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 car rental. We find out what’s on offer, including reader experiences of leasing a car in Singapore.
Optima Carz Leasing Pte Ltd
Ashish and Leslie Panday, Americans
Children: Leo and Mira
We’ve been in Singapore since June 2021. Before relocating here, we leased a Honda Odyssey minivan for two years in Seattle. We knew it to be reliable and comfortable.
Being a young family, we needed a car with plenty of space to store stroller and children’s toys. The sliding doors are super convenient for loading and unloading children, especially in narrow parking spots. We also love the captain seats in the front and second rows, providing each of us a comfortable seat.
It was a wonderful experience working with Raymond at Optima Carz Leasing. He was most responsive and professional in addressing our questions and understanding our requirements; he didn’t push us into a car rental sale in one direction or another. Raymond delivered the car to our doorstep, while Wilfred, the service lead, came along to assure us that his team are always available for any service needs.
Having driven previously in the US, Europe and India, I find Singapore to be quite car-friendly. Most drivers aren’t aggressive, there is minimal honking and cutting-in, and traffic isn’t as congested. Zero tolerance on drinking and driving also make roads a lot safer in Singapore. Parking spots are quite narrow here generally, so bigger cars take a bit more care getting in and out of parking spots.
My dream car is a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
Evergreen Rent a Car
Kevin and Jessica Tibble, British
Children: Ava and Sam
We were in Hong Kong for eight years before moving to Singapore and have been here for nearly two years. About 18 months ago, we leased a new Toyota Vios from Evergreen Rent a Car. We chose it as we wanted reliability and we didn’t want to spend a huge amount every month. The other consideration was boot space; we knew we’d be using the car for days out so it would have to fit scooters, bicycles, picnic blankets and all the stuff you need for a family adventure.
The team at Evergreen are responsive, helpful and kind, and they always ensure the car is in excellent condition. Any issues with our long term car rental in Singapore are dealt with quickly and efficiently and made as easy as possible for us. We’ve been really impressed.
Having a car makes Singapore instantly more accessible and gives us the flexibility of diverting to a new park on the way home or going to the zoo on a whim. This kind of long term car rent means we have been able to travel all over the island without having to worry about whether we’ll find a taxi at a particular time to get back. It’s also so much safer for the kids to travel in fixed car seats.
I’m used to driving in London and Hong Kong so Singapore is very easy. The roads are well maintained and signposts are clear. I’ve never had trouble finding a place to park and it’s usually not expensive. Just don’t rely on Google maps as it often takes you on strange routes!
Our family’s dream car is a BMW Grand Tourer; but for me, it’s an Aston Martin.
Bolt Car Leasing
Peter and Selin Kristensson, Swedish and Turkish
Children: Isabelle and Aleese
We moved to Singapore in the summer of 2020 and chose car rental first as we wanted to figure out if having one was right for our situation. While public transport and Grab are great, we really appreciate having the flexibility and freedom of our own car. It’s quick and easy to get anywhere by car. Generally, you can find parking easily in Singapore.
I researched a lot of companies and was struck by how customer focused and friendly they were at Bolt Car Leasing. There wasn’t any hard selling or attempts to push a car onto me that I didn’t want.
We’re currently leasing a car in Singapore. It’s a BMW X1, from Bolt, although an Aston Martin DBX would suit us really nicely one day! The car has been very well maintained – even though it’s a little bit old, it still runs so well! For the small issues that we’ve had with the car, I’ve just sent a quick message to Bolt; they then set a time to pick up the car and provide a replacement to use until the problem is fixed. That’s incredibly service minded and efficient!
Motorway Car Rentals
Bharat Vijayan and Archana Velukutty, Americans
Children: Neil and Jai
When we moved from New York to Singapore in 2007, our twin sons were small and played multiple sports like rugby, tennis, ice hockey and rowing. So we required a large SUV with three rows of seating. It gave us space to transport the kids and their friends and all the sporting gear for the sport activities.
We met with a Relationship Manager at Motorway Car Rentals on our very first “look-see” visit to rent a car. We were impressed with her professionalism – and we still are! We’re all incredibly pleased with the dedicated professional service from the entire Motorway car rental in Singapore team.
Over the 14 years that we’ve been here, we’ve been leased all our cars from Motorway. We first had an XC-90 Volvo, followed by an Audi Q7 and a Land Rover Discovery. We’re currently leasing a Mercedes ML 400. It has a large carrier space and rugged reliability to carry our family safely to playing fields around Singapore. All the cars that we have leased from them are backed by the 24-hour “tender loving care” that Motorway provides.
We find Singapore a great place to drive; the quality of the roads and excellent traffic signals facilitate a safe driving environment and good behaviour by motorists.
As for our dream car, my wife hopes to own a car from the Mercedes G-Wagon series, while I dream of owning a Toyota Landcruiser!
Parmender Dahiya and Priyanka Nayak, Indian
Children: Viaan and Nyra
My consulting career has allowed us to live in multiple locations for many years. Last year, we relocated to Singapore from Chicago; after moving here, I began looking for an easy way to own a car without worrying about maintenance, insurance, tax and more. I realised that getting a personal car here is an expensive affair – probably one of the most expensive in the world, though it’s compensated to a certain degree by nice roads and abiding fellow drivers. I wasn’t ready to invest a hefty amount upfront so leasing a car appealed to me as it meant I could test the waters before jumping in. I’ve been an AVIS member since 2006 and have leased vehicles from them whenever I’ve travelled for work or leisure. The company has provided great service thus far by being very responsive and offering a hassle-free customer experience.
I’ve had an Audi Q5 SUV from AVIS on a long term car rental for the past year. I chose an SUV for my young kids and their stuff. Audi has a good reputation for smooth performing engines and great build quality. The Q5 has proven to be a good carrier – it drives well and has nice acceleration.
As a car aficionado, I’ve owned Jaguar, BMW and Lexus vehicles in the past. I would love to own a Porsche 918 Spyder one day!
Jason and Juliet Keys, Australian and British
“Singapore can be a stressful place to drive – there’s always traffic pulling in, across, up and into the smallest gaps! However, the convenience of a car adds to a good quality of life and means we get to see a lot more of Singapore than we otherwise would.
We’ve been leasing a car for around 10 years from ComfortDelGro Rent-A-Car. For most of this time we have rented a Mazda 3. As we’re a small family, this suits us perfectly to get around the tight, busy streets of Singapore.
It has a 1.5L engine and therefore falls into the small car COE category which makes it more economical than the bigger cars; it’s also easier to park! Given the volume of traffic on the roads in Singapore, we felt that a high-performance car would be wasted here. So we are content with a semi-sporty looking car which gets us from A to B.
Running the numbers, over the 10 years we’ve leased a car, it probably would have made more sense to buy a car. However, we like that ComfortDelGro Rent-A-Car takes care of all the maintenance and insurance, and provides a replacement vehicle immediately when we have a problem with our car. Their call-out service is also very good and this is important to us.
As for a dream car, the performance and handling of the Subaru WRX, along with the purr of its boxer engine, makes it a dream car for us. We can’t wait to get back on the country roads with a Sube again!”
For more helpful tips, head to the living in Singapore section.
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