Moving to a new country is stressful enough, without worrying about how to buy or rent a car or motorcycle. There are so many things to take note of – road tax, vehicle insurance, ERP (Electronic Road Pricing), COE (Certificate of Entitlement) and even what vehicle would be most practical for your growing family. You’ll also need to decide whether to lease a vehicle or buy one outright. Expat Living asks six insurance and leasing companies for their practical advice on getting a set of wheels.
A word on insurance
How much can I expect to pay?
This depends your policy coverage and your driving history. Details such as your age and previous claims as well as your vehicle value will be considered. Payments can ranges from $500 to $5000 annually.
Why is motor insurance so important?
Ensuring that your vehicle does not become a financial burden is never a bad idea. You can also avoid a huge bill if you damage someone else’s vehicle.
What are some things to look out for?
Beware of low premiums which are too good to be true. They may skimp on benefits and customer service. Also, when servicing or doing repairs, ensure the workshop is authorised by your insurer and dealer to prevent extra cost or voiding your car warranty.
– Olivier Zeller, General Manager of Pacific Prime Singapore
Psst… Pacific Prime Singapore offers comprehensive motor insurance which covers unforeseen circumstances such as theft and fires. Third party liability protection is also included. They’ll be offering coverage for motorcycles soon, so keep a lookout!
A look into leasing a car
Buying a vehicle in Singapore can be complicated and extremely expensive. If you want to save on buying a car outright, opt for leasing where monthly payments include insurance, regular maintenance and more. Also, save the trouble of having to sell your car when you move along to your next destination. Let these leasing experts answer your burning questions.
What are some benefits of leasing versus buying a vehicle?
You’ll pay less upfront for the usage of the car (i.e. a two-month rental deposit). Insurance, road tax and vehicle maintenance will also be included in the monthly rental rate. If your vehicle breaks down or if you have an accident, the leasing company will provide any necessary assistance.
Can I change vehicles halfway through a lease if my circumstances change?
This is negotiable on a case by case basis at the rental company’s discretion. However, if you want to downgrade to a smaller one, it’s usually not allowed, particularly if the car is a new one. Contact the company for more information.
– Mark Poh, Director of Classic Auto Rental Pte Ltd
Psst… Classic Auto Rental offers an extensive range of vehicles, from economical to luxury cars. There are sedans, SUVs and MPVs to choose from.
Or a Motorcycle?
Do you provide maintenance? Will I get another bike while it is being fixed or maintained?
Yes, maintenance work will be done according to manufacture recommendations. Your bike can also be serviced on a monthly basis to keep it in good shape. For regular wear and tear repairs, you will have a complimentary replacement bike to use. As for accident damage, the company will claim insurance and provide a replacement if the other party is at fault.
What are some possible payments due at the end of a lease?
Petrol, fines from authorities and damages are potentially chargeable. Return the vehicle with a full tank and if you have any fines, pay them on time to avoid late fees.
– Rex Tan, Managing Director of Ban Hock Hin Co. Pte Ltd
Psst… Besides offering rental motorcycles, Ban Hock Hin Co. Pte Ltd carries accessories such as helmets, cameras, phone mounts, water-proof bags and apparel. They also offer customisation such as spray painting and crash bars.
The chat on ‘caps on mileage’ and fees
Is there a cap on mileage for leased vehicles and what insurance is included?
No, the mileage is unlimited. Rental car packages come with comprehensive insurance that includes personal accident coverage.
What’s a standard lease length and are there cancellation fees?
The standard length for long-term leases typically starts from six months. Terminations for short rentals (six months or up to a year) are usually not allowed. But based on circumstances, it can be done with a penalty. For rentals above two years, an early termination is possible with a penalty. The cost will be determined on a case-by-case basis and it will vary between new and old cars.
– Sujith Gopal, Business Development Manager of Evergreen Rent A Car Pte Ltd
Psst… Evergreen Rent A Car offers a wide range of new and used cars, including popular brands such as BMW, Lexus, Honda, Hyundai, and Mazda. They also provide regular maintenance and cleaning services with courtesy cars.
The beef on restrictions and which car to go for
Will I be able to travel in the region with the vehicle?
Yes, you can drive to nearby countries like Malaysia. Insurance and accident assistance will be included. Replacement cars are also provided if required.
What car model would you recommend for a young family?
The Volvo XC60 and XC90, Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar F-Pace are ideal for a young family. They are premium SUVs that offer a lot of space in both the passengers’ seats and the boot. Take your pick from other fine car brands including Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault, Infiniti and more.
– Andrew Chan, Assistant General Manager (Leasing) at Wearnes Leasing
Psst… Choose from both short-term and long-term rentals at Wearnes Leasing. Have peace of mind with their 24 hours Wearnes Assist programme that provides quick recovery help in both Singapore and Malaysia. You can also rent a fancy car or a limousine for a wedding!
The finer details, like road side assistance
Is the lease transferable?
If you do not fulfil the minimum requirement period, you will have to pay a termination penalty. Long-term lease commitments may range within one to five years. However, if you manage to find someone to take over the lease (while adhering to leasing terms and conditions), you can transfer the lease without any penalty.
Is vehicle recovery and accident help included in the package in Singapore and abroad?
Breakdown service is available in both Singapore and West Malaysia. Basic recovery assistance due to tire damage or battery issues are covered. For mechanical problems that are not rectifiable on the spot, a towing service will be arranged to bring your vehicle back to Singapore. Replacement vehicles will not be provided in Malaysia.
– Komoco Car Rental Team
Psst… Komoco Car Rentals offers a fleet of cars that range from brand new to seven-year-old cars. Those on tighter budgets can opt for their older and also well-maintained cars.
Want even more about renting or buying a car in Singapore?