Singapore Driving Guide
When traveling in Singapore and driving in Singapore as a tourist, it is critical to understand how seriously rules and laws are taken by the people, authorities, and government. An international driving permit and this travel guide are must-haves to let you experience the wealthy city-state in Southeast Asia.
Singapore, the world’s only island city-state, resides at the south end of the Malay Peninsula, which is about 85 miles north of the Equator. The country consists of the diamond-shaped Singapore Island and has 60 small islets. This country is officially known as the Republic of Singapore and is named the largest port in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s busiest countries.
Famous for being a global financial center, beautiful scenery, shopping heaven, and a spot for various activities, dining, and entertainment, Singapore is becoming one of Asia’s top tourist destinations. The country is the home of the famous Gardens by the Bay, the most extensive tropical orchid garden globally, and the Singapore Zoo, which lets you engage in a close encounter with the orangutans.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Traveling to a foreign country can be fun and hassle-free if you possess even a tiny bit of information about the country you’re visiting. This guide aims to provide you with the necessary information you need to make your stay in Singapore smooth and worry-free. The guide includes an overview of Singapore’s history and facts, and things you can do in the country. As for driving in Singapore, the guide consists of driving rules, getting a driving license in Singapore, legal driving age in Singapore, car rentals, and top destinations you must visit.
When visiting a foreign country, going on a road trip would be part of the top three list of things you want to do. Exploring the city in your car can save you from transportation costs and the hassle. Besides, you have total control over which certain places you want to visit and can stay there for as long as you like. Read more to know about car driving in Singapore with a foreign license, how to get a driving license in Singapore, car rentals, and driving centers in Singapore.
Singapore is home to various people belonging to different nationalities and cultures. The country has four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, and has an estimated population of 5,535,000 people, out of which 74.2% are Chinese, 13.3% Malay, and 9.2% Indians, among others. The country has a tropical climate, and the weather changes from clear skies to heavy rains.
Singapore resides in Southeast Asia, around 137 kilometers north of the equator, south of Peninsular Malaysia, and east of Indonesia - just across the Strait of Malacca. The country resides between Indonesia and Malaysia and features a hot, wet climate and tropical rainforests. Due to its location, Singapore has grown to become the largest port in the region and is considered one of the world’s busiest.
Singapore’s national language is Malay, and the four official languages of the country are English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. The medium of instruction in school, the used language in business, and the most widely spoken language in this country is English. There is also a unique and widely spoken language in Singapore called Singlish, which is a mix-up of the two languages: English and Malay.
The country has a total land area of 724.2 square kilometers, making it a tiny and heavily urbanized island city-state in Southeast Asia. Singapore comprises the mainland and other islands: The continent of the country measures 50 kilometers from east to west and 27 kilometers from north to south with 193 kilometers of coastline.
The island of Singapore was the third British acquisition in the Malay Peninsula after “Malacca” and “Penang.” Under British India, Singapore, Malacca, and Penang became the Straits settlements in 1826. The country became the center of government of the three areas in 1832. On August 9, 1965, Singapore officially gained sovereignty and elected its first president and prime minister.
The country’s success results from its role as a conveniently located and duty-free entrepôt for the three-way trade among India, China, and the Malay archipelago. During the late 19th century, the British overloaded Singapore and extended their influence throughout the Malay peninsula, and Singapore’s port had access to a prosperous hinterland of resources.
The Republic of Singapore’s Constitution defines the government: Singapore’s President and the Cabinet. Although the President acts in his/her personal choice in the exercise of certain functions, his/her role is mostly ceremonial. In each Singapore district, which comprises not less than 150,000 residents, the People’s Association board appoints a Community Development Council.
The People’s Action Party, a significant force in Singaporean politics, was formed in 1954. In 1955, the council introduced a new constitution, where 25 out of 32 members of the legislature were elected. In 1957, an elected 51 member legislature took over, and the People’s Action Party led by Lee Kuan Yew won 43 out of 51 seats. In 1959, Lee Kuan Yew became the prime minister and granted self-government.
As the primary industry in Singapore, tourism contributed around four percent of its gross domestic product in 2019. In 2018, Singapore was the fifth-most visited city and the world and the second-most visited city in Southeast Asia. In that same year, tourist arrivals in the country reached around 18.5 million, and it reached 19.11 million in the year 2019. The visitor numbers in the country have doubled since 2009.
Singapore is the home of top tourist attractions. Most visited attractions include: Gardens by the Bay, considered as the country’s top-rated attraction gaining 10.2 million visitors in the year 2017-2018; Marina Bay Sands, named as one of the iconic buildings of the Singapore skyline, earning a whopping 96.7% occupancy rate; Singapore Botanical Gardens, recorded as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, gaining 4.4 million visitors annually.
When you visit the country, you can see a lot of locals and foreigners driving in Singapore. Driving in Singapore with a foreign license is possible, but an International Driver’s Permit must accompany it. Your IDP is a way of getting a driving licence in Singapore since it acts as a temporary driving license in the country you’re visiting. Below are a few things to keep in mind about the fastest way to get a driving licence in Singapore.
Is a foreign driving license valid in Singapore?
Singapore does not recognize a foreign driving licence from other countries unless accompanied by an International Driver’s Permit. If you have your current licence from your home country and want to drive a car in the country, you must apply for an IDP. Just like a foreign driving licence, your IDP contains information such as your details and a photo. You can’t use the permit for other transactions.
The legal driving age in Singapore is 18 years old, so tourists who are at least that age and have a valid local driver’s license are allowed to apply for an international driver’s permit in Singapore. IDP made foreigners driving in Singapore possible, so if you’re planning on visiting and driving a car in the country, apply now for an international permit to help you learn to drive in Singapore.
Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of Singapore?
Tourists with a valid local driver’s license and an international driver’s permit are allowed to drive in Singapore’s cities. The fastest way to get a driving license in Singapore is by applying for an IDP. You might be thinking, “How to get a driving license in Singapore?”, just visit our pricing page if you want to know more about how much is the cost for our IDP, and fill out some necessary information to apply and start driving in Singapore.
Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?
The International Driver’s Permit serves as your international driving license in Singapore for language differences. You need your IDP for renting and driving a car in the country. When driving around the city, your international driver’s permit acts as a validation during checkpoints. For new drivers, driving schools in Singapore require IDP to learn to drive in Singapore and help pass the driving test in Singapore.
If you love traveling for vacation and driving a car around the cities of a foreign country, then you probably need an IDP. Car rental companies request an IDP, so getting a permit is necessary if you plan to go on a road trip. The legal driving age in Singapore is 18 years old. If you’re in legal age and ask yourself “how to learn driving in Singapore”, “how to get a driving license in Singapore”, or “how to pass the driving test in Singapore,” the first thing you need would be an IDP.
How Long is an IDP Valid?
A permit from the International Driver’s Association is valid for one to three years. However, your international driver's permit in Singapore is valid for up to a year and is not renewable. If you’re planning to stay in the country for more than a year, you have to apply for a valid Singapore license. To do this, you have to visit driving centers in Singapore to ask for assistance in how to apply for a driving license in Singapore. Also, check if your license is expired or not before traveling. Verify the date of issue of your licence before driving.
Renting a Car in Singapore
Public transportation in Singapore is one of the best globally, and it even boasts a comprehensive road network. However, driving your car or renting a car is the best thing to do when you plan on going on a road trip alone or with a company. if you're one of the car enthusiasts, driving a car would also be best. There are a lot of car rental companies with a wide variety of rental options in Singapore. If it’s your first time renting a car in the country, here’s the complete guide to help you
Car Rental Companies
There are several car renting companies in the country, from the famous car brands to lower-budget cars. If you’re a little tight on budget and still somewhat rent a luxurious car, you’ve got many options to choose from while learning to drive in Singapore. Before renting a car, you must know the essential things to keep in mind, such as: driving age in Singapore, how to apply for a driving license in Singapore, and driving schools in Singapore.
Asia Express Car Rental has high-end models like BMW and Nissan to avail in a lower budget rental. This company has multiple budget options for under $75/day and is known for high reliability. Exclusive Limo & Car Rentals has been popular and reliable to many foreigners, locals, and ex-pats staying in Singapore. The company lets you rent Honda Civic or an executive BMW.
To rent a car in Singapore, you must be at least 23 years old. You must also produce a driving license with a minimum of one year of driving experience issued by your home country in English or an International Driving Permit endorsed by authorized bodies. You must also present a valid Passport and a valid credit card. With these documents present, the process of renting a car in Singapore will be smooth, and you can start with your road trip.
Singapore is a top tourist destination for people on the different sides of the world, so it’s no wonder if various car companies allow you to rent a car while you’re in the city. The type of car model you rent will affect the price you pay. In Singapore, car rental companies have three categories: International companies, local car rental companies, and car manufacturers. Some rental companies also have guides on how to pass the driving test in Singapore.
International car rental companies can be pretty expensive, including Avis, Budget Car Rental, Europcar Car Rental, and Hertz. Local car rental companies tend to be cheaper, and these include All Trust Leasing, Asia Express Car Rental, Eazi Car Leasing, Lion City Rentals, My Car Rental. Car manufacturers include Mercedes Benz, Honda, Audi, Eurokars, and Volkswagen. In the car rental company, the staff will answer your question regarding how to apply for a driving license in Singapore.
Car Rental Cost
Owning a car in Singapore is quite expensive, and there are times when you don’t want to travel through public transport. If you have the requirements needed, vehicle rental can be the ideal solution to let you explore the city hassle-free. When renting a car, one thing to consider is the cost, so here are some cars with their respective price to give you an idea of how much you need in your budget.
- Sedan/Hatchbacks - $50 to $150
- Luxury Sedans - $80 to $600
- Sports - $100 to $400
- MPV - $80 to $250
- Truck - $80 to $200
- Van - $60 to $160
- Station Wagon - $75 to $120
- SUV - $60 to $500
The minimum age to rent a car in Singapore is 23 years old, and you must have held your license for one year. However, some car rental companies allow at least 18 years old to rent their car. Car rental companies usually do not allow drivers under 18 years old to rent a car since it is considered underage and may cause uncontrolled accidents. Some car rental companies require an underage driver fee for drivers under their age limit.
Car Insurance Cost
Insurance provides financial protection against physical damage resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could arise from vehicle incidents. Exploring and driving on new roads in a different country can be worrisome, especially for first-time tourists, so it is highly encouraged to rent a car from a company that includes insurance in the rent package. Although, most car rental companies would consist of car insurance in their extra service fee.
Car Insurance Policy
Car rental companies in Singapore include Collision Damage Waiver in their extra service fee. Some companies have the other three insurance as: Liability Coverage, which protects against any potential lawsuit from a car accident; Personal Accident Insurance covers medical expenses incurred from a car accident; and Personal Effects Coverage, which covers your belongings you can keep in the rental car.
Road Rules in Singapore
Learning and understanding a country’s road rules is very important when driving abroad. Following the country’s road rules saves you from paying fines, picking fights, and getting into accidents. Road rules differ in every country, so take note of the regulations imposed in the country you’re visiting. Below are the essential road rules you must keep in mind when driving in the cities of Singapore.
Before you start hitting the road and start your road trip abroad, you must know the country’s driving rules to avoid accidents or unwanted situations. Most driving directions in Singapore are familiar to you since they are general rules in most countries. You must follow Singapore’s driving rules to prevent getting into accidents and have a smooth and free road trip.
Drink-driving is considered illegal in Singapore. The country’s legal drink-driving limit is limited to 0.08% blood alcohol content or 80 micrograms per 100ml of blood. If you are found with more than the legal limit or even if you are within the limit, the uniformed authorities have the right to arrest you and make you face the penalties for breaking the law. You are liable to a fine between $2000 and $10,000 and up to 1 year in jail if caught.
The number of drink-driving cases and imprisonment sentences recorded in Singapore have risen excessively. In 2011, there were 520 drink-driving cases, and 14 had imprisonment sentences. In 2016, this increased to 1,340 cases, wherein 187 had imprisonment sentences. The staff will discuss this rule in how to get a driving license in Singapore.
- Turning Signals at an Intersection
Drivers in the country alerts other drivers that they intend to stop, slow down or change the car’s direction to the left or the right by turning on the vehicle signals. In Intersections, you must turn on your sign to alert the drivers behind you that you will be taking this side of the road, thus, avoiding collision.
- Using of Cellular Phones While Driving
Singapore takes road safety matters seriously, and there are strict traffic laws regarding the use of mobile devices on the road. Drivers caught holding any mobile device while driving can be found guilty of committing an offense. Using your cellular phone becomes an offense if your car is in motion and you are holding on to any mobile device in one hand for purposes such as: making a call, typing on the keyboard, and using the internet.
Drivers caught using a mobile device while driving can be liable to a fine of up to $1,000 or a jail term of up to 6 months and will face suspension from driving. A driver convicted for breaking the law can be liable to a maximum fine of $2,000 and a jail term of up to 12 months.
Before parking, make sure that the area allows cars to park and is safe. Singapore implements a no parking at any time rule unless parking signs are indicating seasonal restrictions. Watch out for these things before parking your vehicle: Parking while facing the wrong side, road markings, parking enforcement cameras, various spots to avoid, yellow line parking, and abreast of another vehicle.
Another essential thing to keep in mind when parking is checking if pedestrians or cyclists are coming your way before opening your car door. Parking is not allowed within 3 meters of a fire hydrant at all times, 6 meters of an intersection of any road at all times, 9 meters of a bus stop at all times, and you can park on streets with yellow lines between 7 pm to 7 am every day except Sundays.
- Ensure you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving.
Before hitting the wide road space of Singapore in Singapore, ensure that your vehicle is in good condition. Double-check your tires, side mirrors, windows, and brakes. To avoid unwanted checkpoint issues, always bring your passport, car insurance documents, local license, and your international driving license in Singapore. Get enough sleep and avoid drinking before driving.
General Standards of Driving
Before driving in Singapore, you must learn the general standards of driving to avoid getting in trouble. In Singapore, locals follow the government’s rules to avoid paying a fee and getting demerit points in their license. Cars in Singapore are either manual or automatic, depending on the vehicle you want to rent.
The general speed limit in Singapore is 50 kilometers per hour, unless stated otherwise. When driving in school zones and roads tagged as silver zones, the speed limit must not go beyond 40 kilometers per hour. Most expressways have standard speed limits of 80 kilometers per hour or 90 kilometers per hour. Drivers who are caught overspeeding will be fined and given specific demerit points.
If you exceed the speed limit by 1 to 20 km/h, you will be awarded four demerit points and must pay $150. If you exceed by 21 to 30 km/h, you will get six demerits and must pay a fine of $200. If you exceed by 31 to 40 km/h, you will get eight demerits and must pay $300. If you exceed 41 to 50 km/h, you will get 12 demerits and must proceed to court for prosecution. If you exceed by 51-60 km/h or more than 60km/h, you will get 24 demerits and must go to court.
The World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety reported that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between 5-14 years old and young adults between 15 and 29. One of the most critical safety measures to prevent road accidents and fatalities is by wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts are straps found in the car seats to prevent injury during accidents.
Singapore’s Road Traffic Rules states that the vehicle’s driver must ensure that the passengers are wearing seat belts. Drivers and passengers in cars must wear seat belts unless medically exempted. The law also requires passengers under 1.35m to be secured with an appropriate child restraint or a booster seat, or an adjustable seat belt.
Traffic Road Signs
Road signs are essential to ensure your safety while driving. These signs allow drivers to know their required speed limit on specific points, where and when to turn so that you will not hit any car from the opposite direction. Road signs help avoid accidents on the road, and you will find a lot of these when you drive around Singapore’s cities. This section will find the types of road signs you may encounter when you visit the country.
Singapore road signs use the official English language, one of the four primary languages and its main language. The three languages - Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, are also used and placed in important public places such as airports, tourist attractions, and immigration checkpoints.
Warning signs indicate possible dangers or unusual conditions ahead to alert drivers, so they can make the appropriate actions to take. These signs are usually shaped as triangles with a red border and placed on a borderless white backing board. Warning signs include:
- Danger Ahead
- Restricted Zone Ahead
- Other Dangers
- Electronic Road Pricing Ahead
- Road Hump
- Uneven Road
- Road Narrows on Right
- Road Narrows on Both Sides Ahead
- Two-way Traffic Crosses a One-way Road
- Two-way Traffic Ahead
- Lanes Merge Ahead
- Double Bend First to Left
- Dual Carriageway Ends
- Side Road on Left
- Side Road on Right
- Traffic Merging from Left Behind
- Road Slippery When Wet
- Staggered Junction
- Steep Ascent
- Steep Descent
- Quayside or River Bank Ahead
- Tunnel Ahead
- Traffic Signals in Use Ahead
- Low Flying Aircraft
- Roundabout Ahead
- Zebra Crossing Ahead
- Bend to the Right Ahead
- Advance Warning of a Height Restriction Ahead
- Children Ahead
- Animals Crossing Road Ahead
- Pedestrians on Road Ahead
- Elderly or Blind People Ahead
- Slow Down
- Maintain a Slow Speed
- Bridge with Low Headroom Ahead
- Curve Alignment
- Sharp Deviation to the Left
- Extended Curve
Regulatory signs have two sets: Mandatory signs and Prohibition signs. Mandatory signs give positive instructions to drivers, while Prohibition signs indicate prohibition. Mandatory signs are generally circular with a white border and symbol on a blue background. Mandatory signs include:
- Ahead only
- Turn left ahead
- Turn left
- Keep left
- Split way
- Route to be used by pedal cycles only
- Stop and give way signs.
Prohibitory signs indicate drivers what they must not do and mostly circular and have a red border. These signs include:
- No entry for all vehicles
- No left turn
- No right turn
- No lorries
- No vehicles with three axles or more
- No vehicles carrying explosives
- No pedal cycles
- No waiting
- No stopping
- No overtaking
- No sounding of the vehicle horn
- No jaywalking
- No jaywalking in the bus park
- No vehicles over height shown.
- No vehicles over width shown.
- No vehicles overweight shown.
- Maximum speed limit in kilometers per hour
Information signs indicate a particular condition or nature of the road ahead the drivers need to note. These signs are independent of existing mandatory and prohibitive signs and are usually white or blue and rectangular. These signs include:
- Indication of a U-turn lane
- One way traffic ahead
- One-way traffic in direction indicated
- Zebra crossing
- Pedal cycle crossing
- Parking Area for all vehicles
- Parking area for motorcars
- Parking area for motorcycles
- No through road
- No through road on the left ahead.
- No through road on the right ahead
- Keep a safe distance.
- Left turn on red
- Right turn on red
- Right turn lanes ahead
- Watch out for traffic from a side road.
- Red light camera
- Dual Carriageway ahead
Temporary work-zone signs are signs placed to ensure roads keep a free flow movement of traffic despite being affected by roadworks in the area. These signs are orange diamond, orange rectangular, or yellow rectangular-shaped signs. The signs include:
- Advance sign of road works ahead.
- Indication of road stretch affected by road works
- Entry to works area
- Heavy vehicles are turning ahead.
- Layout of lanes ahead
- Road narrows on right ahead.
- Temporary mandatory speed limit
- Traffic lights in use ahead
- Bend to right
- Supplementary plate to specify direction
- Single lane traffic
- Curve Alignment Marker
- Detour for pedestrians
- Detour in direction indicated
- Advance sign of detour ahead
Right of Way
The right of way refers to who has the legal right to go first on the road. This setup is commonly known as the “priority” and indicates drivers who have the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who need to wait until the other vehicle passes. If you or another driver fails to follow this rule, you risk colliding with each other and may involve other cars, cyclists, or pedestrians.
Like most countries, Singapore also uses the priority-to-the-right rule and priority to vehicles going straight and turning vehicles to give way to cars going directly. This system requires a vehicle’s driver to provide a way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections. This rule is in Article 18.4.a of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
Legal Driving Age
In Singapore, before you are allowed to operate a vehicle, you must possess a valid driver’s license and oblige all traffic rules. The legal age to drive in Singapore is 18 years old. If you accumulated 13 demerit points and above with one-year probation for being reckless and breaking the rules, your license will be revoked. If you ask yourself “how to learn driving in Singapore,” the first thing to keep in mind is if you are at the right age to drive.
Any citizen below the age of 18 years old and above 70 years old cannot drive a Singapore vehicle. However, if a driver between the age of 70 to 74 years of age passes an annual enhanced medical examination and proficiency driving test, they can retain their driving license. Besides that, tourists with no international driving permit are also not allowed to drive in this country, but you can apply for an IDP to drive in Singapore’s cities.
Laws on Overtaking
Whether you’re in a hurry or for personal comfort, overtaking another car is one of the most common things most drivers do when driving on the streets. Overtaking in Singapore is not illegal; however, you must keep in mind that the right lane is the country’s fast lane. You should always overtake on the right-hand drive option. If you’re not overtaking, remember to keep left. Road hogging in this country is an offense and will result in fine and demerit points.
The driving side in Singapore is on the left side of the road. You should keep this in mind when you’re planning on overtaking. Overtake on the right side of the road and keep left if you’re not overtaking. This rule makes most drivers comfortable driving in the city streets, but you have nothing to worry about since Singaporean drivers are safe drivers if you’re a first-timer.
- Understanding Road Signs
Singapore road signs use the official English language, one of the four primary languages and its main language. The three languages - Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, are also used and placed in important public places such as airports, tourist attractions, and immigration checkpoints. Road Signs in Singapore are easy to understand for foreigners since they are mostly in English.
Driving Etiquette in Singapore
Whether you are driving in your local country or abroad, unforeseen circumstances could happen. Without knowing the proper driving etiquette, especially when you are out of the country, you could get into trouble. So you must know the driving etiquette of the country you are visiting before driving on the road to avoid the consequences that may happen.
Car breakdowns are one of the worst things that could happen when you are traveling or on a road trip, which is why you must ensure that your car is in good condition before hitting the road. Rental cars from established companies are regularly checked and maintained, so they are not likely to cause car breakdowns. If possible, try to move your vehicle off the road to avoid hassle and generating traffic to other drivers.
When your car breaks down in Singapore, place your breakdown sign and wait behind Vehicle Impact Guards instead of staying inside the vehicle. Your vehicle needs to be towed away to a workshop for the car to be fixed. If you are a member of AA Singapore, you can give them a call, and they will advise you on how to proceed. Otherwise, you will need to contact a tow truck to bring you to your preferred workshop.
When going on a road trip or just casually driving, you need to look out for checkpoints that you will most likely run. These checkpoints are not usually marked, so you will need to look out for police authorities on the side of the road. It would be possible also that the police will stop you and inform you that you are in a checkpoint area. Even though it may seem a hassle, these checkpoints are for your safety.
You must always bring the documents needed when driving in Singapore’s cities. You will never know when you will be encountering these checkpoints. The records required are your passport, local driving license, and your international driver’s permit. Maintain a polite tone when talking to the police authorities.
You can see a lot of pedestrians walking in the street of Singapore. If you are confused or need help finding the place you are driving to, you can ask the pedestrians, and they will spare you a few minutes to help. When asking for help, stop your car at the side of the road and politely ask a person. The country’s primary language is English, so it would be easier to ask using the same vocabulary.
While driving in Singapore, you may encounter random checkpoints conducted by police authorities for your safety. During checkpoints, present the documents needed: your passport, local driver’s license, and your international driver’s permit. These checkpoints can happen at any time, so you must obey the drunk-driving rule and use cellular phone rules to avoid paying a fine and demerit points.
Other than the driving situations to keep in mind when driving in Singapore, it’s also essential to know what to do in unwanted accidents. Getting in accidents abroad can be scary and hassle, but knowing what to do at certain times can reduce your worries when involved in an accident.
In Case of Accidents
When involved in a vehicle accident, it is natural that emotions and anxiety run high. If you are involved in the accident, you should stop and don’t drive away from the accident scene, even if it’s a minor one. If there are injured victims, call for an ambulance and report the accident to the police if needed. When renting a car, exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident and gather evidence of the accident so you can show it to the car rental company.
Singapore Driving License Recognized in What Countries
For tourists to drive in Singapore, local driver’s licenses and international licences are required. Your international driver’s permit is valid only up to one year, so if you plan on staying in the country for more than a year, you must convert your permit to a valid Singapore license. To do this, you must pass a test in English, although a Singapore driving license basic theory test questions in Tamil are available
If you have a Singapore driving license, and you plan to go to other countries, you might ask, “Is Singapore driving license recognized in what countries? You can use your valid Singapore license in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysia, which means you can drive in the countries mentioned without an international driving license.
Driving Conditions in Singapore
One vital factor to observe when going on a road trip in Singapore is the driving situations and conditions. Knowing about the driving conditions and problems, operating rules, and driving etiquette could help you prepare for possible issues that you may encounter on the streets. You must know the driving situations and needs when you’re abroad to keep you alert and confident when driving.
Singapore’s road accident rate per 100,000 population went down significantly from 2010 to 2016. From 3.80 deaths per 100,000 persons, the figure went down to 2.51 per 100,000 persons. The leading causes of road accidents in Singapore are alcohol consumption while driving and traffic light violations. Another major cause of road accidents in the country is distracted driving, which refers to mobile phones while driving or listening to the GPS.
Singapore’s car ownership rate is at roughly 11%. The top four ranked car brands in Singapore remained the same for the past years: Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai. Only 15.4% of Honda’s total were sedans, and 33.7% of its sales came from Hatchbacks, and 28% are from SUVs. Mercedes-Benz is the best-selling car brand in Singapore, moving 1,236 sold in 2019 with an astounding 15.8% of its total sales.
Singapore was the first country to introduce congestion pricing to control traffic volume in the country. The toll roads started when the government imposed a flat rate under the manually enforced Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) in 1975. The scheme was improved over the years and upgraded to the current Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, which automatically charges drivers each time they pass through heavily used roads during peak hours.
The country introduced manual road pricing under the Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) on June 1, 1975, to spread terms of smooth traffic flow in its central business during peak hours. The cordon-based pricing scheme is in a restricted zone, marked by overhead gantries at entry points. During the ALS operating hours, vehicles other than public buses and emergency vehicles must buy a permit to enter the zone
While learning to drive in Singapore, you may encounter road conditions different from those in the United States. The country has a highly developed and well-maintained road quality and efficient road network. The Automobile Association (AA) of Singapore provides roadside assistance, and the Land Transport Authority has rescue vehicles on the road at all hours. Besides, closed-circuit cameras monitor all significant highways.
Brightly-lit roads and regular police patrols make it safe to drive in Singapore at any time of the day. Local drivers in this country are familiar with most routes, yet they still follow the speed limit rule and the other critical driving rules. The government surveyed the country’s drivers, and 81 percent of the population said that Singapore’s roads were very safe. You won’t have anything to worry about because the country’s locals are safe drivers.
There are also important things to keep in mind when driving in Singapore, such as the unit used in speed limit and night driving. This section contains details about other tips you should know when going to Singapore.
Kph to Display Speed Limits
Kilometers per hour, Kph, and miles per hour, mph are units of measurements used to display speed limits. Every country has a different measure of speed limits to use. Singapore uses the kilometers per hour system for measurement. Countries that use MpH are the USA, Liberia, etc.; it’s essential to learn and understand the KpH not to be confusing when you drive in Singapore.
Driving at night
Driving at night is common in some countries, since people love going out at night. If you are one of those who love driving at night, this may be good news for you because Driving at night in Singapore is a relatively safe experience. The roads are well-lit and pretty smooth, so it’s no hassle for night-drivers. However, you should still lookout for drivers who don’t turn on their headlights, drivers who have high beams on all the time, and jaywalkers.
Automatic or Manual Driving
If you are staying in Singapore for a short period, you might want to consider taking up the automatic car license instead of a manual car. You can find many automated vehicles these days since they are much easier to learn than a manual car. Mechanical car gears move according to the speed you drive, which means there is no clutch and only two-foot pedals.
Things To Do in Singapore
Singapore is one of the favorite tourist destination countries in the world. Driving a car as a tourist and visiting the beautiful attractions in this country can be memorable and exciting. If you are looking for another thing to do aside from visiting the top destinations, from earning cash to buying a property, here are some things you can do in this country.
Drive as a Tourist
Tourists are allowed to drive in Singapore’s streets as long as you have your local driver’s license, passport, and your international driver’s license with you. You must bring these documents with you at all times, since you will never know when you will be encountering a checkpoint.
Work as a Driver
Getting a driving job as a tourist or looking for a driving job in Singapore for Bangladeshi is possible; however, you must apply for a Work Permit to use your foreign driving licence plus your international driver’s permit to drive in Singapore various six months. To apply for a work permit, you must get a written consent from the foreign company you’re working for, fill up an online form from the Work Permit website, pay the indicated fee, and check your application’s status after one week.
There are numerous land transportation modes for the people in the country. When you look at Singapore’s busy streets, you will see every type of public vehicle present in your native country. These public vehicles include buses, taxis, and trucks. Those drivers possess a valid Singapore driving license, which is why they can operate cars professionally. However, there are part-time driver jobs or a driving job in Singapore for Bangladeshi and other tourists.
Work as a Travel Guide
Tourist guides in Singapore are not limited to work under companies or travel agencies. Tourist guides can also market their guiding services to and accept jobs from local and overseas visitors directly since most tourist guides in Singapore are freelancers. However, with working as a driver, you cannot work in Singapore on a tourist visa. You need to apply for a valid work visa for you to work in the country.
Apply For Residency
Several people become Singapore permanent residents every year, but not all go through the same application process. The tempting thought of gaining permanent residence in Singapore through various programs has convinced thousands of tourists of distinct backgrounds to set up home, find a job, and settle down in the island-state that is one of Asia’s most stable and developed countries.
As a tourist, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence if you are a/an: spouse of a legal citizen in the country or adopted by a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident. If you are a current work pass holder and have worked in Singapore for at least six months, you will also be eligible to apply for a Singapore permanent resident status.
Other Things to Do
Besides seeking jobs to owning properties, you can do more things when planning to stay for a few years in the country. Singapore is known as one of the busiest countries globally, but its magnificent scenery and living way can convince people to live and work in the country.
Converting License in Singapore
If you love traveling to countries, you must know that Singapore is one of the countries you want to stay in longer. Your international driver’s permit is valid only for one year from the date of issue, and it is not renewable. There are checkpoints in this country, so you might be in trouble if you drive with an expired driver’s permit. You must know what to do with your driver’s license if you plan on staying longer in the country.
You need to convert your permit to a valid Singapore license if you plan on staying in the country for more than a year. The test is in English for tourists, but a Singapore driving license basic theory test questions in Tamil for locals is also available. The driver must pass the test to get a valid license; it consists of traffic rules, traffic regulations, traffic signs, and signals.
Driving a Malaysia Car in Singapore
Driving a Malaysia car in Singapore is possible; however, you must be either a social visitor or you possess a Singapore Work Pass. You must have a valid insurance certificate for social visitors to drive the vehicle on Singapore roads and apply and purchase a valid Autopass Card to drive a Malaysian-registered car in Singapore.
Singapore Driving License in Japan
Anyone who has a driver’s license issued by Singapore is allowed to drive in Japan. To drive a vehicle in Japan, you will need a valid foreign licence. The required documentation to issue a driver’s license does not depend on the driver’s Nationality but on which country the driver’s license has been issued. Japan and Singapore are affiliated with the 1949 Geneva Convention, which means it is legal to use a Singapore Driving License in Japan.
The Top Destinations in Singapore
Singapore is one of the best tourist destinations in the World. The country is known for its glitz and glamour and is considered one of the world’s cleanest and most orderly cities. Singapore is famous for being a prosperous country and having attractive high-rise buildings, the most pristine bays, the best airport globally, and its well-built road. If you visit the country and go on a road trip, here are some of the country’s best road trip destinations.
This place is the right destination if you want to escape Singapore’s heat since this place has a series of small towns embedded in the mountains on the north-western tip of Pahang state bordering Perak. The villages contain plantations for strawberries, tea, and other fruits and vegetables, making this place a great weekend getaway for nature lovers.
If you are a fan of hiking, Cameron Highlands is a great destination. Thick forests cover more than one-third of this place, and you can find color-coded trails in the eight surrounding mountains leading to waterfalls, vantage points, the Mossy Forest, and Mount Brinchang. The drive time from Singapore’s central city is 7 hours and 30 minutes to get to this place.
- Drive through the North-South Expressway (NSE).
- Choose between two exits - Simpang Pulai & Tapah.
- Drive straight until you reach Cameron Highlands.
Things to Do:
If you want to enjoy the whole place fully, here’s a list of top fun activities to do in Cameron Highlands.
Tour the Boh Tea Plantation
The Boh Tea Company, founded in 1929, is one of the most famous brands of tea in Malaysia. One of the highlights of a trip to the Cameron Highlands is the chance to visit this place, where you can enjoy the lush green terraces and learn how the famous tea is harvested and grown.
Smell the roses at Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden
Since Cameron Highlands is famous for its flora and, as well as tea and strawberries, you will also find a large number of rose species in this place. If you like flowers, then you must visit this place when you go to Cameron Highlands. Some of the flowers you can admire here include Pink Queen Victoria and Maid of Hearts, and you can also relax in a pretty little cafe.
Climb Mount Brinchang
One of the main attractions of Cameron Highlands is Mount Brinchang. The primary way to get to the top is to climb this hair-raising but exciting mountain. Once you get to the top, you will see an observation tower where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and breathe in the fresh mountain air. The mountain stands at the height of 6,666 feet above sea level.
Tour the Orang Asli Villages
Orang Asli means ‘Original People’ and refers to the various indigenous groups that live in the Cameron Highlands. You will find several traditional Orang Asli citizens scattered around the area, and many of them stay on the main road that leads to Tanah Rata, the central town in the Cameron Highlands. If you want to see a traditional working village, take a tour guide who will take you to the more remote areas.
Pick some strawberries at Raaju’s Hill Strawberry Farm
This palace is famous for having the juiciest strawberries in the Cameron Highlands, which is why this farm is strategically in a misty valley. Visiting this place is a great activity; you can pick half a kilo of strawberries and take them home. If you prefer to admire the strawberry fields but want a bit of taste, you can visit the cafe to enjoy the strawberry-inspired drinks.
Tasik Kenyir, also known ad the Kenyir Lake, has 260,000 hectares and is the largest human-made lake in Southeast Asia. If you are a fan of nature and animals, this is the right destination for you since this place is the home to assorted flora and fauna, including exotic orchids, rare ferns, panthers, and elephants. From Singapore’s central city, the drive time to this place is 7 hours and 58 minutes.
- Drive to the South Bridge Road.
- Exit through 242-Yong Peng.
- Drive to Gambang.
- Exit through 858-Ajil.
- Drive to Route 185.
- Drive straight until you reach Tasik Kenyir.
Things to Do:
Tasik Kenyir offers a lot of enjoyable activities that you should try. Here’s a list of top things you can do in this place:
Bask in the glory of the Lasir Waterfall
You should visit Lasir Waterfall in Tasik Kenyir if you love nature and waterfalls. This place is 16 kilometers away from Pengkalan Gawi, so you would hop on a boat to reach this palace. The waterfall is stunning, so the trip is worth the hassle. Besides taking in the cold water, you can also bond with your companions over a round of fishing.
Explore Gua Bewah
This place was once known as the “kilang tahi kelawar” and is the perfect spot to explore if you’re visiting a cave for the first time. Once you step into the cave, you will see stairs and automatic solar lights that light up. Actual white snakes live in Gua Bewah, although you can seldom see them hiding by the rocks.
Play with fishes at Kelah Fish Sanctuary
If you’re looking to connect with the wildlife, this place is the best spot for you. You can swim, feed and play with the fishes in the sanctuary. When you visit this place, you must note that fishing is strictly prohibited to maintain the natural spawning grounds. Ninety-one streams flow into this river, from Mount Padang, a famous hiking track in Terengganu.
Bathe with rescued Elephants at the Kenyir Elephant Conservation Park
Another way to relax by connecting with wildlife is to visit the Kenyir Elephant Conservation Park. In this, you will see elephants in their natural habitat, compared to the ones in zoos. When it comes to safety, you don’t need to worry since the staff can assist you and handle the elephants. Aside from sightseeing, you can get up close and bathe in the waterfall with the gentle giants.
Visit the bird and orchid park
While you’re visiting Tasik Kenyir, don’t forget to go bird-watching at the Bird Park in Pulau Terengganu Mati, which is only 15 minutes away from the lake. You can see a variety of bird species like peacocks, swans, and more in this place. If you’re into plants, you can also visit the Orchid Park, a 10-minute boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi.
Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich in heritage buildings, ancient landmarks, and colonial structures. This place is famous for its local cuisine, such as chicken rice balls, Nyonya Assam laksa, cendol, and other Kristang dishes. If you are a fan of discovering heritages and good food, this is the best destination for you. The travel time from the central city of Singapore is 3 hours and 56 minutes.
- Drive to Johor and look for signs to Kuala Lumpur.
- Once in Ayer Keroh, drive straight.
- Drive through Melaka Hospital.
- Drive straight until you reach Melaka town.
Things to Do:
Visiting Malacca offers activities and meaningful insights to tourists. Here’s a list of fun things to do in the area.
Visit Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple
The Cheng Hoon Chinese Temple dates from the 17th century and is known as the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia. This temple is an essential place of worship for the Buddhist Chinese community in Malacca, and visiting this place is a great way to learn more about the Buddhist culture and history.
Enjoy the views at the Taming Sari Revolving Tower
When you are in Malacca, it is hard no to notice the Taming Sari Revolving Tower as it soars to a height of 110 meters and can occupy 66 passengers at one time. The ride in the tower roughly takes around 7 minutes to complete as you will ascend and then get to spend 5 minutes at the top to enjoy the views over the city before descending again.
Admire the Sultanate Palace
The Sultanate Palace is a model of the original wooden palace that belonged to Sultan Mansur Shah, a Malacca ruler from 1456 to 1477. His home is now a cultural museum that contains pretty gardens that do not have any nails to hold them together, which makes the building even more impressive.
Walk around Stadthuys
One of the famous landmarks in Malacca is the Stadthuys, which can be recognized immediately due to its crimson facade. The building stood in 1650, making it the oldest of its kind built during the Dutch colonial period. The area used to be the governor’s local town hall and residence but is now building the History & Ethnography Museum.
Go Shopping at Jonker Walk Night Market
This night market is in Jalan Hang Jebat and takes place from Friday to Sunday once the sun starts to go down. This area is one of the best places to come to shop in Malacca since you will find a vast range of goods on sale, including souvenirs, antiques, and local handicrafts. You can also find street food snacks in the area, such as pancakes, waffles, rice balls, and cendol.
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