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Tips for Expats Driving in Clementi

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Clementi.
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1. Understanding the Driving Rules

Driving in Singapore, including Clementi, is on the left-hand side of the road. The country has strict traffic rules and heavy penalties for violations. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these rules before you start driving. For instance, seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless it’s hands-free.

2. International Driving Permit

Foreigners can drive in Singapore with a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) and their foreign license for up to 12 months. After this period, you will need to convert your foreign license to a Singapore driving license.

3. Converting Your Foreign License

To convert your foreign license, you will need to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT). Once you pass the BTT, you can apply for conversion at the Traffic Police Driving Test Centre. You will need to bring your passport, NRIC/Entry Permit/Employment Pass/Dependant Pass/Social Visit Pass/Work Permit, original and a photocopy of your foreign driving license, processing fee, and one matt finish passport-size color photograph.

4. Car Recommendation

As Singapore is a small city-state with well-maintained roads, any type of car would be suitable. However, due to the high cost of owning a car in Singapore, many expats opt for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars or hybrid vehicles.

5. Parking in Clementi

Parking in Clementi, like most places in Singapore, can be challenging due to the high population density. Most residential buildings, shopping centers, and office buildings offer parking lots, but they can fill up quickly. The cost of parking varies depending on the location and time of day, but it’s generally considered expensive.

6. Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)

Singapore uses a system called Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to manage traffic by road pricing. ERP charges are incurred when you drive through ERP gantries during operational hours. The charges vary depending on the location and time, with higher charges during peak hours. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with an In-vehicle Unit (IU) to pay these charges.

7. Car Insurance

Car insurance is mandatory in Singapore. The cost of insurance can vary depending on factors such as your age, driving experience, and the type of car you drive. It’s advisable to compare quotes from different insurance companies to get the best deal.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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