Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This paper presents a direct method based on Legendre–Radau pseudospectral method for efficient and accurate solution of a class of singular optimal control problems. In this scheme, based on a priori knowledge of control, the problem is transformed to a multidomain formulation, in which the switching points appear as unknown parameters. Then, by utilizing Legendre-Radau pseudospectral method, a nonlinear programming problem is derived which can be solved by the well-developed parameter optimization algorithms. The main advantages of the present method are its superior accuracy and ability to capture the switching times. Accuracy and performance of the proposed method are examined by means of some numerical experiments. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.