Last-Minute Car Rentals in Singapore – Tips for Malaysians


Making a last minute trip to Singapore but still need wheels when you arrive? While planning ahead is ideal, Malaysians can successfully secure last minute car rentals in Singapore with some preparation and flexibility. This article explores how to find available vehicles on short notice, key benefits renting provides over other transport options, and tips for a smooth last minute booking.

Scoring Last Minute Rentals

Be Flexible on Vehicle Class:

Being open to various vehicle categories rather than fixating on a specific model can significantly expand your choices when searching for last-minute rentals. This flexibility allows you to find suitable options that may not have been your initial preference.

Check Off-Airport Locations:

When seeking last-minute rental options, consider rental sites located within the city rather than exclusively focusing on airport branches. Off-airport locations often have better availability, as they are less affected by the demand fluctuations seen at airports.

Try Lesser Known Brands:

While well-known rental companies may quickly fill up, don’t overlook smaller, lesser-known rental companies. These companies may still have available vehicles even when big names show limited availability, providing you with more choices.

Extend Rental Length:

If possible, opt for longer rental durations, such as weeklong rentals, instead of daily rentals. Longer rentals tend to have better odds of securing a vehicle, especially during peak travel times or last-minute bookings.

Book Upon Landing:

In Singapore, rental desks at the airport can access last-minute inventory that may not be available for online booking. Arriving and booking a rental upon landing can increase your chances of finding suitable options.

Use Travel Booking Sites:

Third-party travel booking websites can sometimes uncover available rental vehicles even when the official rental company websites show that they are sold out. Exploring multiple booking platforms can be advantageous when searching for last-minute rentals.

Top Benefits of Renting

Freedom to Explore:

Renting a vehicle provides the freedom to explore beyond the confines of public transit routes, allowing you to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and attractions.

Door-to-Door Convenience:

Rental cars are readily available at the airport or any designated pickup location, offering seamless and convenient transportation from the moment you arrive.

Group Road Trips:

Rental vehicles are typically spacious enough to accommodate groups of 3 to 8 or more, along with luggage, making them ideal for family or group trips.

Self-Guided Pace:

With a rental car, you can create your own schedule and explore at your own pace, avoiding the constraints of group tours or fixed itineraries.

Cross the Border:

Most rental companies allow you to explore neighboring countries like Malaysia with the proper paperwork, expanding your travel options.

Luxury Options:

Rental agencies often offer premium vehicle options with luxurious amenities such as leather seats and surround sound systems, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable and upscale travel experience.

Booking Tips for Malaysians

Have International License Ready:

Ensure you have an international driving license ready when renting in Singapore. Permits issued in Malaysia are generally valid for renting in Singapore, but the international license may be required.

Reserve Early for Holidays:

Popular holiday periods like Chinese New Year and Christmas tend to sell out months in advance. It’s advisable to make reservations well ahead of time during peak seasons.

Consider One-Way Rentals:

If your travel plans involve flying back from Johor Bahru, consider one-way rentals for convenience and flexibility in returning the rental vehicle.

Request Child Seats:

If you’re traveling with children, reserve infant and booster seats in advance to avoid potential shortages and ensure your child’s safety during the journey.

Understand Insurance:

Familiarize yourself with the rental insurance coverage. Basic policies may have limitations, so it’s essential to review the coverage and consider upgrading if necessary to provide comprehensive protection.

Avoid Peak Hours at Border Crossings:

If you plan to cross the border into Malaysia, be mindful of peak hours and weekends, which can lead to long wait times at border crossings like the Causeway. Plan your travel timing accordingly to minimize delays.


Booking a car rental last minute in Singapore takes effort but gives Malaysian travelers maximum flexibility. With an optimistic mindset, handy smartphone and some persistence, landing a comfortable set of rental wheels is an achievable goal.