This should be reasonably obvious, but there really is no point at all in thinking about getting a hire car in Singapore! As the most densely populated major city anywhere in the world, everything in Singapore is on the higher side of high rise, and the city has an enviable reputation for having an efficient and of course squeaky clean public transport system.
This doesn’t mean to say that Singapore is quite as easy to get around without a car as you might initially expect – there are only six major mass transit lines, and the city has gone for ultra-high volume lines, rather than the sort of broad coverage that you might expect in a city like Paris or Beijing. If your hotel happens to be a little bit further out from the more central areas (where you will pay heavily for the privilege), then be prepared to have to take a local bus or light rail shuttle to get to the underground (MRT) first, and then get onto your destination.
Needless to say, buses and taxis in Singapore are both widely available, and getting around isn’t just about rail services.
If you are staying centrally but want to venture out after the MTR has closed, taxis are still widely available. Singapore has a reputation for being an extremely safe city, and walking is easy enough, although the sheer density of the place means that the main roads are always going to be busy with traffic of some sort. The heat and tropical humidity in Singapore tend to make it a difficult place to walk for long periods, especially during the middle of the day, however, many covered walkways are available to provide shade and connections between the taller buildings.
All of this adds up to there being very little reason for getting a hire car in Singapore, apart from the obvious question of picking up a rental car at Singapore airport and then driving into peninsular Malaysia. If you aren’t planning on spending any time in Singapore itself and you aren’t really too worried about costs, then this might make sense, as unlike somewhere like Hong Kong, hire cars are at least available at the airport. However, unsurprisingly, Singapore airport car hire options tend to be on the pricey side, more on a par with a European destination like Norway! Be prepared for border queues to get across into Johor Bahru on the other side. However, this still might mean less hassle than using local buses to get into Malaysia and then picking up a hire car in Johor. Note that both Singapore and Malaysia drive on the left, and that many of the driving customs follow similar patterns to those developed in the United Kingdom.
Is it worth hiring a car in Singapore?
- No reason to hire a car here!
- If you want a hire car to drive into Malaysia, it is generally better to hire one in Johor Bahru.
- Excellent public transport – amongst the best in the world.
- Taxis are widely available.
- Take a boat trip in Singapore harbour.
Is it worth hiring a car in Singapore? No, absolutely not!