Owning a car is undeniably a luxury for the average Singaporean and perhaps a goal for some of us who do not already own one. Having a car at our disposal means no more jostling on public transport during peak hours or worrying that we’ll miss the bus which only comes once every 30 minutes. But with rising COE prices, it’s time to reconsider whether owning a car makes financial sense and if we should look to alternatives such as car-sharing instead.
Here are some of the car-sharing operators in the market and what they offer.
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BlueSG is the only operator in the market right now that offers environmentally-friendly Electric Vehicles (EVs). The EVs run only on electricity. Hence, there is no petrol required and you don’t have to worry about excess mileage. Blue SG’s fleet of EVs are a standard make which can seat four adults comfortably.
They offer point-to-point service and EVs can be returned at any of their more than 300 stations, which you can choose to reserve in advance through their app. If the Blue SG station near you is already occupied (i.e. they are not spare lots), you will have to find another lot and usage fees will continue to be charged until the car is returned.
Car rental is a fixed rate, depending on your membership, and the fees are the same whether it’s a weekday, weekend, peak or off-peak hour.
There are two different types of memberships offered – yearly and weekly – paying for the yearly subscription will yield a lower rental cost while the weekly subscription is commitment free but has a higher per minute cost.
|Membership Type||Membership Fees (per month)||Rental Cost||Rental Cost (per hour)|
|Yearly||$15||$0.33/min for a minimum duration of 15 minutes||$19.80|
|Weekly||$0||$0.50/min for a minimum duration of 15 minutes||$30|
To join Blue SG, you need to be at least 21.
Tribecar has the most diverse fleet of vehicles for rental including motorcycles, vans and lorries. Vehicles come in three different classes – economy, premium, standard – to suit the needs of different drivers. The operator also extends their fleet to drivers for commercial usage and there are over 270 car stations islandwide. Do note that cars can only be returned to the station that it was taken from.
There is no membership system but fees can vary by up to $6.42 per hour depending on the period of rental and category of vehicle. Daily and weekly rates are capped for drivers who require the car for a longer period of time.
Petrol rates are excluded from the cost of rental but have to be borne by the driver. Certain car makes require a full tank of petrol when returned, and the rest require fuel that’s enough to not turn the fuel level light on.
For price comparison, we’ve taken the charges for a standard sedan.
|Super off-peak||$4.28 per hour|
|Off-peak||$6.42 per hour|
|Peak||$10.70 per hour|
To join Tribecar, you have to be between the ages of 23 and 65. Newer drivers who are below 23 years old or have less than 2 years local driving experience will be subjected to additional security deposits or membership approval requirements.
Under the Grab PowerHour programme, drivers can enjoy a lower rental rate without any long-term contracts if Tribecar is rented to drivers who are intending to provide Grab services.
|Type Of Car||Rental Cost|
|Standard Car||$4.28 per hour|
|Economy+ Car||$6.42 per hour|
Car Club is Singapore’s pioneer car-sharing company and has had more than 22 years of experience in the industry. There are 120 Car Club stations across Singapore and more than 230 cars up for selection. Cars have to be picked up and returned at the same location.
Car Club pricing comprises of two components – rental and mileage charge – and varies according to the category of car and membership plan you’re on. The value plan is for drivers who require the car for a few select days in a month and the standard is for occasional car rentals. Membership fee is the same for both plans but the former requires a monthly pre-payment of $50 for use as credits throughout the month while the latter has no pre-payment requirements.
Note that the credits do not carry over to the next month if not used up and hence being on the value plan will only be worth it if your rental cost exceeds $50 monthly. The distance charge also includes petrol costs.
|Membership Fees (per month)||$10.70|
|Mileage Charge (per km, after any free allowance)||$0.30||$0.40|
|Rental Cost (Weekday)|
|First Hour (Minimum)||$9||$11|
|Every 15 Minutes After||$2.25||$2.75|
|Daily (24 Hours)||$65||$78|
|Owl Special (9pm-6am)||$26||$29|
|Rental Cost (Weekend & Public Holiday)|
|First Hour (Minimum)||$10||$11|
|Every 15 Minutes After||$2.50||$2.75|
|Daily (24 Hours)||$98||$110|
|Owl Special (9pm-6am)||$26||$29|
Businesses who require car-sharing can also sign up for a corporate plan which offers a more competitive pricing than the consumer plans.
Car Club requires drivers to be above 22 years old with 2 years of driving experience.
SMOVE started out with just 6 cars in its fleet but has since grown to a size of more than 400 cars across 80 locations. With 4 categories of cars, drivers have the flexibility to choose one that suits their requirements.
They are the only non-Electric Vehicle operator to offer A-to-B pickup and dropoff.
There are no membership fees and pricing depends on the car category (saver, value, value plus, premium) and period of rental.
With SMOVE, drivers need to be a minimum of 24 years old for the saver, value and value plus categories. If you wish to rent a premium car, you’ll have to be at least 27 years old. 2 years of driving experience is also required.
SMOVE’s vehicles may be rented as Private Hire Vehicles but drivers need to complete an average of 1 trip per hour in order to qualify for the Grab rates. Otherwise, normal rental rates will apply.
Just behind Car Club, WhizzCar comes in with 14 years of experience offering car-sharing services. They have a fleet of 170 cars and 58 stations. Pickup and dropoff needs to be done at the same station.
The rates for rental of a Whizzcar are the same throughout the day and week, except for business hours rental, and include petrol costs. They only differ across the membership plans and type of car.
Whizz car offers three different membership plans – Standard, Extra Value and Whizz-Ezzy. Standard plans do not impose a minimum charge unlike the Extra Value (minimum $64.20 per month). On the Extra Value plan, credits may be brought forward to the next month and consumed within the membership validity period. The Whizz-Ezzy plan is suitable for drivers who requires occasional access to a Whizzcar without any long-term commitment.
For price comparison, we’ve taken the charges for an economy sedan.
|Membership Fees (per month)||$10.70||–|
|Mileage Charge (per km, after any free allowance)||$0.43|
|First Hour (Minimum)||$14.07||$11.93||
|Every 30 Minutes After||$6.51||$5.44||$8.46|
|Daily (24 Hours)||$143.17||$111.07||$186.12|
|Business Hours (8am-7pm, weekdays)||$71.58||$60.88||$93.05|
To join WhizzCar, drivers have to be between 21 and 68 years old, with just one year of driving experience compared to the other operators which mostly require two years of experience.
WhizzCar is also an exclusive Grab partner and there are no membership fees under the WhizzGrab programme. Grab drivers will need to make a minimum of 2 trips per WhizzGrab reservation otherwise the Whizz-Ezzy prices, as above, will be applicable instead.
CarLite is one of the newer players in the market but their rates are competitive. They allow for 15 minute bookings which is great for anyone who only requires the car to go short distances. At the moment however, there are very few stations located only in the West and North-East.
There are 6 tiers of cars to select from. Of which, only Tier 6 includes petrol and mileage will be added to the total cost. All other tiers are self-pump and petrol costs are to be borne by the driver.
Drivers are required to be at least 22 years of age and have 2 years of experience in driving. Certain car makes will be unavailable to those who are not able to meet the requirements.
What You Should Know Before You Decide To Car-Share
There are many factors and cost considerations one needs to make when buying a car.
#1 ERP, Parking and Petrol Fees
When calculating your overall cost, remember to factor in ERP and parking fees. These are excluded from the rental costs paid to the car-sharing operator and have to be borne by the driver. Petrol/mileage fees may or may not have been already factored into the rental cost and it would be prudent to keep these in mind before making your decision.
#2 Late Penalty Fees
Vehicles have to be returned on time otherwise a late penalty fee will be added on to your car rental charges. Some operators (i.e. SMOVE) allow for a grace period, but most others do not. Find out the costs of returning the car late and make a longer booking if required to allow yourself sufficient time to make the return.
#3 Insurance Coverage
All car-sharing operators cover drivers with basic insurance, but you should ensure that you understand what it covers (e.g. personal liability, damages, towing and other costs).
#4 Location And Accessibility
Car-sharing should ease your commuting problems, not make it even more unaccessible. Though some of the car sharing companies may advertise “islandwide” pick-ups and drop-offs, it would be wise to do your due diligence, making sure there are cars and stations near your home or office before you sign up for any membership plan. The ability to return a car at any station should also be a factor to take into consideration as it can significantly affect rental costs.
#5 Child Seats
Child seats are not provided by car-sharing operators and you will have to get your own should you need one.