Expat Car Rental in Singapore
You’ve clinched that much-coveted expat job and now, it would make it much easier to settle into the new environment, if you have a car, especially since you’ve been used to driving overseas. But in Singapore, the price of owning a car is exorbitant. The next best option would then be to rent a car.
Read this article to find out more about expat car rental services in Singapore.
Expat car rental in Singapore is necessary for a number of reasons. Besides the high cost of buying a car in Singapore, expats need to do shopping for furniture to settle in, so a car comes in handy, are not familiar with the local transport system, and a car can drive one and loved ones to local places of interest. Furthermore, as mentioned above, you may simply be used to commuting and living with a car as an accessory, not a status symbol.
Do’s and Don’ts of Expat Car Rental in Singapore
There is of course a difference between an expat car lease and a short term or long term car rental for Singaporeans. The rate would be different, the types of cars offered to choose from would also differ and you may receive additional bundled services that come with the rental, such as advice on local traffic situations, which a local would not need.
What then are the dos of car rental as an expat?
DO LOOK FOR THE BEST RATES
First of all you should shop around for the best car rental rate for an expat. Consider the smaller car rental companies besides the big ones; the big ones may be more accessible in terms of location but the smaller ones may provide better service.
DO BOOK EARLY
You should also not procrastinate and leave things to the last minute, book early to avoid delays– in line with when you start work can be a good kick off point.
DO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAR
Choosing the right kind of car is another consideration. If you are alone, you can choose a smaller car and save up some money. If you are here with your family and require to chauffeur them around often, you may opt for an SUV.
DO ASK FOR A DETAILED PRICE BREAKDOWN
You should also request for a detailed breakdown of the fees to avoid wrong or large sums of charges slapped on you for services.
DO ENSURE YOU HAVE CAR INSURANCE
There are also a couple of things people often overlook when they rent cars as an expat. First make sure that you have car insurance. Accidents do happen and the next thing you hate to see is running into an accident and you have no car insurance to cover for car damages or injuries. Usually the car rental company would have included car insurance in the rental but you do need to check and purchase car insurance if it is not provided for.
DO SEIZE CHANCES TO UPGRADE YOUR PACKAGE
Do not ignore potential opportunities for upgrades. The best time to trawl a good catch is during peak periods such as festive seasons when the car rental company is low on stock on regular cars and so may nudge you to upgrade to classier cars with minimum charges.
DON’T FORGET TO USE YOUR MILES
Also, do not forget to check for discounts such as AAA, AARP, and airline frequent flyer programmes. If you are a member of travel organisations, there is a chance that you will get a discount for your car rental.
DON’T BE CURSORY WITH YOUR INITIAL INSPECTION
Do not also make a sloppy check upon departure. Be eagle eyed for both big and small damages such as scratches, loose parts, working windows, brakes, signal lights etc. You can even take a video as you inspect the car to act as a piece of evidence. Not only will you be held responsible for any damage, you may also be inconvenienced and put in danger due to your carelessness.
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT A FINAL INSPECTION
When you return the car to the rental company do not just drop off the keys and go. Chances are you may be blamed for damages that are not your doing. Have an agent inspect it before you sign on the form and leave. Better yet, take a video of the inspection with the agent as double protection.
Other Things Expats Should Look Out For in Expat Car Rental
“LOSS OF USE” INSURANCE
There are also additional lesser known facts about car rentals. Beware of “Loss of Use” insurance. These are charges that a car rental company can charge you if you incur damage to the car that causes it to be unavailable for rental and therefore loss of revenue for the car rental company. It is calculated in terms of days lost for rental and is often not covered by car insurance. Credit cards, however, are able to act as a protection to this “Loss of Use” charge as credit card companies such as American Express, Mastercard and Visa will pay for this item.
Another consideration is eligibility requirements for renting a car in Singapore. Most car rental companies require your age to fall between 23 to 69 years of age. If you are older than 69, charges may be higher. For expats you also need to present your driving license in English or International Driving Permit, both of which allow you to drive in Singapore for 12 months. After a year you are required to convert into a Singapore driving license. To do so you have to pass a basic theory test. There are special requirements for rental of certain models of cars. For example for BMWs, Mercedes, Volvos and Audi some car rental companies allow rental for persons aged 23 to 65 years and have at least 3 years of driving experience.
ADDITIONAL CHARGES AND DAMAGES
The items typically included in a car rental contract are rental amount, duration of the rental, amount of security deposit, payment schedule, insurance coverage, emergency breakdown contact, termination penalties and limitations such as driving into Malaysia.
To better protect yourself, it is best to put down both the names of you and your spouse if both of you take turns to drive the car so that you are covered during an accident. Another item in the contract to take note of is the deductible amount. Like personal insurance, if there is a car damage you may have to pay a part of the cost. For instance if the car repairs come up to $1000, you may have to co-pay $300.
There is also an item known as the Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) or Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). If you purchase a LDW or CDW you will not have to pay for car damages having paid for more upfront already. The waivers allow you to skip payment in the event of car damages. In addition, if the car is stolen during rental you are liable for the loss but you can prevent this by purchasing theft protection insurance.
PERMISSION TO DRIVE INTO MALAYSIA
Can you drive the rental car into Malaysia? There are special packages available that allow you to drive into Malaysia. Some rental companies require you to just pay a surcharge of between $20 to $50 in order that you drive into Malaysia. Expats should take note that Malaysia is more susceptible to thefts and luxury cars may attract these criminals.
AGE AND MILEAGE OF CAR
Another thing to note is the age of the car you are renting. A newer car will of course incur more rental cost. However, a more accurate indication of a car’s age is the mileage driven. The average car in Singapore covers 20,000 kilometres to 25,000 kilometres a year.
Renting A Car, Made Easy
Renting a car as an expat is not cheap, as you can incur about $1500 a month for rental of a Toyota. So a considerable amount of thinking and preparation should be put into the rental. So in the final balance, be sure to engage with a trustworthy expat car rental specialist like BizLink Rent-A-Car, for a transparent, hassle-free, and pleasant rental experience through your stint in Singapore! If you take note of the tips we’ve given you here, and stay safe while driving, you will be enjoying your stay in Singapore in no time!