Tag Archives: Car Rental

Car in cigarette bust was leased to cop

Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent
The Straits Times

A HIRE-PURCHASE company stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars when a car it leased to a police officer was impounded by Singapore Customs in June.

The car, a Hyundai Trajet MPV, was used for cigarette smuggling.

In 2005, Kenso Leasing sold the car on hire-purchase to Staff Sergeant Misnawi Asmawi, a decorated police officer who has since left the force.

In July, Kenso was informed by Customs that it had seized the car on June 19. It was then being driven by one Abdol Jabar Abdul Aziz, who has since been accused of smuggling cigarettes.

The relationship between Abdol Jabar and Mr Misnawi – who is uncontactable – is unclear.

Kenso is contesting the forfeiture of the car. Its lawyer, Mr Vijai Parwani of Parwani & Co, argued in court yesterday that the penalty had no benefit as a deterrent.

‘If the party who is convicted of the crime is the owner of the vehicle, then yes, by all means forfeit the vehicle… But where the owners are finance companies or other innocent parties, then the mandatory forfeiture will not have any deterrent effect,’ he said.

Kenso’s general manager Anthony Lim told The Straits Times that it had lost close to a dozen vehicles this way in the 20 years it had been in business.

He added that the company had been cautioned once by the courts to be more careful and to screen its customers.

‘But who can be safer than a police officer?’ he asked.

Singapore Customs told The Straits Times that it forfeited 917 vehicles between 2004 and last month in connection with smuggling activities.

This number is five times that for the preceding three years and works out to about 16 vehicles a month, excluding those seized by other enforcers such as the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and Central Narcotics Bureau.

Finance and leasing companies can apply to recover the vehicles’ taxes, but they still stand to lose out on interest payments and the sum which the vehicles would have fetched had they been sold or re-exported.

These companies have the option of going after the hire-purchase customer, and Kenso has done so in this case: It has started bankruptcy proceedings against Mr Misnawi.

Mr Lim said: ‘My question is, if a passenger on an SIA plane was nabbed for smuggling in drugs, will the authorities seize the plane?’

Mr Parwani said the decision to apply for forfeiture of his client’s vehicle ‘must be subject to the test of reasonableness’.

‘In order for the court to decide whether Customs has exercised (its powers) reasonably, the department must disclose the factors that it considered in coming to its decision,’ he added.

District Judge Liew Thiam Leng yesterday granted Singapore Customs two weeks to respond to Kenso’s arguments. The case will be heard again next month.

christan@sph.com.sg

Good Hygiene Practices for Drivers

According to ABC News, cars are the moldiest of all forms of transportation. Good hygiene should be practised by drivers so that drivers can have a peaceful ride. Rented cars are usually cleaned once in a while by car rental companies. However, the vacuuming of the car interior does not remove the bacteria and germs that reside within. Furthermore, you do not know how the previous car hirer had used the car.

Here are some some advices on good hygiene practices for drivers like you when you rent a car:

Avoid Eating in Car

Food and beverages spill and stains may look harmless but they are a haven for bacteria. The best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid eating in car.

Use Seat Covers

On the car seat, hundreds of thousands of bacteria and mold are present. This includes child seats. This arose due to the moisture from perspiration of driver and also the warmth of the car.

You might consider using seat covers so that you can wash it regularly to prevent accumulation of harmful microorganisms in the car.

Detox your Car Airconditioner

The quality of air that you breathe in largely depends on the car ventilation, in particularly the car airconditioner.

Air-conditioning should be run on the “outside air” setting, as opposed to the recirculated setting as often as possible. This allows the system to pull in new air and get rid of old moisture (which reduces the chances of contamination).

The “max” setting is going to give you recirculated air and should only be used on brutally hot days–and only until you get comfortable.

Never leave the AC set on “max” while the engine is off. This keeps the vents closed and doesn’t allow outside air to get in. The heat created by a closed system combined with the moisture produces a virtual greenhouse for bacteria and fungi.

When you use the AC, there should be water draining from under the car. No water runoff means that the drain hole is blocked and the evaporator is not drying out, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

Equip your Car with anti-bacteria wipes

Most people don’t realize their cars are perfect breeding grounds for germs. You would think the steering wheel would attract the most bacteria, but the dashboard is one of the leading “hot” spots. Not only is it the warmest place in the car, air vents also draw bacteria via the air circulation system.

If you are renting a car for a long duration, do clean the dashboard, steering wheel, handgear, and other parts of the car with anti-bacteria wipes or other disinfectants on a weekly basis. It is good to also clean the car immediately after renting so that you can have a peaceful ride.

ERP Gantries in Singapore

After renting your ideal car, it is important to always carry with you a cash card to be used when you travel through ERP gantries in Singapore.

Motorists who pass through an operational ERP gantry without a properly-inserted CashCard in the IU, or one with insufficient monetary value in the CashCard to pay the ERP charges, will receive a letter within a few days of the violation requesting them to pay the outstanding ERP charge plus an administrative fee of $10, within two weeks from the date of the letter. The administrative fee is reduced to $8 if payment is made electronically via the following channels:

  • LTA’s One.Motoring website
  • AXS stations
  • Self-service Automated Machines (SAMs) at post offices
  • vPost
  • Automated teller machines
  • Telephone and internet banking services

To check out the locations and rates of the various ERP gantries, you can access the ONE.MOTORING – ERP Rates

Reference: Motoring Matter – ERP by LTA (http://www.lta.gov.sg/motoring_matters/motoring_erp.htm)

How Does a Car Rental Company Work

The Car Rental industry has been on the quiet side. Here, we will examine how a car rental firm works. Understanding how it works might not aid in renting a car in Singapore but it can shed some light into this industry.

In Singapore, renting a car on a personal basis is illegal. In order to lease out your car, you would need to go through a car rental firm.

A person who wants to lease out his car would approach a Car Rental firm. The Car Rental firm would then take over the vehicle and the responsibility of paying up for the instalments and maintenance of vehicle. If the instalments were already cleared, then the owner of the vehicle could receive earnings from his leased car, based on the terms of the Car Rental firm. In this process, it’s important that proper procedures are followed. For instance, the owner of the car should ensure that all the terms slated are in the agreement and signed. This is to protect the owner from bearing liabilities due to car theft or damage.

Some car owners would lease it for long term while some do it for short term, i.e. during weekdays.

The Car Rental firm then rents out the cars. Basically, the Car Rental firm usually owns no cars. With the income generated from rental, the Car Rental firm settles instalments and maintenance of the cars.

Safeguard against Theft from/of Vehicle

The old adage “Prevention is better than cure” prevails. To ensure that you enjoy your car rental period with your rented car, you should take some precautions to safeguard against any lost of items or, in the worst case scenario, lost of your car. Below are some recommendations of what you could do to safeguard against theft from/of vehicle.

Preventing theft from Car

a. Activate anti-theft car alarm if car has it;
b. Do not leave valuables inside the car. If need be, it should be kept out of sight or be locked in the car boot;
c. Remove the cash card from the IU when you leave your vehicle;
d. Park your vehicle in well-lit areas;
e. Ensure your vehicle is locked when it is left unattended, even if it is for a short time.

Prevention of Theft of Vehicle

Some of the common modes of operation used by criminals are:
· Using duplicate/other types of keys and other small items to start the engine
· Using tools to force open the car door and then start the engine by ‘hot wiring’ the ignition
· Smashing the windscreen or window of vehicle

You can avoid being the next victim by doing the following:
· Do not leave valuables inside the vehicle. If need be, it should be kept out of sight or locked in the car boot.
· Park the vehicle in well-lit areas
· Remove the ignition key when the vehicle is left unattended even for a short while
· Use an additional lock such as steering wheel lock, clutch and brake lock, gear lock, etc.
· Secure windows and doors of vehicle at all times.

4 Should you be a victim of such crime, minimise contact with the affected vehicle so as not to tamper with the evidence, if any, and immediately call for the Police.

Enjoy a safe ride 🙂