Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How to Go to Singapore by Car for First Timer

I'm currently living in Skudai - another city closed to Johor Bahru (JB) which is actually just across Singapore. I usually go to Singapore by bus since it’s the cheapest way of traveling to Singapore until one of my Singaporean friends told me that it’s more comfortable to go to Singapore by KTM train.
Believe it or not, it takes just 5 minutes by train and RM5 (one-way) from JB Sentral to Singapore by KTM train. The cons of taking a train to Singapore are the limited time and tickets where if you didn’t book your ticket earlier, it might be hard to get it especially during the peak hours and weekend. 
FYI, if you buy return tickets at once in JB, you only have to pay RM10 but if you buy separately, you will have to pay SGD5 from Singapore to JB. 
I'll talk more about this on my upcoming posts :)





Ok, let’s get to the actual point. Last month, my family and I decided to visit Singapore for Eid by car. It’s our and my first time of going to Singapore by car. I’m quite nervous but thanks to this blog, I learnt few things I need to take care of before going.

In case you don’t know, there are two highways you can take to go into Singapore. The first one is through Woodlands (main entrance, and the nearest to JB city). Another one is through the second link known as Tuas Linkedua. Linkedua is a little bit far from the JB city but if you’re from Nusajaya or Bukit Indah, this way will be the fastest one to go to Singapore. It was Saturday when we went there. Weekend means that the traffic is kinda unpredictable unlike in the weekdays where you only have to avoid rush hours (morning 5-8 and evening 4-7). 

So we kept on checking the live streaming video here before choosing Tuas as the way to go in. The toll fee is a little big expensive through Linkedua as compared to Woodlands but we chose spending more money than time stuck in the traffic. 
As expected, at 6pm, it took us less than 20minutes to go into Singapore through Tuas Linkedua. Oh! Before I forgot, other than the toll you have to pay to enter Singapore, there’ll be a Gelang Patah toll before you leave Johor which costs RM7.60.




After scanning our passports at the Malaysian custom, we proceeded with the Singapore custom. We need to fill in a white card as visitors in Singapore. After that, we have to stop and the car’s bunk will be checked. Since it’s our first time, we need to buy the Autopass (it works as Touch & Go in Malaysia). After our car has been checked, we proceeded to the office on the left of the customs to buy the card. It costs SGD20 with SGD14 value inside the card. Other than that, we were asked to fill in a form and show our insurance & car’s grant for registration. Note that one Autopass card can be registered with a vehicle only.  And that’s it! That’s all we did to go to Singapore by car.

Other tips to go to Singapore from JB:

1.       Bus to Singapore. If you’re taking buses, you need to know where you’re going as the charges for each bus may vary. It’s not as convenient especially if you’re with small kids or elders because from my experience, it could take up to 4 hours from the JB causeway and immigration (have to go up and down twice– 1 JB's and 1 Singapore's custom separately which means you have to get on and off the buses, wait for them etc). But hey, if you want to cut down the cost, this is the best way.

2.       Train to Singapore. You can buy the train tickets online (different charges) or buy it directly at the KTM counter in JB Sentral. You can also check the time and tickets availability here. Usually the morning tickets (5am to 8am) and evening tickets (5-6pm) are fast-selling because of the rush hour I believe. Not to forget, as mentioned earlier, THE WEEKEND. Trust me, you would rather spend more money than standing for hours to go to Singapore.

3.       Fill up your tank (and stomach maybe?) before going in. Price for gas in Singapore is expensive. No kidding. If you’re entering from Tuas, you’re spoilt with choices: Shell, Proton and Petron, right after Gelang Patah toll.

4.       Prepare small SGD cash change for the Autopass card. That's what written at the office. Easier for them I guess because it's a small counter without proper cashier machine whatsover.

5.       Reload the Autopass card at any convenient stores (eg: 7-eleven, Cheers) in Singapore before going out of Singapore. You need to have enough balance (or else you might end up paying an amount of fine, sure you wouldn't wan that?).

6.       Don’t forget to reload your Touch & Go card as well. Coming into Malaysia you'll need to pay the toll and it can be paid only through T&G. 

7.       Abide the rules in Singapore. I don’t mean you can take Malaysian rules simply but yeah… I don’t think I have to justify this lol.

8.       Avoid both entrance early in the morning (5-8am) and in the evening (4-7pm). These are the rush hour as told by my Malaysian friends who are working at Singapore. Generally during the weekend, traffic going into JB will be bad in the Friday and Sunday evening. Just check on the live streaming link I shared earlier, just to be sure. 

9.       Only vehicle less than 10 years old are allowed in. But I heard in some cases, they didn’t check your car’s grant so I guess it might just depends on luck.

10.    Note the VEP fee is SGD35 per entry except on public holidays, weekend and weekdays after 5pm.



Cost:
T&G Gelang Patah toll fee – RM7.60
T&G coming into JB – RM3+ (I forgot how much exactly but RM3 plus)
Autopass – SGD20
Reload – SGD30
Total payment when exiting Singapore – SGD17.60 (included, tolls, ERP and parking)
VEP fee is free for first timer (valid for 10 days only). 

I hope this post helps! Do lemme know if you wanna know more on other modes to go to Singapore. Thanks for reading! 

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