If you have too many cars spending time in your private parking space, or if you don’t use your vehicle as often you should be, then you have the option to rent out your private vehicle. Private car rental has been gaining popularity across the globe, including Singapore, and there are no reasons why you should not be considering the option. But like everything else, there are caveats attached to private vehicle rental as well and the following are the things to take note when renting out your private vehicle.
Rental Car Laws
For starters, renting out a private car for commercial purpose or through a car rental firm is not legal. This is because private and commercial vehicles have varying insurance coverage and stipulations, and when a private car is being rented out for the public, it violates its insurance clause. As per Singapore laws, private cars can be rented out only between 7 pm (Fridays) and 7 am (Mondays). As per this scheme, you (the car owner) is responsible for the vehicle’s insurance coverage during the rental period. If a private vehicle is rented out against the law, you’ll be levied a maximum fine of $1000. There’s also the possibilities of imprisonment for three months (maximum). You also risk getting banned from driving for almost a year. A legal rental car would usually bear the word “MOTORCAR” on its road tax disc.
If a private vehicle is used for commercial use sans proper legal formalities and documentation, then the insurance cover for the car will be nullified. In other words, the insurance firm would then have the right for not underwriting any risk and would immediately terminate the insurance. As a result of this, you would end up facing unlimited liability claims. In other words, you would be invariably paying out of your own pockets for injuries and damages resulting from the accidents.
If you want to rent out a private car for public use, get in touch with your insurer for getting an appropriate insurance coverage done. Most Singaporean auto insurers are taking note of the rising private car rental trend and are making alterations to their coverage policies accordingly. Therefore, keeping them in the know about your commercial plans is recommended.
As per Singapore laws, third party insurance is the least coverage needed for a commercial car. This limited protection covers property damage, injury or death to others. Comprehensive insurance coverage, on the other hand, offers complete protection for you, your passengers and your vehicle.
Learn More About the Renter
Despite of all the liability cover, renting your private vehicle to a complete stranger is always a risky proposition. No, we are not talking about theft, but the kind of treatment levied out to your vehicle while it’s in service is what needs to be looked into. You may baby your car and look out for each and every pothole while driving. The renter, however, may not necessarily have those things on his mind. In fact, strangers who don’t own a car themselves are least likely to avoid the potholes. Therefore, it always pays to learn more about the renter and his driving skills.
Look for his driving license and ensure it is the same individual who got in touch with you for the rental. That said, you cannot rule out the renter tossing the keys to his friend who wants to transport a few hundred kilograms of cocaine. Therefore, carry out your due diligence. Moreover, insurance cover is not generally comprehensive for rented cars. The car rental firm would offer comprehensive coverage for the whole period while the car is listed, but specific repairs may not be reimbursed. For instance, if the car renter inflicts mechanical damage upon the car – such as a gearbox wreckage – the damage won’t be covered.
Now this rule may vary across rental services. Even if you are putting the car out for rental by self and not through a car rental service, you’ll have to ensure the car is not too old. Typically, cars older than 10 years don’t see too many renters. In fact, there are some renters who don’t prefer renting in a vehicle that’s five years older. These preferences would quite naturally vary across the board. The total number of kilometres covered by the vehicle is also an age indicator.
The numbers are not set in stone and are only used as yardsticks to determine the working condition of the vehicle. If your vehicle has crossed the age limit or has been on the road for more than the maximum allowed distance, it’s recommended you get your vehicle tested, especially if you believe your car is no slouch compared to equivalent younger and less-travelled car models. A road inspector would likely perform the test and certify your vehicle’s current state. With most car rental firms, individuals signing up for an account would get the inspection done for free.
Block Dates for Self Use
Putting out a car for rent doesn’t mean you cannot anymore use the car for private use. You’ll certainly want to have the car to yourself for personal use, especially if it’s the only car you own. As a car owner, you can block dates when you intend to use the car for private use. If you have listed the car on a rental service firm, you may notify the website of the same well in advance.
Get Used to the Idea
Renting a car is not as easy as it sounds – especially if you’ve never rented out cars before. To get your feet wet, start renting your private vehicle to friends and neighbours, and see how well you like the idea. Renting out a car may not be for everyone – this is particularly true if you take good care of your car and expect others to do the same too. Also, if you do not fancy the idea of friends and family driving your car, car rental won’t be a great option.
Therefore, start with renting your vehicle to the people you know. If you don’t feel insecure or are not carefully inspecting every inch of your car for any signs of damage or wear and tear after the rental trip, you would likely make a decent secondary business of renting out your car.