Owning a car in Singapore is famously expensive, but there are times when public transport or public hire services just won’t cut it. If you have a valid driving license (or know someone who does) short-term car or vehicle rental can be the ideal solution.
We attempt at curating the average costs of renting different types of vehicles in Singapore, and what you should look out for when getting one.
A vehicle for every occasion and price
The Singapore car rental market is a vibrant one with every make of car available for rental, for the right price. As you’d expect, the rental price depends largely on the physical characteristics of your chosen vehicle such as its brand, model, age, engine capacity, seating capacity and so on.
|Type of vehicle||Rental cost per day*|
|Sedans/Hatchbacks||$50 to $150|
|Luxury Sedans/Hatchbacks||$80 to $600|
|Sports||$100 to $400|
|MPV||$80 to $250|
|SUV||$60 to $500|
|Stationwagon||$75 to $120|
|Truck||$80 to $200|
|Van||$60 to $160|
*Price table constructed using data from Drive.sg. Prices depicted are off-peak.
We used data from Drive.sg for the above table. An online car marketplace that searches over 50 car rental companies, Drive.sg is known for its convenient and transparent comparisons, which lets you pick vehicles within your budget.
Frankly, car rental prices in Singapore aren’t outrageously high. Sedans and hatchbacks may be rented starting from as low as $50 per day while sports models will cost you at least twice that amount.
Conventional wisdom tells us we won’t get a lot of luxury sedans on the rental market. However, to my surprise, I spotted a good number of BMWs and Mercedes on the listings along with a few Audis and Jaguars! This is great news for ones who've always wanted a fancy wedding and a top-of-the-line car to complete the fantasy.
Vehicles with larger capacity such as SUVs, MPVs and station wagons as well as trucks and vans are also available for relatively cheap, starting from $60-$80 per day. But do bear in mind that when shopping at the lower-end of each category, you’re likely to get older and/or less flashy models.
Other channels for renting a car
You could also approach international or local car rental companies, car manufacturers or peer-to-peer platforms to rent a vehicle according to your needs.
International car rental companies offer an extensive catalogue. And their international reach means they can help you find suitable rental cars for use beyond Singapore — for instance, if you want to drive while holidaying on the Gold Coast. But be prepared to pay higher prices for the extended services. Some well-known international car rental companies in Singapore include AVIS, Hertz and Europcar Car Rental.
|International car rental company||Address & Contact Number|
|AVIS Singapore||Waterfront Plaza|
390A Havelock Rd, #01-07
Terminal 2 (Arrival), Avis Counter
Terminal 3 (Arrival), Avis Counter
Tel: 1800 737 1668
|Hertz||Vantage Automotive Centre |
305 Alexandra Rd, Basement 1
Terminal 2 (Arrival), Meeting Hall Counter 10
Tel: 1800 734 4646
|Europcar Car Rental||Changi Airport|
All Terminals,Meet & Greet
Tel: 9842 1818
If you need to drive only within Singapore and Malaysia, you might find lower prices with local car rental firms like Alltrust Leasing, Asia Express Car Rental, Eazi Car Leasing and My Car Rental. However, local companies won’t necessarily mean cheaper prices, as the rental rates ultimately depend on the brand and the model of the car.
|Local car rental firms||Address & Contact Number|
|Alltrust Leasing||Sin Ming Autocare|
176 Sin Ming Drive, #05-16
Tel: 6453 0100
|Asia Express Car Rental||Atrix|
82 Geylang Lorong 23, #03-06
Tel: 6842 4992
|Eazi Car Leasing||WCEGA Plaza|
1 Bukit Batok Crescent, #02-43
Tel: 6684 0762, 6684 0763, 6684 0767
|My Car Rental||Roxy Square Shopping Centre|
50 East Coast Road, #02-68
Tel: 6348 0500
Another way to rent a vehicle is to go directly to the car manufacturers and distributors, especially when you’re seeking a specific brand or model, one that is rarely seen in Singapore.
Lately, peer-to-peer car rental communities have also been proliferating in Singapore. These platforms usually consist of car owners who want to rent out their cars for extra income and drivers who need a vehicle temporarily. One such platform, Drive lah, even allows car owners to set their own rental prices, and claims to be 30% to 40% cheaper than traditional car rental companies.
You could also find vehicles for rental on Carousell. But be sure to carefully read the rules before committing.
What else should you know about renting a car in Singapore?
With so many options, finding a suitable car to rent in Singapore is easy enough. However, there are some things you should take note of.
Prices can skyrocket during peak periods
Beware of prices during high-demand periods around popular festivals like Chinese New Year or Hari Raya. Many companies take the opportunity to offer rental packages that often stretch over a few days, ostensibly for your convenience.
However, hiding in the package price could be high mark-ups and peak period surcharges. If you anticipate needing a car during peak periods, be sure to start your search early, and compare prices across as many vendors as you can comfortably manage.
Eligibility criteria for renting a car
Before signing the rental contract, you should carefully check the accompanying insurance and qualifying criteria.
One such criteria involves driving into Malaysia. Since many Singaporeans like to take road trips into Malaysia, and are unwilling to risk theft or damage to their own vehicles, rental cars are seen as a lower-risk alternative.
But not all rental companies allow their vehicles to be driven in Malaysia. So, you should always indicate if you are looking to drive across the causeway, lest you’re slapped with hefty penalties.
As for insurance, be sure to check that the vehicle you are renting comes with proper insurance coverage. At a minimum, the rental insurance policy should include:
- Excess or deductible: The amount you’ll pay in any claims you make
- Named driver(s): If you plan to share driving duties with your friend, be sure that both of you are named in the insurance policy during the rental period
- Theft/Loss Damage Waiver: This waives any damages or reduces your liability in the case of theft or accidents. Don’t overlook this, as by law, the renter is responsible for the vehicle while it is in his/her possession.
Also, note that there is a whole host of other eligibility criteria you might need to fulfil, such as:
- P-plate (some rentals do not accept drivers still in their probation period)
- Age at rental (most vendors require you to be between 23 and 69 years old to rent)
- Years of driving experience (for example, you’ll need at least 3 years of driving experience if you are looking to rent a BMW.)
- International Driving License (for foreigners seeking to drive in Singapore). You can drive for up to 12 months in Singapore with an international license, and will need to convert to a local license thereafter to continue driving.
Long-term car rental
If you need long-term car rental, a vehicle leasing service is what you’ll want. In terms of average daily costs, it is cheaper to rent a car for the long term. Most long-term car leases are at least a year long. There are penalties for early termination of the lease — some companies charge up to 200% of the value of the remaining lease — so be sure you commit to the entire lease term in order to avoid taking a financial hit.
How to earn credit card perks on car rentals
Remember that car rental charges are seldom eligible for credit card perks. So, you might need to read the T&Cs before you swipe your card at the rental company. You could save on your rental fees with unlimited cashback cards such as the Standard Chartered Unlimited Card or the American Express True Cashback Card. Both these cards award 1.5% cashback, which translates to $15 for a $1,000 charge. Alternatively, charge your car rental bill to an air miles card to earn miles and redeem your next flight. Try the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card to earn 1.4 miles per $1 spent locally.
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