Singaporeans drive on the left-hand side of the road and it is compulsory to wear seat belts in the front and back of the car. The Mighty Minds Singapore Street Directory (S$16.90) is invaluable and available from petrol stations, bookshops, FairPrice supermarkets and stationery stores. However, the island has good internet coverage so Google Maps is also a reasonable option.
If you plan on driving in Singapore, bring your current home driver's licence. Some car-hire companies may also require you to have an international driving permit.
The roads are immaculate and well signed. However, drivers tend to change lanes quickly and sometimes do so without signalling. Motorcycles have a bad habit of riding between cars, especially when traffic is slow.
If you want a car for local driving only, it's worth checking smaller operators, where the rates are often cheaper than the big global rental firms. If you're going into Malaysia, you're better off renting in Johor Bahru, where the rates are significantly lower (besides which, Malaysian police are renowned for targeting Singapore licence plates).
Rates start from around S$60 a day. Special deals may be available, especially for longer-term rental. Most rental companies require that drivers are at least 23 years old.
All major car-hire companies have booths at Changi Airport as well as in the city.
At various times through the day, from Monday to Saturday, much of central Singapore is considered a restricted zone. Cars are free to enter but they must pay a toll. Vehicles are automatically tracked by sensors on overhead Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries, so cars must be fitted with an in-vehicle unit, into which drivers must insert a cash card (available at petrol stations and 7-Elevens). The toll is extracted from the card. The same system is also in operation on certain expressways. Rental cars are subject to the same rules. Check www.onemotoring.com.sg for ERP rates and hours of operation.
Parking in the city centre is expensive, but relatively easy to find – almost every major mall has a car park. Many car parks are now using the same in-vehicle unit and cash card as the ERP gantries. Outdoor car parks and street parking spaces are usually operated by the government – you can buy booklets of parking coupons, which must be displayed in the window, from petrol stations and 7-Elevens; however, these are being phased out in favour of the 'Parking SG' smartphone app.