Car Rental Requirements: What do you need to rent a car in Singapore?
You will require the following items to rent a car legally in Singapore:
- Valid driving license
- Minimum age requirement
- Minimum driving experience
Valid driving license
The foremost criterion to rent a car is a valid license to drive on Singapore roads. The following are the accepted licenses:
- Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Work Pass holders: Singapore driving license (known officially as Qualified Driving License / QDL)
- Tourists and short-term visitors: English-translated foreign driving license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) for non-ASEAN citizens. ASEAN citizens only need to produce their English-translated foreign driving license. This option is valid for a maximum of 1 year, after which you are required to convert to the Singapore driving license.
Minimum age requirement
The age range for driving various classes of vehicles in Singapore are as follows:
- Class 1, 2, 2A, 2B, 3 and 3A (motorcycles, cars, pickup trucks, minivans, minibuses)
- Minimum: 18 years old
- Maximum: No upper limit, but licensees have to undergo medical examination and revalidate license every 3 years from age 65 (i.e age 65, 68, 71, 74 and so on)
- Class 4, 4A and 5 (buses, lorries, cranes)
- Minimum: 21 years old
- Maximum: 74 years old. Licensees have to undergo medical examination and revalidate license every year from age 65 (i.e age 65, 66, 67, 68 and so on until 74)
While the minimum legal age for driving is 18 for cars, and 21 for heavy vehicles, many of the car rental companies and car-sharing platforms in Singapore require a minimum age of 23 to rent a car. This is likely in part to minimise risks perceived with youths.
There are exceptions though, where some car rental companies are open to accepting anyone with just meeting the minimum legal age.
Minimum driving experience
The Singapore law places new drivers on a 1 year probation period as they receive their driving license. During this period, the new driver must not accumulate more than 12 demerit points and must put on a probationary license plate or P-Plate (a yellow-orange triangular sign) at the top right corner of the front and back windscreens of the vehicle he or she drives.
The vast majority of car rental companies do not accept P-Plate drivers. As such, it is generally safe to assume that one needs at least 1 year of driving experience (or at least 1 year after getting your license) to rent a car in Singapore. As such, renting cars for new drivers is a difficult process.
Where can I rent a car in Singapore?
Renting a car in Singapore used to be monopolised by international car rental companies with a physical presence in major cities around the world. With the advent of technology and communication networks, we have numerous other options that have sprouted over time, including peer-to-peer car rental, localised services by smaller car rental companies, and car-sharing platforms with a large fleets of vehicles that are conveniently placed across cities.
We have shortlisted a substantial list of car renting services and grouped them into the following categories:
1. International car rental companies
Renting a car from international car rental companies is the most common way of getting a car quickly and easily – for both travellers and residents. You can rent a car without advance booking and return to a different drop-off point nearest to your destination after using it.
Such companies mainly operate at airports as their users are usually travellers who require private transportation as soon as they arrive in a country or city. To offer convenience to customers and to serve the domestic market, these companies typically have a few other service points situated at more centralised locations within the city or country.
List of international car rental companies in Singapore
Other than renting directly from the car rental companies, you can compare the prices of these companies and book a car with car rental aggregators below:
2. Local Singapore car rental companies
Other than the multinational car rental companies whose main business is on offering rental services, car manufacturers, local car dealers, local car distributors as well as hundreds of local small-medium companies also offer similar localised anc cheap car rental services in Singapore.
List of car manufacturers, distributors or dealers offering car rental in Singapore
- Eurokars Group (Mazda / MINI) (From S$55 / day)
- Cycle & Carriage (Citroen / DS / Honda / Kia / Maxus / Mercedes / Mitsubishi / Toyota) (From S$ 70 / day)
- Honda (From S$107 / day)
- Audi on Demand (From S$148 / day)
List of local car rental companies in Singapore
3. Car sharing platforms
Car sharing platforms offer similar services as a car rental company whereby it allows you to rent a car for short-term use. On top of this, these platforms offer other benefits such as:
- Option to rent a car by the minute or hour instead of a day
- Option to perform urgent last minute booking as the platforms operate 24/7
- Choose from hundreds of car pick-up points island-wide
- Option to return to different drop-off points from pick-up points (for electric cars only)
- Save the hassle of topping up the fuel before returning the car (for electric cars only)
List of car sharing platforms in Singapore
- BlueSG by GoldBell (From S$8 / month + $0.36 / min) [Electric cars]
- Car Lite (From S$1 / hour + S$100-S$200 refundable deposit)
- Shariot Car Sharing (From S$1 / hour + S$100-S$1000 refundable deposit)
- GetGo Car Sharing (From S$3 / hour + S$0.35 / km)
- Car Club by Mitsui (From S$10 / hour + S$0.30 / km + S$100-S$200 refundable deposit)
- Tribecar (From S$8.13 / hour)
- WhizzCar (From S$10.86 / month + S$10.86 / hour)
4. Peer-to-peer car rental
The peer-to-peer car rental market in Singapore has seen its downs and ups. In 2013, iCarsClub was the first such service in Singapore. It secured US$60 million funding to expand into China in 2014. No updates have been heard since then and its website is now defunct.
In 2019, a new startup, Drive lah became the latest and only peer-to-peer car rental to be approved by Land Transport Authority (LTA). Similar to iCarsClub, it allows car owners to rent out their cars whenever they are not using them. However, they do not require car owners to install electronic devices that lock and unlock the vehicle through mobile apps and they rent out on daily basis instead of hourly basis.
List of peer-to-peer car rental in Singapore
P Plate car rental service in Singapore
Car rental services for Private Hire Vehicle drivers to provide transportation services
The following are the options for Private Hire Vehicle drivers who want to rent a car to provide transportation services: