Teen who rented car 8 times using father's NRIC learnt to drive from YouTube

·2-min read
Hands holding a steering wheel
Hands holding a steering wheel. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old who rented a car using his father’s NRIC, and then ferried two passengers, had learnt how to drive via YouTube.

The teen, now 19, rented a vehicle from Tribecar on eight occasions without his father’s knowledge. He cannot be named as his identity is protected under the Children and Young Persons Act.

The legal driving age in Singapore is 18.

The teen pleaded guilty to one count each of cheating by personation and breaching the age restriction for driving. A probation suitability report was called and he will return to court on 2 March for his sentencing.

One count of illegally obtaining personal information and another count of not having insurance will be considered for his sentencing.

Before 24 September 2020, the teen applied for a Tribecar account in his father’s name through Tribecar’s online registration platform.

To support his application, the teen submitted his 56-year-old father’s particulars and uploaded photographs of his father’s NRIC and driving licence. The application was successful, and the teen managed to get an account in his father’s name.

Between 24 September and 7 October 2020, the teen rented cars from Tribecar eight times. On the last occasion, on 7 October 2020, the teen was ferrying two passengers. Neither of them was aware that he was underaged, or that he did not have a driving license.

At about 2.57am, police officers stopped the teen at a roadblock along the Central Expressway slip road towards Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.

The police officers requested the teen’s particulars and driving licence, spurring the teen to admit that he did not have a driving license and that he was only 17. He told the officers that the car was a rental from Tribecar.

He later admitted that he had learnt driving from watching YouTube videos.

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