Here are 10 interesting facts about driving in Singapore. Even if you’re a regular road user, you probably will learn something new!
Left-Hand Drive in Singapore
In Singapore, cars and other vehicles drive on the left side of the road, so cars are mostly right-hand drive. But if you’re lucky, you may occasionally see left-hand drive cars on the roads – with a “LEFT HAND DRIVE” label on the back windscreen. Left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles cannot be imported for personal local registration, but foreign-registered LHD vehicles can be used temporarily by tourists passing through. Diplomatic vehicles are exempt from this rule. A few hydrogen and fuel cell powered vehicles currently undergoing trials here are LHD too! Vintage cars that are LHD are also allowed.
Singapore’s Road Signs
The typeface used on Singapore’s road signs is Rotis, created in 1988 by a German graphic designer and typographer. The old black-and-white road signs made way for our current reflective green ones in the early 2000’s. The old road signs were then auctioned off to the public.
Total Length of Singapore Roads
As of 2014, the total road length in Singapore is 3,496 kilometres, which is about half the length of the Nile River. Or if you want to cover this distance on foot, you’ll have to run 83 marathons!
Cost of Car Ownership
If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that Singapore is the most expensive place in the world to own a car, due to the piece of paper we have to get before even thinking about buying our own set of wheels. That’s right, we’re talking about the Certificate of Entitlement (COE). COEs are released through competitive bidding, and there are 2 open bidding exercises every month, You can check out the latest COE bidding results here.
Due to Singapore’s land scarcity, we do not have cloverleaf interchanges (which are common in the US) on our expressways. Instead, our expressways use single-point urban, diamond and trumpet interchanges where highways and roads intersect. Slip roads allow cars to change routes without stopping or slowing down.
Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)
Three letters that all motorists in Singapore hate: the ERP (well, besides the COE). The ERP, which is completely automatic, was introduced in 1998 to replace the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme. We’re the first city in the world to implement an electronic road toll collection system to manage traffic congestion.
Parking coupons were introduced in 1980, to replace the old system of having parking attendants collecting payment and issuing receipts. The parking meter system was considered, but the cost of maintenance was a concern. The more cost-effective coupon parking system was implemented instead. The first coupons used cards that required motorists to shade appropriate spots, but were replaced with the current, die-cut versions. With the implementation of the Electronic Parking System (EPS) in most carparks, coupons may soon become obsolete.