Singapore may have a great public transport system, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of driving – especially with a growing family to ferry around. If you’re an expat, you may not want to commit to buying a car; instead, you may be considering a long-term rental. We find out what’s on offer, including reader experiences of leasing a car in Singapore.
Leasing a BMW
Satish and Vimy Chellaram, American
Children: Aron (not pictured), Dino, Shon and Sheena
“As I don’t know how long I’ll be stationed in Singapore, having a car for short periods of time is perfect for my family. A friend of mine introduced me to Access by BMW – BMW’s car subscription service. I initially subscribed to a BMW 1 Series for one month as it’s sporty, compact and a really fun car to drive! I realised I needed a bigger car when my older boys visit from the US so I decided to switch to a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.
In total, I’ve been driving a BMW for roughly 10 months now and can switch models every month if I want to. One monthly payment covers everything – I don’t need to worry about a down payment, paperwork, insurance or road tax. The BMW 1 Series and BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer are brisk and more than sufficient for daily driving in Singapore. If I want an extra boost, I can always activate the Sport mode. The cars handle very well and bring a smile to my face whenever I get behind the wheel.
The staff at BMW have been excellent, especially during the Circuit Breaker. For example, they would pick up my car for regular servicing and leave me with an identical replacement so I always had access to a BMW. Once, I needed to change one of my tyres and the staff also came over. Everything was quick and easy.
Driving in Singapore is really convenient as the roads are well built and the traffic system is efficient. There’s an abundance of sheltered car parks, and payments for street parking can be easily done through the Parking.sg app.
My dream car would have to be the new BMW 8 Series Convertible – it’s sporty, elegant and has an open-top!”
accessbybmw.com.sg/#/subscriptions/models | firstname.lastname@example.org
Long-term car rentals from Bizlink Rent-A-Car
Maha Elsahhar and Samy Mohammed, British/Arab
Children: Gabriel and Alara (not pictured)
“We’ve had a total of three cars from Bizlink so far: a Chevrolet Spark, a Chevrolet Sonic and most recently a Hyundai Accent. Each lease was for one year. Singapore is incredibly car-friendly. As soon as you get over the cost of buying a car, parking is readily available and cheap, navigation is easy and being British, we drive on the same side of the road.
Initially, I needed a car for work. The Chevrolet Spark was a perfect fit because it was small and cost-effective. After the contract ended, we decided to rent another one, mostly for school runs. The Bizlink team has updated our car and contract based on our needs, and they’ve been helpful in finding the right fit. I have two of the staff on WhatsApp for assistance too. The vehicles are wonderfully kept and if I have a issue, they pick up the car straight away. They work around my schedule and are flexible with the replacement car and payment mode.
Our car was brand new when we got it. It has little additions such as satellite navigation, Bluetooth, parking sensors, Isofix and a big boot. I’ve done some really silly things (such as lock myself out!) and I’ve never had to wait long for someone to come to my rescue.
My dream car would be an E-Type Jaguar or 1959 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet. I like classic cars but if I had to pick a modern one, it would be the Mercedes G-Class. A girl can dream, right?”
Leasing a car from ComfortDelGro Rent-A-Car
PC and Kripa Rajiv, Indian
Children: Vidharth and Rohan (not pictured)
“We are currently leasing a Mercedes GLC250 with ComfortDeGro Rent-A-Car for two years. I (PC) am very familiar with driving the ML series as I did so when we were living in Switzerland for over 10 years. So it was only natural for me to once again opt for a Mercedes when we relocated to Singapore. We have two sons – one based in Switzerland and the other living in India.
Our car requires very low maintenance and the road handling is brilliant. In my mind, the sense of safety that it offers is a critical factor. Apart from that, the car’s driving comfort as well as ‘no-nonsense’ functional interiors add to its charm. I’m pleased with ComfortDeGro Rent-A-Car’s service so far. I especially like their proactive single-point-of contact approach, consistency in quality of support and their quick response time. This was critical for us, especially during our initial settling-down phase in Singapore.
As for the roads here, Singapore is definitely an easy place to drive. However, if drivers could be more disciplined when they were changing lanes, it would be even easier!
My dream car would be the Mercedes E300 Cabriolet from the AMG line.”
Cycle & Carriage Leasing
Specialising in daily and monthly rentals, long-term and corporate lease, Cycle & Carriage Leasing offers flexible packages for a wide array of models, including brand new and pre-owned cars that cater to various functions. The fleet of rental cars include renowned and reputable brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Mitsubishi, Citroën, DS Automobiles and Maxus. You’ll find different types of cars to meet your travel needs, from MPVs and SUVs to sedans and hatchbacks.
For the long-term packages, you can choose between the Comprehensive Package that guarantees a hassle-free experience and peace of mind and more affordable Lease Lite Package, if you are on a tight budget. Both packages come with lease to own options. As a subsidiary of Cycle & Carriage, a leading automotive group in Southeast Asia, they are backed up by over 120 years of experience and expertise. They aim to be a one-stop solution centre that can meet drivers’ needs and provide 24/7 support for their peace of mind. You can be assured that you’ll be in good hands with their dedicated sales and aftersales team. Contact them to find out more about pricing details.
Leasing from Evergreen Rent A Car
Monica Beltran and Anthony Casale, Colombian and Italian
Children: Jeronimo and Gala (not pictured)
“We are Singapore PRs and have been here for 12 years. We’ve rented a series of cars with Evergreen Rent A Car, all of which have worked very well and met our needs. Our first rental was a Toyota Corolla, which was useful as the kids started school. Our second was a Kia Sportage, which was an excellent tool in my (Monica’s) daily needs and also with my business, Munets Empanadas. Our current car is a Toyota Wish, a seven-seater. It gives us plenty of space for our daily errands, weekly activities and for my business. This particular car has excellent performance on the road and, most importantly, it’s extremely economical with petrol.
I chose Evergreen in 2017 as they came highly recommended by one of my friends for the variety of choice, service and customer care. Once I met the team, I felt very comfortable with their philosophy and professionalism. Although I’ve been driving since I was 17, I’m a new driver in Singapore so I was very particular with my requests. From the first meeting, the team gave me great advice. We appreciate how transparent Evergreen has been from the very beginning. Customer service has been great – the team is helpful and approachable. They’ve always provided a replacement car in good working order during servicing or maintenance.
As for driving in Singapore, I feel that it’s a good place to drive, as the roads and signage are in great condition and there’s little traffic, especially compared to other countries I’ve lived in.
My dream car would be a Volvo hybrid – a great choice for both the family and the planet.”
A car lease with Wearnes Automotive
Michael and Ruby Deeb, British and Malaysian
Children: Aiden and True
“The first car I leased from Wearnes was a Jaguar XF, which I had for just over a year. I chose the XF for its refinement and because it provided a sportier feel compared to the Mercedes S-Class. I’m now on my second lease – a Volvo XC90 that I’ve had for two years. I chose it specifically for its renowned safety, ginormous space and utility as a family car. The Jaguar was sleek with distinct refined styling and had a very impressive sports performance, while the XC90 is an ideal “do-it-all” family car.
I’ve rented cars all over the globe so I’m familiar with most service providers. Wearnes have been around since the late 70s – they have access to the best pedigree cars and give honest, impartial advice. The contractual process is simple, straightforward and completed in a day or two. If something needs attending to, they respond swiftly and efficiently. I’m extremely satisfied with all aspects of their service. One thing that sets them apart is their people. They are professional and friendly, and build relationships so you never feel like you’re just another transaction.
Singapore has good roads, English signage and an efficient and modern traffic system so I’ve no complaints about driving here. Besides having some of the highest car prices in the world, I would say it’s a car-friendly place.
My definition of a dream car has changed as I’ve gotten older. I’m not into ostentatious status symbols like Bentley or Rolls Royce, and I’ve outgrown the Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Having a family, I look for practical rides. No single car can tick all the boxes so my ‘dream car’ would be a collection: a long wheelbase S-Class for business meetings, a Volvo XC90 for the family and a trusty 12-seater Hyundai Starex to accommodate friends or family who come to town.”
Renting a car from Bolt Car Leasing
Oliver and Qian Refle, German and Chinese
We are a family of three. We’ve been living in Asia for 10 years but only moved to Singapore in August 2020. We are currently leasing a Mazda CX-30 with Bolt Car Leasing for two years. We chose this car as we wanted to have a family car that isn’t too big, given that we’d just arrived in Singapore. This Mazda model is a nice crossover SUV that’s perfectly suited for the city. The car looks good, has a nice interior and is equipped with features such as Apple CarPlay, head-up display (HUD) and a blind spot detection system. So far, both my wife and I have found the car great to drive. We’ve also used it for multiple family trips and it’s always been easy to use.
We heard about Bolt Car Leasing through a personal reference. When we reached out to them, they offered good service. The price for the car was great as well as the whole package. One thing that differentiated them from some of the competitors I was looking at was that they don’t charge an extra fee when driving to Malaysia, which is very convenient. In addition, our experience with their sales person was very pleasant.
As we’ve lived in Hong Kong before, we enjoy driving in Singapore. Besides the cost of owning, Singapore is definitely an easy place to drive with plenty of parking spots available wherever you’d like to go. The IU (in-vehicle unit) makes parking very straightforward; the same goes for the mobile app for car parks. As we’re living in an area without much public transportation, having a car is very convenient.
My dream car would be a Porsche Panamera!
For more helpful tips, head to the living in Singapore section.