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Car Rental: What To Know Before Renting A Car

Car rental in Singapore has seen a steady increase ever since the private-hire industry took off in 2016. With over 77,000 private-hire vehicles (PHVs) on the roads in 2019, many see car rental as a way to commute or earn extra cash. If you are looking to rent a car, read on for some useful tips on car rentals in Singapore!


The first consideration is whether you are eligible to rent a car in Singapore. The requirements for renting a car is relatively similar to buying a car. You will require one of these two:

  1. A valid Class 3 or 3A licence, or
  2. An International Driving Permit (IDP)

As different car rental companies have different restrictions, be mindful of the following:


Most rental companies only rent to individuals between 22 to 73 years old. While some allow 21 year-olds to rent a car at a higher insurance premium, it is best to check if the company offers such an option.

P-Plate Drivers

If your driving licence has only been valid for less than a year, you are a P-Plate driver. Many rental companies do not allow new drivers to rent due to higher risks of accidents. Hence, always check beforehand with the rental companies to avoid disappointment.


The current cost of rental cars starts from as low as $50 per day, depending on model and type. However, you should first ask yourself this before you rent a car:

Am I renting the car long-term or short-term?

If you are planning to rent a car on a short-term basis frequently, a better option would be car-sharing instead. However, those who plan to rent a car for long-term periods would benefit from car rentals.

This is because rental cars require a lot of paperwork to protect both the rental companies and the renter. Every time you rent, you need to have all your documents on hand and fill in a rental agreement.

Nevertheless, if you are opting to rent long-term, it is definitely more cost-effective due to a lower price-per-day cost.

Other questions that you should consider before renting include:

  • What is your budget?
  • Is the rental company reputable?
  • How is their customer service and support?

(Related Story: 10 Things To Look Out For When Renting A Car)


Although it is tempting to rent a car with the largest capacity, it may not be as cost-efficient as you think. While it can store a lot of belongings, it has higher fuel consumption than average. Additionally, if you find yourself approaching narrow spaces such as car parks, it would be harder to fit your car.

Hence, it is important to consider how you intend to use your car. This means the number of passengers you would be ferrying and how much baggage to carry per trip on a daily. Have a look at our list of the best cars for private-hire drivers!

(Related Story: Top 6 Car Rental Companies In Singapore)


Next on the list to note is rental car insurance. Most times, car insurance cost is already covered in the price, so you need not worry about the logistics. However, be sure to read through the insurance policy chosen by the rental company.

Ensure that the basic needs are covered. These include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver – Coverage for damage to the car in the event of accidents
  • Liability Coverage – Protection against ensuing lawsuits from the car accident

Always contact your rental car provider on the extent of coverage if you are unsure about any details.

Another thing to take note of is the rental car agreement. This serves as a protection for you regarding things such as security deposit (if any) and late-return fees.

Make sure you look out for these terms & conditions in your rental car agreement:

  • Security deposit
  • Extension of car or late return fees
  • Cancellation fees
  • Restrictions on overseas use of car


When you are finally ready to collect your car, arrive at least 15-30 minutes earlier than the collection time. This helps to account for the entire collection process, which includes verification and confirmation. That way, you can expect no delays in your rental car collection.

Check that the exterior and interior of the car is as declared in the agreement alongside a staff member. Inspecting the car on the spot ensures that you are not liable for any pre-existing defects prior to your rental.


Once you are done with your rental, do return the car at least 30 minutes before the stipulated time. This gives you enough time to clear out your belongings, while allowing the rental company to process the car.

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