Insights

How Much Do You Save to Pump Petrol in JB?

noto
10 Minutes

Petrol Run to JB: Worth It?

Today, we’re back with another article. And this time, we’ll be addressing a hot topic - petrol prices, Singapore vs JB.

How much are you really saving if you were to make a trip across the borders?

First, let’s talk about the petrol prices in JB.

Here’s the latest petrol prices per litre in Malaysia (12 June 2024):

RON95 RON97 RON100 Diesel
In Ringgit RM2.05 RM3.47 RM5.00 RM2.15
In SGD $0.59 $1.00 $1.43 $0.62

The prices have more or less been the same for the past year, with a RM0.10 difference in RON97 since last Sept 2023.

Let’s compare this to the petrol prices per litre in Singapore.

RON92 RON95 RON98 Diesel
In SGD $2.86~$2.88 $2.90~$2.92 $3.40~$3.44 $2.65~$2.68
In Ringgit RM9.96~10.03 RM10.10~10.17 RM11.85~11.99 RM9.23~9.33

Quick Tip: What is the difference between “RON” petrol grades?

Research Octane Number (RON), refers to the combustibility (a measure of how easily a substance bursts into flames) of engine fuel at low speeds and temperatures. 

In short, a good engine’s cylinders should burn the right mix of air and fuel in a controlled and smooth manner, resulting in a controlled explosion in each cylinder. 

When these explosions happen irregularly, with multiple explosions happening at the same time, it is called “engine knocking”. Knocking is detrimental to your engine, and will damage it over time.

RON97 can withstand a greater compression and be less prone to knocking compared to RON95, thus RON97 will deliver more power for proper compression.

So, how much can you really save?

There are 2 important rules that you have to know.

(1) Three Quarter Tank Rule

Under the Customs Act 1960, the “three-quarter tank rule” states that Singapore-registered vehicles are required to have at least three-quarters of petrol in the tank before leaving Singapore (before exiting the land checkpoints at Singapore customs).

Otherwise, a fine of $500 will be imposed. 

(2) RON95 Petrol Regulations

Since August 2010, Malaysia has banned the sale of RON95 petrol to foreign-registered vehicles.

Identified by the yellow nozzle of the fuel pump, RON95 is the most affordable petrol available in Malaysia and is heavily subsidised by the Malaysian government. Singaporeans are only allowed to pump RON97 or higher petrol grades in Malaysia.

To summarise, you’re only allowed to pump ¾ tank with RON97 and above in Malaysia.

Here’s an estimate of how much you can save on petrol, if you were to pump RON97 in JB as compared to pumping RON 95 or RON98 in Singapore.

Fuel Tank Capacity 1/4 Fuel Tank RON97 (In JB) RON95 (In SG) Total Savings RON98 (In SG) Total Savings
Honda Fit/Jazz 40L 10L S$10.00 ~$29.00 ~$19.00 ~$34.00 ~$24.00
Hyundai Avante Hybrid 42L 10.5L $10.50 ~$30.45 ~$19.95 ~$35.70 ~$25.20
Toyota Corolla Cross 43L 10.75L $10.75 ~$31.18 ~$20.43 ~$36.55 ~$25.80
Toyota Corolla Altis/ Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI 50L 12.5L $12.50 ~$36.25 ~$23.75 ~$42.50 ~$30.00
Toyota Harrier 65L 16.25 $16.25 ~$47.13 ~$30.88 ~$55.25 ~$39.00

If you were to look at it at face value, it’s not really a lot of savings. We haven’t even factored in the time and cost of travelling back and forth the causeway.

But, if you were to see it from the long-term perspective, it’s definitely worth it if you're refuelling at least once a week

Here would be a breakdown of your estimated savings, for a car with the smallest fuel tank capacity (Honda Fit/Jazz):

No. of refuels a month Monthly Savings (RON95) Yearly Savings (RON95) Monthly Savings (RON98) Yearly Savings (RON98)
1 ~$19 ~$228 ~$24 ~$289
2 ~$38 ~$456 ~$48 ~$578
3 ~$57 ~$684 ~$72 ~$864
4 ~$76 ~$912 ~$96 ~$1,152
5 ~$95 ~$1,140 ~$120 ~$1,440
6 ~$114 ~$1,368 ~$144 ~$1,728
7 ~$133 ~$1,596 ~$168 ~$2,016
8 ~$152 ~$1,824 ~$192 ~$2,304

Of course, these numbers are just rough estimates. Even so, it definitely seems like a worthy trip to make, especially for cars with a large fuel tank capacity.

But wait! How about toll charges?

As of the latest data given by LTA, the toll charges are as follows:

Woodlands Checkpoint Tuas Checkpoint
To Exit Singapore $0.80 $2.10
Re-enter Singapore - $2.10

In other words, assuming you enter and exit the same checkpoints, Woodlands Checkpoint will cost you $0.80 and Tuas Checkpoint will cost you $4.20.

Don’t forget, there are toll charges from Malaysia customs.

Malaysia Checkpoint RM20 ($5.73)
Malaysia Toll Charges RM2.90 ($0.83)

This puts the maximum cost total of toll charges at $4.20 + $5.73 + $0.83 = $10.76

As such, the minimum savings you can get while driving a Honda Fit/Jazz would be $19 - $10.76 = $8.24

That’s not a lot, but if you were driving a Toyota Harrier, that difference would be $30.88 - $10.76 = $20.12

Which is still, not a lot. But keep in mind, these are the savings per trip.

So, is it truly worth it?

The above calculations does not include the cashbacks and rebates from your credit card discounts, and the possible maintenance, wear and tear for the extra distance to pump petrol.

It might not be worth it for some, but if you like to make short road trips in your car, why not? Especially if you’re staying in areas near Woodlands or Tuas checkpoints, it's a stone throw's distance away.

On top of that, think about the additional savings you can get if you were to eat and shop for groceries in Malaysia!

But all that said, it’s definitely more worth it if you're driving a car with a large fuel tank capacity. For an average fuel tank capacity like a Toyota Corolla Cross, you’ll be looking at an estimated savings of $20.42 per trip to pump in JB (as opposed to if you usually pump RON95 in Singapore), which can amount up to an estimated savings of $490 if you were to pump twice a month.

We generally recommend to those who are making a trip to JB for fun to do it, or the night owls who don't mind heading in during the wee hours of the morning when there's no traffic jams at the causeway.

Otherwise, you'll end up queuing for a few hours, which we don't really think it's worth your time.

Don’t think you’ve got enough experience to drive confidently? Time for some practice first! Sign up for a quick driving refresher course at noto’s Street Smart Programme today! For more information about the course, read our blog article here.

For those who would like to clear their JB petrol run quest under Cult Legends, here's the link!

Sign up and start your adventure

noto Cult of Cars

Join Us On Telegram