The Complete Guide to Driving to Malaysia: What You Need to Cross the Causeway

Car Advice    Zia Xin

1200px Johor Bahru Causeway(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Great food, lots of shopping, and an escape away from the hustle and bustle of Singaporean life. It's no wonder so many of us love driving down to Malaysia for some rest and relaxation.

Of course, the last thing you want on your road trip is to have your car break down, or realize you don't have the right permits! Here's a practical checklist to make sure that doesn't happen to you.


1. Before Setting Off

Before deciding where to go and what to eat, here are some things to prepare before you even get into your car:

Check your Vehicle

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(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Those of you planning a long trip, take note! You'll need to get your tyres pumped, and have your ride checked by a mechanic to make sure your car is ready for the trip. Once you've gotten your vehicle in top working condition, you won't have to worry about breakdowns or flat tyres leaving you stranded by the highway!


Make Sure You Have the Right Certifications

  • Certificate of Insurance

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(Photo Credit: Flickr)

Besides being mandatory in Singapore, it's always a good idea to get insured before travelling overseas. That way, you'll always have a safety net against road accidents and health risks. If you have a local motor insurance in Singapore, make sure that it offers coverage in Malaysia.

  • Proof of Road Tax Validity

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Make sure to renew your road tax before travelling across the highway with your vehicle. In the past, cars driving to Malaysia needed to display paper road tax discs on their windshields, but as of 15 Feb 2017, all you need is a printout or digital copy of your road tax validity.

  • Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP)

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(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Last but not least, remember your Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP). You can apply for one via the official online portal, and be notified on where/when to collect the identification tag. You must have your VEP identification tag displayed in order to enter Malaysia, otherwise you might be barred from entering the country.


2. At Customs

Now that you've got all that ready, it's time to head down to the Causeway. As you're passing through the checkpoints, here's what you'll need to do.

Pay Tolls at the Checkpoint

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Vehicles crossing the Causeway must pay tolls on both sides. For Singapore's tolls, make sure you have a NETS CashCard, a NETS Flashpay card or an EZ Link Card. These are the only cards accepted by the checkpoint card readers. Top-up your cards beforehand so they have enough value to pay the tolls, as you will not be able to top-up at the checkpoints.

For Malaysia, you can use the Touch N' Go card, which can be purchased and topped up at the CIQ Complex at Johor Customs. Malaysia's Reversal Road Charge (RRC) can only be paid with the Touch N' Go Card, so it really is a must-have for entering Malaysia.

Check out the updated toll charges for entering and leaving Malaysia here.

Top Up Your Petrol Tank to Three-Quarters

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

We all love Malaysia's cheap petrol prices, but sadly, we can no longer make quick trips over to fill up the tank. All Singaporean vehicles crossing into Johor must have at least a three-quarter tank of petrol upon entry. Any vehicle with less must turn back for a refill, otherwise you will be fined up to S$500.

Choose the Right Time to Travel

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Avoid travelling during public and school holidays, or before a long weekend—these are peak periods and the checkpoints will usually be overly crowded. Avoid peak hours as well, they are early mornings and late afternoon-evenings for weekdays, and late mornings and late evening for weekends. Websites such as Checkpoint.sg and Causewayjam.com are especially useful to help you check the traffic conditions at the Causeway and 2nd Link. Also take note that Johor's weekends are Sunday and Monday, and not Saturday and Sunday like Singapore.


3. After Customs

Now that you've gotten past customs, you're all ready to get started on your road trip! Here's what you should take note of while driving in Malaysia.

Download a GPS system

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Travelling in a foreign country can be hard when you're unfamiliar with the roads. Getting a reliable GPS system will help with navigation, and these days it's easy to just download one on your phone! Google Maps is a good option, but it requires internet to work. Luckily there are many other GPS systems that offer offline use. Kindly note that traffic jams are very common in Malaysia, so you might have to exercise some patience while driving there.

Take Safety Measures

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Most Singaporean motorists worry about the safety of their vehicles when driving to Malaysia. Make sure to be careful with your valuables and never leave your car unlocked, even for a short while. For added peace of mind, you can purchase anti-theft devices like a steering wheel and brake pedal locks.

This article will tell you what you need to know to prevent car theft!

Bring Water and Snacks

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The drive into Malaysia is considerably long, especially if you're planning to go beyond Johor. Bring lots of water to stay hydrated, and stock up on snacks for energy. Rest stops are also available along Malaysian highways for drivers to take a break, use the toilet or have a quick meal. Remember to rest up and recharge if necessary before hitting the road again.

And now you're all set to head off to Malaysia! If you've done everything in this guide, you won't have to worry about being stuck at toll booths, or forgetting to bring important documents or certifications. Enjoy your quick and fuss-free getaway!

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