Ride-hailing passengers using the Grab platform will no longer travel in old cars by July 2022, with the firm phasing out these vehicles.

Grab drivers who operate cars that are seven-years-old and above will also be required to complete an additional safety and maintenance course.

These changes were announced by the operator on Friday (Oct 30), in response to the introduction of regulations aimed at levelling the playing field between taxi companies and ride-hailing operators.

This new set of stricter rules for ride-hailing firms – which brings them under similar regulations as taxi companies – comes under the Point-to-Point (P2P) Passenger Transport Industry Act that was passed in Parliament last year.

The regulatory framework was to have taken effect by June this year, but was postponed owing to the Covid-19 crisis.

Grab, along with Gojek, Tada Mobility and Comfort Transportation, were awarded the ride-hail licence for operators that offer booking services through mobile apps.

Grab was also awarded the carpool licence to let it operate its GrabHitch service.

It said on Friday (Oct 30) that the phasing out of older cars will help it to fulfil a new requirement for mandatory inspection.

Cars on its platform are required to achieve a first inspection passing rate of at least 90 per cent. The roadworthiness and emission standards of vehicles are checked during the inspection.

Grab said its data shows vehicles of up 12 years old can meet the requirement standards. But it settled on an age limit of 10 after taking into account the rules on renewal of car ownership.

From 7pm on Friday, new drivers can sign up to Grab only if their cars are below 10 years old.

From Nov 1 next year, existing drivers can drive only cars that are below 12 years old.

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