driving instructions Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

How to Drive from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

Caning Jaramillo

For years we’ve flown from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore assuming it’s the fastest way to arrive. We recently made the trip by car, however, and soon discovered how convenient and easy the trip actually is. After our smooth first attempt, I don’t think we’ll ever fly again! Here’s how to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

Before You Depart:
Make sure you have your:
* passport (with you in the front of the car, not in the luggage in the boot!)
* enough credit on your Touch n’ Go card
* at least $10 SGD for Autopass card purchase at the border (no other currency accepted)
* car papers

The Route:
Whichever part of Kuala Lumpur you’re departing from you need to get onto the North-South Expressway, the E2. Google Maps is very accurate for this route and we find the easiest thing to do (if you don’t have a GPS or Smartphone mapping program) is to print the steps provided by the map.There are two points at which you can crossover to Singapore: Tuas and Woodlands. We’ve heard from friends who travel regularly that there is often less traffic at the Tuas checkpoint and it’s the fastest route to reach the city centre (so that’s the route we took). The highway is in excellent condition and is basically one long straight stretch once you’ve exited KL all the way to the border.You need to head south towards Johor Bahru on the E2 for about 320 kilometres. Take Exit 253 following the signs to Tuas (the exit sign reads Tuas/ Nusajaya/ Pontian/ Tanjung Pelepas EXIT 253). Our exit highway toll was RM40.90 but yours may differ slightly depending on where you enter the highway at the beginning of your journey.The highway changes to the E3 and it’s just over 30 kilometres more to reach the checkpoint. Shortly after entering the new road, you arrive to a toll which cost us RM3.90. After the first toll, and before you reach the second, there is a gas station. Be sure to fill your car to the very brim as petrol is much more expensive in Singapore. After the station there’s another toll which cost us RM7.50, and soon after you’ll reach Malaysian immigration.

The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Tuas checkpoint usually takes about three and half hours if you stick to the speed limit and reasonable traffic conditions prevail.

Malaysian Border Control heading to Singapore in route to Tuas Check Point
Malaysian Immigration Before Reaching Tuas Checkpoint
At the Malaysian border, your passport will be checked, which we found to be a quick and smooth process. If you have the Talent Corp Pass they might also ask to see your identification card along with your passport. * Do check what the electronic sign at the boom gate says as you go through as we discovered we had a number of traffic offences that we had no knowledge of!
You then drive across the bridge linking Malaysia to Singapore and get in line for immigration. There are signs warning of penalties for failure to follow the road rules, so be polite and wait your turn!
Final bridge image before reaching to Singapore
Bridge Linking Malaysia and Singapore
Bridge image of reaching Tuas Check Point, Singapore
Arriving with Traffic to the Tuas Checkpoint
You’ll need to present your passport to immigration authorities from your car window, and first-time visitors will need to park after they go through immigration to get an arrival card. (Even if you’ve got some cards from friends you need to stop here anyway to purchase your Autopass card.) You enter the immigration office, fill out your arrival card and an official will process your arrival. Be sure to grab a pile of arrival cards so you won’t have to do this on your next visit.
Toll Prices at Tuas Check Point, Singapore
Tolls Prices of Foreign Registered Cars to enter Singapore

Next door to the immigration office is the VEP/Toll Pass office. You should bring your car insurance and registration details which are briefly looked at by officials, and fill out the form. When done, you present them to the staff at the cash register and pay $6SGD for the card (which is valid for seven years) and $4SGD for preloaded credit – $10SGD in total (you must have Singaporean currency for this).Top ups are easily made at any 7-11 and it is very important to note that you must have sufficient credit to pay the exiting tolls when leaving to avoid an “insufficient credit” administration fee. Each time you cross the Tuas border a $3.20SGD fee is incurred so even if you don’t use the card while in Singapore you’ll still need to top up before you leave to have enough credit to exit (and some more to enter again if you think you’ll do the trip another time). Also, remember when exiting that you MUST insert your Autopass card in the gate or you will be charged a hefty fine. Every weekend the levy to drive in the city is free, but during the weekdays it’s an expensive $35SGD daily. For more information, you can use the link to the Singapore Land Transport & Authorityย http://www.lta.gov.sg/

(*Please note: the pricing was accurate at the time of publication but things change and prices vary so visit the Singapore LTA website for current pricing).

The staff at both immigration and the VEP/Toll Pass office were incredibly helpful. They answered all of our questions and provided polite assistance.

Once done the first time, the two steps of exiting the car to get arrival cards (remember to get a pile of extras for future trips!) and purchasing the Autopass card is avoided on further trips, cutting the travel time down by a good 20 minutes.

Finally, before heading to the city, the Singaporean customs authorities do a final check inside the trunk of the car and the passenger cabin. Donโ€™t forget to buckle up and have a safe trip to Singapore!


  1. Should be a breeze there – the nice highway…unlike the so-called Pan-Borneo highway that we have here in our eastern party of the country. ๐Ÿ™

  2. very useful guide! i've only driven from kl to singapore once, back in 1999, but i figure there've been a lot of changes since then in terms of immigration procedures etc ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. There are definitely changes to the Singapore Immigration guidelines. When my family last drove there (this was at least a decade ago, somewhere around 2004/5) through the Woodlands Checkpoint, we didn't need to present our car insurance…. just our passports and the white card that's been filled in with our details.

  4. You can see my home town, Kota Tinggi, on the map! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    It's only 40 mins away from JB.
    You can also take a ferry from KT to Singapore too.

  5. Thanks for posting this, as I've always been curious and we're heading down in December. Might just drive instead of fly!

  6. thanks but i will catch a flight…

  7. really nice info, thanks for sharing this jalan-jalan review….

  8. did the customs check inside your car by any chance?

  9. Yes, they did a quick check inside the car – both ways.

  10. do we need to present the "original" car insurance policy ( full policy ) or just the photocopy front page of the policy where it stating the coverage period from when to when ?

  11. Was that easy to find carpark in Singapore? How much is the rates?

  12. Can anyone tell me if all insurance policies cover for third party liability and damage whilst driving in Singapore?

    • no, you would have to take extra coverage for that. normal comprehensive (1st party) cover does not cover third party liability.

  13. no, you would have to take extra coverage for that. normal comprehensive (1st party) cover does not cover third party liability.

  14. Sometimes the trip can take longer. ๐Ÿ™ For example when there is a sudden downpour, you may want to stop at one of the rest areas along the way as we did. We ended up having to slog through slow traffic after that stop because of horrible accident that left a backup several kilometers long. We knew what was coming because while in traffic, a variety of emergency vehicles passed on the shoulder trying to get to the accident. When we did pass the accident, it involved a small, now crushed, car and a large truck that managed to get turned around on the road and blocked two of the three lanes. It was likely that there were fatalities and it possibly involved the loss of visibility caused by the sudden downpour and some slipperiness on the highway at the speeds at which traffic seems to travel. Be careful out there — and good luck! Oh, yes, having two checkpoints, one for Malaysia and one for Singapore is not conducive to smooth, rapid flow of traffic– just saying!
    Oct 30, 2017

  15. could you please advice the cost by taxi to Singapore from KL.

  16. Is the drive between KL and Singapore scenic and/or interesting?

  17. Awesome work ! I am planning to travel but I was confused about flight bookings, your post gave me an amazing idea to explore.

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