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Driving in Bishan

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Bishan.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Singapore, including Bishan, is generally considered to be orderly and disciplined due to the strict enforcement of traffic rules. However, it can be stressful due to the heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. It’s important to be patient and always be aware of your surroundings.

2. Car Recommendation

As Singapore is a small city-state, a compact car is usually sufficient for most people. However, if you have a large family or need to transport large items regularly, a larger vehicle may be necessary. Keep in mind that cars in Singapore are expensive due to the high cost of Certificates of Entitlement (COE).

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Bishan can be challenging, especially during peak hours. Most shopping malls and residential buildings have parking facilities, but they can fill up quickly. Parking fees vary, but they are generally considered expensive compared to other countries.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Singapore with a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) or a foreign license that is written in English. However, this is only allowed for up to 12 months. After that, you will need to obtain a Singapore driving license.

5. Obtaining a Singapore Driving License

To get a Singapore driving license, you will need to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT) and then either the Final Theory Test (FTT) for car drivers or the Riding Theory Test (RTT) for motorcycle riders. After passing the theory tests, you can then take the practical driving test. If you have a foreign driving license, you may be exempted from the practical test, but this depends on the country where your license was issued.

6. Be Aware of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)

Singapore uses a system called Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to manage traffic by road pricing. ERP charges are deducted automatically from a stored-value card inserted into an in-vehicle unit installed in the car. Make sure you understand how this system works and always have enough value in your card.

7. Strict Drink-Driving Laws

Singapore has strict drink-driving laws. The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. If you’re caught drink-driving, you could face heavy fines, imprisonment, and disqualification from driving.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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