Car Hire in Singapore
This information is correct as of June 2015.
Where to hire a car in Singapore
Driving into Singapore with a foreign-registered car – this is possible for travelers driving from Peninsular Malaysia – can be complicated and expensive, that’s why visitors to Singapore opt to just rent a car. Car rentals also allow for exploration of the city in your own terms and in comfort, and can reach areas not accessed by public transportation.
Rent-a-car companies that operate in Singapore include Avis, Drive.SG, Sixt, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar, National, Sunnycars, Ace Drive, Smart Car Rental, San’s Tours & Car Rentals, Exclusive Limo & Car Rentals, Downtown Travel Services Pte Ltd, Motorway Car Rentals, Alltrust Leasing Car Rental Singapore, CK Vehicle Rental Pte Ltd, and many other local providers and travel agencies offering rent-a-car services as well as tours of the city. Available vehicles from these car rental providers include a fleet of cars that are suitable for any occasion, ranging from budget cars, wedding cars, and limousine services to corporate car rental and long-term car rentals.
Most companies have all-inclusive rates with clear price breakdowns, all insurance included, and no hidden charges. However, note that Singapore is a small island with a high population density; therefore, there are a limited number of private cars allowed on the road to control pollution and congestion. In relation to this, rent-a-car rates are generally significantly more expensive in Singapore than in other English-speaking countries. Car rental costs for the smallest vehicle can be about $100 (around PHP3,350.00) per day. Alternatively, there are rent-a-car providers in Singapore that offer electric vehicle rentals, with only a $19 (around PHP60.00) registration fee.
What to expect when hiring a car from Singapore
Traffic rules in Singapore are severely enforced, so expect the roads here to be in excellent condition and driving habits to be generally good. Compared to other major cities in the world, parking in the city center of Singapore is easier, although peak hour congestion still applies. Drivers with foreign licenses should be in English; otherwise, you need to acquire an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official English translation (available from your embassy). As with other Commonwealth countries, driving in Singapore is on the left, and the legal driving age is at least 18 years old. Speed limits, meanwhile, are 90 km/h on expressways and 60 km/h on other roads.
Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is a traffic management scheme in Singapore. ERP payments should be in the form of stored-value CashCard, which is usually taken care of by the rent-a-car company; although you must make sure that it has enough value. ERP gantries are activated at various times, usually in the expected direction of most cars. Gantries in roads leading to the central business district of Singapore are activated during the morning rush hour, while gantries in roads exiting the CBD are activated during the evening rush hour.
Although there are no bike lines within the city center of Singapore, you may need to look out for cyclists outside the city center.
Getting to your destination
Beaches and Tourist Resorts
Sentosa is an island off the southern coast of Singapore. It is one big tourist attraction in the country and is home to beautiful beaches, resorts, and other recreation facilities for visitors of all ages. Sentosa is known for the Resorts World complex, which consists of the Universal Studios theme park, a casino, shopping malls, and hotels.
Reaching Sentosa from mainland Singapore can take 30-35 minutes via Telok Blangah Rd, via CTE, or via MCE. Take note that the routes have tolls and have restricted usage or private roads.
There are 20 kilometers of white sandy beach that can be found on the East Coast district of Singapore, as well as delicious seafood dishes, including the famous chili and black pepper crab. In fact, the East Coast is considered as the home of many of the country’s culinary icons.
From the city center of Singapore, drive to the East Coast can take about 25-30 minutes. You can go via Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, via PIE, or via Upper Thomson Rd. These routes have tolls and restricted usage roads.
The main shopping street of Singapore, Orchard Road is located north of the Singapore River, west of the CBD. Visit this area during Christmas season to see its famous over-the-top decorations, complete with reindeers prancing through palm trees and gingerbread houses with fake snow. Within walking distance from Orchard Road are Singapore’s popular museums in Bras Basah, including Battle Box, Istana, National Museum of Singapore, and Singapore Art Museum.
Orchard Road can be reached from the city center via Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, via CTE, or via Dunearn Rd. The routes have tolls and private roads. The drive will take about 20-26 minutes.