4 Rent-a-Car Tips
By THADDEUS ANG – In Singapore where a car can be prohibitively expensive, it does not mean that the driving license you went to so much trouble to acquire is doomed to gather dust in some forgotten drawer. There is always the option of renting a car as and when you need the convenience of wheels at your disposal eg if you want to take a driving holiday to Malaysia during our extra-long National Day weekend this year. But how do you go about making sure the car you drive off won’t turn out to be a lemon? Or that you won’t get stuck with extra charges? Here’s what to remember.
- Take Note of Every Scratch and Dent
Most car rentals will note in writing the condition of the car before they rent it out to you but in the event that they do not and simply hand you the keys, do it yourself and get them to agree on the condition of the car. The last thing you want is to be paying for a scratch that was not your fault.
- Ask for a Maintenance Check
If you’re renting the car for long term or taking it to Malaysia, get the company to do some basic maintenance first. Rental cars in Singapore are often old, with only a little over a year before they are due for the scrapyard. Breakdowns can be stressful and extremely disruptive to your schedule, not to mention dangerous if the car stalls in the middle of nowhere or on a busy highway. So, do what you can to minimise the risk.
- Book Early for Festivals
Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Puasa are the two periods when rental cars are most difficult to find due to a surge in demand. If you know you will need a car for the period, book it earlier otherwise you might be stuck without one or end up paying much more as companies often raise rental prices near festive occasions.