Thinking about getting a car for your stint in Singapore? The first all-important question is whether to lease or buy. Then there are more specific considerations, such as what kind of car to get to best suit your lifestyle. Read on to find out a few things you need to know if you are planning on driving in Singapore, and to hear from a few individuals about the cars they’ve leased or purchased here.
What you need to drive legally in Singapore
While Singapore boasts a highly regarded and well-connected public transportation system, for greater convenience, a car is still an unbeatable option. We spoke with car insurance provider Kwiksure Singapore about the essential things to keep in mind when you decide to start driving on the island.
Do you have a valid licence?
You can use your home country’s driver’s licence if you’re staying for less than 12 months and if your overseas driver’s licence is in English. If not, you’ll need to convert your licence by taking a Basic Theory Test covering local road rules. Bring identification documents including your passport, employment pass and foreign driver’s licence. For foreign licences not in English, you’ll need to get an International Driving Permit.
What else do I need?
While vehicle insurance is included as part of a leasing contract, if you are buying a car, don’t forget to purchase auto insurance – it’s illegal to drive without a valid policy that includes third-party liability. Kwiksure Singapore is a partner of Pacific Prime Singapore, and can provide the appropriate insurance for your particular vehicle.
Hear more about leasing and buying a car in Singapore
Wearnes Automotive Singapore
“We’ve been living here for one year, and I’ve been leasing a Volvo XC60 since 31 March 2017. The car seats five people, including the driver. It’s black and has a white leather interior. The lease is for two years and is my first lease in Singapore. The car is a reasonably sized SUV and fits me well – even with me being 202cm tall! It’s also safe and spacious. I use it to commute to and from work, which is from Sentosa to Tampines. I also use it when I travel to work meetings. During the weekends, I use the car for golf and football.
“Wearnes offers a good and personal service. In emergencies, they are approachable and responsive. I remember having a flat tyre one weekend and the team was accommodating, and the issue fixed smoothly and efficiently.”
Favourite road to drive on in Singapore: “I like the expressways such as the MCE and the ECP.”
Dream car: “Maserati!”
Evergreen Rent A Car
S Ranganatha Prasad, Indian
“I’ve been living in Singapore from February 2015, so slightly over three years. I leased a Mazda Biante from Evergreen Rent A Car in March 2015. It is a three-and-a-half year lease that will end in September this year. The car is black in colour and can seat eight people. I like the car as it’s comfortable and spacious – good for families. I use the car on my daily commute to the office. We also use it whenever we go to the beach or go shopping on the weekends.
“The team at Evergreen Rent A Car is very professional and personal in their service. They’re very pleasant people and are always available on call. I would definitely recommend them.”
Favourite road to drive on in Singapore: “I like almost all roads in Singapore, but my best would be the ECP. As for overseas, I especially enjoy driving in Dubai.”
Dream car: “BMW 7 Series.”
Keng Soon Auto Pte Ltd
Mrs Yuki, Taiwanese
“I’ve been living in Singapore for about six years. I recently renewed my lease and switched to a Honda Vezel which is spacious and more fuel-efficient than my previous car. Many people say that you don’t need a car in Singapore, but we were so used to the convenience in the US. Personally, I think I can get more things done. Also, my family enjoys riding bikes around East Coast, West Coast and Pasir Ris parks so having a spacious car is crucial.
“I chose Keng Soon Auto because they were friendly and helpful. They also had the right car for me. After five years, I’m delighted to say that Keng Soon Auto is always very responsive and helpful in attending to my requests, such as changing my car battery.”
Favourite road to drive on in Singapore: “The Helix Bridge road at night; it’s beautiful.”
Dream car: “Anything, so long as it’s practical and fuel-efficient – so, right now it’s the Vezel.”
Tej Limbu, Nepal-born Singaporean
“My first Hyundai was a brand new Avante which I bought in 2010. After almost eight years with it, I felt I could do with a new car. A Komoco sales consultant urged me to try the IONIQ Hybrid. Owning an eco-car sounded exciting, yet sensible. So we went for a test drive, and one round was enough. I was totally impressed. There was no engine noise, the drive was smooth and I felt very comfortable. It’s also quite good-looking, including the interior. And the features were just as impressive.
“The Avante never gave me any problems, and it never broke down because it was well-maintained by the Komoco Service Centre. The Centre was the biggest pull for going on to buy the IONIQ. I thought, ‘Well, my Avante was in perfect condition all those years’ – and that experience gave me the assurance that I would be getting the same excellent after-sales service.”