3. HOW DO I GET AN INTERNATIONAL LICENSE?
There are two ways to apply for an IDP from the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS):
|Method||Documents Required||Processing Time|
a. Online application at
Delivery of IDP via local courier within 7 working days (exclude submission day)
b. walk-in application at one of the AA branches:
(Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 5.30pm, last submission at 5.15pm; Sat: 8.30am – 1pm, last submission at 12.45pm. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)
(Mon to Sun: 10am – 10pm, last submission at 9.45pm)
The IDP can be collected on the spot within 1 hour of application
Either way, you will need to pay $20 for your IDP. If you choose to apply online, you will need to pay an additional of $5.50 for the local courier fee.
4. ANY OTHER THINGS I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DRIVING IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY?
The planning does not stop after settling the legal requirements for foreign driving. Do your research to check the appropriate driving laws for your road trip before you set off. Knowing the rules of the road means you will be less likely to encounter problems and enjoy a smoother journey.
CHECK THE VALIDITY OF YOUR IDP
RIGHT SIDE VS LEFT SIDE DRIVING
In Singapore, you drive on the left side of the road. However, do not assume that all countries follow the same. Generally speaking, most countries which were British colonies drive on the left side of the road like Singapore. This includes popular travel destinations such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa.
On the other hand, most European countries drive on the right side of the road except the United Kingdom and Ireland. You will also need to change your orientation to the other side of the road when driving in countries like South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
MANUAL VS AUTOMATIC VEHICLES
Renting a vehicle for a road trip is a convenient way to explore your travel destination. There are two basic types of transmission – either the automatic or manual vehicle. Because of the ease of driving automatics, they are gaining popularity around the world. However, renting an automatic vehicle may be difficult, or even impossible, and more costly in many countries.
Throughout Europe, manual vehicles are more common than automatics because they tend to be more fuel efficient due to the smaller size. The cost of renting an automatic (if you manage to find one) can cost as much as 50 per cent more than a manual vehicle! Therefore, it is important to do your homework to find the vehicle rental company that best fits your budget and preference.
UNDERSTAND THE LOCAL DRIVING CULTURE
Cultural values can impact how people drive around the world. In some countries, it is rare to spot a female driver. If you are a lady renting a car in such a country, especially the Arab countries, expect to be honked at by aggressive male drivers who are appalled with seeing you behind the wheel. In cities with congested roads, you may meet more impatient drivers who would not care less about encroaching your space.
On the contrary, driving in the countryside may be a more relaxing and pleasant experience. This is not just because of the beautiful scenery, but also because drivers tend to be more jovial and patient in slower-paced places. Understanding the driving habits at your travel destination would minimise any potential rude shocks and set your expectations right for what to expect during the trip.
This article was first published in Shopback.
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