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.
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.
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.
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
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.