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How to rent a car for a weekend in Malaysia

Keen to get out of Singapore and explore Malaysia for the weekend? Whether it’s a shopping trip to Johor Bahru, a kid’s birthday at Legoland, a getaway in Malacca or a break on one of the East Coast islands, it’s easy to hire a car to get you there. We asked Daniel Ong from Evergreen Rent A Car for tips on how it’s done.

It's a lovely green drive into Malaysia 

What documents are needed to rent a car?
Renters and authorised drivers must be between 24 and 70 years old and have held a driving licence for at least two years. If your foreign driving licence isn’t in English, you’re required to have an International Driving Permit in addition to the foreign licence, or an official translation of your licence in English. You’ll also need to bring along your passport and your Employment or Dependant’s Pass. A Singapore driving licence is compulsory if you’ve been in Singapore for over a year.

What car do you recommend?
The most reliable brands are the Japanese models. If it’s a family trip, my suggestions are a Toyota Estima, a Honda Odyssey or a Honda Stream.

Navigating in central Malacca can be tricky; do you supply in-car navigation?
Devices can be rented at an additional charge and subject to availability.

We know from experience how fast drivers travel on Malaysian freeways; any other tips?
The roads are well built, but avoid jams at the immigration checkpoints by travelling at non-peak times. Also, watch out for traffic police.

How can Evergreen help in the case of car trouble?
We operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but there is no immediate breakdown service in Malaysia as our tow trucks are not allowed to cross the border. Renters would need to arrange for the car to be towed back to the Singapore border, and we can take it from there.

Tips on driving in Malaysia
1. Make sure the petrol tank is three-quarters full before leaving Singapore; this is a legal requirement. (You can fill it up in Malaysia just before you return, though – there’s a petrol station a few kilometres from the Tuas border.)
2. The Tuas checkpoint is often quieter than the one at Woodlands, but avoid peak hours at both if possible, especially Sunday evenings.
3. You’ll need to pay a few dollars to leave and enter Singapore, so make sure the vehicle’s cash card has sufficient credit.
4. You don’t actually need to get out of the car to clear immigration in either Singapore or Malaysia; it’s like a McDonald’s drive-through.
5. Once in Malaysia, buy a freeway toll card at the first tollbooth. This swipe card allows you to use the “Touch’n’Go” automatic lanes at each toll point.
6. The highway speed limit is 110km/h.

Evergreen Rent A Car, 159 Sin Ming Road, #01-07, 6337 6041