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Car Rental in Singapore: a Perfect Mix of Technology and Nature
A small island, republic, and city in one, Singapore is the second most densely populated country in the world – but still retains a stunning amount of green space! Over 50% of the country is covered by greenery, despite its 5.5 million inhabitants. This balance of space and population means that there’s a huge amount of things to see within a small surface area, from beaches on the East Coast or Sentosa, to skyscrapers along the Singapore River, from museums in the city’s colonial core in the Bras Basah, to wildlife at the Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park or Botanical Gardens. Wherever you go in Singapore, don’t forget to take advantage of the incredible diversity and excellence of its food vendors and restaurants!
Singapore’s wet season is between November and January, so plan your visit to the region between February and April, when you’re most likely to have sunny days and cooler evenings. Although not yet the hottest months of May and June, spring in Singapore still promises you plenty of outdoor activities.
The national language of Singapore is Malay, while the official languages of the city-nation are Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. English has recently become the lingua franca of the nation, while Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil represent the major ethnic grouping of native Singaporeans.
The currency in the country is the Singapore dollar and is both pegged to and often interchangeable with the Brunei dollar. Currency exchange is easy and available throughout the city, oftentimes regardless of what currency you’re carrying, particularly in Little India.
If you’re travelling by air, you’ll land at the bustling and well-organized Changi Airport. There are numerous car rental options at the airport, as well as interspersed throughout the city, such as just off the waterfront in Central Singapore or just east of Upper Thomson Road in the North East Region. Singapore’s southern coastline is only 50km long and takes just under 40 minutes to drive with perfect traffic conditions. You can typically reach Johor Bahru, Malaysia from the Changi Airport via the Singapore Zoo in about an hour.
Driving in Singapore
Infrastructure in Singapore is excellent, and this includes the roads, which are in good shape and generally carry well-behaved drivers. While public transportation is also excellent in the city, automobile hire is a great way to see all the nooks and crannies of this packed country – and allow you to pop over the border to Malaysia as well.
- Traffic follows the left-hand side of the road.
- The speed limit throughout Singapore is 60 km/h, except on expressways, where it is 90 km/h.
- Rest assured that there are speed cameras set up throughout the majority of the city; sticking to the speed limit is highly recommended!
- You will be given an immigration card upon entering Singapore, which it is imperative you retain, as you have to return it when you exit the country again. You will have to go through this process every time you enter and exit Singapore, even if you’re just driving briefly into Malaysia.
- Visitors from most nations can enter Singapore without a visa and stay for thirty to ninety days. Some visitors, however, will need to apply for a visa online or visit a Singaporean Diplomatic Mission before they arrive, so double-check your specific entry requirements before you leave your home country.
- Parking in Singapore is surprisingly easy compared to other major Asian cities, though you may have difficulty parking downtown during peak business hours.
- Your domestic driver’s license is permitted in Singapore for up to a full year, provided it is in English. If you’re coming from a non-English-speaking country, you can ask your embassy for an English translation of your driver’s license.
- Tolls in Singapore are collected through the Electric Road Pricing system on most major expressways or throughways. Ask your car rental service how they regulate EPR fees in their rental cars.
- The minimum driving age in Singapore is 18 years of age.
- Eat a lot. From street vendors to fine dining, some of the best food in the world can be found in this tiny country, and is vetted by local Instagrammers regularly. Make social media your guide to some of the best food in the world.
- Drug use and trafficking is very strictly prohibited in Singapore and is punishable by death. It’s possible that customs will perform spot urine tests in airports.
- It is permissible to cross the border to Malaysia with a car you rent in Singapore, though if you’re planning on exploring Malaysia in any detail, you may find that renting in Johor Bahru just over the border from Singapore is significantly more affordable. Police typically set up roadblocks at night to dissuade drinking and driving.