The Great Showdown of Singapore’s 4 biggest Car Rental Services. Find out who’s the best!

Key players of car rental services in Singapore

With the rising cost of owning and maintaining a car in Singapore, there has been an increase in the demand for more affordable ways to drive your own car. As such, there are four key players in my opinion that currently own the car rental market here in Singapore. They are (in no specific order):

  1. TribeCar(Drop off same point)
  2. Smove(Drop off can be different point)
  3. BlueSG(Drop off can be different point)
  4. SG Car Club(Drop off same point)

I have personally tried all services and I have did a simple comparisons between these services in different categories:

The price comparisons are using the cheapest car available at time of publish; Nissan Note(SGCarClub-BasicPlan), Economy Sedan (TribeCar), Saver Category (Smove), Paid Membership Tier (BlueSG).

For a short single trip, we can see BlueSG as a clearer winner, considering that you are using the $0.33 ($15 per month) tier just like me, it is more affordable to use this service as your first choice since you can drop off at different location.

For a trip 1 hour or more, we can see SG Car Club and TribeCar being a more affordable option, but for TribeCar you may want to consider the possibility that you may need to pump petrol if the tank goes below half full as it is their clause that every driver have to return the car at any level as long as there is no low fuel indicator. The pumping of petrol could costs you some extra money. Moreover, these 2 services require you to drop off the car from the same point you pick up.

If we move on to compare them in terms of renting it for a day or up to 3 days. We clearly see the big difference now. Its more reasonable now to rent from SG Car Cluband Tribe Car, even if the petrol costs about $80, you are still paying lesser than BlueSG and Smove.

Personal Preference and Experience

I am a avid user of BlueSG, reason being I mostly use public transport and will only drive if I want to travel a long distance in a short time (i.e. 30km in less than 30 mins like Tampines to Bukit Panjang). A private hire like Grab or Comfort Taxi could easily cost me $20-$30. But if I drive within 30 mins or 45 mins, it will only cost me $15. Moreover, I with the large amount of stations available right now, I can easily find a nearby station in Tampines and in Bukit Panjang and drive from Point A to B. I could also drive a few of my friends home if they live nearby without incurring extra costs for extra stops.

I had a negative experience with TribeCar,and just a short disclaimer here that what I’m sharing next is purely based on my experience, it does not describe how it runs the service, nor does it generalise how TribeCar serves his customers.

There was an occasion where it was a public holiday, I rented a car at Point A, I picked up and realised its fuel indicator was on (MAN, the last guy just escaped?). As I was in a rush, I head to the nearest petrol station to pump petrol, the petrol guy was new and said could only pump full. Again, as I was in a rush, I agreed and paid $70 at Caltex for pumping it full tank.

As I travel out and then made my return, the brake had some issue and I slided forward at a traffic light and almost hit a lorry in front of me although the brake was stepped HARD. That night, I cancelled my Tribe Car and demanded my refund back. In my opinion, I think that the fleet of cars they manage is bad. But this is just my experience, I believe it has benefit many other customers out there.

Conclusion (tldr;)

As consumers, we benefit from such competition as the key players actively launch promotions and campaigns to get people onboard their services. We also increasingly see car rental services partnering with petrol stations to allow customers to pump petrol without incurring extra rental costs.

SG Car Club allows customers to pump at no extra costs at Esso and Shell.
Smove allows customers to pump at no extra costs at Esso.
TribeCar
allows customers to drive to Malaysia as long as rental is 6 hours or more.
BlueSG is a full electric car, hence there is no need to worry about petrol as long as the battery level stays above 40%.

Ultimately, renting a car can never replace the convenience of owning a car where you could use it anytime, anywhere and even customise the setting of the car.

Verdict

So who’s the best? We can’t define it here since each service is packaged for use for different reasons. As long as all of them are around, we can continue to benefit from their services as consumers.