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Car sharing Singapore: Hourly car rental prices of TribeCar, Smove, and BlueSG
In terms of prestige and bragging rights, the car has always been one of Singapore’s most well known ‘C’s. However, from a personal finance point of view, owning a car is not actually such a great investment. In fact, it’s a depreciating asset that bleeds in value the moment you drive off.
Having a car in Singapore is incredibly expensive: the COE alone is about $30,000, so buying a brand new car will set you back by at least $80,000. And that’s just the price you pay to buy the vehicle – when you take it to the road, you’ll need to account for petrol costs, maintenance fees, road taxes, motor insurance and more.
But what if you need to ferry your children and elderly parents around, or your work requires you to travel around the island daily? You practically need your own car!
That may have been true to an extent in the past, but the concept of car sharing has been gaining in popularity in Singapore. And now that there are as many as five car sharing companies here, who knows, it may just be the solution to your private transport woes.
Here’s a comparison of the car sharing operators in Singapore – TribeCar, Smove, Car Club, BlueSG and Whizzcar. Let’s find out how affordable these services are.
Car sharing Singapore: Overview of prices
Since each car sharing operator has their own way of charging for rentals, there is no certain way to which one is the absolute cheapest. Since many people are still working from home during this period and run their errands on weekends, let’s use a standard scenario of renter going out for lunch on a Saturday from 12pm to 3pm.
|Car sharing service||Cost for weekend rental from 12pm to 3pm||Additional fees|
(Economy sedan, based on hourly rate of $6.96 per hour)
|$100 refundable security deposit.|
(based on $10 per hour booking fee + and $0.21 per km mileage charge for 100km)
|Actual mileage charge depends on distance travelled|
(based on $11 per hour booking fee + $0.40 per km distance charge for 100km)
|Pre-authorisation fee of $200 required (hold on credit card)|
(based on $0.33 per min)
|$8/month for basic subscription fee|
(based on $16.90 for first hour + $7.76 per half hour for subsequent two hours + $0.43 per km for 60km)
|$107 registration fee|
TribeCar review and car rental prices
TribeCar has no membership fees, you just pay for whatever you use. However, don’t be fooled: the pricing system is still quite confusing. Hang on tight – let’s have a look at their economy sedan (read: cheaper) option:
Economy sedan and MPV
Super off-peak (per hour)
Off-peak (per hour)
Peak (per hour)
Daily rate (Mon to thu)
Daily rate (Fri to sun)
Late charges (every 15 mins or part thereof)
TribeCar has economy options for other vehicle types too, as well as another set of prices for ‘standard’ (read: more premium) vehicles which you can see on their website.
You’ll notice that there’s a per-hour rental rate, as well as daily and weekly rental prices. For the per-hour rental rates, the price depends not just on the vehicle type, but the time of your booking too.
- Mon to Fri, 12am to 6am
- For cars: Mon to Fri, 6am to 7am, 11am to 5pm and 11pm to midnight
- For bikes: Mon to Fri, 6am to 11am, 2pm to 5pm and 9pm to midnight
- For cars: Mon to Thu, 7am to 11am and 5pm to 11pm, and Fri, 7am to 11am and 5pm to midnight
- For bikes: 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm
- For both: Sat and Sun, whole day
To rent a car, you’ll need to sign up online. Although it is free, TribeCar will collect a $100 security deposit that’s only refunded when you terminate your membership. You can book a car up to four weeks in advance, or do on-demand booking for immediate use.
Read article: 7 cheapest cars in Singapore under $70,000
Smove car rental prices
Smove splits their rental fleet of cars into two categories: saver and value. The saver cars are: Toyota Aqua, Vios, Altis, Mazda 3 (old) and Mitsubishi Attrage. The value category is supposedly slightly higher-end, and currently only has one car, the new Mazda 3.
Apart from the car categories, Smove prices their rentals based on: Smove short term, Smove PHV rental, Smove rental packages and Smove long term. For most who just need short-term leasing solutions, it is the first one. Here are the prices for Smove short term, saver cars:
|Day||Time||Price per hour (calculated in blocks of 15 mins)|
|Mon to Thu||12am to 9.59am||$4.50|
|Mon to Thu||10am to 4.59pm||$6.50|
|Mon to Thu||5pm to 7.59pm||$8|
|Mon to Thu||8pm to 10.59pm||$9|
|Mon to Thu||11pm to 11.59pm||$5|
|Friday||12am to 9.59am||$5.50|
|Friday||10am to 4.59pm||$8|
|Friday||5pm to 11.59pm||$10|
|Saturday||12am to 1.59am||$10|
|Saturday||2am to 9.59am||$5.50|
|Saturday||10am to 10.59pm||$10|
|Saturday||11pm to midnight||$5.50|
|Sunday||12am to 9.59am||$5.50|
|Sunday||10am to 10.59pm||$10|
|Sunday||11pm to midnight||$5.50|
Although the above rates seem quite reasonable – for the above example of three hours on a weekend it’s only $30 – these are the booking fees only. The total cost actually includes a mileage charge as well, which can be pretty hefty if you drive long distances.
The mileage charge for saver car rentals is $0.21 per km, so assuming you drive 100km, that’s an additional $21 (total $51).
Car club Singapore: Car rental prices
Like some of the rest, Car Club has different tiers of vehicles for different budgets. Since we’re all about saving costs – and let’s be honest, even a 1.2L car is good enough to go from A to B – we will focus on the most affordable ‘economy’ tier.
|Weekdays||Car Club basic plan rates||Additional distance charge|
|First hour||$10||+ $0.40 per km (petrol) or $0.30 per km (diesel)|
|Next 15 minutes||$2.50|
|First hour||$11||+ $0.40 per km (petrol) or $0.30 per km (diesel)|
|Next 15 minutes||$2.75|
Signing up for Car Club is free, but there is a $200 pre-authorisation charge. It is not an actual charge (it’s a hold on your card, much like what happens when you book a hotel room), but it’s something to take note of.
The total cost of renting from Car Club is the booking fee + distance-based fee. For Car Club, you’ll also need to make a round-trip booking, meaning you have to return the car to the same spot you picked it up from.
Blue SG Singapore car rental prices
BlueSG is an electric car sharing service. They recently revised their price plans, and these are the latest rates:
Basic BlueSG plan
Premium BlueSG plan
$8 per month
$18 per month
$0.33 per min
$0.33 per min
Free rental minutes
Free 45 minutes per month
First you’ll need to pick between basic and premium. Basic has a cheaper monthly subscription fee and no minimum commitment, but it does not come with free rental minutes. Premium costs more per month, but with the free 45 minutes (worth over $14), you’re likely to make your money’s worth within one trip.
You’ll need to sign up online or via the app first, and then proceed to make a booking. You can reserve a car up to 30 minutes in advance only.
WhizzCar Singapore car rental prices
For WhizzCar, you’ll first need to sign up as a member, paying a hefty one-time membership fee of $107:
|Individual/principal member||Whizz-ezzy membership|
|One-time registration fee|
|Monthly membership fee|
|Refundable security deposit|
Min. 12 months
|Free driving credits|
$200 when you use DBS/POSB cards
$100 when you use DBS/POSB cards
Thereafter, you pay for car rentals on a per-use basis. There are many tiers of vehicles from super economy to executive, MPV and van, but we will focus on the cheapest option.
While Whizz-ezzy sounds like the better, more flexible plan, it comes at a cost – much higher rental fees.
|Individual super economy rental fees||Whizz-ezzy super economy rental fees||Free distance (km)|
|First hour (min period)|
|Next half hour|
|Business hours plan (8am to 7pm rental)|
|Overnight plan (9pm to 6am)|
|Additional per km charge|
$0.43 per km
$0.43 per km
Basically, you pay the rental fees for the duration of the car rental. Then, based on that, you look at the free distance you’re entitled to. For example, you can drive for 10km at no extra cost for the first hour. Anything beyond that will be charged at $0.43 per km.
This one’s a little complicated, so let’s breakdown the maths based on the above example (Saturday, 12pm to 3pm).
One-time registration fee for Whizz-ezzy: $107
First hour: $16.90
Subsequent two hours: $7.76 X 4 = $31.04
Distance charge: $0.43 X 60km (because 30km is free) = $25.80
Total = $107 registration fee + $73.74 for this particular rental
Read article: 15 Cheap Parking Spots in Singapore (2020)
Which hourly car rental company should you choose?
From the above price comparison, the cheapest seems to be TribeCar, which doesn’t require any subscription fees or distance-based charges. If it’s a one-off rental, this is your best option.
Next is Smove, but take note – there is a variable mileage charge, so the more distance you clock, the more it’ll cost.
The most expensive one is WhizzCar, which not only has a pricey $107 registration, but also very expensive rental rates. Of course, this assumes you opt for the no-commitment Whizz-Ezzy plan. The individual membership is cheaper, but it requires a 12-month commitment, which is definitely not suitable for first-timers.
At the end of the day, the most suitable car sharing service would likely depend not just on the price, but on other factors like the vehicles available for rent, how many pick-up stations there are in your area and more. For these details, you’ll probably have to spend a little more time reading through forums and looking up more details of each operator before making a decision.
Generally, our verdict is that short-term car rental services like car sharing are not cost effective. If you are contemplating trying it out for a one-off errand, then you may actually be better off taking a taxi or booking a private hire ride, unless you have to move many things and need the flexibility. If you need a ride regularly and frequently, go have a look at longer-term car leasing – those may give you more bang for your buck.
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