Budget Direct Car Insurance Singapore Review 2019

Budget Direct Car Insurance Review

Thanks to their flashy marketing tactics – like giving away free cashcards and “free ang pows” – Budget Direct has made a splash in Singapore. For better or for worse, it is aggressively positioning itself as a cheap and friendly insurer, complete with Muppet-style mascot. Not exactly traditional. But let’s look beyond the gimmicks. Is Budget Direct car insurance really worth buying?


Budget Direct car insurance plans

Buying car insurance from Budget Direct is really simple. No need to go through pages and pages of products because there are only 3 base plans: TPO, TPFT or Comprehensive.

Car insurance plan Key features Recommended for
Third Party Only (TPO) Covers third party damage only Very old cars at the end of their COE lives
Third Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT) Covers third party damage, fire and theft only Older cars (8 years old and up)
Comprehensive Comprehensive coverage (see below)

Authorised workshops only

Cars no longer under warranty

Second-hand cars

Parallel imports

Coverage on Budget Direct’s TPO and TPFT plans are pretty standard.

As for Comprehensive, coverage is very minimal. It includes towing and repairs at authorised workshops (you can upgrade for any workshop of your choice), various forms of damage (including fallen trees, floods and vandalism) and third party damage.

That’s it. No personal accident coverage, no transport allowance, no medical expenses or anything else. For those, you’ll have to add-on a la carte; see the next section.

After you choose a coverage plan, proceed to pick a driver plan. The Named Driver Plan is cheaper but is less flexible.

Driver plan Key features Recommended for
Named Driver Plan Main driver + named drivers

All drivers must be named (unnamed drivers are not covered)

Sole driver of the car

Nuclear families

Authorised Driver Plan Main driver + anyone you allow to drive you car

Household drivers must be named

All other drivers need not be named

Drivers who take turns to drive (e.g. among friends)

Large families sharing the same car


Budget Direct car insurance add-ons

Ok, so buying Budget Direct’s Comprehensive car insurance plan is like buying a plate of plain rice at the hawker centre. It’s cheap but it just won’t do, man. You should probably think about adding some ingredients to your meal… and here’s where Budget Direct’s menu of add-ons comes in.

Car insurance add-on Description
NCD Protector Protect your No Claim Discount from 30% onwards (good for one claim only)
Any Workshop Add-on for flexibility to choose a non-authorised workshop
Personal Accident PA cover of $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000 to be paid out if the driver is injured or killed in an accident
Medical Expenses Medical expenses of up to $500 per person for driver & passengers
24/7 Roadside Assistance Budget Direct will render assistance for emergencies, breakdown, flat tyres, flat battery and everything else
Transport Allowance $50 per day transport allowance up to 10 days if your car is damaged or lost
Car Accessories & Modifications Budget Direct will cover repair/replacement of LTA-compliant mods or parts – they must be declared beforehand
Windscreen Add-on Up to 2 claims on windscreen or windows
Overseas Emergency Allowance If you get into an accident driving in Malaysia or Thailand, Budget Direct will cover towing cost (up to $1,000), emergency phone calls (up to $100) and an allowance of $200 per person. Or evacuation home up to $25,000, if neede



How to get cheaper premiums with Budget Direct?

Now we’re getting into what Budget Direct is best known for. Hey, don’t look at me like that. Even the website proudly proclaims “Cheap & Good”.

There are many ways to save money with Budget Direct, and it’s not just with your NCD. You can REALLY drive down your premium if you make full use of their discounts and promotions. Check them out:

Type of discount Description Amount
NCD (No Claim Discount) Given in increments of 10% for each year you don’t file a claim 10% to 50%
Singapore-only cover Restrict your coverage to Singapore only (i.e. no Malaysia and Thailand) for cheaper premium 5%
Off-Peak car discount Weekend & off-peak cars get a discount 15%
Bring A Buddy Referral programme to get either 5% off (if you have been referred) or $20 voucher (if you’re the referrer) 5%
Pay Less or Get $100 Get $100 if your insurer quotes you a cheaper rate than Budget Direct $100
Go Paperless Opt for digital documentation to save money $20

Promotions change from time to time. Keep up with them on the Budget Direct promotions page.


Why (or why not) choose Budget Direct car insurance?

Well, let me be blunt – the main reason why anyone would want to buy car insurance with Budget Direct is because premiums are some of the cheapest in town, especially if you minimise the add-ons and max out on their numerous promotions and discounts.

For that reason, I would recommend Budget Direct to extremely budget-conscious people looking for insurance for a “COE” car of advanced age. The Comprehensive plan covers cars up to 15 years old, TPFT covers up to 20 years old, and TPO covers even 30 years old (not that such antiques actually exist in Singapore…)

By all means, sign up to get a cheap rate on your car insurance, but just be aware of what you’re signing up for.


Do you think Budget Direct car insurance is a good deal? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments. Get sweet car insurance deals by using MoneySmart’s wizard.