Buses/Taxi/car rental/DL requirements and more Singapore

Taxi Service

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Taxis use meters and are reasonably priced and honest, however, a shortage of taxis in Singapore means that they are often unavailable for hours at a time. Outside weekday peak hours, trips within the city centre should not cost you more than $10 and even a trip right across the island from Changi to Jurong will not break the $35 mark. If you are in a group of 3 or 4, it’s sometimes cheaper and faster to take a taxi than the MRT. Be aware, however, that taxis are often remarkably difficult to secure, especially during peak commute or shopping hours, or when there is inclement weather. During these times it can be impossible to get through to a booking agent via telephone, and you can expect extended waits in taxi queues. There is a puzzling lack of action to address this persistent and frustrating taxi shortage.

Taxi pricing is largely identical across all companies at $3.00-$3.20 as a flag down rate (depending on the type of vehicle used), which lasts you 1km before increments of $0.22 per 400m (for the first 10km) or $0.22 per 350m (after the first 10km). (The sole exception is SMRT’s giant black Chryslers, which charge $5 and then $0.30 per 385m.) Watch out for surprises though: there are a myriad of peak hour (25%), late night (50%), central business district ($3), trips from airport or the IRs ($3-$5 during peak hours), phone booking ($3.00 and up) and Electronic Road Pricing surcharges, which may add a substantial amount to your taxi fare. All such charges are shown on the bottom right-hard corner of the meter, recorded in the printed receipt and explained in tedious detail in a sticker on the window; if you suspect the cab driver is trying to pull a fast one, call the company and ask for an explanation. Note that there is no surcharge for trips to the airport. While all taxis are equipped to handle (and are required to accept) credit cards, in practice many cabbies do not accept electronic payment. Always ask before getting in. Paying by credit card will incur an additional surcharge of 17%. During rush hour in the city centre, or late at night on the weekends, it’s wise to call for a taxi from the unified booking system at ☎ +65 6342 5222 (6-DIAL-CAB). Some taxi companies offer booking via SMS, online and mobile app.

Despite the costs involved, taxis may sometimes take you to distant locations outside the CBD faster than mass transport. An airport trip from the city centre may take less than 20min on a taxi but more than 30min on an MRT.

In the Central Business District, taxis may pick up passengers only at taxi stands (found outside any shopping mall) or buildings with their own driveways (including virtually all hotels). Outside the centre, you’re free to hail taxis on the street or call one to your doorstep. At night spots featuring long queues, such as Clarke Quay, you may on occasion be approached by touts offering a quick flat fare to your destination. This is illegal and very expensive but reasonably safe for you. (Drivers, on the other hand, will probably lose their job if caught.)

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You can also see the rates and other services they offer as well as photos of the fleet.


Call our hotline at 6555 8888.

XpressCab is available at selected commercial buildings, residences and hospitals. Call 6363 6868 and enter location number as stated on the XpressCab sign.

For current bookings, type Book<space>Postal code<space>#Pickup Point.

For advance bookings, type AdvBook<space>Postal code<space>#Pickup point<space>#Pickup time(24 hour format)<space>Pickup date.
Send sms to 75588.
You will be charged prevailing current and advance booking fees. Normal SMS charges apply.

Mobile App
iPhone. Android. Blackberry

A few taps on your smartphone be all it takes to book a taxi with the SMRT taxi booking app. Avoid busy phone lines and skip long taxi queues – all with this app.

Being completely automated, the app allows you to book a taxi without having to go through a call agent. The app can even detect your location automatically, allowing your booking details to be confirmed immediately. For easy bookings in future, you can add frequent pick-up addresses as “Favourites”, or simply re-book from a list of past booking addresses.

Booking details such as taxi vehicle numbers and estimated arrival times will be sent via SMS.

Download this free app today!

Transfers and charters are available for individuals or groups. To make a booking, call 6555 8888 or click here.

Wheelchair transfer

Our London Taxis offer wheelchair users point-to-point service in safety and comfort. The interior is designed for passenger to remain seated in his/her wheelchair throughout the journey. To book, call our Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) hotline at 6477 5988. 48 hours advance booking is required.

Limousine service

Limousine taxis are available upon request at the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront and Tanah Merah, #VivoCity, Sentosa (Beach Station) and Singapore Turf Club.

  • Fares start from 
$50 per point-to-point direct transfer* (as per planned route+) within Singapore
  • $15 surcharge is applicable for each additional stop to the final destination
  •  Hourly chartered rates of $45 (limousine taxis) and $50 (large taxis) are applicable for island transfer^
  • Midnight charge of $12 (one-time charge per vehicle per transfer) is applicable for all trips provided between 0000hrs to 0559hrs
  • For hourly charter, a midnight charge of $15 applies
  • Credit card payment is subjected to administrative fee
  • Rates and charges vary according to taxi type

 #At VivoCity Limousine Counter, only Space MPV and London taxis are available.
*Direct transfer – Route has to be direct and not roundabout
+ Planned route – The coordinator, driver and passenger will have a consensus on the route to reach the final destination
^ Island transfer – Refers to roundabout trip for the purpose of sight-seeing

Note: Revision of limousine fares at all limousine counters will take effect from 1 November 2013 except for the counter at Singapore Turf Club. The limousine fares at Singapore Turf Club will be revised from 1 December 2013.


SPACE 7-seater MPV London Taxi Toyota /       Epica /       AZERA CNG / Chrysler 300C
Airport Transfer (Arrival) $55 $55 $39 $70
Airport Transfer (Departure) $50 $50 $36 $65
Point-to-Point $50 $50 $36 $65
Wheelchair Transfer – London Taxi Only N.A. $50 N.A. N.A.
Hourly Charter Rate (min. 2 hours) $50 $50 $39 $70
Cancellation of Confirmed Bookings $10 $10 $10 $20

Terms & Conditions

Amendment of bookings
A $10 surcharge is applicable for any amendment made within 2 hours prior to pick up time. For Chrysler taxis, the surcharge is $15.

Additional pick-up/drop-off point
A $10 surcharge per stop is applicable for any additional stop (en-route) to the final destination.
For Chrysler taxis, the surcharge is $15.

A $10 surcharge per stop is applicable for any additional stop (non en-route) to the final destination.

Midnight surcharge
A $12 surcharge per trip is applicable, based on the passenger’s boarding time, from 0000hrs to 0559hrs.
For Chrysler taxis, the surcharge is $15.

Waiting time charges
Airport Transfer (Departure) / Point-to-Point: No charge for the first 15 minutes based on advised pick-up time, additional SGD$10 for subsequent block of 15 minutes.
Airport Transfer (Arrival): No charge for the first 45 minutes based on the actual landing time of flight, additional SGD$10 for subsequent block 15 minutes.

Cancellation of confirmed booking
A $10 charge is applicable for cancellation made within two hours prior to agreed pick-up time. 100% full charge per trip/per hour will be charged if the driver is already proceeding to the pick-up point or “Passenger No Show.”

Travel to and from

Changi Airport

SMRT Taxis airport limousine counters are located at Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Budget Terminal. Rates start from S$55 per trip. Click here for details.

Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront and Tanah Merah

Our Limousine counters are located in the arrival hall of the Cruise Centre at HarbourFront and Tanah Merah. The rate per transfer to any destination in Singapore is S$40.

Travel comfortably between Singapore and Malaysia. Call 6555 8888 to book a taxi.

Booking must be made at least one day in advance and is subject to availability.

From To Rate
Any location in Singapore
(one pick-up point)
Pasar Bakti Terminal S$55
Changi Airport/Seletar Airport Pasar Bakti Terminal S$75
Ban San Street Terminal Pasar Bakti Terminal S$10 per person (Share-a-cab)
Pasar Bakti Terminal Any location in Singapore
(one drop-off point)

 Car Rental

Car rental is not a popular option in Singapore. It is also hardly necessary for tourists since public transport sufficiently covers all areas of the island with a significant population base. You will usually be looking at upwards for $100 per day for the smallest vehicle from the major rental companies, although local ones can be cheaper and there are sometimes good weekend prices available. This does not include gas at around $1.80/litre or electronic road pricing (ERP) fees, and you’ll usually need to pay extra to drive to Malaysia. If planning on touring Malaysia by car, it makes much more sense to head across the border to Johor Bahru, where both rentals and petrol are half price, and you have the option of dropping your car off elsewhere in the country. This also avoids the unwelcome extra attention that Singapore-registered plates tend to get from thieves and greedy cops in Malaysia.

One rental company called smove offers electric vehicle rentals. With a $19 registration fee, you can rent the electric car from 15 minutes to a full day. Since the cars are battery powered, you save on the cost of gas. They offer their service in the Buona Vista area of Singapore.

Roads in Singapore are in excellent condition and driving habits are generally good with most people following the traffic rules due to stringent enforcement, though road courtesy tends to be sorely lacking. Compared to other major cities around the world like Sydney,Tokyo or Hong Kong, parking spaces are comparatively easier to find in the city centre of Singapore, although peak hour congestion can be quite severe. Foreign licences in English are valid in Singapore for up to a year from your date of entry, after which you will have to convert your foreign license to a Singapore one. Foreign licences not in English must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official English translation (usually available from your embassy) for them to be valid.

Singaporeans drive on the left (UK style) and the driving age is 18. The speed limit is only 90 km/h on expressways and 60km/h on other roads.

ERP payments require a stored-value CashCard, which is usually arranged by the rental agency, but it’s your responsibility to ensure it has enough value. ERP gantries are activated at different times, usually in the expected direction of most cars. As a rule of thumb, gantries found in roads leading to the CBD are activated during the morning rush hour while gantries found in roads exiting the CBD are activated during the evening rush hour. Passing through an active ERP gantry with insufficient value will mean that an alert is sent to your registered address. You will need to pay an administrative fee in addition to the difference between the remaining amount and the actual charge. You have a limited time to settle this otherwise your penalty becomes heavier.

All passengers must wear seatbelts and using a phone while driving is banned. Drink-driving is not tolerated: the maximum blood alcohol content is 0.08%, with roadblocks set up at night to catch offenders, who are heavily fined and possibly jailed. Even if your blood alcohol level does not exceed the legal limit, you can still be charged with drink driving if the police are convinced that your ability to control the vehicle has been compromised by the presence of alcohol (i.e. if you get involved in an accident). The police do conduct periodic roadblocks and speed cameras are omnipresent. Fines will be sent by mail to you or your rental agency, who will then pass on the cost with a surcharge. If stopped for a traffic offense, don’t even think about trying to bribe your way out.

Drivers Licence Requirements

Foreign licences in English are valid in Singapore for up to a year from your date of entry, after which you will have to convert your foreign license to a Singapore one. Foreign licences not in English must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official English translation (usually available from your embassy) for them to be valid.

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