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Can Commercial Vehicles Be Rented Out By Individuals?

It is common-place to see commercial vehicles being rented out by businesses. However, just because commercial vehicles are more often than not rented out by businesses does not stop individuals from doing so too. Be it moving house, or simply running your own small pastry or flower business, having a vehicle with ample space would help to solve many of your logistical issues. 

However, we do understand that renting a commercial vehicle can be seen as a daunting task, especially for customers that have not rented commercial vehicles before. With this guide, we aim to take you step-by-step on how to go about the vehicle rental process, and the different things to take note of. 

 

What is a commercial vehicle? 

A commercial vehicle is simply a term for vehicles that transport goods and equipment or ferries fare-paying passengers. This can range from buses, to lorries and vans. 

In Singapore, only persons with a registered business can purchase a commercial vehicle in an open market. In other words, individuals are unable to purchase a commercial vehicle for one’s own personal use, with the exception of one having a professional hawker license issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA). 

 

Things to note when purchasing commercial vehicle in Singapore 

To purchase a commercial vehicle in Singapore, similarly to private cars, one has to bid and obtain a valid Certificate of Entitlement (COE), more commonly under Category C – Goods Vehicles and Buses, or Category E – Open, All Except Motorcycles. To read up on COE and its relevant information and updates, do look up “COE- What is it and Why is it So Expensive?” for more general information and “COE Prices Surged; Highest in Years – How COE Relates To Car Rental Customers?” for the latest news on its 21.8% price surge in Mid April 2021 against the prices in Early April 2021. Currently, the COE prices for Category C for May 2021 (2nd Bidding Round) is at S$41,701. 

For commercial vehicle ownership, one needs to take note that the maximum lifespan of the commercial vehicle is 20 years. In other words, even though one is willing to renew COE which expires every 10 years, you are unable to continue utilizing the vehicle after 20 years. 

 

Types of commercial vehicles

According to the LTA, commercial vehicles are categorised into 4 different types: The Goods-Cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs); Light Goods Vehicle (LGVs); Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs); Very Heavy Goods Vehicles (VHGVs), of which the cost of purchasing the vehicle and the type of taxes needed may vary. 

 

Here is a simple breakdown of the different categories of commercial vehicles. 

 

Goods-Cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs) Light Goods Vehicle (LGVs) Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) Very Heavy Goods Vehicles (VHGVs)
Description Vehicle to transport both passengers and goods Minibuses with a max seating of 15 passengers or vehicle that transport goods  Bigger lorries, multipurpose vans and trucks  Industrial purpose vehicles 
Max Laden Weight (MLW)  5,000kg 3,500kg 3,501kg to 16,000kg >16,000kg
Example of/Types of Vehicle/Models  Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Toyota Liteace, Isuzu D-Max  Nissan NV200, NV350, 

Nissan Cabstar, Toyota Hiace Commuter/Van, Toyota Liteace, Toyota Dyna, Renault Kangoo, Volkswagen Caddy, Volkswagen Transporter 

Refrigerator truck, dropside truck, open deck/carriage truck Garbage trucks, container trucks, prime movers, tow trucks, cranes, mixers 
Available for rent  Available Available  Not available  Not available 

 

Why Rent Instead of Buying a Commercial Vehicle? 

  • Lowered costs

In general, ownership of vehicles in Singapore is expensive. A vehicle like the Toyota Hiace – High Roof Van could amount up to S$100,000 (inclusive of a S$40,000 COE)! That’s equivalent to the cost price of a quarter of a flat in Singapore! 

Not to mention, that these commercial vehicles are mandated to be scrapped after their 20-year mark, a depreciation cost is incurred over the years of owning a commercial vehicle. 

Factoring the maintenance costs, petrol, and miscellaneous tax (road tax, parking, ERP), and depreciating costs that accumulate over the years, the amount of money spent on a commercial vehicle could have been very substantial. 

 

  • Convenience

Moreover, owning a vehicle is just like having a baby. It needs tender-loving care, which, in the vehicle world, includes bringing the vehicle for regular maintenance and servicing to ensure that it remains safe to drive in. Servicing is needed regardless of whether the vehicle is heavily used or not. 

Should you be renting a commercial vehicle, renters do not have to deal with the hassle of scheduling your own maintenance checks. Ordinarily, car rental companies do regular checks on their rented vehicles to ensure its utmost safety before they are being rented out. Additionally, even if your vehicle is scheduled to be serviced, a substitute vehicle will be provided to you! 

 

  • Flexibility

Lastly, owning a commercial vehicle is a full-time duty. You are required to take care of it, service it and finance it on a full-time basis, regardless of the amount of use. 

Carefully deliberate your need for the vehicle 1-year, 3-years, 10-years and even 20-years down the line. Is the commercial vehicle absolutely necessary? Or is it more for a one-time usage? 

Possibly, having a rented vehicle allows you more flexibility – not only for convenience, but financially as well. Paying one monthly payment for a vehicle, for example, beats buying a vehicle should you say you need the vehicle for only a specific usage like moving house, and you can get to change vehicles to suit your rental needs. 

Hence, taking all these considerations into play – finances, personal usage and convenience, renting a commercial vehicle may be the most cost efficient and effective way of meeting your lifestyle needs. 

 

Requirements of renting a commercial vehicle? 

Commercial vehicles are available for both individuals and companies to rent. 

For individuals, you would need at least a Class 3 license. In some cases, for larger vehicles, you might need a Class 4 license. 

For companies, you would need to register the vehicle under a company name, with any staff of the company (including the boss), who has a valid driving license. 

To know which license is necessary to rent a particular commercial vehicle or any other queries with regards to renting a commercial vehicle, feel free to check with the sales associates at BizLink Rent-A-Car for further clarifications. 

Get in touch with BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd to start your commercial vehicle rental journey. 

 

References: 

https://onemotoring.lta.gov.sg/content/onemotoring/home/driving/commercial-vehicles.html#:~:text=Goods%2Dcum%2DPassenger%20Vehicles%20(,transport%20both%20goods%20and%20passengers