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Keen to get a cheap car rental but don't know how and what to expect? This beginner's guide to car rental services in Singapore is all you need.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice


We get it, Singapore's public transportation system is excellent (when there are no breakdowns), but it's not always convenient. So, here's where car sharing options and authorised car rental services come in handy.

To ensure that your first car rental journey is a smooth one, make a checklist of these five steps:
  • Choosing the preferred company and vehicle
  • Registering and making the deposit
  • Committing to a package
  • Collecting your vehicle
  • Returning the vehicle
This list will prepare you mentally on what to expect and help you avoid potential pitfalls when you rent a car in Singapore. 
 

Choosing the preferred company and vehicle

There are considerations you should note down before deciding on a rental car - for instance, should you rent a petrol or an electric car?
Here are some considerations to assist you in your decision-making process:

How old are you, and what's your driving experience?

If you're below 23-years old with less than two years of driving experience, your options are limited. Car rental companies like Tribecar will only let new drivers rent its car for an additional security deposit and surcharge on bookings.

It's not the end of the world for fresh drivers though. Here are other car rental companies that offer affordable services for P-plate drivers.

What is the average time your trips would take?

Car rental rates vary by the minutes, by the hour, by the day or by the week. Select one that best suits your intended driving duration. Since every car rental company has its cut off time for the various off-peak, super-off peak and peak hours, be sure to stick to them, or you'll be paying for more than you planned for.

What type of vehicle do you need?

If you're on a budget and any car will do, opt for the super saver car rental options. Alternatively, you can upgrade your car to something more comfortable and family-friendly. For special events and more fanciful vehicles, look out for car rental companies that specialise in bridal car rentals and luxury car rentals.

Are you willing to spend on fuel?

If no, then opt for electrical car rentals. There's no tank to fill, so you don't have to factor in fuel prices. Plug the vehicle up for charging, and you're good to go.

If yes, then you must ensure that you fill up the tanks before returning the rental car, or you'll incur a surcharge (rates vary).

For a good gauge on how much you'll need to spend on fuel, check out the latest fuel prices of 2020.

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Registering and making the deposit

You can register online for most car rental companies but be prepared to pay a deposit
You can register online with most companies, but there's usually a refundable security deposit of about $100 upon registration.

Some car rental services like BlueSG will require you to take up a membership plan upon registration before you can rent their cars.
 
 
Committing to a package

Packages are cost-saving options for those who regularly rely on personal vehicles but can't financially commit themselves to maintain one. However, the downside is that you need to max out your vehicle usage. If not, you'll be underutilising your package fees and wasting money.

If you don't need a car regularly, you're better off paying the hourly car rental rates.

Are you looking for cheap car rental packages to earn income via private-hire? Here are 7 popular hire cars for Grab rental and where you can rent them.
 
 
Collecting your vehicle

If you collect your car and the petrol gauge is near empty, the rental company will usually rebate you at the end
Upon collection, thoroughly examine the interior and exterior of the car. Snap images of any damages, even the minor ones, and report it to the car rental company before driving off. This ensures that you are not responsible for any pre-existing damages.

Check the petrol gauge as well and ensure you return the car with the same amount of petrol or more if you're feeling generous.
 
 
Returning the vehicle

Aside from cleaning up any mess you made in the car, ensure that you've got enough time to refuel if needed.

Also, make sure you return the car to the right station because car rental companies will slap a fine on you if you overshoot your lease/rental time.
 
 
Here are some car rental-related articles that might interest you

Eight parking courtesies all drivers should practice

Five courtesies young Singaporean drivers should know

How to drive safely on the roads in Singapore

New drivers beware! Here's 5 dangerous driving habits you don't want to pick up

Rent a car from these 'no deposit needed' car rental companies

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