In The News


Rent a car for $25 a day?

The New Paper

... Faced with hard times, used-car dealers, parallel importers and private individuals are offering cars for hire, and the implications for the hirer - namely, you - are huge.

... Apart from inadequate insurance coverage, people who hire cars from unauthorised parties run afoul of the law. The Land Transport Authority said that those who use or provide the use of unlicensed vehicles for public service, including rental, can be fined a maximum of $3,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.

The Straits Times Classified sections is littered with advertisements of cheap hires. And it is easy to spot them - the cars are most often old. There are 1992 Toyota Coronas and 1989 Daihatsu Charades on offer, making them a good deal older than the 10-year limit for rental cars. The other telling sign is the low rates. These cars go for $30 to $40 a day, compared to about $100 that a legal operator charges.

And this has upset those who play by the rules.

Unique Rent-A-Car, which has been around for 30 years, is feeling the pinch. Manager Francis Ong said: "I get calls from even car distributors who ask if I can rent them a car for $800 a month. I tell them I can do it if they sell me a car for $20,000."

Mr Henry Lee, secretary-general of the 30-member Vehicle Rental Association, said: "It's in the consumer's interest that is at stake, so they should rent from an authorised company."