Useful tips

Welcome to the Useful Tips section.

We are constantly updating this section with suggestions and input from our visitors, partners and clients so if there is anything that you would like to see here, please let us know.

Current tips include:

More tips coming soon:

  • Taking delivery of your new car
  • Fuel and economy related tips
  • What to do in the event of a breakdown
  • What to do in the event of an accident
  • Simple preventive maintenance
  • Driving with children in the car
  • How to test drive a car – some simple pointers

Note: The information presented here is not meant to be exhaustive nor prescriptive and is presented to serve merely as a guide to help you with your ownership experience.

Buying a car

  • Assess your needs carefully before you embark on your car-hunting exercise.
    For example, do you really need a brand new car?
  • When assessing affordability, look beyond the monthly installment amount. Be fully aware of the financial implications of your purchase.
  • Speak to as many people as you can regarding models that you are interested in. Ask questions of them.
  • Remember, when you appear to be a prospective buyer, the seller usually throws objectivity out of the window. His/her job is to make you sign on the dotted line.
  • Don’t feel pressured when in the showroom. The car/deal will not run away.
  • If you are not sure, walk away and sleep on it. Your clarity in the morning will be refreshing.
  • If buying pre-owned, try to arrive 15 minutes earlier than your appointed time to see if any last minute preparatory work is being done to the car.

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Selling a car

  • Never be in a hurry. The more time pressure you put on yourself, the more power the buyer has during negotiations.
  • Always put some effort into improving the physical condition of the car before putting it on the market. If there are minor scratches and dents, consider getting these repaired. Also, consider sending the car for professional grooming.
  • Make sure the car is clean, inside and out before showing it to a potential buyer.
  • Be reasonable when determining an asking price. Unless your vehicle is exceptional in any way, it should be priced in line with general market values.
  • When you have received an offer that you would like to accept, sign an agreement with buyer stating the details of the buyer and seller, the agreed selling price and the agreed time-frame for the transaction to be completed. Always collect a deposit.

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Maintaining the value of your car

  • Open and maintain a file to keep all records pertaining to your car including:
  • Details pertaining to your acquisition (invoice, sales order, etc).
  • Service and repair history (with receipts, including any grooming activities).
  • Proof of accessory installation (usually with receipts).
  • Records of any vehicle inspection carried out.

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Selecting a workshop (after the warranty period)

  • Spend some time to research which workshops are the better ones. The internet is a great source of information and you can always pose a question in one of the forums.
  • Do not wait until there is a major problem before you decide which workshop you want to use. If you are considering a workshop, put them to the test with a minor job to see how they perform.
  • Ask for a written estimate. However, many workshops operate on an “honour” system where they will quote you a price for the work and they will generally charge within that amount. Again, the written estimate helps when you collect your car and need to see if any additional work was done over and above what was initially suggested.
    - Make the time, shop around and compare prices.
    - When comparing prices, ask about warranties for work carried out to see if any particularly cheap quote has this covered.
  • If your car is modern, it is likely that it will require the workshop to use diagnostic equipment to perform some tasks. Check that your selected workshop has the necessary equipment.
  • Try to be as specific as possible when reporting a problem with your car to the workshop. The more specific and accurate you are, the faster they are likely to find it, fix it and return the car to you.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with the level of integrity, walk away. There are other workshops. Always choose a workshop where you feel good about the way you are treated.

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Practising Road Courtesy
FussFree Auto is a strong advocate of road courtesy. It doesn’t take much effort to practice it and we know that the more courteous drivers there are on the road, the better driving will become.

  • Give way. You’ll feel great when someone waves “thank you”.
  • Likewise, wave “thank you” when someone gives way to you.
  • Don’t speed up to deliberately shut someone out when they are trying to filter into your lane. Instead, wave them on. You’ll be happy when someone does the same for you!
  • Signal your intentions early.
  • Try to be tolerant of bad drivers. You’ll forget about it the next day.
  • If someone is tail-gating you, move aside and let them pass. It’s a lot easier to do than dealing with being hit.
  • Likewise, don’t tail-gate. Keep your distance and be patient.
  • Remember, Singapore is so small and distances so short that no matter how fast you drive, you are unlikely to save more than 5 minutes by doing so.
  • As far as possible, try not to use the horn.
  • Be considerate when parking. Occupy the lot as neatly as possible.
  • In a traffic jam, stay calm. Tune in to some easy listening music. Don’t stress yourself out over something you have no control over.
  • If you’ve made a mistake, wave to say “sorry”. This simple gesture is likely to prevent any unpleasant confrontations.

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Tips on parking charges in Singapore
Like in most developed cities, parking in Singapore can be an expensive experience. Here are some pointers on how to keep your parking charges in check:

  • Try to plan your errands around a central parking location. That will save you the need to move your car and incur unnecessary parking charges.
  • Hunt around for the cheapest parking. You might be surprised that even the building/open air parking next to the one you intend to visit can have vastly different parking rates.
    - For example, if you want to run into Border’s to pick up a book you’ve ordered, parking at the open air carpark next to Wheelock Place will cost you only $0.50 for the first half hour.
  • Some car parks (like at Tang’s/The Marriot), charge by the minute so if your intended stay is not going be long, it may be worthwhile looking for such options.
  • Look at your watch (assuming it’s accurate!) when you enter the car park. Depending on what you are doing and the parking charges for that car park, try to time your exit to avoid paying for the extra half an hour/hour or in the worst case, a “per entry” fee.- To illustrate, look at this example (using the Hyatt’s parking charge rates to illustrate):
    1st hour charge: $3
    Every subsequent half hour: $1

    Per entry rate: $4 after 5pm

    Entry time: 3.58pm
    Exit time: 5.01pm
    Time in carpark: 1 hour 3 minutes

    Total: $8 which is a lot for 1 hour!

  • See if you can time your errands for particular times of convenience.
    For example, some off-street/open air parking is free after 5pm. Also, in the CDB, the half-hourly rate for URA parking lots after 5pm drops from $1 to $0.50
    If you do not mind walking a little, explore free/cheap parking options.
    - For example, if you are going to Guthrie House at 6th Avenue for a coffee, the off-street parking opposite near the coffee shops is free after 5pm.
  • If you intend to spend a long time in the CDB area (for example, if you are attending a whole day seminar), it may be worth exploring valet parking at some hotels which charge a flat rate. This might work out to be significantly less than if you paid the hourly rate.

Coupon Parking

  • If you use a car park that operates under the coupon parking scheme, make sure to use a coupon and tear all tabs. The penalty for over-staying is significantly less than for not putting a coupon at all.
    If you really must give yourself some extra time by tearing the next “minutes” tab, try not to make it more than 5 minutes.
  • Be sure to dispose of the torn tabs carefully.
  • When you are leaving the parking lot and if your coupon has unutilised time on it (and if you do not need it for your next stop), pass the coupon on to the next car. You’ll feel great when someone does the same to you in return one day!

For more information on the coupon parking scheme, go to
For more information on parking charges in various buildings , check out