We Rented A Mazda For A Whole Day With Just An EZ-Link Card

Smove Car Rental With Your EZ-Link Card

My girlfriend and I met with a flick of the wrist, sly side glances and the swipe to end all swipes.

No we didn’t meet on Tinder — we met on Pokemon Go, hot and bothered, in pursuit of an elusive shiny Pikachu.

Our 2-year relationship hit a snag when we realised we were getting too comfortable — indulging in far too many late night Netflix reruns and packing on the midnight snack pounds.

I knew we had to get us back to our honeymoon days. But how? Inspiration finally struck at the unlikeliest of places — as I was being shepherded out of a train during a breakdown at Clementi.

EZ-Link card in hand, I stood before the MRT gantry, wondering how to surprise the woman I loved — a woman who knew every trick I had in the book.

Then it hit me. I would whisk her away for a daylong romantic date. And to make it extra special, all expenses would be paid using my almighty EZ-Link card.

Settling our transport

Finding a way to get around Singapore, however, wasn’t as simple as I thought.

The last thing I wanted was for us to get stuck in a train delay or to face crazy ride-hailing surge fares on our date.

There was just one problem — I don’t own a car. That’s when I chanced upon Smove — a local car-sharing service

I thought registration was going to be a hassle, but I was proven wrong. The process was fuss-free, requiring basic credentials from my IC, driving licence and credit card.

The entire registration process is free as well — none of the deposits or monthly fees common with other car sharing operators.

Just a day after registering, I was told via email that my account had been verified.

I settled on renting a Mazda 3 for 24 hrs, for the sweet price of $110.

That’s less than $5/hour right there!

Everything went pretty Smove-ly after as I received an SMS telling me the car plate number and its location, 15 minutes before pick-up.

And if you’re the kancheong type, you can even start your trip 15 minutes early. Goes without saying that I did just that to make the most of my trip.

The grace period extends to the ending as well — you can return the car up to 15 minutes after the appointed time.

The next step was to unlock the car by tapping my EZ-Link card on the car’s card reader — exactly like what we do on public transport.

McDonald’s breakfast in bed

Nothing makes you look forward to the day ahead than a hearty breakfast in bed.

With that in mind, I decided to surprise my girl in the morning, letting her wake up to the inviting smell of her favourite McGriddles and hashbrowns.

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: McDonald’s
Damage: $10.50

Picnic lunch at Botanic Gardens

Next, we headed to 7-Eleven to grab snacks for an impromptu picnic lunch.

While taking a bus with a picnic basket full of food and drinks can be quite a struggle, everything’s a breeze with a car.

Here’s the picturesque spot we ‘set up shop’ at, along a luscious green slope overlooking the Symphony lake within Botanic Gardens.

Best to head there on a weekday when it’s nice and quiet, because the spot fills up fast on the weekends.

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: 7-Eleven

Ice skating at JCube

As we lay under the midday sun, sprawled across our picnic mat, she exclaimed,

Very hot sia – let’s do something indoors next?

Thankfully, the sunny trek from the lake to the carpark was a lot shorter than the walk to the MRT station would have been. Once in the cool comfort of our ride, we decided to head to The Rink@JCube for a short ice-skating session.

Driving from Bukit Timah to Jurong East may sound ludicrous, but with a car at our disposal, the whole of Singapore became our Cloyster.

The Value Package that we signed up for also came with a generous 150km of mileage — we could cover the length of Singapore 3 times, and still have miles to spare.

If you’re keeping tabs on whether we cheated and used cash, here’s a pic of the EZ-Link payment device at the ice-skating kiosk.

While we aren’t exactly the most proficient ice skaters, a kind uncle was patient enough to give us some useful tips.

Thanks to him, both of us can now skate without holding on to the railing.

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: Ice-skating at JCube
Damage: $18/pax for 2 hours, skate rental included.

Dinner at Takashimaya

A burden friend in our clique sent our group chat an SOS — he was stranded in Yishun, and cabbing over would cost him more than $30.

Ever the budget millennial, he wanted to hitch a ride to Takashimaya, where our other friends were gathered for a reunion dinner.

I was reluctant at first, but since I didn’t have to pay for petrol for my car, I obliged.

Given his 186cm-tall frame, my friend’s need for legroom can at times be hard to satisfy.

But given how spacious the Mazda 3 was, he had nothing to complain about. We even caught him sleeping like a baby during certain parts of the journey — 10/10 for comfort.

Here’s a pro-tip for not so High-SES people who want a less expensive dining option in town. Takashimaya Food Hall is your saving grace.

From Yong Tau Foo to Roasted Delights and even Thai Cuisine, the food court boasts a wide array of delectable options.

And our EZ-Link cards were accepted without any issues.

Needless to say, the group of us had an enjoyable time eating to our hearts’ content while catching up.

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: Dining at Takashimaya Food Hall
Damage: $5.50/pax

Catching Pokémon at Vivo while drinking Koi

After dinner, we split up as our friends didn’t want to be ‘lightbulbs’ in our relationship.

For the grand finale, I whisked my girlfriend away to VivoCity for a romantic round of — you guessed it, Pokémon Go.

While many others have abandoned the game, we continue to play the AR-game that took the world by storm 2 years ago.

As per our PoGo routine, we each got a cup of Koi milk tea to give us sustenance while we continued our hunt.

Roughly 30 minutes into our catching spree, we chanced upon the beautiful view from the VivoCity Coast, overlooking Sentosa island.

The familiar view instantly brought back memories from early in our relationship, and both of us decided unanimously to cross the boardwalk over to Sentosa Island.

If you’re lazy to cross the bridge by foot, you can drive over as well. The perk of driving? You can put on that song that was huge when you were first dating. For us, it was this 2016 gem:

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: Koi
Damage: $3.50/cup

The road home

After exhausting all our Pokéballs in Sentosa, we decided to call it a day.

As it was getting late, I made sure to send her to the doorstep of her Yishun flat, before returning the car.

En route back home, I panicked a little as I was worried about overrunning the return time as indicated.

But I remembered the generous 15-minute grace period that allowed me to return the car a little later.  

Upon reaching the designated drop-off point near my house at Little India, returning the car was as easy as unlocking it.

All I had to do was lock the car with my EZ-Link and indicate the deck and lot that I parked at on the Smove website.

Breaking out of our lazy dating routines took a lot of effort, but our date made me realise how special our relationship was.

Our short road trip also became a glimpse of what our lives could be together in the near future.

EZ-Link Friendly Activity: Renting a Smove car
Damage: $110

EZ-Link date challenge

Keen on taking on the challenge? Then check out Smove’s pricing here.

If you aren’t in that stage of your relationship yet and just need a car for an hour to impress your first date, opt for Smove’s new short-term rental service. This allows users to rent vehicles for as low as $2 for 15 minutes, for a maximum of 2 hours.

This new service also comes with 5km of mileage, making it perfect for short commutes.

Unlike common ride services which are subjected to price fluctuations, Smove’s newest service is not subjected to dynamic pricing. This means that you ain’t got to worry about surges during bad weather or peak periods!

What are you waiting for? Sign up with Smove here! Quote ‘MSNSMOVE’ for an additional $10 worth of Smove credits.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Smove.

Featured image from Smove.

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