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We're in SE Asia for another week or so, and would like to rent a car in Kuala Lumpur for a few days to tour around, then drop it off in Singapore to catch our flight back to the US. A couple of searches on here, KAYAK, and some local places didn't turn up anything.

Has anyone done this? If so, can you provide details please?

  • Addition noted. Train is also reasonably hassle free - but you see less of countryside that I'd have liked due to running through palm oil plantings a large part of the way. If seeing the view over this portion is not of interest then train may be acceptable. (I and my camera appreciate the view wherever we go :-).) – Russell McMahon Jul 20 '15 at 4:18
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To the best of my knowledge this is impossible, or at least impractical. Driving Malaysian cars in Singapore is intentionally made hard (cars are taxed much more heavily in Sg), and rental agencies will generally not even let you cross the border, much less return cars on the wrong side.

Your options are:

  • Return the car right across the border in Johor Bahru, then catch a bus/special taxi to Singapore. This would be a hassle, plus the drive from KL to JB is quite dull; the scenery is much better in any other direction.
  • Drop off your car in Kuala Lumpur, preferably right at the airport, then fly directly to Singapore Changi. I'd recommend this, this would be the easiest option and the route is very heavily competed, so tickets are cheap.
  • Thanks for the answer and suggestions. I didn't realize it was so hard to do the drop off, but I know there are lots of restrictions on cars in SG, so in retrospect it makes sense. – delliottg Jul 19 '15 at 11:31
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I'm surprised at jpatokai's comments re difficulty of getting from Johor Bahru to Singapore. I'd have no hesitation dropping a car off in JB and catching a bus to Singapore if that was necessary. I'd guess it would take half a day max from car dropoff to being at large in Singapore and possibly rather less.

I've travelled once by train from a station half way down Malaysia (closest to Malacca) and done one day trip Singapore-JB-Singapore and border crossing was not eventful or overly slow in either case. You can catch a bus from JB city centre to Singapore and large numbers of people make the return trip one way or the other daily.

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    To be clear, I'm not saying it's difficult per se (I've done it a dozen times myself), I'm just saying it's unnecessarily complicated compared to dropping the car off at KLIA and flying straight to Changi, especially if you're schleppjng around large bags etc. – jpatokal Jul 17 '15 at 11:15
  • @jpatokal You do tend to miss out "the part in the middle" though. Malacca should be seen at least once, Johor Bahru maybe once less than that (although I have a friend who lives there who would no doubt defend it). There are a lot of other places in between that some people would suggest were worth at least wandering through. FWIW, once you hit the Singapore rail network getting to Changi is largely a matter of just sitting there. (I know you know that). [Some of the line interchange stations involve significant effort. Others very easy]. – Russell McMahon Jul 17 '15 at 11:23
  • Malacca is closer to KL (and KLIA) than it is to Singapore. I can't really thing of anything else detour-worthy along the way (except maybe Legoland!). – jpatokal Jul 17 '15 at 11:25
  • Sorry for taking so long to get back to this question, we were in Siem Reap for a few days. We've made the drive from KL to SG a couple of times, and taken the bus in both directions a number of times. We've elected to just stay in KL for a few days due to some immigration problems my wife ran into on our way to Siem Reap. We hope to have it sorted out by tomorrow, and fortunately we have relatives to stay with whose car we can borrow if necessary to run around. Later in the week we'll simply take the bus down from KL with her mom (who lives in SG) and be done with it. – delliottg Jul 19 '15 at 11:29

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