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Singapore expats, would you answer a few questions for me please, specifically re. maids and cars!

(6 Posts)
RoseMortmain Thu 02-Dec-10 11:33:54

DH is looking at a job in Singapore, starting in Sept '11.

We know Singapore quite well as my dad has only just come back from 5 years there so wrt living out there we know a fair bit.

However, Dad didn't have a car and they didn't have a maid either so I was wondering if those with dcs could tell me a bit more about that side of things.

I know you have to have the certificate of entitlement to drive and that cars are expensive to buy but you can lease cars. Is that a good option? How much is the certificate and the lease likely to be?

The job is near Bukit Timah/West Coast/Jurong whereas Dad lived on the East coast, are those areas still good for families? Would we be able to manage without a car and rely on taxis?

Does everyone with dcs over there have a maid? Do they always live in and if so, what's that like? I'm worried about having an extra person in the house, does it feel intrusive? Also, what's the average cost of a full time maid?

The dcs will be Y3, Y2 and going into Reception as we move - does anyone have any knowledge of the YR curriculum there? Here it is all playbased which has been fantastic for the older 2 and I'd like ds2 to have that as well if possible. AFAIK, they'd go to TTS.

I'm sure there's more that I shall think of later.....


RoseMortmain Thu 02-Dec-10 12:27:59

Anyone? Please? grin

slim22 Thu 02-Dec-10 13:19:49

will come back with more details later but yes those areas are great for families but you WILL need a car.

Yes maids are live in and trust me you will get used to it in no time! Most girls are very discreet.

Y2 in international schools is the real deal, those schools are pushy but you will simply fall in love with the facilities/pastoral care.
TTS is fab.

RoseMortmain Fri 03-Dec-10 19:55:32

Fab, thank you smile.

How much does a car that could comfortably fit 5 of us in cost to buy/lease, do you know? I've heard it's S$+++++, it was one of the reason's Dad didn't bother but he wasn't taking kids here there and everywhere!

offoffandaway Sat 04-Dec-10 07:46:13

A 2 yr old MPV (7 seater) will cost £1000 (S$2000) per month to rent on a 2/3 year lease. We have just done it, DH is in Singapore at the moment, I"m about to follow.

A smaller car will be a couple of hundred dollars less, but prob too small for you?

We looked at buying but the cost and hassle meant we went for a lease - insurance, servicing etc all included in that price. Jus the road pricing and petrol to pay.

begonyabampot Sat 04-Dec-10 21:23:48

we paid 2000 SGD a month for a lease car (7 seater) and so glad we did though many people to rely on taxis (even young children will travel by taxi on their own). Just for convenience, carrying everything, safety (strapping kids in) and having the chance to go exploring in a way you can't with taxis. The majority have maids but some of my friends didn't though you can get sucked into it as it's the done thing and we socialised much more there so having a babysitter on tap was great. even those who don't though, tend to have someone come in at least twice a week to clean and do ironing etc, then have to pay for babysitters/their taxis on top so a full time maid starts to look reasonable price wise. We had 2, the first didn't work out but the second was fantastic and we still keep in touch nearly 2 years later. It is very hit and miss, but most of my friends overall had good experiences with their maids - why don't you see how you feel once you are there, it's not for everyone and does have it's downsides no matter how great your maid is. We paid the government levy (about 300sgd a month) and then her wages (500sgd a month) on top. There is always extras like food she likes, basic toiletries, maybe phone card. We also paid her flight home every year in the summer and things like bonus at christmas. Happy to answer any questions and might be heading back ourselves next year. Bukit Timah is pleasant enough for young families (there really is no bad area) and just a little way out of the city, nowhere is really far away.

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