We may have had grand plans for 2020, but the global pandemic has more or less ruined them all. During the Circuit Breaker - when everyone was confined at home - many Singaporeans were inspired to make Dalgona coffees, bake burnt cheesecakes and post fitspo videos online. Thankfully, since phase 2 in June, Singapore has been gradually opening up so our social media feeds are (almost) back to normal.
Although we’re now allowed to venture out of our homes, stringent travel restrictions remain in place. Since we still cannot fly, Singaporeans have no choice but to look for more ways to explore “holiday” destinations without leaving the country. That’s easy enough if you have your own set of wheels, but what if you don’t?
If you don’t own a car and would like an eco-friendly way to embark on your adventures, consider BlueSG. The electric car sharing service in Singapore recently hit its millionth car rental in August, and currently has 80,000 subscribers and a fleet of 667 cars. This article will cover how BlueSG works, their car sharing prices, and how to rent a BlueSG car.
BlueSG prices and subscription plans
Basic BlueSG plan
Premium BlueSG plan
$8 per month
$18 per month
$0.33 per min
$0.33 per min
Free rental minutes
Free 45 minutes per month
There are two BlueSG subscription plans: basic and premium. The price of car sharing with BlueSG is the monthly subscription fee + a per-minute rate for each rental.
The basic plan has a cheaper monthly subscription fee of $8 (as opposed to the $18 premium plan), and the per-minute rental rate is the same ($0.33 per min). There is also no minimum commitment period, which means it’s good for those who just want to try car sharing. If after a month you still like it, go ahead and upgrade to premium. If not, feel free to cancel - there is no penalty for cancelling the basic plan.
The premium BlueSG plan is more expensive - the subscription fees are $10 more each month. However, it comes with free 45 minutes of rental per month. At the rate of $0.33, 45 minutes would cost $14.85, so as long as you use up those minutes, you will actually make your money’s worth.
The catch is that there’s a six-month commitment period, which could be quite intimidating for first-timers who are new to the concept.
If you need a long-term car sharing arrangement, this is definitely more cost effective. However, as mentioned, if you are just testing BlueSG out and/or are only looking at a short term arrangement, then the basic plan is more suitable.
How to rent BlueSG car in Singapore
First of all, you’ll need to sign up with BlueSG. To do so, you must be at least 20 years old and have 1 year of driving experience. Then, with your NRIC, driver’s licence and credit/debit card in hand, apply through either the BlueSG mobile app or website.
Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough for the signup process on both platforms.
When you sign up, you can either opt to receive a BlueSG membership card or use your existing EZ-Link card to make rentals.
How it works is you’ll need to first locate and visit a nearby BlueSG charge point (where the electric rental car is parked). You can look at the BlueSG map first (see below) and reserve the nearest car up to 30 minutes in advance.
When you get there, you’ll find on the driver’s wing mirror a reader on which you should tap your membership (or EZ-Link card) to unlock the vehicle. Once that’s done, the power door at the back of the car will open, and you can unplug the car from the charge point and drive off!
When you’re done, drive it back to any BlueSG charge point (it doesn’t have to be the same one you ‘collected’ it from). Your rental timer ends when the car is plugged back in. The same way you can ‘chope’ a car for rent, you can reserve a charging point 30 minutes before you return the car.
As mentioned, you can refer to the BlueSG map to locate charging points before you rent a car and before you return the car.
Here’s a screenshot of the map:
The map shows you all the BlueSG charging points across the island, as well as how many BlueSG cars there are in the car parks. It looks very crowded and messy above, but the map (on the website and app) is actually interactive, and you can filter the results to show vehicles, parking spots and/or charging points. You can also zoom in based on your address.
There are currently 667 cars, 345 charging stations and 1,371 charging points.
With COE prices averaging at over $30,000, car ownership in Singapore is incredibly expensive. Although there has been a reported increase in car sharing rental since Phase 2, beyond the context of the current COVID-19 climate, car sharing is actually quite a viable alternative to owning your own car - especially if you only need an occasional ride.
If you’re unsure whether or not to buy a car, you can also use a car sharing service for a few months to get a feel of how much more convenience a car would provide you, before making a decision. BlueSG is not the only car sharing service in Singapore, but it is the only eco-friendly one with an electric car fleet.
Of course, if you’re always on the go and expect to make multiple trips daily to fetch-and-ferry your kids and/or run other errands frequently, a pay-per-rental car sharing service may not be suitable. In such cases, you may want to consider long-term car rental or leasing instead.
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GoBear Insurance Broker (SG) Pte Ltd (UEN 201924067K) is a registered insurance broker with The Monetary Authority of Singapore for insurance broking business which does not include other services such as credit cards and loans.