Drive.SG's Quick Guide to Renting a Car for Chinese New Year

Drive.SG's Quick Guide to Renting a Car for Chinese New Year

The guide has been updated for Chinese New Year 2017. Check out Chinese New Year 2017 Car Rental Guide below!

It’s that time of the year again in Singapore where everyone of Chinese ethnicity prepares for the New Year and heads home to celebrate with their families.

If you’re looking to rent a car to head home to go on a holiday, here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about renting with us during the Chinese New Year period.

Quick Background on Car Rentals during Chinese New Year

Photo by photo_gratis under Creative Commons with Commercial Usage.

As everyone heads home to visit their relatives and friends, there will be an influx of people heading to Malaysia or visiting in Singapore with their families.

That typically means two things when it comes to getting around during the Chinese New Year period if you don’t own a car.

  • First, it’s hard to use public transportation or get a cab during this period as well, many drivers and taxis are also doing their own visitations. On top of that, the frustration of getting transport is compounded if you are making multiple trips usually.

  • Second, the demand for rental cars during this period will be at an all time high for this period. Many peolpe will be looking to to avoid public transportation to transport their family.

Some Common Questions

We’ve compiled a list of the top questions that we have receied from our customer.

Q1. Why are they all 7 day packages? Are there any 1 day rentals?

Majority of the Car Rental companies in Singapore sell 7 day packages as these packages help to cover manpower constraints. This will give their own staff to do their own visitations. As a result, they will not be operating during the festive period.
It’s rare to find a single day rental company that is open on Chinese New Year. There may be unlicensed private rentals but we advise against it due to a couple of reasons.

  • Unclear service agreements - It's fine when nothing goes wrong but it is unclear who is liable and what damages are to be paid if something does. Being unclear on what you've agreed on also leaves it to interpretation and they may hold it against you.
  • Insurance coverage - The risks of accidents and costs of repairs should already be calculated and accounted for as a business risk for all legitimate car rental companies. Hence, insurance helps them to mitigate the risks. Private rentals may not have the required insurance and it's also unclear how much damage would you be liable for.

Q2. Why are prices so high? Why is there a surcharge compared to normal days?

  • Packages from car rental companies are sold in 7 day packages, increasing the total cost.

  • Demand during the period is overwhelming hence all car rental companies increase their prices during these periods. Eg. Peak Hour Surcharges in Taxis.

Click here to view Chinese New Year Cars in One Page 

Tips for Renting During Chinese New Year

Tip #1 Book Early

Booking Early means a wider variety of car models at all price points. More popular models or cheaper packages tend to get snapped up early.

Plus, Drive.SG tend to give earlybird discounts 2 months before Chinese New Year. (Update: Earlybird discounts live now!)

Tip #2 Ensure you’re clear on what you’re renting 

On top of the confounding complexity for first time rentals, there are also additional considerations when it comes to Chinese New Year. Here’s what you should specifically look out for especially when renting during Chinese New Year.

  • Car Specifics

    • Does it cater to Probation Drivers? Does it allow Malaysia Entry?

    • Due to insurance reasons, some rental companies do not rent out to probation drivers or allow Malaysia Entry. Eg. Probation drivers are considered at a higher risk of accident, hence increasing the cost of insurance.
  • Package Dates

    • While majority of Companies only do week long packages, there are slight variations in their dates, usually a difference of one or two dates.

    • Be clear on what type of package dates are available. Eg. 26th Jan to 2nd Feb 2017 or 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2017

  • Package Prices

    • The prices quoted would be based on a list that these companies should publish publicly. Always ask for the list, it’s usually priced based on car categories of that car rental partner.

    • Prices vary from partner to partner but usually are upwards of $888 for a base class sedan.

Tip #3 Be Clear on Additional Surcharges

  • Heading to Malaysia? Need a child seat? Having a second driver?

  • Be aware that these add ons are typically not included for most rentals and are payable on collection of the car (that way you can still change your mind if you decided not to go to Malaysia)

  • Premium partners may include some add-ons. eg. Second Driver but it's still a good practice to factor them when evaluating the different cars.

 

There are over 100 Car Rental Companies in Singapore, to call every car rental company on the models and rates available to make a full comparison is hard.

Of course, you can find most of these information consolidated on one website at Drive.SG’s Chinese New Year’s page, that would make it easier for you to decide which cars you’re looking to book.

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Car Rental Terms, Jargon & Terminology Explained

Car Rental Terms, Jargon & Terminology Explained

Part 3 of how to Rent a Car in Singapore

Part 1: Making the booking

1. Background on Renting

2. Finding a car for your needs

3. Choosing a Rental Company

4. Booking the Car

Part 2: Collecting & Returning

5. Collecting the Car

6. Driving

7. Returning

8. Specific Scenarios

Here’s some of the more confusing terms you might probably encounter in the course of you renting a car in Singapore. Worry not, we’ll explain each term so that you’ll know what you’re getting into when it comes to the terms & conditions of renting a car.

Collision Damage Waiver
  • Option for users to lower the insurance excess.
Insurance Coverage
  • 3rd Party Insurance is the bare legal minimum under Singapore Law. It covers damage to others(people and property) in an accident deemed to be your fault. Any damage to the rental car and yourself will be borne by you.
  • Comprehensive Insurance provides the most complete car insurance coverage. It covers damages to others (people and property) and damages to the rental car and your injuries (check with rental agency).
Insurance Excess
  • The maximum amount to which you are liable for when you do get into an accident with the rental car. Any reparation email above this excess is covered by insurance under the terms of the insurance coverage.
Mileage
  • Dictates the travel distance. Not so much of an issue locally but more so when you do head into Malaysia or when driving in big countries. Eg. US, Australia.
Malaysia Surcharge
  • Additional daily cost for driving into Malaysia. This charge typically covers the additional insurance of driving overseas in Malaysia. Most companies charge it, some don’t.
Named Driver
  • The name of the one driving the rental car. Of note because the insurance often only insures the named driver. 2nd drivers might be added.
Petrol Policy
  • The common petrol policy is to return the petrol at the same level as upon collection of the car. Any petrol above or below what was received should be compensated to you in fair amount by the rental company.
Security/Rental Deposit
  • A sum of money held on top of the rental rate to ensure the cost of repair/damages in the case of any damage to the car by the renter during the time of lease. For car rentals, it’s almost always refundable.

Did we miss any terms that you’re looking for OR have an idea how we could improve this article? Let us know in the comments or email us at ask@drive.sg.

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The Comprehensive Guide on Renting a Car in Singapore (Part 2)

The Comprehensive Guide on Renting a Car in Singapore (Part 2)

Contents we’ll cover

Here’s what we’ll be covering. Feel free to skip ahead to the relevant sections.

If you’ve missed Part 1, here’s the link or feel free to click any of the links of the contents page.

Part 1: Making the booking

1. Background on Renting

2. Finding a car for your needs

3. Choosing a Rental Company

4. Booking the Car

Part 2: Collecting & Returning

5. Collecting the Car

6. Driving

7. Returning

8. Specific Scenarios

Glossary of Car Rental Terms

5. Collecting the Car

Source: Pixabay

5.1 Turning up for Collection
  • Turn up 30 minutes in advance of the pickup time
5.2 Bring
  • Class 3 Driving License
  • Original Identification Card
  • Security Deposit (if required)
  • Booking confirmation
  • If Foreign License, bring a proof of address (eg. phone, electricity bill)
5.3 Collection process

The collection process takes 15 minutes to 30 mins on average. Exceptions include peak periods or if there’s a queue of customers. The collection process should take the following steps.

  1. Present Reservation Confirmation
  2. Read & Verify the Vehicle Rental Agreement Terms (example here
  3. Inspect the car you’re renting
  4. Agreement of Rental
5.3.1 Reservation Confirmation

The proof of reservation depends on the method that you’ve booked the rental at. If you have booked online, most sites will give proof of reservation. If you have booked direct with the rental company, they may use a reference phone number or your personal identification number.

If you have booked through Drive.SG, your reservation will look like this.

5.3.2 Vehicle Rental Agreement

Sample Vehicle Rental Agreement. Car rental agreements vary from company to company, hence it is not all encompassing.

This document governs the legal contract/agreement with the rental company when it comes to the usage of the rental car. All rental car companies should have this. Insist on it if the rental company does not present you with this.

A proper agreement should cover

  • Details of Renter, Rentee, Dates of Rental
  • Vehicle Condition at point of handover
  • Terms of Rental

You may view a sample example of a vehicle rental agreement here.

5.3.2.1 Details of Rental

This portion includes (not limited) the following

  • Hirer’s particulars: Name, NRIC & Contact Details etc.
  • Car Model & Make
  • Duration of Rental: Start, End
  • Car Options/Requests: Probation Plate, GPS, Child Seats, Delivery detalis
  • Rental Rate: Payable Amount & Refundable deposit amount
5.3.2.2 Vehicle Condition

You should run through a proper handover of the current condition of the car with the car rental employee.

Ensure that dents, scratches, marks are properly marked out on the visual representation of the model in the vehicle rental agreement.

Ensure that any damage to the car is marked out and commented on the model itself.

Car Exterior

  • Scratches / Worn Out paint
  • Dents
  • Tyres
  • Rim Damages
  • Brake Cracks

Car Interior

  • Seats
  • Steering Wheel
  • Spare Tyre
  • Mileage of car

If this step is skipped, insist upon it. This ensures that both parties are aware of the condition of the vehicle at the time of handover. You do not want to liable for damages that were because of the previous renter due to sloppy documentation.

Drive.SG Tip: We advise to cover your a$$ by taking pictures from the 4 main angles of the rental car with your smartphone at the point of handover.

It takes less than a minute but can save you on potential disagreements.

5.3.2.3 Terms of Rental

The common terms of rental does include

  • Terms of use
  • Liability of Renter
  • Traffic Offences
  • Condition on return of the car

Once you’re agreeable to the terms of the rental, only then should you sign the document. The company must make a copy of the agreement for you.

6. Driving the Car

Rental Cars in other countries. Source: Wikicommons Under CC-SA 4

Beyond the basics of driving the car, we do advise the following:

  • Drive in adherence to the traffic regulations
  • The driver has to be the named driver at all times
  • Cashcard & Parking charges are to be borne by you
  • Don’t use it for Grabcar or Uber
    • Most rentals are not certified nor covered by the appropriate insurance for Uber/Grabcar

What happens if you have a traffic infraction? See Specific Scenarios

7. Returning the Car

On Time. Watch = Time.

While returning the car,

  • It’s a common practice to return the car 30 minutes before the return time
    • This allows the car rental company to out process and clean up for the subsequent renter. Afterall, you could be the receiver of it.
  • Remember to take your belongings
  • Do a handover with the car rental company
  • Ensure that the rental company provides you with documentation to conclude that the car has been returned. It typically is the Vehicle Rental Agreement.
  • If you have paid a rental deposit, remember to collect it back.

TIP: Hold on to the VRA for a month just in case. It's a good reference in case of any traffic law violations. This helps provide a reference to ensure if the details match. See the Specific Scenarios section for more details.

8. Specific Scenarios

Exaggeration of traffic infraction. For illustration purposes only.

8.1 Finding & renting
What if I’m a foreigner or hold a foreign driving license?

If your license is not in English, you would need an international driving permit to certify you can drive.

If you have been in Singapore as a employment pass holder/ permanent resident, your overseas license is valid for a period of 1 year on entry to Singapore.

After 1 year, it is compulsory for you to convert to a Singaporean license to even drive in Singapore or rent a car.

For more details on conversion of foreign licenses, do check out the official government page.

8.2 Collection
The car I was given was not the one I booked

All rental companies, even international brands, do not guarantee the make, model, brand, colour as stated in the terms and conditions.

  • If available, they will try to give you the car you have booked.
  • If not, most car rental companies will replace with a car of similar category or provide a 1 tier upgrade at no cost.
They asked me to top up an amount to upgrade the car when my car is not available.

This situation might happen if the company is out of cars of similar class or 1 tier higher to replace with. Hence for a nominal fee and if you are agreeable, the replacement would be even beyond 1 tier upgrade. Eg. Picanto to a BMW.

Again, it depends on whether you’re agreeable with it. If not,

  • If you’ve booked directly, we advise to find another company to rent with.
  • If you’ve booked through Drive.SG, give us a call on our emergency hotline. We help to talk to our partners to attempt to resolve issues or even find a last minute replacement instead.
They do not have my reservation in the system

If you have booked directly, try confirming with other booking details. Ensure that the details you booked under and the details on collection are the same. Usually, they are able to provide a vehicle for walk in cases. If not, you would probably have to find another company.

If you have booked through Drive.SG, double check the reservation details and location. Then call us at our emergency hotline. We help to check with the partner, or in worse scenarios, do a replacement from nearby partners in the event they cannot fulfill.

8.3 While Driving
What to do if you get into an accident?
  1. Stop the vehicle
  2. If there are injuries, provide or call for medical assistance
  3. Gather & exchange information from those involved & any witnesses. Do not admit or discuss liability at this stage.
  4. If a camera is available, take pictures of the damaged vehicles
  5. Call the rental company to inform them of the accident
8.4 After return
What happens if you have damages to the car?
  • Check with what was recorded on the handover section of the Vehicle Rental Agreement
  • Check with any photo evidence on whether the damage was there even before the rental
What happens if you have a traffic infraction? Or if you have received a summons from the Traffic Police. Or the rental company told you that you did so?
  • Ask for the copy of the Traffic Police Notice
  • Check back on your documentation as to whether the details of the rental and dates match
  • If the details do not match & you’re not the driver responsible for the infraction(eg. car license plate, rental dates do not match), bring it up to the rental company. If you’ve rented through Drive.SG, give us a call and email us with the supporting documents.

 

For a glossary of common car rental terms defined, check out our glossary.

 

That’s all folks!

Did we leave something out? Let us know what else you'd like to know in the comments OR email us at ask@drive.sg

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Road Trip Guide - Arm yourself with these road trip essentials

Road Trip Guide - Arm yourself with these road trip essentials

Image credit: Chovee (slight resizing has been made)

Driving around on a road trip can be a fun holiday experience in itself. It is a good bonding opportunity for families

So hop into a rental car and enjoy a nice weekend away! Here are some road trip essentials if you are planning on making the drive up to Malaysia.

Whether you're driving under the hot afternoon sun or making it a cool evening drive, these are some of the things you should have with you to make the trip a pleasant one.

Sunglasses

The glare from the sun can be potentially dangerous for drivers during a long drive. So remember to put on those shades especially when you're driving in the middle of the afternoon.

As for passengers, sunglasses do not only protect you from the glaring rays. Have you ever felt annoyed by nosy parkers peering in through your window while on the road? If you want to have a shut-eye during the long journey, putting on your sunglasses can prevent those curious Georges from catching you in the middle of a snooze.

Maps

There is nothing more important than navigation when you're driving overseas. Having a map is an absolute MUST! With travel apps getting more advanced each passing day, even your phone can be a good make-shift GPS while driving.

Personal Hygiene

Staying holed up in a car for hours on end could get unpleasant very quickly. On a road trip, you want to stay as refreshed as possible to keep your mood uplifted.

Pack a hand sanitizer, wet wipes and plenty of tissues to keep you clean throughout the journey. Clean up any messes you have made in the car with wet wipes or tissues, and remember to sanitize your hands after.

Staying Fresh

Keep yourself feeling fresh and awake with these few items:

Sometimes driving on a straight road for long periods of time can get pretty boring. The wet wipes we mentioned above can freshen you up when you’re just starting to feel a little bit sleepy while driving.

Have some breath mints or sweets with you to stay minty fresh on your long drive.

Pillows & Blankets

Passengers, stay comfortable and warm with an army of neck pillows and blankets - the better for your nap during this long car ride. If you find packing extra blankets a hassle, why not pack a comfy jacket to keep you warm?

Electronics

See something interesting by the side of the road? You'll wish you had packed a good camera to capture these precious moments. If you are packing many electronics with you, make sure you have a compatible car charger to keep them going.

Emergency Kits

Tend to your scrapes and bruises with a first aid kit, but don't forget about the car! An emergency kit for your car is important so you won't get stranded in the middle of a highway.

Another important thing to have in your car emergency kit? Have a list of emergency numbers like the tow truck company or the car rental company’s emergency hotline.

Portable Cooler

Who likes food that's turned bad? Bring along a portable cooler (which you can store in the boot) to keep your edibles from going rotten by the heat in the car.

Tunes

The long ride can get boring real fast if you travel in silence (especially when everyone else has fallen asleep). Keep a playlist of your favourite songs on a disc and load it up in the car. Nothing beats a good road trip karaoke.

With these road trip travel essentials, you can now spend a wonderful weekend driving to Malaysia with the family! Save yourself the worry and get a rental car. Rent a car now @ Drive.SG!

Rent A Car Now!

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Top 3 Cars for All Occasions

Top 3 Cars for All Occasions

3 Cars Recommended for every occasion

  1. Lowest Insurance Excess
  2. Entry to Malaysia
  3. 1 Day Weekend Rentals
  4. Delivery to your doorstep
  5. For P Plate
  6. Lowest Rental Deposit
  7. Spankin' New Cars
  8. Cheapest Weekday Rates
  9. Cheapest Weekend Packages
  10. Collection & Delivery after 6pm

Top 3 Cars with the Lowest Insurance Excess

Insurance Excess is the maximum amount borne by the renter in the event of an accident. So the lower... the better. Here's 3 of our cars with the lowest insurance excess.

Top 3 Cars for Driving into Malaysia

When entering Malaysia, reliability and safety are paramount. Also, it doesn't hurt that these 3 cars also have the lowest surcharges for Malaysia Entry.

Top 3 Cars for 1 Day Weekend Rentals

Some partner companies don't operate over the weekends, here's some cars from our partners that allow you to rent and return on Sat/Sun

Top 3 Cars that deliver right to your doorstep

Delivery right to your doorstep. Applicable charges may apply for added service

Top 3 Cars for P-Plate Drivers

Congrats on passing! For new drivers, it's better to choose smaller cars since it's easier to handle and park. Here's our top 3 recommended cars for probation drivers.

Top 3 Cars with the Lowest Rental Deposits

Rental deposits are similar to how hotels require a hold on your card for your stay. While refundable when you return the car, often it's a consideration when the company only accepts cash deposits. Here are the 3 Lowest ones.

3 Newest Cars you can rent

Our partners often buy new cars and models to replace their fleet & who doesn't like that new car smell? Check out our 3 newest cars below.

Top 3 Cheapest Weekday Cars

Got a quick errand to run on the weekday? Grab a car that doesn't burst your budget and get stuff done. Here's the 3 cheapest cars for Weekdays.

Top 3 Cheapest Weekend Package Rental Cars

Renting over the entire weekend? Here's the cheapest weekend packages available from our partners.

Top 3 Cars available for Delivery/Collection after 6pm

Working late past operating hours? These partners below allow exceptions for delivery/collection after 6pm.

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