Most seniors love their cars. If you own a car, especially a performance vehicle, the regret of driving in Singapore is the lack of open roads to really enjoy driving. Obviously, an option is to hit the highways of our neighbor – Malaysia. Here are 5 reasons why you may wish to think twice about driving your Singapore-car in Malaysia. If things go wrong, it can be a real hassle – touch wood it does not happen to you!
- Malaysia has the highest road traffic accident per 100,000 population among ASEAN countries with 6,740 people killed on Malaysian roads in 2017(2.34 per 10,000 vehicle registered) and 7,152 in 2016 (2.59 per 10,000 vehicle registered). Annually, about half a million cases of traffic accident are recorded in Malaysia. Death Rates On Malaysian Roads Is 3rd Highest Globally, More Than China And India. The driving risk in such an environment is obviously higher – so you will need to be extra careful.
- If you are involved in an accident in Malaysia and it is the fault of the other driver, your claims from the Malaysian insurer is extremely laborious and slow. It is not unheard of that your claim could take up to 4 years to process and that you may likely have to pay a lawyer to help you. If the damage in significant, you will have to claim first from your own insurance to start the repairs.
- Your No Claims Discount(NCD) will be at risk – you will almost certainly pay significantly more in premiums the next year if you make a claim against your insurance company for an accident in Malaysia. In Singapore, an accident may not affect your NCD if it is the other driver’s fault and the other insurance paid for your damages. Since your insurance company will pay first and may only collect from the Malaysian insurer several years down the road, it means you may lose some or all of your NCD the next time you renew.
- You may have to tow your vehicle back to Singapore for repairs, if you wish to claim against your own insurance. Most insurance have a cap on towing charges (normally S$500) and you have to pay anything above that. But that is not the worse thing. If you panic and give in to high-pressure tactics, you may fall prey to “toll truck good samaritans” offering help(that miraculously shows up at the scene of the accident). Many are scammers that can cost you thousands especially if you are driving a Singapore car! Do NOT let them tow your car and always say no. Call your insurer in Singapore for advice immediately.
- You often hear of reports of Singapore cars getting stolen or broken into in Malaysia, notably in Johor Bahru. I could not find any statistics on this issue. While I tend to discount some of the more sensational reporting and social media posts on this subject, it does actually happen. Car theft and burglary is another risk that you have to take seriously when driving into Malaysia – taking extra care where you park, where you go and even when you fill petrol(ideally in a busy location and not very late at night!)
If you plan a driving holiday in Malaysia, an alternative is to consider renting a car in Malaysia at your destination. You can rent a fairly new 1.3 Myvi Auto from a decent car local rental for about SGD$55-65 per day and this rate is inclusive of insurance.