Renting a car in Singapore is a great alternative that affords one the convenience of personal transport without being tied down to the hefty financial commitments of owning this depreciating asset. Owning a personal vehicle entails a lot of additional considerations and expenses, including but not limited to, road tax, insurance, maintenance and of course current market price of the Certificate of Entitlement (COE).
There are many car rental services available in Singapore, such as our own ETHOZ Express. The key to finding the ideal car is to perform research beforehand and do a comparison to find the best, most affordable and reliable company to rent from.
In this 2-part guide, we will help you navigate through the entire process of renting a car. Part 1 will give you key points to consider before deciding to rent a vehicle; Part 2 will walk you through the process of collecting and returning your rental car.
So you’re thinking of renting a car? Let’s begin with the things you need to take note and consider before getting car rental in Singapore.
Step 1: Evaluating Your Needs
Before you start looking for car rental companies in Singapore, it is important for you to first do a self-evaluation and understand the type of car you would need. Rental rates differ depending on the type of car you’re looking for so it is important to find something that suits your need and budget. Vehicle model, engine capacity, rental duration, accessories and destination all factor into the rental pricing. During peak seasons (for e.g. Chinese New Year, Hari Raya) rental prices are usually also priced accordingly.
Based on the requirement of your intended activity planned for the rental period, capacity, comfort and functionality should be the key considerations when choosing a car to rent.
For big families with kids and elderly, a MPV might be more spacious and provide more comfort for the family on a trip. If you are going on an overseas road trip, you would also need to consider the boot space to store your luggage.
If you are going on a date, impress your date with a luxury sedan or a sporty SUV. And if you just need to run some quick errands, or use the vehicle for daily commute, then a sedan should be more than sufficient.
At ETHOZ, we have a large fleet of passenger vehicles which can cater to any needs and occasions.
Step 2: Compare Prices and Services
Now that you have decided on the type of vehicle to rent, the next step of course is to do a cost comparison to get the most bang for your buck. These serves as a good guideline to start your comparison.
Other than the daily rental rate, you should look at any additional costs that you might need to incur and add that into the comparison as well. For example, if you want to drive into Malaysia, there might be additional surcharges that will push up the overall costs.
Let’s do some simple calculation to help you understand this better. For example, the rates of 2 different rental companies are as follows:
Company A: $100/day, $20/day Malaysia surcharge, GPS included Company B: $80/day, $40/day Malaysia surcharge, no accessories included
Depending on your needs and preferences, your choice will differ. Of course, price is just one factor you should look at when you chose your rental company. Other important factors would be their service, reliability and professionalism – you should only rent with companies you can trust. For e.g., all ETHOZ vehicles are serviced in-house so our customers are assured their rental vehicles are in good condition and maintained regularly.
Step 3: Read the T&Cs Before Booking a Car
Now that you have identified your vehicle of choice and service provider, the final step is signing the Hire Agreement with the rental company to confirm your intent offically. As with most legal contacts, there may be terminology that might be unfamiliar to people who are renting a car for the very first time.
Here is a quick guide to some common questions we get from our customers:
Q: What is a “Named Driver”?
The “Named Driver” would be the person who will be driving the vehicle and to be covered by car insurance. It is important that you do not allow an unnamed driver to drive the rented car as you would risk paying more excess should the unnamed driver be involved in an accident. In most cases, the hirer will be the Named Driver – if you intend to have someone else drive the car as well, you can add an additional named driver into your rental contract for a small fee for insurance coverage.
Q: What is “Insurance Excess”?
Insurance excess, also known as deductible, is the fixed amount the hirer has to pay in the event of an accident claim against the rental vehicle regardless of the repair costs. For e.g., if your excess is $100 and the cost of repairs on the vehicle is $1000, you will have to pay the first $100 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $900. Do note that if you intend to bring the rental vehicle into Malaysia, the excess is typically higher.
Q: What’s a “Security Deposit”?
A security deposit serves to safeguard the interest of the rental company should the hirer damage the car or violates the terms in the rental agreement. This amount is fully refundable if the car is returned in the same condition and there is no violation. The security deposit required differs from each company based on their policies.
Insurance Excess and Security Deposit are the 2 items in your contract that you would need to pay attention to as these figures vary, depending on the hirer’s driving experience and car requirements. For example, a new driver who just got his driving licence a year ago, his excess is likely to be higher than more experienced drivers. The security deposit amount also depends on the type of car you choose to rent. Luxurious continental cars will typically require a higher security deposit as compared to a non-continental car of similar size.
Regardless which rental company you rent from, it is important that you read and understand all the terms and conditions properly to safeguard your own interest and to avoid incurring additional cost unknowingly. You will also want to take note of the cancellation, amendments and refund clauses, some companies may not refund the full rental fee if you cancel your rental.
Now that you have some basic knowledge on the steps to rent a vehicle, it’s time to get out there and rent your ideal car! Need a car during Hari Raya? Check out our latest car rental promotions here!
Stay tuned to Part 2 of our guide where we will walk you through the process of collecting and returning your rental car and what are the things to watch out for.