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Acquiring a 5-star rating as a private hire car driver takes more than a greet and smile. Here are some tips that can ensure maximum rider satisfaction.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice

I'm writing in to share my experience as a full-time Grab driver with other drivers, and I would like to offer some tips I've learned along the way to get a 5-star rating.

I've realised that it's more than just offering a smile and not being rude to riders. If you want them to have the ultimate satisfaction, you have to provide them with something out of your pocket. If they can perceive that they're receiving the maximum value for their ride, they'll be more inclined to rate you five stars.

Here are some products and gadgets that have helped me along the way and I hope it will do so for all drivers out there. I know it's not an easy job and you feel like a glorified taxi driver but hey, whatever pays the bills right?

An air purifier can keep the enclosed car cabin's air fresh and clean, increasing comfort
Air purifier

I've come across a couple of riders who have zero consideration for hygiene, and they openly sneeze and cough in my car. There was once, this Chinese guy coughed so hard that I could feel his spittle hit the back of my neck! I didn't want to appear rude and wind down the window, but I fell sick for a whole week after. With these purifiers, you're 99% certain you will not allow yourself to fall ill and miss another work day ever again!

Relevant products you might want to look at:

Car air-con systems might emit odours, fret not, all you need is an air-con cleaner product to solve the issue
Air-conditioning Cleaner

Sometimes, riders bring in foul smelling things like smelly shoes, durians, packet fried food, or the stale smell of cigarettes that lingers on their clothes after they smoke. I'm okay with these smells, but they tend to remain and stick within the car. I've gotten a couple of complaints that I smoked in the car when I didn't! Get these air-conditioning cleaners that work like a car bath bomb (sans water) and help purify the air to make it nice smelling once again!

Relevant products you might want to look at:

Headrest monitors allow the occupants in the rear to enjoy videos while on the go
Headrest monitors for the kids

I haven't done this yet, but I've always been wanting to do so for a while now. Kids get fidgety and noisy during long rides or especially during traffic jams. Pop in Disney's Frozen or Paw Patrol to keep them occupied. Gone are the days when you used to plug in a DVD and put it on repeat. With the advancement of technology, you must get a headrest monitor that can link to your mobile device via Bluetooth.

Relevant products you might want to look at:

Smartphones makes up a huge part of our lives, and what better way to stay connected by keeping them charged
Handphone charger

You'll find that most passengers don't talk to you much. They're always engrossed on their mobile devices. So the best thing you can offer them is juice for their phones!

Relevant products you might want to look at:

An upgraded speaker system greatly improves the sound quality
Speaker System

Listen to the latest tunes on Spotify with better-than-stock car speaker systems. Remember to adjust the bass levels if you're picking up the elderly!

There are tons of decent speaker systems out in the market. Just pick one that suits your needs and is within your allocated budget. Some riders love it when I ask them whether they want to play their own music in my car. This is usually the case for groups going for drinks during the weekends.

Soundproofing not only reduces the noise, vibration and harshness, they also allow your upgraded speakers to perform better

Some riders are tired after a hard day's work, and you want them to feel comfortable in your car. Augment that comfort by cancelling out engine and road noise with good soundproofing!

Initially, I thought that this was redundant, but it creates an extremely conducive environment to nap in! Perfect for short breaks between shifts.

With our 365days of summer here, solar films definitely make a significant impact on comfort
Solar Film

Keep your riders cool all the time with solar film protection which is perfect for tropical climates like Singapore. A comfortable rider is a happy rider and a happy rider has a higher chance of giving you that 5 stars!

Recommended merchants:

Raindrops tend to obscure the vision, making it dangerous to drive in adverse weather conditions
Windscreen Waterproofing

When it starts raining, and visibility starts getting poor, your riders might get a little anxious from time to time. There's no better way to calm their nerves then give them total clarity of the road and traffic.

Relevant products you might want to look at:

Keeping your car clean is important to your PHV riders! its the first impression that counts, right?
Car Shampoo

Imagine yourself as a rider, would you want to see a banged up, dusty car that looked like it travelled to Kuala Lumpur and back again before picking you up? No, you would not. To save cost, I clean my car at least once a week. It's all about appearances.

Relevant products you might want to look at:

With a handy car vacuum, you can clean up those pesky little crumbs and bits of dirt in your car
Car Vacuum

I like to vacuum the interior of my car before and after driving shifts (more often it happens before as I'm too tired after). You'll be amazed at what people can leave lying around in your vehicle during their rides.  I've found condoms, shillings, fingernails, dandruff and even a tiny packet of white substance which I suspect to be drugs once (of course I threw it away!).

Relevant products you might want to look at:

Here are some related articles that might interest you 

7 popular private hire cars and where to rent them

Best luxury car rental companies for all your fancy events in Singapore

Car sharing platforms in Singapore: A price comparison 

Rent a car from these 'no deposit needed' car rental companies

10 best van, lorry and truck commercial vehicle rental companies 

Good luck fellow drivers. Hope this helps! Drive smart and drive safe.

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