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Travelling: Driving Up North to Malaysia and Thailand: Toll Booths and Petrol Stations PDF Print E-mail
Driving Up North: Toll Booths and Petrol Stations

Toll and fees

Singapore
Before you decide to drive into and out of Singapore, there are a few basic things you need to know, depending on whether your vehicle is a foreign-registered one or registered in Singapore.

All motorists will have to pay a fee for driving into and out of Singapore. If you drive a Singapore-registered vehicle, you pay tolls using the Cashcard. If you drive a foreign-registered vehicle, you have to pay tolls and a vehicle entry permit (VEP) using the Autopass Card.

For more information: http://www.lta.gov.sg/motoring_matters/index_motoring_guide.htm

Malaysia
The cost of enjoying the North South Expressway is the expressed in two words.. User Pays!
This is an excellent expressway system but it has toll booths everywhere. The good news though is that the tolls are not that expensive. Rates are 70 cents a km, which means that a Singaporean driving through the entire NSE to Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah pays 82.20 MYR (approx. 38 SGD, 22 USD). Tolls are paid in cash or if you are a frequent traveller through the PLUS electronic pay method.

Change Money?
These tolls start right after the Singaporean border. Make sure you have Malaysian currency on hand. Singapore dollars will be accepted but at the rather novel exchange rate of 1:1. A colleague got the fright of his life when he presented a 50 SGD note for a 6.60 MYR toll and was given 43.40 MYR change. A frantic strip search of the car and its occupants resulted in payment being achieved through a more acceptable mixture of Malaysian and Singaporean coin.

Thailand
The good news is that until you reach Bangkok there are no tolls.

Petrol stations

Supply of fuel is not really a concern in any of these countries. All have both leaded and unleaded fuels available.

Singapore
The biggest question regarding petrol in Singapore is what free offers are available this month. Price per litre currently @ 1.10-20 SGD / litre. There are plenty of service stations with all major companies represented. Leaded and unleaded fuels available as well as High octane (97).

� tank rule
The price of petrol in Singapore is approximately double that in Malaysia, consequently it was not long before the authorities in an effort to prevent the entire population going to JB every Saturday for petrol imposed a � tank rule for all Singaporean registered vehicles leaving the republic.
Inspections are random and usually consist of a check of the dashboard gauge. Violation can result in a 500 SGD fine. It is also illegal to carry Jerry cans or other containers for fuel. This inspection occurs just after customs.
This restriction does not apply to foreign registered vehicles,

Malaysia
The expressway in Malaysia is dotted with petrol stations, rest points as well as foodstalls & restaurants. PLUS, the expressway operator has planned 18 petrol stations spread over 50 km stretches. If you still run out of petrol, you may have to turn off into small roads and ask for directions.
Off the expressway, signs are not good in pointing to the nearest petrol station from the exit. Ask the toll officer as you exit where the nearest station is.
Back on the expressway, all the major petrol distributors are present as is the National brand "Petronas". There is little price difference if any between them. Watch out - station attendants may be over enthusiastic with their Under Bonnet Check and may prescribe unnecessary top ups of oil etc.

An annoying problem at Holiday time
On public holidays or at the end of a long weekend the lines for NETS and credit card services are quite often choked or simply down. Petrol station operators, especially those near the borders will on these occasions only take cash and often only in deposit form – ie, you must prepurchase your petrol, then fill your car, then go back to retrieve any excess payment you made. I don’t know what the solution is but I am always in awe at the remarkable calm in which holidaying Singaporeans conduct themselves in such instances. Expect filling the car on the way home after a long weekend to cost you an extra hour.

Thailand
Petrol in Thailand is freely available, cheap and of good quality. Payment can be made either by credit card or cash depending on the sophistication of your choice of station. Those closer to built up areas and on main roads are more likely to handle credit cards.
Both Super and Unleaded are available. Unleaded is rated at 91 Octane which while a little low, is acceptable for most modern cars. The Thai word for unleaded is "Lai-Sun" and for Super its …Super!

Next: The North-South Expressway

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