28.5.11: Driving into Singapore from Malaysia

We left our hotel in Johor Bahru at 7.15 am and drove over to Singapore. It was the first day of the Malaysia and Singapore school holidays and we left early as we heard that the jam at the causeway to Woodlands can be quite long. It was our first time driving to Singapore and we didn't know what to expect at the immigration.

There were many motorcyclists from Johor Bahru going to Singapore. We found the immigration process quite easy. We passed the primary clearance, and followed instructions to drive on the red channel lane in order to get to the VEP/toll office to purchase the Autopass Card at the secondary clearance areas.

To apply for autopass, we had to park our car at the VEP/toll office and an officer would verify the car road tax and issue a small piece of document with the car number and her signature. I submitted this document together with my car registration card in order to apply for an autopass at the VEP/toll office. I brought the car insurance certificate along, but I wasn't asked to produce it.

The officer at the counter asked me if I knew how to use the Autopass Card. I said "No", and she proceeded to explain to me how it works and where to top up the card. It was very good customer service.

I paid SGD10 for the autopass, SGD4 was for the card and the preloaded cash value was SGD6. It comes with 10 free VEP days for a first time user. he autopass is non-transferable to another vehicle as it is encoded with the particulars of our car. We had to insert the Autopass Card at the reader installed at the immigration booths to register our car's entry and exit details. 

After that, we headed into Singapore. We found that driving in Singapore was quite a breeze as the cars follow speed limit, unlike in the Klang Valley, where some drivers can be quite reckless and speed and weave in and out of traffic, thus endangering other lives.

We took about 45 minutes to clear the immigration and by 8.30 am, had arrived at our relatives house in Singapore.

I wasn't sure how much to top up, so I topped up SGD20 at a 7-11 outlet later on in Sentosa. It came with an additional 50 cents service charge. When we were left Singapore after 3 days, we were surprised to find that only SGD5.80 was deducted from the card at the Immigration area, and we have some balance left in the card.

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