Navigating parking options in Singapore can be tough, especially for those living in HDB estates or often visiting family there. A common dilemma is choosing between multi-storey car parks (MSCP) and open-air car parks (OACP) for HDB season parking. Each option comes with its unique set of advantages and drawbacks. To help you make an informed decision, we at Drive lah, your Singaporean Car rental is here to help you dive into several critical factors that influence the suitability of these parking types for your specific needs, let's begin!

Car Protection

Open-Air Car Parks (OACP):

Parking in an OACP means your car is exposed to the elements. Even with some shade, your vehicle is vulnerable to harsh weather conditions, bird droppings, and falling debris from nearby trees. Over time, regular sun exposure can wreak havoc on your car’s paint job, causing it to bubble, crack, chip, or peel. Prolonged sun exposure can also lead to cloudy headlights, diminishing your night-time visibility. The frequent wet weather in Singapore accelerates rust growth due to high humidity levels, further compromising your vehicle's longevity.

Multi-Storey Car Parks (MSCP):

In contrast, parking in an MSCP offers significant protection from natural elements. Shielded from the sun, rain, and debris, your car’s exterior remains in better condition for longer. This is particularly advantageous if you plan to sell your vehicle in the future, as a well-maintained exterior can command a higher resale value.

Lot Space

Open-Air Car Parks (OACP):

OACPs generally provide wider parking lots, free from the constraints of pillars and walls. This spaciousness makes it easier for drivers to park in the middle of the lot, reducing the risk of accidental dings and scrapes. The ample space also means that even larger vehicles can fit comfortably, making it a convenient option for drivers of all car sizes.

Multi-Storey Car Parks (MSCP):

MSCPs, however, are often criticized for their narrow and small lots. According to the Vehicle Parking Provision by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the minimum dimensions for a car parking lot should be at least 2.4 meters wide and 4.8 meters long for vertical lots, and 2.4 meters wide and 5.4 meters long for parallel lots. Despite these standards, some MSCP lots are constrained by the presence of pillars and walls, which can make parking a challenging task. Drivers may not always park in the middle of the lot, creating a domino effect where subsequent parkers also shift to avoid tight spots.


Open-Air Car Parks (OACP):

One of the main advantages of OACPs is their proximity to residential blocks. This closeness means shorter walking distances, making it easier to check on your vehicle and unload heavy items. However, in bad weather, the lack of shelter can be a significant downside, making it inconvenient to reach your car without getting soaked.

Multi-Storey Car Parks (MSCP):

MSCPs often include sheltered walkways connecting to residential blocks, providing convenience during inclement weather. However, some older MSCPs may not have lifts, posing a challenge when transporting bulky items to and from your vehicle. The distance from the residential block to the MSCP can also be a drawback for those who prefer the convenience of quick access to their car.


Cost is a critical factor for many drivers when choosing between an OACP and an MSCP. According to HDB, the seasonal parking charges differ for the two types:

Seasonal Parking Charges
First Car (Tier 1)
Subsequent Vehicles/Non-Residents (Tier 2)

As evident, OACP parking is more economical compared to MSCP parking. For households with

As evident, OACP parking is more economical compared to MSCP parking. For households with multiple vehicles or non-residents, the cost difference becomes even more significant.

Safety and Security

Open-Air Car Parks (OACP):

OACPs offer the benefit of visibility. Residents can easily keep an eye on their vehicles from their apartments, providing a sense of security. However, the lack of structured security measures such as CCTV cameras and patrols might make OACPs more susceptible to theft or vandalism.

Multi-Storey Car Parks (MSCP):

MSCPs often have better security features, including surveillance cameras and security patrols. These measures can deter potential theft or vandalism, providing peace of mind to vehicle owners. The controlled environment of an MSCP also means fewer opportunities for unauthorized access.

So, Which Is Better?

The choice between an OACP and an MSCP ultimately boils down to personal priorities and preferences.

- Convenience: If you prioritize quick access to your vehicle and don’t mind exposing it to the weather, an OACP might be more suitable.

- Protection and Security: If maintaining your car’s condition and having enhanced security is a priority, then an MSCP is the way to go.

- Cost: For those who are cost-conscious, OACP provides a more economical option.

- Lot Space: If you own a larger vehicle or prefer easier parking, the wider lots in OACPs are beneficial.

Car Sharing with Drive lah: A Safe and Profitable Option

Switch gears to another important topic for Singaporean car owners—how to share your car safely and earn extra money. Drive lah offers a secure, hassle-free platform for car sharing, turning your vehicle into a source of income when you're not using it.

Safety First: Drive lah prioritizes your car’s safety with comprehensive insurance coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance. Our stringent verification process ensures that only verified drivers can rent your car, reducing the risk of mishandling or damage.

Earn Extra Income: Listing your car on Drive lah can earn you significant extra income, helping offset maintenance, insurance, and HDB season parking fees. Whether you use an MSCP or an OACP, making your car work for you is a smart financial move.

Hassle-Free Process: Drive lah’s user-friendly platform makes listing and managing your car rentals effortless. Set your availability, pricing, and block out dates when you need the car. Our customer support team is always ready to assist.

Community of Trust: Joining Drive lah means becoming part of a trusted community of car owners and renters. Our review system ensures transparency and trust, making the car-sharing experience pleasant and worry-free.


1. What is the difference between multi-storey car parks (MSCP) and open-air car parks (OACP) in HDB estates?

- MSCPs provide sheltered parking that protects vehicles from weather elements, whereas OACPs are exposed to the open air. MSCPs usually have better security features but can be more expensive and less convenient for some residents. OACPs are generally more economical and offer wider parking spaces but lack weather protection.

2. How do I apply for HDB season parking, and what are the costs involved?

- To apply for HDB season parking, visit the HDB website or any HDB branch office. The cost varies: for the first car (Tier 1), an OACP pass costs $80, while an MSCP pass costs $110. For subsequent vehicles and non-residents (Tier 2), the costs are $90 for OACP and $120 for MSCP.

3. How does Drive lah ensure the safety of my car when it is rented out?

- Drive lah ensures your car's safety through comprehensive insurance coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance. The platform also has a stringent verification process for drivers, ensuring that only verified individuals can rent your car. Additionally, the Drive lah community and review system help maintain a high level of trust and security.

4. How much can I earn by sharing my car on Drive lah?

- The amount you can earn depends on various factors, including the demand in your area, the type and condition of your car, and how often you make it available for rent. On average, car owners can earn between $500 to $1,500 per month, which can help offset maintenance, insurance, and parking costs.

5. Are there any specific maintenance tips for cars parked in open-air car parks?

- Yes, for cars parked in OACPs, it is recommended to use car covers to protect against weather elements, regularly wash and wax the car to maintain the paint, check for rust and treat it promptly, and use sunshades to protect the interior from UV damage. Regular maintenance checks are also crucial to ensure the vehicle remains in good condition.


Choosing between an MSCP and an OACP for HDB season parking depends on various factors such as car protection, lot space, convenience, cost, and security. Both options have their pros and cons, and the best choice is the one that aligns with your specific needs and priorities.

Meanwhile, as a car owner in Singapore, you have the opportunity to make the most of your vehicle by sharing it on Drive lah. This not only helps you earn extra income but also promotes a sustainable way of car usage. With comprehensive safety measures in place, you can share your car confidently and without worries.

So, why not give it a try? List your car on Drive lah today and start enjoying the benefits of car sharing in Singapore!

Also read:
Can you rent out your personal car in Singapore?
COE Renewal: 5 Years vs. 10 Years – Making the Right Choice
HDB Season Parking Explained: A Complete Guide for Singapore Residents