Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How to Drive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore

How to reach Singapore from Malaysia by Car

How to Drive from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

Words by Caning Jaramillo

For years we've flown from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore assuming it's the fastest way to arrive. We recently made the trip by car however and soon discovered how convenient and easy the trip is. After our smooth first attempt, I don't think we'll ever fly again!

Before You Depart:
Make sure you have your:
* passport (with you in the front of the car, not in the luggage in the boot!)
* enough credit on your Touch n' Go card
* at least $10 SGD for Autopass card purchase at the border (no other currency accepted)

The Route:
Whichever part of Kuala Lumpur you're departing from you need to get onto the North-South Expressway, the E2. Google Maps is very accurate for this route and we find the easiest thing to do (if you don't have a GPS or Smartphone mapping program) is to print the steps provided by the map.

There are two points at which you can crossover to Singapore: Tuas and Woodlands. We've heard from friends who travel regularly that there is often less traffic at the Tuas checkpoint and it's the fastest route to reach the city centre (so that's the route we took). The highway is in excellent condition and is basically one long straight stretch once you've exited KL all the way to the border.

You need to head south towards Johor Bahru on the E2 for about 320 kilometres. Take Exit 253 following the signs to Tuas (the exit sign reads Tuas/ Nusajaya/ Pontian/ Tanjung Pelepas EXIT 253). Our exit highway toll was RM40.90 but yours may differ slightly depending on where you enter the highway at the beginning of your journey.

The highway changes to the E3 and it's just over 30 kilometres more to reach the checkpoint. Shortly after entering the new road, you arrive to a toll which cost us RM3.90. After the first toll, and before you reach the second, there is a gas station. Be sure to fill your car to the very brim as petrol is much more expensive in Singapore. After the station there's another toll which cost us RM7.50, and soon after you'll reach Malaysian immigration.

The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Tuas checkpoint usually takes about three and half hours if you stick to the speed limit and reasonable traffic conditions prevail.

Malaysian Border Control heading to Singapore in route to Tuas Check Point
Malaysian Inmigration Before Reaching Tuas Checkpoint
At the Malaysian border your passport will be checked, which we found to be a quick and smooth process. You then drive across the bridge linking Malaysia to Singapore and get in line for immigration. There are signs warning of penalties for failure to follow the road rules, so be polite and wait your turn!

Final bridge image before reaching to Singapore
Bridge Linking Malaysia and Singapore
Bridge image of reaching Tuas Check Point, Singapore
Arriving with Traffic to the Tuas Checkpoint 
You'll need to present your passport to immigration authorities from your car window, and first time visitors will need to park after they go through immigration to get an arrival card. (Even if you've got some cards from friends you need to stop here anyway to purchase your Autopass card.) You enter the immigration office, fill out your arrival card and an official will process your arrival. Be sure to grab a pile of arrival cards so you won't have to do this on your next visit.

Toll Prices at Tuas Check Point, Singapore
Tolls Prices of Foreign Registered Cars to enter Singapore
Next door to the immigration office is the VEP/Toll Pass office. You should bring your car insurance and registration details which are briefly looked at by officials, and fill out the form. When done, you present them to the staff at the cash register and pay $6SGD for the card (which is valid for seven years) and $4SGD for preloaded credit - $10SGD in total (you must have Singaporean currency for this).

Top ups are easily made at any 7-11 and it is very important to note that you must have sufficient credit to pay the exiting tolls when leaving to avoid an "insufficient credit" administration fee. Each time you cross the Tuas border a $3.20SGD fee is incurred so even if you don't use the card while in Singapore you'll still need to top up before you leave to have enough credit to exit (and some more to enter again if you think you'll do the trip another time). Also remember when exiting that you MUST insert your Autopass card in the gate or you will be charged a hefty fine. Every weekend the levy to drive in the city is free, but during the weekdays it's an expensive $35SGD daily. For more information you can use the link to the Singapore Land Transport & Authority http://www.lta.gov.sg/

The staff at both immigration and the VEP/Toll Pass office were incredibly helpful. They answered all of our questions and provided polite assistance.

Once done the first time, the two steps of exiting the car to get arrival cards (remember to get a pile of extras for future trips!) and purchasing the Autopass card is avoided on further trips, cutting the travel time down by a good 20 minutes.

Finally, before heading to the city, the Singaporean customs authorities do a final check inside the trunk of the car and the passenger cabin. Don’t forget to buckle up and have a safe trip to Singapore!

25 comments:

  1. Should be a breeze there - the nice highway...unlike the so-called Pan-Borneo highway that we have here in our eastern party of the country. :(

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  2. very useful guide! i've only driven from kl to singapore once, back in 1999, but i figure there've been a lot of changes since then in terms of immigration procedures etc :)

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  3. There are definitely changes to the Singapore Immigration guidelines. When my family last drove there (this was at least a decade ago, somewhere around 2004/5) through the Woodlands Checkpoint, we didn't need to present our car insurance.... just our passports and the white card that's been filled in with our details.

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  4. You can see my home town, Kota Tinggi, on the map! ;)
    It's only 40 mins away from JB.
    You can also take a ferry from KT to Singapore too.

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  5. Thanks for posting this, as I've always been curious and we're heading down in December. Might just drive instead of fly!

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  6. thanks but i will catch a flight...

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  7. really nice info, thanks for sharing this jalan-jalan review....

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  8. did the customs check inside your car by any chance?

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  9. Yes, they did a quick check inside the car - both ways.

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  10. do we need to present the "original" car insurance policy ( full policy ) or just the photocopy front page of the policy where it stating the coverage period from when to when ?

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    Replies
    1. Great question P. I'm not sure what they expect. We had our original policy with us.

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    2. Thanks for reply ! :-)

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  11. Was that easy to find carpark in Singapore? How much is the rates?

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    Replies
    1. Iuqman, we stayed in a hotel which provided complimentary parking for guests.

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  12. Can anyone tell me if all insurance policies cover for third party liability and damage whilst driving in Singapore?

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    Replies
    1. no, you would have to take extra coverage for that. normal comprehensive (1st party) cover does not cover third party liability.

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  13. no, you would have to take extra coverage for that. normal comprehensive (1st party) cover does not cover third party liability.

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  14. Thanks for sharing the experience, very useful. How did you cope with the ERP gantries in Singapore, i presume your car is local Malaysian so you would not have the card - reader in your car.

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    1. No trouble. I guess when you register, your number plate is recorded and any money owing gets taken from your account. You need to make sure you top up enough before you exit the country, otherwise you're charged a fine. I'm not sure if I've answered your question? BTW we've switched over to a new platform - theyumlist.net Happy travels!

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  15. About the car's registration card, do we need to bring original or photocopy will do??

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  16. About the car's registration card, do we need to bring original or photocopy will do??

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    Replies
    1. We had our original documents, so I don't know about the photocopy.

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  17. Are there any Car rental companies that are insured to drive the cars into Singapore from Kuala Lumpur?

    Thanks

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    1. Great question, but I don't know the answer as we drove our own car to Singapore. If you find a company, kindly share the news with us below.

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    2. I'm interested in the same, Adid. Have you found anything so far? I'm planning to rent a car in KL and drive to Singapore. I'll report back if I learn something from my rental agency.

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