Singapore’s public transport is good, but during times like the school holidays, you just wish you had a car to go to more places with your children, especially since travel is out this year. What’s more, if your family includes elderly members as well, you may feel safer commuting in your own vehicle as opposed to sharing the bus or train with strangers.
Of course, if we could afford it, everyone would prefer to buy their own car. However, car prices in Singapore are very expensive and beyond most peoples’ budget. So if you just need a set of wheels for a few months, a long-term car rental could be the solution.
Also called car leasing, a long-term car rental is when you rent a car for a month or two to a year or more. This could also be a great arrangement if you’re currently considering buying a car, and want to experience what it is like before committing to the big ticket purchase.
For an idea of how much car rental costs in Singapore, keep reading.
Monthly car rental Singapore
There are many car rental companies in Singapore. Here is a snapshot of the prices and how much it may cost for different car renting arrangements, from one-month, short term car rentals to long-term car leasing packages.
|Car model||Car leasing company||Rent for a day||Rent for a month||Rent for 3 months|
|Toyota Vios||Drive.sg||From $50||$1,300 per month (min. 3 months)||$3,900 (based on $1,300 per month for 3 months)|
|Toyota Altis, Toyota Vios, Hyundai Avante, Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Colt and Turbo||Black Eagle Rental||$65||$1,560 (based on $390 per week for 4 weeks)||$4,680 (based on $390 per week for 12 weeks)|
|Sedan and SUVs||Global Advance Leasing||From $70||From $2,100 (based on $70 per day for 30 days)||From $6,300 (based on $70 per day for 90 days)|
|Toyota Vios||Ride Now Car Rental||$70||$1,500||$4,500 (based on $1,500 per month for 3 months)|
|Mazda 3||MyCarRental||$96||$1,800||$5,400 (based on $1,800 per month for 3 months)|
|Mazda 2||Avis||$141.99||$1,755 for 27 days||Enquire directly|
|Renault Grand Scenic||Wearnes Car Leasing||From $150||From $2,750 for one month||Enquire directly|
|Sedan cars up to 1.6L||SG Cash N Cars||–||From $1,500||$4,500 (based on $1,500 per month for 3 months)|
To compile this, we looked at the top car rental and leasing companies in town, picking their cheapest vehicle options. As you can see, most of the cars we could find were economy models under 1.6L (Cat A COE), like Toyota Vios, Mazda 2 and 3, etc. Although not the most powerful, these are usually comfortable and reliable enough for up to five pax (including the driver).
We’ve also compiled rates from Drive.sg, which is more of a marketplace where different leasing companies can list their cars. There, we found the best rates: from $50 a day for a Toyota Vios! The monthly rate of $1,300 was even cheaper, but subject to a minimum three-month commitment.
Generally, day rates are the most expensive, but some companies offer special discounts for longer-term rentals, from weekly to monthly to yearly.
Don’t forget other car costs
Now, leasing the car is one thing. Driving it is another. When budgeting, don’t forget to factor in the other car costs like petrol, ERP, parking, etc. Although rental packages typically include insurance, road tax and maintenance, the above are excluded.
|Car cost per month||Amount|
|Car lease||$1,300 to $1,800|
|Total||$1,650 to $2,150|
The above may vary depending on your habits and the car you eventually rent. For example, most people spend about $150 to $200 on petrol monthly, but if you drive less frequently and/or rent a more fuel-efficient car, then your petrol expenses could be cheaper.
Likewise, how much you spend on ERP depends on the routes you drive regularly. If you work in the Central Business District (CBD), then you may spend more on tolls because there are more ERP gantries there and the rates are higher.
For parking, the $120 is based on usual HDB season parking rates of $80 to $110 monthly, with a little extra for other ad hoc parking fees you may need to pay. Again, car park rates can vary dramatically depending on where you park. For instance, parking in town can easily cost $5 to $7 per hour, but at most other car parks, it is only $1.20 to $2.
Is long term car leasing worth it?
As you can see, to rent a car, you can expect to spend at least $1,300 to $1,800 monthly (excluding driving costs). Although some of you might be thinking of comparing this expense to the monthly car loan repayments if you had bought a car, it’s not quite the same.
Yes, monthly car loan repayments are typically $1,000 or less, but remember, if you had taken up a loan, you would have first needed to pay 30% to 40% in cash, which is significantly more. Which option is more worth it – buying or leasing – really depends on how long you want the car for.
Say you just need the car for a few months: perhaps it’s the school holidays and you want to spend time with your family. Or maybe you’re in the midst of moving house and anticipate that you may need to run a lot of errands during this period. For such cases, car leasing makes sense.
However, the per-day and monthly rates are more expensive if you intend to drive for an even longer term (i.e. years). For that, you may want to consider a secondhand car, which can still be reasonably affordable. Just remember to shop carefully for a used car in good condition – old cars can be expensive to maintain and repair!
Also, as mentioned, buying a car (with a loan) would require a downpayment, so you’ll need to have enough savings for the upfront costs. Insurance, maintenance and road tax will also be paid out of your pocket.