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EnterAsia Information Services

Car and Driving

Maintaining a Car in Singapore

Driving in Singapore and owning a car is very expensive. If you are not supplied with a company car you will probably opt for using public transport instead.

 

Generally you do not need a car to survive in Singapore as the public transport system is a dream compared to other Asian countries and taxis are easily available.

 

You need to take a theory test after driving in Singapore for 12 months without a Singaporean license.

Note: drivers not used to driving on the left hand side should be extremely careful when driving in Singapore.

 

Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)

The ERP system keeps roads in Singapore congestion-free as motorists are charged when they pass through the ERP gantries according to vehicle category, time, place and congestion levels. There are 41 gantries located along the major expressways, the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and the Restricted Zone (RZ).

 

Cars have to be fitted with an in-vehicle electronic device (Vehicle Unit (IU)) which accepts a stored-value Cash Card. 100 feet before passing through an ERP gantry the Cash Card automatically deducts the toll. The IU beeps and displays the new value of the smart card. If the Cash Card has an insufficient value subsequent enforcement action is inevitable as the gantry cameras will take a photograph of the registration plate.

 

Make sure the smart card is pushed in all the way as you will be still fined if it is not properly inserted and thus not able to deduct the toll. Smart cards can be topped up at most gas stations, 7-Eleven shops and some car parks which use the same system.

 

Websites:
   ERP Rates and Gantries
   TrafficSmart Cameras   
   Real Time Traffic Interactive    
   RoadWorks by Street    
   Calculate Travel Time   
   Driving Directions   

 

 

Road Tax Renewal & Vehical Inspection

One month before the expiry date you will receive a road tax renewal notice. Before the renewal you need to  ensure cover of the full period of the new licence by the insurance check if your vehicle is due for a statutory inspection.

 

   Is your vehicle roadworthy?                                             Vehicle Inspection Frequency
   Motorcycles & Scooters       >     3 years       Once a year   
   Motorcars       3 –     10 years       Once in 2 years   
   Motorcars       >     10 years       Once  a year   

You will receive your inspection notice within 3 months before your road tax expires.

 

You may then renew your Road Tax

-          Online at this web site 

-          Visit one of the Road Tax Collection Centres mentioned in the renewal notice

-          Pay by Giro or cheque to the Land Transport Authority

-          Via AXS Stations or iNETS Kiosks

 

 

 The Land Transport Authority provides the following services at their web sites.

-          Buy a new vehicle

-          Maintain a vehicle

-           Buy/Sell a used vehicle

-          De register a vehicle

-           Online Road Tax renewal

-          Pay fines and charges online

-           View and print check-lists for various tasks

-           Renew your COE

-          Change your particulars (Address etc.) online

 

 

Car Repair/Spare Parts/Maintenance 

Websites:
   Auto Supermart       http://www.autosupermart.com/store/shop/index.html   
   Workshops            http://www.income.coop/claims/motor/wshop-arc.asp   

 

 

 

Petrol Stations/Prices

Websites:   Petrol Station Locators
   Caltex   
   Singapore Petroleum Company   
   Shell
   Esso  

 

 

Automobile Association of Singapore

As a representative of the Singapore motoring arena since 1907, the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA) is committed to serving the needs of its over 77,000 members and the local motoring community.  The Association is a voice of motorists, acting as a bridge between the motoring public and the relevant authorities.  AA members can enjoy emergency roadside assistance as well as benefits and privileges at a myriad of motoring and lifestyle outlets both locally and worldwide.  AA’s vision is to be the partner in motoring and to excel as the leader in quality vehicle recovery and motoring services in Singapore

 

 

 

Parking

Almost all buildings have a car park and fees apply which can be settled with your ERP cash card in many places.

 

At some open parking spaces (e.g. East Coast or Holland Village) you need coupons, which have to be bought and perforated in advance. Coupon booklets are available at 7 Eleven Shops and petrol stations. Make sure you have a good supply of them in your car! Failure to use them as indicated results in fines and/or wheel clamping. And we also suggest that you take great effort to do it right as the parking meter girls do not like jokes at all. Display them clearly visible next to each other inside your windscreen.

 

 

Websites:  
   Parking Fees and hours        http://www.onemotoring.com.sg/publish/onemotoring/en/on_the_roads/parking/parking_rates.html
   Coupon and Season Parking in HDB Car Parks        http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10327p.nsf/w/CarPark1TypeOfCoupon?OpenDocument

 

 

Park & Ride

The Park & Ride (P&R) Scheme allows you to park your vehicle at designated car parks located near an MRT station, bus interchange or bus stop, and continue your journey hassle-free by bus, MRT or LRT.

The P&R set consists of a P&R card and a Season Parking Ticket (SPT). The Park & Ride card can be used on buses, the MRT and LRT, while the SPT allows you to park your vehicle at designated P&R car parks.

 

Car Accidents

In case of an accident you should proceed like in your home country. You have to stop immediately and ascertain if someone is injured. Take down the particulars of all parties involved and inform your insurance as soon as possible. As the police need to draw a sketch plan, do not move the vehicles or casualties. A written report in English has to be submitted to the police as soon as possible. If you are injured you need a medical report from a doctor. Immediately inform your company and your car insurer.

 

If you are insured with a firm on the Independent Damage Assessment Centre (IDAC) you need to call Tel: 1800 887 5151 and will be directed to the centre for assessment where they will help you to fill in the Singapore Accident Statement claim form for the insurer. The form is mailed to you when you insure your car and should be placed in the glove compartment. Insurers advise you to give a description of the incident plus a sketch and all parties involved in the accident have to sign it at the scene. Your insurer may require you to send your car to an authorized workshop.

Websites:
   AA approved workshops in Singapore and Malaysia    
   Lawyer    
   Reporting a car accident    
   Police   
    

 

Info
Accidents       Tel:     6 995   
Traffic Police        Tel:     6 547 0000   

 

 

Own a Car

If importing a car to Singapore has been ruled out, there are three other option on owning a car in Singapore, which is either buying your ownand renting or leasing a vehicle. Alternatively join a car sharing scheme.

 

Take into account the following: If you spend S$ 5 a day on Bus or MRT commuting you spend 1,825 S$ a year. If you drive taxi for S$ 10 each day including weekends and holidays you would spend 3,650 S$.

 

With regard to the rate of depreciationof cars in Singapore, buying a car makes sense if you stay in Singapore longer than three years.

 

Leasing a car will cost you anything above SGD 1,000 a month, while the monthly cost for a purchase depend on your downpayment and consequent financial monthly installments added to the monthly running cost.

 

Hire purchase is a viable alternative to buying a car. You pay a fixed monthly sum over two or more years. Servicing, road tax, insurance and any accident claims are taken care of by the leasing company and a replacement vehicle is also provided when necessary. At the end of the lease period you can exercise your option to purchase the car.

 

See below table of comparison to evaluate the various options

Info:   Buy – Rent – Lease
   Criteria            BUYING       RENTING       LEASING   
ownership in name of:    yourself or your employer’s company     Car  Rental company    yourself or your employer’s company   
Beneficial Owner    Company buying car     Car Rental Company    Leasing Company   
Certificate of Entitlement (COE)    10 years    10 years     10 years   
Upfront cost (Deposit / Downpayment)    Downpayment of 30% of Purchase price.    fully refundable deposit of 2 months rental for 2 year contract    fully refundable deposit of 3 months lease for 2 year lease contract   
 Payment per month    Hire Purchase Finance Instalments depending on % financed    Less than Leasing    More than Renting   
Penalty for early termination     Penalty for early settlement imposed by Finance company    50% of the remaining unfulfiled rental term    100%. No early termination allowed   
Penalty for late payment     Overdue     interest charge @ 18% pa for late payments    Overdue     interest charge @18% pa for late payments    Overdue     interest charge @18% pa for late payments   
   You     pay for:       Vehicle     itself       Use     of vehicle       use     of vehicle   
   Malaysia     Entry       Yes       Yes       Yes   
   Option     to Purchase       NA       No       Yes   
   Minimum     term for new vehicle       NA       2 to     3 years       2 to     3 years   
   Payment     of road tax, insurance, servicing & maintenance, spare parts,     inspections etc.       by     Owner       by     Rental company       Borne     by Leasing company, but included in monthly lease payments   
   Accidents     / Damage to car       Owner’s     responsibility       Excess     liability with valid GIA accident report       Excess     Liability with valid GIA accident report   
   Administration     & repair by Rental company       Administration     & repair by Leasing company   
   Replacement     vehicle       No       Yes       Costs     reflected in monthly lease payments   
   Destiny     of Car on leaving Singapore       Scrap,     Trade in or Sell car       Return     car to Rental company at the end of the contract term       Return     car to Leasing company at the end of the lease period   
   Depreciation       Highest     within 1st 3 years       NA       NA   
 

 

 

Singapore Car Jargon

ARF Additional   Registration fee, 100 per cent of the Open Market Value calculated by   Singapore Customs
COE  

Certificate   of Entitlement. If you want to buy a car in Singapore you need to auction for   this document ( auctions are twice a mont) which is to secure with a SGD   10,000 deposit per bid. Pre-condition: you must register a car within six   months when bidding for category A (cars up to 1,600 cc) Category B (cars   above 1,600 cc). For category C (mostly for used cars) you need to register   the car within three months.

Excise   Duty  

Similar to an import duty this is 45 per cent of the OMV

GST  

Goods & Services Tax, 7% of a new car after deducting excise duty.

OMV  

Open Market Value as calculated by Singapore Customs.

PARF  

Preferential Additional Registration Fee is a rebate to offset registration taxes of new   vehicles.

Registration   Tax SGD 140
Road   Tax  

Ranges from SGD 413 a year to SGD 10,548 (for a Rolls Royce!)

Transfer   Fee  

The Government levies a tax when a car changes hands. Flat fee of SGD 10 per car   plus 2 per cent of the vehicle’s value.

Used   Car Surcharge SGD 10,000 – to discourage import of used cars!

 

 

Costs of a Car Purchase

The price of any car in Singapore depends on

 - The bid for the Certificate of Entitlement (COE)

- The Open Market Value (OMV)

- Custom Duty

- Additonal Registration Fee

 

 

 

Info: COSTS of buying a car in Singapore

Car Price (For new or Second Hand Car) see OMV

Custom Duty – 20% of OMV

 Additonal Registration Fee – 100% of OMV

 Registration Tax – SGD 140.00

 GST – 7%

 Vehicle Number Plate – average SGD 25 – 30

 Road Tax – Calculation

 COE

 Insurance

 Vehicle Radio License Fee – SGD 27,00 annual

 Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) a special toll when driving into the city during peak hours

 

 

Second Hand Cars

When buying a used car additionally to the normal evaluation you need to check the remaining time of the Certificate of Entitlement and the numbers on the number plate. Numbers containing a 4 are particularly difficult to sell due to Chinese superstition! The same applies if you are the third owner of the car and the next buyer would be number four. A transfer fee amounting to 2% of the assessed vehicle value will be levied. Car auctions are becoming very popular in Singapore and are a good source for assessing prices and selling cars when leaving the country.

 

Watch out for misrepresentation or unsatisfactory services:

Beware of oral agreements and paying high deposits

Beware of assurance given such as securing a COE or car loan

Beware of the statement that prices would be raised soon

Beware of the offer to back up a higher price of the car to secure a bigger loan.

The loan limit is 70 percent of the sales price

Beware of loans offered through the dealer

 

 

Car Sharing: Joint Car Ownership Schemes

The Joint Car Ownership Scheme is ideal for those who do not need a car every day or only a few hours per day. You join the scheme and are permitted to reserve a car by SMS, online or by automated phone booking system (24 hours). You access the car by keying in the reservation code via your cellphone and pick up the car key with your personal smart card. Instead of renting a car for a dayfrom the glove compartment. Rates are between SGD 8 – 11 for an hour plus an additional 30 – 40 cents per kilometre for samll cars such as a Nissan Sunny 1.5 Saloon. You have to resigster for a fee of about SGD 130 – 150 a year and pay a security deposit of SGD 100.

 

 

 

Driving License

Your current driver license is valid for 12 months in connection with an International Driver License from your home country.Tthe Automobile Association of Singapore can only issue International Driving Permits (IDP) to holders of Singapore Driving Licences. Foreigners who wish to drive in Singapore for more than 12 months are required to either obtain an IDP from the country where their licence was issued, or to seek advice from their respective consulates or embassies.

 

Info:   Bus Lane Rule
   Don’t cross the yellow line during              
   
    Weekdays – 7.30 am – 9.30 am
    Saturdays – 11.30 am – 2.00 pm   
                                                                  
      

 

Info:   Bus Lane Hot Spots: Fine SGD 130
   Eunos Link   
   Hougang Avenue 3   
   Jurong Town Hall Road   
   Lorong Chuan
   Orchard Road   
   Upper Serangoon Road   
   Upper Thomson Road   

If you do not have a license you need to pass the basic theory test, the final theory test and the practical test. The enrolment fee at the Driving Schools or Driving Centers varies between S$ 82.40 and S$ 149.35 .There is also an enrolment fee.

 

The higher fee includes the fees for four theory test classes. Driving lessons for 100 minutes during off peak hours (mo-Fri 8.30 am – 6.05 pm) cost S$ 57.68. On weekends and after 6.50 pm you pay S$ 65.92 per 100 minutes. Private Driving Instructors cost around S$ 25 for an hour-long lesson and are generally more comprehensive. 50% of the students at driving centers pass at the first time. Note that lessons have to booked about a month in advance. Cancellation can be made up to 72 hours in advance but late cancellation or missing a class results in forfeit of the fee paid.

 

Since recently basic, advanced and riding theory test have the option of taking a computerized test as opposed to a written or oral one. The test assigns 50 questions randomly out of a database of 1,500 questions. The fee is SGD 6,00 per test. Tests can be booked at the driving centers at Bukit Batok, Comfort Driving Centre in Ubi and Singapore Safety Driving Centre in Ang Mo Kio. Results are available immediately and you can apply for a

 

 

 

Refresher Courses for Practical Driving

If you feel insecure driving in Singapore, why not take up a refresher course. Check with the driving schools below.

 

Note: If you are over 65 you have to undergo a medical checkup every three years in order to maintain the validity of your driving licence. A refresher course is not requried you only have to submit a medical form. If you have not done so, you might be caught and considered as driving without license.

 

 

Peak Period

Every Monday between 4.00 pm to 7.30 pm. Every Saturday between 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.

 Average waiting time to be served is about 60 minutes. You are encouraged to come during our off peak period to enrol and book for your Traffic Police theory test.

If you intend to stay longer than a year with your Current and International Driving License you need to apply for a Singapore driver’s license at the Singapore Traffic Police and pass the Basic Driving Theory Test only. Book your basic theory test at the websites above.

Online booking of the Basic Theory Test is available. See above Web Site of the Driving Centers for documents and fees to present. The license is issued for a probationary period of one year and you should not accumulate more than 12 points in your Driver Improvement Points System during that period or the license will be revoked. A clear record is also quite important when applying for Permanent Residency (PR).

 

 

Recommended Procedure:

Inform yourself on documents to bring at the a.m. Web Site

Book the Basic Driving Theory Test online at the a.m. Web Site

Study the Official Handbook Basic Theory of Driving (58 pages)

Submit your application in person at the Traffic Police Department, No. 10 Ubi Avenue 3 with the necessary documents.

Pass the test: 50 questions in 60 minutes – good luck!

Note: your driving license needs to be translated into English!

 

 

Car Accidents

In case of an accident you should proceed like in your home country. You have to stop immediately and ascertain if someone is injured. Take down the particulars of all parties involved and inform your insurance as soon as possible. As the police need to draw a sketch plan, do not move the vehicles or casualties. A written report in English has to be submitted to the police as soon as possible. If you are injured you need a medical report from a doctor. Immediately inform your company and your car insurer.

 

If you are insured with a firm on the Independent Damage Assessment Centre (IDAC) you need to call Tel: 1800 887 5151 and will be directed to the centre for assessment where they will help you to fill in the Singapore Accident Statement claim form for the insurer. The form is mailed to you when you insure your car and should be placed in the glove compartment. Insurers advise you to give a description of the incident plus a sketch and all parties involved in the accident have to sign it at the scene. Your insurer may require you to send your car to an authorized workshop.

Websites:
   AA approved     workshops in Singapore and Malaysia    
   Lawyer    
   Reporting a car     accident    
   Police   
   Automobile     Association (AA)   

 

 

Driver Improvement Points System

This system is designed to identify high-risk motorists or habitual offenders and stop them from driving. Each driver has 24 demerit points available to loose within a period of 24 months. A first time suspension is for three months and thereafter the number of points available to lose drop to 12 in 12 months.

 

 

Seat Belts & Child Seats

Belting up is compulsory in Singapore for front and back passengers in private cars and taxis which come with seat belts. $120 fine will be imposed on the passenger who is not belted up. The driver will be fined $120 and given 3 demerit points for failing to ensure that his passenger is belted up. If the driver is not belted up, he/she will be fined $120 and given 3 demerit points. Children below 8 years must be strapped in a child safety seat. This is necessary in both the front and rear seats. However, child seats are not compulsory in taxis.

 

 

Driving and Traffic Rules in Singapore

Driving

Driving is on the left hand side! Be aware of frequent lane switches without signaling, difficulties to change lanes, tendency to pass red traffic lights, reckless motorcycles, and many speed control cameras.

The speed limits in town are 50 km/h, max. 80 km/h on expressways and max 70 km/h in tunnels.

 

Riding a motorcycle in Singapore: where to buy, register, drive

General Information

With the high and still increasing rate of fatal motorcycle accidents in mind riding a motorcycle should be considered under safety aspects. Making up 108 (or 48.6%) of the 222 fatalities in 2008, motorcyclists and their pillion riders remain the most vulnerable group of road users in Singapore.

 

See here for latest statistics

Especially the dangers of heavy tropical downpours should not be underestimated. You need a valid license and a conversion to ride in Singapore if you live or work here. Parking may be difficult to find as many car parks refuse parking for motorcycles. Visit the bikers chat rooms below for more specific information.

 

Lots of people actually wonder what to wear in this climate when riding a motorbike.As you probably do not want to wear a l full leather suit in such a hot climate, we strongly recommend you wear a full-faced helmet (FF) or at least a flip-up helmet, a riding jacket, gloves and boots. Note that you need rain gear to withstand the heavy tropical downpours.

 

Motorcycle Licenses

If you have an international bike licence or a foreign bike licence, the Traffic Police can help you convert this to a Singapore one. You should be aware that Singapore bike licenses are divided into three categories (see below). Regardless of your foreign licence rating, you will only be issued a Class 2B licence, although there have been exceptions. See web site below for more information on the procedure.

Info

Class 2A

to ride bikes up to 401 cc

 

 

 

Class 2B

 

to ride bikes up to 201cc

 

 

 

Class 2

 

unlimited

 

Please note that battery-operated bikes (electric driven bikes) with a maximum power output above 200 watts are classed as motorcycles. You could be fined S$ 5,000 or jailed for 6 months if you are caught using an unregistered motorized bicycle as every make and model must now be auhtorised by an insepction center. Scooters are not allowed on public roads, pavements next to public roads, in public parks and in HDB estates. Riders not complying with the safety rules on public roads may be fined up to S$ 1,000 or jailed up to a maximum of three months. See web site below on motorized bicyles for more information or call the Hotline at Tel: 1800 2255 582 or the traffic

 

Buying a motorcycle

 

 

 While the main impediment to buying a car is the high asking price, which is due to the COE (Certificate of Entitlement) the COE for bikes is much much lower, and for new bikes is currently SGD 1. You can get a good idea of the bike buying process below.

 

There is a wide variety of bikes available here, although Japanese bikes predominate, Honda especially. Regarding dealers for used bikes and mechanics, these vary in terms of service, and depending on whom you talk to. These judge you very much by how you behave when you first turn up on their doorstep, and what you need of them. You may find it easier to go to someone who has been recommended. Make sure that the dealer offers you an “on the road (ORT) price.