With all the amazing food and great shopping areas right across the Causeway, Malaysia has proven to be a popular destination amongst Singaporeans to visit, kick back and relax for the weekend.
However, driving down to Malaysia can be a long and arduous trip. It is best to make sure you’re fully equipped with enough knowledge to ensure a safe and exciting adventure.
Here are some tips to take note of when you embark on a road trip to Malaysia.
1. Get your car checked by a mechanic
You should never be complacent over the condition of your car especially if you are planning for road trips. Prior to setting off, do make sure your vehicle is in its best condition by sending it to a workshop and getting it checked by a mechanic.
Car components like the brakes, tires, engine oil, batteries, and so on should be re-assessed to minimise breakdowns.
2. Prepare all necessary documents
Aside from bringing along your passport, currencies and other personal items, documents such as the insurance coverage and Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) are just as important.
- Insurance Coverage
We can’t emphasise enough on the importance of getting your car insured as it serves as a form of protection in the event of any accidents. Although it is compulsory for all vehicles in Singapore to be insured, do make sure that your current insurance extends its coverage to Malaysia as well.
- Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP)
A VEP is to be presented upon entering Malaysia. Application for the permit can be made online.
3. Familiarising yourself on the regulations and toll fees at the checkpoint
- Take note of your petrol level
It is mandatory for all Singapore vehicles to have at least ¾ of their fuel tank filled upon entering Malaysia. Failing to do so will result in a fine of up to S$500.
- Toll fees to be paid at both checkpoints
Tolls are to be paid in both Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints. Payment can conveniently be made using NETS CashCard, a NETS Flashpay card or an EZ Link Card at Singapore’s checkpoint.
It is also important to note that a fine of up to S$1,000 may be imposed if toll charges are not deducted at the immigration booth. (Please visit LTA’s website for more information)
For Malaysia’s checkpoint, a Touch N’ Go card is required. Do make sure all the necessary cards have sufficient value before you enter any of the checkpoints.
4. Keep your GPS system updated
The road network of Singapore and Malaysia are constantly changing due to constructions of new roads and development. These changes doesn’t usually show up if you’re using an outdated system. Thus, it is important to keep your GPS system updated before embarking on your trip so that the software can show you the newly built ERP gantries to make your navigation easier and more convenient.
Another alternative is to use mobile apps such as Google Maps and Waze because these are always up-to-date (as long as your keep the apps updated). Just make sure you have your data roaming when you use them in Malaysia.
5.) Keep your vehicle and personal belongings secure
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keep your belongings and valuables close to you at all times. Do not leave them in the car unattended and make sure your car is safely locked and parked in secure areas only.
In order to prevent theft, do some research and invest in anti-theft devices such as a steering wheel lock, hood lock, brake pedal lock, and so on.
6. Entertain your passengers
A road trip isn’t a road trip if everyone’s not having fun! Before anything else, make sure you bring enough food and drinks or you can also buy at gas stations when you do stopovers for toilet breaks. Add in some travel pillows and blankets so that everyone is comfortable throughout the journey.
You might want to prepare some car games for everyone to participate in and some good music to listen to for the entire ride.
Since this is a group trip, you can divide the responsibilities among everyone such as who’s in charge of the playlist, who’s in charge of the games, who will be driving, who will be the alternate driver, and so on.
The most important rule of them all is to just relax and enjoy the trip! This is your time to escape and go on an adventure, so make every moment count! While it helps that you have an itinerary to follow, feel free to divert from the original plan. Road trips are meant to be fun and spontaneous!
With that, we hope you have a safe and awesome trip!