7 Things You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Singapore from Changi Airport

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By JetsetJ

Singapore, a remarkable city-state in Southeast Asia, is renowned for its efficient and sophisticated public transport system. However, should you wish to savor the independence of self-drive adventures, renting a car from Changi Airport is a viable option. Here's a guide to help you navigate through the process of renting a car, understanding the laws, and providing tips to ensure a smooth, comfortable journey.

1. Licensing Requirements

To drive in Singapore, you need an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your original driver’s license if it's not in English. Singapore recognizes IDPs issued by signatories to the 1949 Geneva Convention. You can drive with these licenses for up to a year; after which, you must convert to a Singapore license.

2. Car Rental Companies at Changi Airport

Several car rental companies operate in Singapore, many offering services right from Changi Airport. Established brands like Hertz, Avis, and Europcar are located in the arrival halls of all four terminals, making it convenient to pick up a car as soon as you land. We recommend booking your rental car from Trip.com in advance to secure your preferred vehicle type and get the best deal.

3. Age and Experience

In Singapore, the min legal age to drive is 18 years old. Typically (depends on the car rental company), renters must be at least 23 years old and possess at least one or two years of driving experience. However, some rental companies may have a higher age requirement, so it's always wise to check beforehand.

4. Understanding the Traffic Laws

Singapore's traffic laws are stringent. You must always drive on the left side of the road, and seatbelts are compulsory for everyone in the car. Fines for traffic violations, such as speeding or illegal parking, are hefty and strictly enforced. Moreover, the legal blood alcohol limit in Singapore is 0.08%. If you're caught driving under influence, the penalties can be severe, including jail terms and heavy fines.

5. Road Etiquette

Singaporean drivers tend to be courteous and abide by road etiquette. Blinkers are regularly used, honking and cutting off other drivers is frowned upon. Road rage incidents are rare, so always maintain a respectful demeanor while driving.

6. Costs and Tolls

Fuel prices in Singapore are higher compared to other countries, which you should factor into your budget. The city also has a unique Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system. It's a scheme to manage traffic by imposing tolls on congested roads during peak hours. Rental cars come with an In-vehicle Unit (IU) to automatically pay these tolls. The charges will be added to your rental bill.

7. Car Parking

Most parking in Singapore is not free. Parking charges can apply 24/7 in the city center, so make sure to budget for this as well. Also, parking spaces in popular tourist areas can get crowded, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead or consider other transportation options if you’re visiting these sites. Paying for parking also require you to have a valid cashcard with enough credit; inserted in the in-vehicle unit. Cashcards can be bought at most convenience stores or petrol kiosks.

Renting a Car in Singapore

Renting a car in Singapore can open up opportunities to explore the city-state at your own pace. But remember, always familiarize yourself with local rules, etiquette, and costs before setting off. It will help you avoid unwanted fines and enjoy a seamless driving experience in this vibrant city.

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