(Photo Credit: Kinsei-TGS)
With the March holiday fast approaching, many Singaporeans will definitely be planning a trip to JB for some much-needed R&R. Here are some tips to protect not only yourself, but your car as well.
If you don’t already know by now, Johor Bahru is seen as a haven for many Singaporeans – an affordable escape from the high-cost of living and their humdrum routine.
From cheap massages to scrumptious hawker food, you simply can’t deny the pull that JB has over many of us.
Although many consider JB a playground, we should still be smart and take care of our personal safety. This is especially the case for those who drive across the Causeway, as Singapore cars are known to be targeted by crime syndicates and car thieves.
If you are planning a short trip to our Northern neighbours this March holiday, these tips might serve you well.
1. Adopt A Four-Layered Car Protection Approach
(Photo Credit: Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia)
Did you know one vehicle goes missing every 26 minutes in Malaysia? In fact, Singaporean cars are often a target for crime syndicates.
To prevent car theft from happening to you, the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia has recommended a four-layered car protection approach when driving into Malaysia.
1st layer – Common Sense: Avoid driving or parking your vehicle in secluded areas. It’s better to trust your gut feeling on this. If you don’t feel safe, simply drive away or park elsewhere. Drivers are also advised to secure their vehicle, even for brief periods. This can be done by removing their keys from the ignition, locking all doors and windows, parking in well-lit or populated areas, and hiding valuables from plain sight. This includes removing your Cashcard from your IU unit.
2nd Layer – Warning Devices: These devices can come in the form of audible alarms, steering wheel locks, brake pedal locks, and gear locks. If a car thief spots these devices, he might think twice before attempting to steal your car.
3rd Layer – Immobilising Devices: If warning devices fail, immobilising electronic devices such as kill switches, fuse cut-offs, and ignition disablers will prevent or stall car thieves from driving away in your vehicle.
4th Level – Tracking Devices: When all else fails, GPS tracking devices can allow you and the authorities to track your car’s location if it is stolen.
2. Ensure You Have Proper Insurance Coverage in Malaysia
(Photo Credit: Pixabay)
If you drive to Malaysia frequently, it would be advisable to get a car insurance policy that offers coverage across the Causeway. Afterall, accidents can occur anytime and the last thing you want is to be uninsured for damages or theft.
If you are unsure about your coverage, do give your insurance company a call to verify your policy. In most cases, additional coverage may not be included in your main policy and has to be added to enhance your existing coverage.
3. Leave Your Luxury Car in Singapore
(Photo Credit: Unsplash)
Singaporeans love flaunting their wealth and driving a luxury car is definitely one way of doing so. However, when it comes to driving up north, we highly recommend leaving your beloved BMW or Mercedes in Singapore lest you wish it to be stolen.
Not only will a luxury car draw the attention of car thieves, but it also tells them that you have cash to spare. For those unaware, there have been cases of Singaporeans being tailed and robbed in Malaysia. These victims were either held ransom or had their valuables stolen from their vehicles.
If you want to blend in with the crowd, driving an economy car would be the safest bet.
4. Give Way to Reckless Drivers and Tailgaters
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Malaysians are known to be aggressive drivers, more so than us Singaporeans. Although you may not want to “lose” to them on the road, remember that you are on their “turf”, and the Malaysian police are likely to side them in the event of a confrontation or dispute.
If you do come across a reckless driver or tailgater, remember to keep your head down and give ample space for them to drive past. Remember - any disagreement will likely not be in your favour. That is why it’s always better to err on the side of caution instead.
5. Ensure Your Vehicle Is Roadworthy Before Your Trip
(Photo Credit: Pexels)
Passport? Check! Luggage? Check! Inflated tyres? Erm...
In fact, getting a reliable tow truck service to assist you can even be a major headache, especially if they know you are from Singapore. To prevent any unpleasant surprises from happening, be sure to get a trusted mechanic to inspect your vehicle before making the drive across the Causeway.
6. Use the New Road Assist Feature on the Motorist App
In the unlikely event that your car breaks down in Malaysia, what will you do? Instead of frantically searching for a reliable workshop or tow truck service on Google, you can now book a trusted and reputable towing service directly from Singapore using the Motorist App.
Thanks to our new partnership with ComfortDelGro Engineering, we are pleased to announce that we have expanded our towing coverage to both Singapore and Johor Bahru. Provided by ComfortDelGro’s rejuvenated car care arm, SPARK Car Care, Singaporeans in Malaysia will no longer need to worry about tow truck scams or being taken advantage by dishonest workshops or mechanics.
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