not the only one
Grab took over the operations of Uber a few years ago and has since been dominating this market. Besides e-hailing, it is involved in other areas such as food delivery, car rental and even in funding startups. But Grab is not the only e-hailing service in Malaysia. There have been new e-hailing apps that have since surfaced which include:
- Mula – Offers car rental services as well
- MyCar – Offers similar services as Grab with slightly cheaper rates for KLIA airport.
- EzCab – Passengers can choose between private vehicles and taxis, among others
- Dacsee – Allows passengers to request rides from their contacts in Dacsee
- Riding Pink – an all-female ride-sharing app.
What do I need to be a Grab driver?
To be eligible to become a Grab driver, you need to:
- Be a Malaysian citizen with a valid MyKad.
- Own a vehicle.
- Have a valid ‘D’ driving license and a PSV (Public Service Vehicle) license.
- ‘P’ (Probation) license holders are not eligible.
- Aged between 16 and 69 years old.
- Do not have a criminal record or a speeding summon for the past 3 years.
How do you earn from e-hailing?
If you are an e-hailing driver, the factors that will contribute to your earnings would surely be the cost and rates. Among them:
- Registration – All e-hailing drivers must obtain the PSV license, EPV permit and insurance that will come out to about RM1,000
- The vehicle must be a 4-door car, sedan, SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) or MPV (Multipurpose Vehicle).
- It should not be more than 10 years from the manufactured date.
- Vehicles that are more than 7 years would need to be checked and certified by Puspakom. This requirement is updated from time to time. Please check with Grab for updates.
What about the earnings?
On average, the going rate is about RM30 per hour not inclusive of the fare amount, commission and cost. This means that you need to drive for 4 hours to make about RM100. If you drive for 8 hours per day for 30 straight days, you will earn about RM6,000 to RM7,000, depending on other factors. The commission that the service provider takes is about 15% to 30%. Besides that, there are incentives offered by Grab if you use Auto Accept (means you do not choose your rides) and no cancellations.If you use the Auto Accept function, Grab offers additional incentives. That will add to your income.
The government of Malaysia had recently offered some form of assistance for e-hailing drivers under the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat package to help weather the loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are there other ways to earn more?
Basically, you make your money in Grab through the rides you completed. However, you can try to get more income by:
- Minimize cost: Make sure your car is serviced and maintained. If your car is not fuel-economical, then you might want to consider changing one. In the long run, it is more cost-effective for you.
- Peak hours: Grab offers incentives if you drive during Peak hours (mornings and evenings). This goes back to the fact that your car needs to be in tip-top condition as you will be stuck a lot in traffic jams.
- Improve your Grab Ambassador ratings: You can be either a Silver, Gold, or Platinum driver. The higher the tier, the better your earnings. To achieve this, you need to fulfill requirements such as less than 3% cancellations, completing over 300 rides monthly, etc.
- Refer new Grab drivers: This is a member-get-member scheme. When you refer a friend to drive for Grab, you get some commission as well.