Car Leasing Singapore: Terrible Car Rental Scams You Must Avoid

Your week-long vacation has been approved; now what? It is such a terrible vacation if you spend a quarter of your day hailing a taxi, waiting for the bus and train, and being stranded in the middle of a traffic jam. There is no point in steaming with anger while waiting for the gridlock to unzip. You could have avoided it in the first place by renting a private hire car rental.

Today, it is effortless to rent a car in Singapore. In a few clicks, you can book a van or hatchback for the Chinese New Year week. However, with great convenience and efficiency comes a handful of drawbacks.

This article will tell you the most common car rental scams you might encounter while looking for long term car rental services.

Most Common Car Rental Scams You Might Encounter In Singapore

Car rental scams have been around for who knows how long. But the terrible thing is these scams become more sophisticated and discreet despite the ramped-up consumer protection measures of rental car companies in Singapore to fight off these great pretenders.

Here are the most common car rental scams and fraud you must watch out for:

Prepay rentals

During the peak seasons, like Christmas and Chinese New Year, the rental car demand skyrockets. It results in the scarcity of vehicles in the inventory of rental car companies. Rogue car rental companies take advantage of the situation.

How does the scam work?

As consumers scramble for available vehicles in the market, rogue companies offer customers prepay rental services to guarantee reservations.

They will convince consumers to initially pay for the car rental using their prepaid debit card or gift card with urgency to guarantee car reservations. Once they get your PIN code, they will run away with your money.

How to avoid this scam?

Firstly, make sure that the private hire car rental company you are transacting with are legitimate and credible.

Never give your sensitive bank details to the company. As much as possible, pay the fee in person.

Reservation modification

We all know that long term car rental rates constantly fluctuate, depending on the season. Expect a surcharge during the peak season and witness a drastic rate reduction right after the holidays.

How does the scam work?

When you lease a car in Singapore for the holiday weeks or months earlier, the rates are much lower. For example, if you want the vehicle on Christmas day: you can reserve the car in late November or early December for lower rates.

However, once you modify your reservation, let us say you want to get the car a day before Christmas; the company will not apply the rates you originally acquired. Instead, they will use the current rates, which could be higher than your original reservation rate.

How to avoid this scam?

Firstly, make sure to inquire about your company’s policies regarding reservation modification before you rent a car. You can ask this question for clarification so that you will not be surprised by the sudden rate increase.

Also, as much as possible, avoid changing plans.

Add-ons fees

When choosing vehicles, don’t be too blinded by features and equipment, such as GPS, satellite radio, and toll payment devices. Yet many companies use these for scams.

How does the scam work?

Car leasing companies in Singapore use these features to attract customers and make their vehicles look more pleasing. Yet they don’t clarify on their website that these features are subjected to fees.

Some car rental agents also do the same, persuading consumers to rent the vehicle using these features.

In the end, consumers are surprised to see their tremendously high bills because of these add-ons.

How to avoid this scam?

Ask your company about these add-ons whether or not they have extra fees. If they say so, you can ask for the rate if you want to get one or simply decline.

You can also ask for the breakdown of your bill for your private hire car rental booking.


Sudden upgrades

If you have reserved the vehicle successfully with settled add-ons without any need for reservation modifications, you are now ready to get your car.

But upon getting your vehicle, your car rental agent would convince you to upgrade your car to a higher class one because apparently, your current vehicle is incompetent for your journey.

How does the scam work?

Generally, your car rental agent would lay down several reasons why you should upgrade your vehicle to a better one abruptly.

They would say that your vehicle is incompetent for the distance you are travelling or the kind of journey you will have.

Perhaps, they would make stories like how the previous car renter damaged and wrecked the car you booked; therefore, insisting you must rent a different car in Singapore.

Generally, a higher class car is much more expensive than the previous vehicle you booked. They may also apply the current rates instead of your original rates.

How to avoid this scam?

You can always decline the offer if they think your vehicle is incompetent. You can also accept the proposal with a few conditions like it must be free upgrades and no additional charges.

Damage Fees

Your vacation went well and safely, and you are not a terrible driver either, yet your rental car bill in Singapore has shown they have charged you for damages in the car.

How does the scam work?

Your car leasing company would later claim you caused damage to the vehicle’s windshield, bumper, and so on. It is a terrible scam as it is hard to prove your innocence.

How to avoid the scam?

Before signing a form that states the vehicle is in the best condition when given to you, make sure to inspect the vehicle’s interiors and exteriors. If you see any damage, inform your agent about it or take a clear photo of the scratch and send it to your car leasing company in Singapore.


You can evade most of these scams by trusting a legitimate and reliable private hire car rental company in Singapore. Thorough research, being unafraid to ask questions, and knowing your rights can help avoid fraud as well.

Choose a reliable, credible, and trusted long term car rental service, CDG Rent A Car. Visit CDG Rent A Car today.