Is Your Car Ready For A Road Trip To Malaysia? 10 Must-Know Tips
Planning on driving to Malaysia? Now you can! With the Johor-Singapore Causeway opening up under the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VFT), a road trip to Malaysia is now back on the cards.
Fully vaccinated travellers and non-fully vaccinated children 12 and below no longer need to be quarantined or take a COVID-19 test before heading to Malaysia.
The news is indeed welcome for drivers long itching to visit Malaysia alone or with their family.
So we’ve devised a list of things to prepare your vehicle for the long road trip ahead. Before you start hauling luggage in your trunk or planning your travel itinerary, make sure your car is travel-ready for Malaysia. Check out these tips!
1. Secure All Appropriate Travel Documents
Crossing the borders to Malaysia isn’t the same as hopping on a plane and flying there. There are quite a few documents needed, especially when bringing your car:
- Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) – This permit allows Singapore registered cars to enter Malaysia although the VEP requirement is currently not actively enforced. VEP minimises car theft cases and ensures your vehicle has no outstanding fines when departing the country.
- Valid Road Tax – Your road tax must still be valid before heading to Malaysia. This document proves your car is legally allowed to drive on the road. If you’re unsure about the status of your road tax, check your details through the Land Transport Authority (LTA) website.
- Certificate of Insurance – The Certificate of Insurance is a prerequisite for renewing your road tax. Aside from that, it’s proof your car is insured against potential damage. Car insurance coverage allows you to claim any damages to your vehicle in case you get into a minor accident or road skirmish.
- Touch N Go Card – You’ll need to pay a road charge at the immigration booth when entering Malaysia by car. This can only be paid via the Touch N Go Card, also used to pay other toll fees or car park gantry in Malaysia. It can be difficult to drive around the country if you don’t have this card. you can get the EZ-Link x Touch ‘n Go Motoring Card in Singapore, at certain 7-11 outlets.
2. Make Sure Your Vehicle Has Enough Fuel
You don’t want to be running low on fuel when going on a road trip, especially a 7-hour-long one, especially in Malaysia.
Aside from the obvious fact that you need fuel to run your car, did you know you can actually be prevented from entry to Malaysia if you have less than 3/4 worth of car fuel?
If you don’t have enough fuel, you’ll be required to make a U-turn and refuel or pay a $500 fine.
Avoid this by ensuring your vehicle is fully tanked and will still have enough left once you reach border security. Check your dashboard and see your estimated fuel levels. After clearing customs, make it a habit to check your car’s fuel levels now and again.
3. Check If Your Vehicle Is In Optimal Condition
Travelling thousands of kilometres can put a strain on your vehicle. Long road trips are notorious for working up your engine and negatively impacting its performance.
This is why you must ensure your vehicle is optimally conditioned for travel. Bring your car to a Singapore car workshop for proper tune-ups and vehicle health checks (VHCs) if you haven’t yet.
A vehicle health check involves inspection of the starter battery, tyres, brakes, wheels, exhaust, suspension, steering, alignment, fluid levels, etc. Make sure there aren’t any red flags that can cause severe damage to your car.
As for the exterior and the engine, get a car wash to remove unwanted debris or dirt on the body. Pump with the correct tyre pressure and check the treads to avoid potential accidents on wet road surfaces.
We recommend bringing your vehicle to a professional car servicing workshop in Singapore if you’re unsure about its condition.
4. Know How To Fix A Flat Tyre
Having a spare tyre in the boot of your vehicle is great, but do you know how to change a flat tyre? If not, you’ll want to learn how as you’re preparing for a road trip to Malaysia.
You should also keep a list of must-have vehicle essentials in the trunk, such as:
- Jumper cable
- Jack and lug wrench
- Air pump
- Tire pressure gauge
- Warning triangles
- First aid kit
5. Secure Your Vehicle
Road trips are fun and exciting. They’re an excellent way to explore unfamiliar territory in the comfort of your car. However, unfamiliarity and danger go hand-in-hand. Being too lax about your safety and security may get you and your travel companions in danger.
Do not leave your driving licence or registration documents in your car. These could help the thief sell or dispose of your car. Ensure that you have removed all valuables – locking property from view, especially mobile phones, laptops, clothing, bags and loose change in consoles. When you leave your car either take your belongings with you or lock them in the boot.
Parking in a busy and well lit area at night and avoid car parks that have a history of thefts or break-ins. When you park your car in daylight through the evening or overnight, consider how the area may look like in the dark. Most car thefts occur at night. Avoid parking in unattended areas where car thieves have less chance of being caught.
Remember that you’re bringing your car into a foreign land. Singapore registered vehicles can’t be easily tracked compared to locally registered cars.
Another way to prevent theft is by adding a steering wheel lock or a brake lock. Even if your car isn’t within view, you can rest assured knowing you’ve done everything possible to keep it safe.
6. Don’t Bring Your Luxury Car
You might be tempted to flaunt your brand new luxury vehicle around Malaysia, but we strongly recommend you leave it behind in Singapore.
We can’t stress this enough. Vehicle theft is rampant in Malaysia.
According to Malaysia’s Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, one vehicle is stolen every 75 minutes. A luxury car in broad daylight is an easy target for robbers.
Even with a VEP RFID tag installed on your car, the police will have difficulty tracking it if it gets stolen.
Don’t take the risk because it’s simply not worth it. Bring your trusty old sedan or SUV instead and save your luxury vehicle for another special occasion. You’ll worry less about damaging or losing it.
7. Get A Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP)
The Singapore VEP entry pass may not be mandatory to enter Malaysia, but it’s best to secure it beforehand.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on securing a VEP:
Step 1: Register at the VEP Official Portal
Visit the VEP portal here, where you’ll be required to indicate information regarding your car and insurance details. Wait for a confirmation slip via email.
Step 2: Download The Touch N Go eWallet
Download the Touch N Go eWallet app. You will link this with your VEP RFID once you have secured it. The Touch N Go Card is a cashless, contactless way of paying toll fees in Malaysia.
Step 3: Set An Appointment On The VEP Portal
Choose a date to collect the RFID tag. On the day of your appointment, make sure to bring the following:
- Registered vehicle
- Original and photocopy of your valid passport
- Two-page confirmation slip
- Tag appointment slip
- Photocopy of the latest car insurance cover note
- LTA log card (from the One Motoring website)
There are only four locations where you can collect your VEP RFID tag:
- Pandan RnR
- Gelang Patah Southbound RnR
- Lima Kedai Toll Plaza
- Plaza Angsana Open Carpark C
It will take two hours before you get your tag. Then, the staff will attach the VEP tag on the inner side of your car’s windshield behind the mirror or one of the headlights.
8. Settle Your Car Insurance Coverage
Having car insurance is handy when visiting Malaysia. The easiest way to settle your insurance coverage is by ensuring it covers Malaysia. This way, you won’t have to pay two separate insurance premiums.
Get motor insurance with a comprehensive plan, anti-theft coverage, and third-party fire.
The coverage varies depending on the insurance companies, but here are some of your options:
- Allianz Motor Protect
- MSIG Motor Insurance
- NTUC FDrivo
- HLAS Car Protect360
- Singtel Car Protect
Travel insurance is also a must in case you lose any official documents or valuables in your travels.
9. Install A Dash Cam
If you haven’t already, consider installing a dash cam in your car. Choose a front and rear dash cam that can capture clear images even in low-light conditions. This device is useful for recovering footage after a traffic accident.
Additionally, the footage can also serve as evidence. If you feel you’ve been wrongly fined for allegedly breaking a traffic rule in Malaysia, you can show the captured footage to road officials and possibly escape a hefty fine.
10. Plan Your Routes
There are currently two major thoroughfares covering Malaysia’s entire length: the North South Highway (NSH) and the Eastern Coastal Route. The NSH is popular among tourists and leads to Malacca and the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, you can pass through the Eastern Coastal Route to witness the scenic views of the South China Sea.
Below are other popular places to visit and some things to do during your trip to Malaysia.
Popular Places To Visit On The North South Highway
Johor: Singaporeans flock to Johor frequently due to its convenience and accessibility. The Lion City itself is connected to Johor via two bridges: the Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link.
As a popular tourist and retail hub, the city is home to shopping malls, local eateries, and other popular tourist attractions.
Kuala Lumpur: If you love the nightlife, Kuala Lumpur is the place to be. It’s home to fine dining locations and the Petronas Towers, flocked by tourists all over the globe.
Malacca: If you love visiting heritage sites, Malacca is your go-to place. It houses some of the most stunning architecture Malaysia has to offer.
Popular destinations include the Famosa Fort, Menara Taming Sari, Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park, and many more.
You should also visit Jonker Street to get a taste of authentic Malaysian street food or even buy mementoes and souvenirs.
Penang: Penang is Malaysia’s food haven, brimming with cuisines from diverse cultures in the region. It’s a great place to go on a food trip and gorge on popular dishes like Char Koay Teow, Nasi Lemak, Wantan Mee, and more.
Popular Places To Visit In The Eastern Coastal Route
Perhentian Islands: Dense forest land surrounds Perhentian Island’s crystal-clear waters and white-sand shorelines. It’s only open between April to October due to the monsoon seasons, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Tioman Island: Daredevils and adventure-seekers will find no shortage of diving spots on Tioman Island. Thanks to a dedicated parking space at a Jetty in Mersing town near the mainland, you won’t have to worry about bringing your car.
Terengganu: Surround yourself with nature amongst the unspoiled waters and white sands of Terengganu. If you’re up for a camping trip with friends and family, you can easily set up tents along designated campsites nearby.
As borders slowly ease up, many tourists from Singapore are likely eyeing a trip to Malaysia soon. For a fuss-free and fun road trip experience, we highly recommend preparing your car for travel to and around Malaysia.
Get your car ready for a road trip only with a comprehensive car servicing package in Singapore!
Kee Yong Auto is your one-stop shop car servicing centre. We offer maintenance, tune-ups, VHCs and other services for different makes and models. Get in touch with us now and get your car ready in no time!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ROAD TRIP FROM SINGAPORE TO MALAYSIA
How Long Does It Take To Travel From Singapore To Malaysia By Car?
Your travel time can be anywhere between 5 to 7 hours, depending on your destination. If you’re heading to Kuala Lumpur, expect to arrive in 4 to 5 hours.
Is Driving To Malaysia Safe?
While there may be cases involving car theft and robberies, Malaysia is generally a safe place to drive. Remember to take the proper precautions and secure yourself and your belongings.
How Much Is The Toll Fee From Singapore To KL?
If travelling by car, you will need to pay SGD 0.80 once you reach the Woodlands Checkpoint, while the PLUS Toll charge in Malaysia is RM 2.37.
Singapore-registered automobile owners need to pay an additional VEP fee of SGD 35.