Car and motorcycle owners have few opportunities to go on a road trip in Singapore. After all, getting from one end of the country to the other only takes an hour. For most Singaporeans, this doesn’t really count as a road trip. This is why most Singaporeans head to nearby Malaysia and Thailand to have a proper road trip. However, as with any long journey, drivers and riders should consider several factors during their trip. In this article, we are outlining some things you should keep in mind when going on a road trip outside of Singapore.
Examine If Your Car or Motorcycle is Capable of a Long Drive
The first thing you should do before going on a road trip is to ensure that you have a car that can handle the long journey. It is essential to have your car inspected by a professional prior to your trip. This can help you identify any issues that may be a potential risk on the road. If you are behind on your auto maintenance schedule, make sure you have it serviced before your trip.
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Stay Up to Date With Your Vehicle and Travel Insurance
If you are going on a road trip to a different country, it is vital that you are covered during your entire trip. Not only is mandatory for most foreign-registered vehicles to have valid car and motorcycle insurance but it is also a necessary precaution especially in a different country. Check if your policy includes driving in West Malaysia and Southern Thailand. Travel insurance is also a must when going on a road trip. Make sure everyone included in your trip is covered by your travel insurance. Buying or renewing your necessary insurance policies will give you peace of mind as well as provide you a safeguard if anything goes wrong during your trip.
Review Different Routes
Getting lost in a foreign country isn’t as fun as it seems. You might wind up in a shady neighbourhood or get cited by local police. Additionally, road signs in Malaysia and Thailand are not in English which may be confusing for most Singaporeans. If you are unfamiliar with the country you are visiting, it’s a must that you plan your route ahead of time.
Make sure you download reliable map applications on your phone or GPS such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze to avoid getting lost. By reviewing the route, you can also prepare for much needed stopovers along the way.
Read Up on Traffic Rules
Traffic laws are different in every country. Make sure you are aware of the basic traffic laws and regulations in the countries you plan to drive in. Although Malaysia has similar road rules and regulations, they can impose fines and summons to Singaporean drivers and riders caught breaking their traffic regulations. Multiple driving fines and penalties in countries like Malaysia and Thailand may affect your chances of re-entry. Another way to prepare for the road trip is to keep up with the local news.
Keep Those Requirements Handy
Before being granted access to enter neighbouring countries, car and motorcycle owners from Singapore must have all the necessary requirements on hand before going through the immigration. Here are the requirements you have to bring with you:
- Singapore Driver’s License
- Vehicle Registration Certificate
- Valid Motor Insurance Documents
- [Entering Malaysia] Vehicle Entry Permit & Road Charges (excludes motorcycles)
- [Entering Thailand] Car Log Card
Apart from these requirements, all travellers must have, at least, a three-quarter tank of gas when departing Singapore.
- Malaysia recently imposed higher road charges (RC) on all land borders. Non-Malaysian registered vehicles entering Malaysia through the Tuas and Woodlands crossing must now pay RM20 upon entry to the country.
- Crossing a country border may not be smooth sailing all the way. Make sure you include any potential delays in customs and immigration for a more flexible itinerary.
- Touch ‘n Go cards are a convenient means of paying for toll fees, parking, and theme parks in Malaysia. Cards cost only 60 which comes with a one month warranty. These can be purchased in petrol stations.