(Photo Credit: The Straits Times)
Every registered vehicle in Singapore has an In-Vehicle Unit (IU), possibly known as an On-Board Unit (OBU) in the future. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
If you drive a vehicle in Singapore, chances are you’ll have an IU installed in said vehicle. It’s a small device seated quietly on your dashboard, only beeping when you enter an Electronic Parking System (EPS) carpark or cross the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry.
What is an In-Vehicle Unit?
In summary, it is a device that stores a cash card, or a card with monetary value inside it. When you travel on roads with ERP gantries, you’ll often hear a beeping emerge from the IU. This is the device telling you that an amount has been deducted from your cash card.
There are two types of in-vehicle units, namely:
The Old IU
While there are no official names for this IU, as it was the original, it’s very commonly referred to as the “old” or “First-Gen” IU these days. This doesn’t mean that they’re no longer in use though.
This IU only accepts the following cash cards:
- NETS CashCard With Chip
The Dual Mode IU
Coming into use from 2009, the dual-mode IU is currently the one being used by most drivers on the road. It’s about 34% to 50% smaller than the old IU, but ultimately depends on what kind of vehicle you’re driving.
The new IU accepts the following:
- NETS CashCard
- NETS FlashPay
- NETS Motoring Card
- Credit Cards
- CEPAS-compliant cards (EZ-Link, NETS, Transitlink)
CEPAS stands for Specification for Contactless e-Purse Application, making your EZ-Link cards essentially an e-wallet.
The new IU-interface displays both your cash card balance as well as the amount deducted, while the old one only displays your cash card balance.
All you have to do is make sure your cash card has enough value before you insert it into the IU. Then, scanners will detect your IU and deduct the funds from your card when needed.
Also, every IU is covered by a 5-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
Where Can I Find my IU Number?
(Photo Credit: The Business Times)
Like how your car has a unique license plate, your IU also has its own unique registration number for identification. It’s called the “IU number”, and is a 10-digit number located on a sticker on your in-vehicle unit.
How to Purchase a New IU
(Photo Credit: Pexels)
Costing S$155.80, inclusive of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a new in-vehicle unit can be purchased at any of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) approved inspection centres, aka IU service centres.
It’s a good investment as many carparks in Singapore now are equipped with EPS, which auto-deducts the parking fees from the cash card located in your IU. You no longer have to stretch your arm through the window anymore!
How to Transfer an IU
(Photo Credit: Uniquely Singapore)
If you had scrapped your vehicle and bought a new one, it might be a waste to buy a whole new in-vehicle unit again. Instead, you have the option to transfer your deregistered IU at an authorised IU service centre.
The IU must be in good working condition, as deemed by the inspection centre, and must be transferred within six months from the registration date of the vehicle. It can only be transferred among vehicles in the same class.
Transferring the IU costs about S$18.73 at VICOM, inclusive of GST.
How to Repair, Replace or Remove an IU
(Photo Credit: Pexels)
Like the above points, you’ll have to send your vehicle to an approved inspection centre to have the IU inspected or removed.
If you accidentally damaged your IU, you’ll have to get it inspected and repaired, assuming your warranty hasn’t expired. If it has expired, you would most likely have to replace or remove your IU.
Removal of an IU is subject to a service fee of about S$15.00 at each service centre.
To Be Renamed as On-Board Units (OBU)
(Photo Credit: MyCarForum)
As it is already 2020, we inch closer to the possible implementation of the new ERP system.
Current IUs will be replaced for free with the upcoming OBUs, which now calculates ERP rates based on the distance travelled by your vehicle, no longer adhering to the current fixed-rate system.
Rumoured features on the OBU include on-the-go traffic information, roadside parking and even Wi-Fi connectivity.
We hope that this article has provided you with useful information about your in-vehicle unit. If you would like to find out more, you can check out this video on the different types of IUs.
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