[2024 Update] The Motorist Guide to driving into Malaysia: VEP, Road Safety, Driving Etiquette, Accidents

Published by on . Updated on 4 Apr 2024
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1648111915827 Motorist Land Border Reopening Singapore Malaysia Featured
Now that the borders between Singapore and Malaysia are fully reopened, throngs of citizens from both countries alike are able to cross the Causeway daily.

Now that COVID-19 is in our rear view mirrors, we can get back to doing something we all love doing, driving into Malaysia. For those of you who are new to the whole shebang, this guide will serve to be your erm, guide, to the whole process.

Preparation

Now that the pandemic has waned, visitors who wish to visit Malaysia need not undergo any COVID-19 testing, quarantine, or pre-registration regardless of vaccination status.

Entering

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1650444689685 DocumentsThe first document that you should have on hand is your passport. Not having possession of your passport results in being unable to leave the country, so pack early and you will not face the risk of having to turn back on the occasion that you forget it.

This is especially important now that Singapore has rolled out a new initiative allowing travellers in cars to clear Singaporean immigration using QR codes. This does NOT include Malaysian immigration and travellers will still NEED their passports to get into Malaysia. 

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(Photo Credit: Compare Hero)  

Just like the EZ-link card that we’re so familiar with in Singapore, Malaysia has its TNG (Touch ‘n Go) equivalent as well. The TNG card can be used for public transport and payments at highway tolls throughout Malaysia. 

Another rule of utmost importance is the ¾ tank rule, which states that Singapore registered vehicles are required to have at least a ¾ tank full of fuel before exiting. Considering the substantially cheaper petrol costs in Malaysia, it is no wonder that some opportunistic Singaporeans may try to make use of this. Not adhering to this rule may result in being fined a sum of $500, so drivers should set their priorities straight and follow this rule lest they incur an even greater cost.

I made it!

So, you got through customs with little to no issue. Your Touch ‘n Go card is topped up, and you are prepared to have a blast with your friends or family. However, it may strike Singaporean drivers that their roads and road culture differ from our local roads.

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(Photo Credit: Pexels

For starters, the traffic jams there can reach new heights. The occasional logjam on our roads can stir frustration and irritation in drivers, but the bottlenecks around the capital of Kuala Lumpur can leave many tearing their hair out. Without the overbearing costs of COE for example, cars are much more accessible to Malaysians as compared to Singaporeans, which results in an influx of personal vehicles. It is not uncommon to find yourself stuck in relatively unmoving traffic for hours.

As established earlier, Singaporean drivers are different as compared to Malaysian drivers in a plethora of ways. However, rules mostly overlap in both countries. Some rules include not being able to use your phone while driving, requiring headlights to be switched on from 7PM to 7AM, and the like. Essentially, what you can find in this article should mirror your etiquette while driving in Malaysia.

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A common stereotype surrounding Malaysian drivers is that they tend to be more reckless behind the wheel. While there is no smoke without fire, we are willing to argue that impatient Singaporean drivers aren’t much better. Singaporean drivers are not impervious to road rage, making them drive recklessly as well. However, we suggest being on your toes as you are in a foreign country after all, and you may need some time to get used to the habits of other drivers in foreign countries.

And then there’s the issue of petrol grades. Foreigners are not allowed to pump the subsidised RON95 petrol. Despite the rule being in place for a decade, some cheapskate Singaporeans have been caught in the act of trying to make use of the lower petrol costs. We implore our fellow Singaporeans to not throw our image overseas by displaying our "kiasu-ism", among other embarrassing habits.

Precautions

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As mentioned in our previous guide, although Malaysia is a generally safe country, petty crimes are not uncommon, and you could fall prey to thieves. Make sure that your belongings are safe by keeping them out of view even in your car, as robbers have no qualms about smashing your window and fishing your possessions out by force. 

Also mentioned in the article is that investing in a steering wheel lock could be a good idea. Singapore-registered cars are not as easily tracked in Malaysia, so while getting a lock may seem excessive, the adage “better safe than sorry” always holds.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1650445408048 Insurance

Insurance is also another important factor. The possibility of something happening to you or your car is low, but never zero. Our other guide has a more comprehensive in-depth look at insurance policies, but you can also visit our website here.

Yet another wise suggestion in the guide is getting a car dashcam. Dashcams provide important footage for if you encounter fits of road rage or an accident. Knowing that you are in the right is simply not enough, and dashcams provide the much-needed proof which works hand-in-hand with the aforementioned insurance policies.

The Motorist App is your friend.

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A short trip to Malaysia shouldn’t require you to rack your brains with anxiety and worry, but preparing yourself in advance ensures a much smoother trip. A great way to ensure a fuss-free drive to Malaysia is with our Motorist app, using the checkpoint function. 

It provides traffic situation updates to and from Malaysia, helps warn about potential fuel checks in the left or right lane, and offers real-time camera footage from checkpoints.

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Read More: [2024 Update] Is The Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) Still Required to Enter Malaysia?


Download the Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage LTA and vehicle matters.

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2 Comments

Irene

We have booked hotel in JB on Tues and the VEP Tag appointment is only available on Wed 9am, can we still drive into JB on Tues stayover 1 night & collect the next day?

Is that an offence?

Reply

22 days ago

Dinesh Selvam
power bro
Reply

over 1 year ago