DRIVING IN ISRAEL and rent car

Car Rental in israel – Compare prices & Driving tips

Car rental in Israel – the full guide: A unique search engine that compares rates among car rental agencies in Israel, finds the cheapest rates on various car models, and also – tips and recommendations before renting a car, information about driving in israel, fees of Israeli car rental agencies, the minimum age to rent a car in Israel, where you can find the nearest car rental location and other important details. 

In the search box below you will find easy and user-friendly tool that compare rates of  car rental companies in Israel. you need to first choose Israel from the country drop-down menu (if you are interested in conducting a search for a different country, you can choose otherwise). In the City field, you will enter the city you would like to pick up your rental in. There are several cities you can choose from, including Eilat, Tel-Aviv, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, beit Shemesh, Rehovot, Bnei Berak, Hod Hasharon, Hertziliya, Hadera, Haifa, Tiberias, Jerusalem, Karmiel, Modi’in, nes Ziona, Nahariya, Nazereth, Netivot, Netanya, Afula, Petach Tikvah, Kiriyat Gat, Kiriyat Shmona, Rosh Ha’ayin, Rishon Lezion, Ramat Gan, Ra’anana and more.

If interested in comparing prices in Ben Gurion Airport, simply choose Tel Aviv under “city” and under “location”, either choose car rental at Airport City or car rental at Ben Gurion.

In addition to cities, you have the option of choosing based on major regions of Israel, such as car rental in Glilot or car rental in Poleg, and even car rental in the Dead Sea.

After choosing your city, in the field “location” you will be able to choose the desired pick-up location of your car within the city or town. The last step is entering the rental period, and then enter “Search”. You will now be able to view the results comparing the various car rental agency rates, on a variety of car types and models.

Car rental in Israel – rates comparison and other important information

Comparing car rental rates in Israel can be confusing, especially when different companies offer different conditions, and there are sometimes hidden fees, which are hard to detect when comparing rates. This is why the rental car rates search engine is a wonderful tool for those looking to save time and get all the details about the lowest prices on car rentals in Israel

Rate Comparison for Car Rentals in Israel – Tips and Recommendations

Rentalcars, an international (includes Israel) car rental search engine, not only searches and compares car rental rates, it also serves as a mediator between the rental agency and you. The website will give you a confirmation of your order as well as service and support during your rental period.

Note that some car rental agencies in Israel have a minimum rental period requirement, and some agencies require that your rental period is at least 48 hours.

You also have the option of dropping off your rental at a different location than where you initially picked it up. For example, you will be able to pick your car in Netanya and return it to the same rental company in Rehovot (this usually requires an extra fee).

After completing your search, you will get a list of unfiltered comparison results of car rental companies in the area of your choice.

You can begin filtering the results of rates for the dates and location you have entered based on the type of vehicle you require, your preferred car rental company, user reviews, fuel options, car details, number of kilometres included in the rental agreement, etc. All these details appear next to the vehicles that the search produced. Please note that some of the suggestions include a no-fee cancellation policy for up to 48 hours prior to the rental period, which is highly recommended.

Customer ratings will appear under each recommendation, which includes details such as the company’s service rating in Israel and the rating of the vehicle’s condition.

After choosing the offer that suits you best, you will arrive at a page listing the vehicle features, customer reviews and important information you should review, including driver’s age requirements, number of kilometers, types of payment, etc.

At this point, Rentalcars will give you the option of upgrading the insurance that comes with the vehicle. You will also have the option of making add-ons from the agency at an additional cost, such as a GPS system, a child’s seat, coverage for an additional driver, and iPad, an infant’s seat and more.

Most car rental reservations in Israel using the rates comparison search engine receive immediate confirmation, but sometimes you will need to wait for a confirmation from the rental agency. If a confirmation is needed, you will be notified, and the cost will temporarily be blocked from your credit card. You will be able to cancel the payment using the reservation management page after receiving confirmation of the reservation, but this usually involves a several hour wait.

On rare occasions, the rental agency will not approve the reservation. In such cases, you will be notified, and the website will remove the payment hold on your credit card. After receiving confirmation, you will also receive a written agreement and the payment will be processed. Don’t forget to bring the reservation confirmation slip with you when picking up the car at the rental agency’s office.

After completing the reservation, you can always log into the reservation management page and make changes such as upgrading your vehicle, changing dates, updating personal information etc. Please note that any change can affect the rental cost.

driving in israel

As a tourist in Israel, you will enjoy a modern and up-to-date road system that efficiently connects all major destinations, and in recent years, Israel’s roads have been even further upgraded. Roads in Israel are recognizable by a number system and are well signed in Hebrew as well as English (sometimes in Arabic as well).

Roads traveling east-west roads are given odd numbers, and north-south roads are given even numbers.

Intersections and exits are easily visible and signed from the main roadway. Major roads have signs that guide you with the name of cities or major streets it leads to.

If you are asking for directions, or want to know what exit to take, make sure you get the name of the exit/street name (for example, in Tel Aviv, the intracity freeway Ayalon Highway (Highway 20) has exits according to major street names).

Driving in israel – video

RULES OF THE ROAD IN ISRAEL

Driving in Israel is on the right side of the road. Traffic signs are recognizable and resemble those found in western Europe. As opposed to some countries, there is no right-hand turn on a red light and if your light is green, you don’t have to yield to oncoming traffic when turning left because their light shows red.

In Israel, a blinking green light is a signal that the light is about to turn yellow and then red. As in many countries, the green light is preceded by a yellow light. Roundabouts are common in Israel and cars approaching the roundabout must yield to cars who are already in the circle.

There are no all-way-stop signs in Israel, as is common in north America. If a driver approaches a stop sign, they must yield to traffic in all directions after coming to a complete stop. From November to March, cars in Israel must turn on their headlights even during the day, and motorcyclists must have their headlights on throughout the year.

Seat belts are mandatory in Israel for all passengers. Cell phone use is permitted only by using a hands-free system.

By law, drivers are required to carry a reflective vest in the vehicle and use it in the event that a breakdown occurs. The driver must then pull to the side of the road. If renting a car in Israel, the rental company will supply you with this vest, which can usually be found in the glove compartment, and it should be kept with you in the car, not in the trunk of the car.

PARKING IN ISRAEL

Parking rules are unique in Israel and are identified by colored markings.

Red and white marks on the curb indicate that parking is strictly prohibited. Curbs marked yellow and red are reserved for special vehicles, such as buses and you must not stop or park in these areas.

Parking is allowed when the curb is painted blue and white, with a parking permit, which can be purchased in a nearby parking meter. In the even that such machines are not nearby, you must still produce a parking permit, which can be bought at street kiosks beforehand. Another way to pay is by using a mobile app.

In some areas, such as in Tel Aviv, where parking spaces are limited, parking is reserved for residents of the area during certain hours. If you are planning to park your car in a blue and white marking area, especially in the evening, make sure that parking is allowed during that time. Streets marked red and grey are also restricted for residents only, who must have a valid permit visible on their car.

Always check the signs on the street before you park your car to avoid a hefty fine or the towing of your car. Please note that signs are located at the beginning of the street and are usually in Hebrew only.

Parking is allowed on streets that do not have any markings on them, i.e., are left as is or painted grey.

DRIVING SPEED LIMITS IN ISRAEL

The speed limits in Israel are as follows:

  • 50 km/h in residential areas;
  • 80 km/h on intercity roads that are not separated by a median between opposing lanes;
  • 90 km/h on intercity roads with a physical separation median.
  • 110 km/h is the default on all major freeways (marked by the standard blue European motorway sign). However, in actuality, most of these roads bear a sign indicating a lower speed, usually 90-100 kilometers per hour.

Be cautious when driving in Israel as police cruisers are abundant and so are red light cameras. If you see a police vehicle with flashing blue lights, this is normal, and not a sign that they intend to pull you over. In the event that you are required to pull over, the officer will signal that by turning on their siren.

TOLL HIGHWAYS IN ISRAEL

Israel has a few toll highways:

Highway 6, which is an electronic-toll-highway that does not operate toll booths. Drivers who use this route are identified by their licence plates and/or electronic tags and are charged according to the number of segments used – between 3-5 segments. For example, if you travel along the main section – from Iron interchange to Sorek interchange – you will be charged the minimum 3 segments even if you drove a lesser distance, while you will only be charged 5 segments, even if you drove for less segments. Pay notice that when you use the northern part of the toll road – from Iron interchange to Ein Tut interchange, there is an extra charge, while on the southern section – from Sorek interchange to Ma'ahaz interchange – there is no charge at all.

If you inquire within your rental agency, you will be able to get information regarding ways to cover the toll charged by route 6, which is one of the major routes used by Israeli drivers.

The Carmel Tunnels are a set of 4 tunnels that cross the northern major port city Haifa. There are 2 tunnels going each direction. These tunnels run under the Carmel mountains. Payment is done by toll booths and the is calculated by the number of segments used (between 1 and 2).

The Fast Lane runs 13km on highway 1 from the Ben Gurion interchange to the city of Tel Aviv. The Fast Lane is a high-occupancy road and tolls are calculated according to high occupancy times during the day. Signs indicating the rate during the time you are using the road are visible throughout the day. If you are driving with four occupants in the car, including the driver, you are exempt from payment. In some cases, you will be exempt when three persons occupy the car. Here too, as on Highway 6, vehicles are identified by their license plates and/or electronic tags, with bills sent to the car's registered owner. If you’d like to pay at a tol booth, they are located at the Park and Ride facility, but not at the entrance to the road. You will find the Park and Ride facility about 1km after you enter the toll lane. In addition, if you prefer to use public transit and avoid the toll lane altogether, you can leave your car for free at the facility and use the free bus shuttles that travel either to central Tel Aviv or to the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange Center. Shuttles leave every 5-15 minutes between 6AM-11PM.

THE LEGAL AGE FOR DRIVING IN ISRAEL

The legal age for operating a car in Israel is 17, and 16 if you are driving a motorcycle or moped. International drivers in Israel must carry permits as well as licenses from foreign countries.

Most of the car rental companies have the same minimum age requirement when renting a car in Israel. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a valid driver’s licence for at least 2 years. Drivers younger than 24 will usually be charged a young driver’s fee. Note that the rate listed on the comparison rate search engine does not include the young driver’s fee charged by most rental agencies in Israel. However, each result that the search engines produces contains a link to the agency’s rental conditions and terms, which will specify what is included in car rental rates and what fee applies to young drivers. Some of the car rental companies in Israel, such as Budget, include information vehicle groups and what the age requirement for each of the groups. As such, Budget allows drivers 23 and younger to rent vehicles from its A-F vehicle groups only (with prior notice and authorization).

Avis allows drivers 21 and older to rent vehicles in groups A, B and K; drivers 23 and up can rent vehicles from groups A,B,C, D, E, F, I J, K, M and P; and drivers 28 and up can rent from all vehicle groups.

SAFETY ON THE ROADS

Israeli drivers are sometimes aggressive and impatient, but Israel experiences less fatalities than in the US, comparable to the European fatality rate. When driving in Israel, be prepared to meet your typical Israeli driver, who will sometimes not yield when they should or respect your right of way.

When driving in the southern part of Israel, in the Negev desert, be aware that most roads have only two lanes; however, traffic tends to move very fast, especially on Saturday, when traffic is scarcer.

During the winter, roads tend to be slippery, especially during the beginning of fall (September-October) as the accumulation of oil and grease on the roads from the summer months has not yet been cleared.

CAR RENTAL AGENCIES AND PRIVATE TOURS IN ISRAEL

You will find most of the major international car rental companies in Israel, such as  Hertz, Avis, Budget and Sixt Israel, as well as many Israeli car rental agencies, including Israel's largest car rental company Eldan, Traffic and Tamir, a car rental service that delivers and picks up your rental car.

If you are traveling on a visa, make sure to produce it to avoid paying a VAT on your rental. Insurance on car rentals in Israel can be as high as $20 per day.

Private tour vehicles are available for rent  car in Israel. This option includes a tour guide who will accompany you to the many famous tourist sites. Rates for this service are around $200 a day plus the car rental rate. The advantage of hiring a private tour guide is that you will be introduced to a vast number of sites usually ignored in most tourist guides books or tourist packages.

Payment Options for Car rentals in Israel

Using RentalCars requires that you use a credit card. In some cases, you will be able to pay a deposit instead of the total amount at once. If the specific reservation includes a deposit option, you will be able to do so on the payment page when you make the online reservation. The deposit option lets you pay a small percentage of the price (the exact amount will be listed after you choose this payment option). The rest of the amount will be automatically charged about six weeks prior to your pick-up. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. In addition, if you cannot see this option in the payments page, it means that this specific reservation does not have that option.

The default payment type if full payment. This payment type charges the full amount of the rental and usually includes the option of a refund as long as cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to pick-up (please double check in the agreement terms).

Also, don’t forget to find out what credit cards are accepted by the specific rental agency for making the deposit, because these may differ from the credit cards accepted by RentalCars.

Renting a Car in Israel – Car Types

Car rental companies in Israel offer car rentals according to groups and categories, not by car model. When using the search engine, rentals will appear in a number of groups/categories:

  • Compact cars that usually fit 4-5 people with room for one large suitcase, such as: Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Micra, Kia Picanto and more.
  • Midsize cars that can occupy up to 5 people and 2 large suitcases, such as Nissan Micra Echo, Hyundai i20, Opel Corsa, Mazda 3 and more.
  • Station Wagons – cars with a longer body and larger trunk (the trunk is not separated from the passenger cabin). These cars can usually accommodate up to 5 passengers and 3 large suitcases. Wagon type cars in Israel may include Ford Focus Estate, Seat Leon Estate and more.
  • Premium cars – luxury cars such as BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XE, Audi A6 and more. These can usually accommodate 5 passengers and 2-3 large suitcases.
  • Minivans – these types of vehicles are intended of course for larger groups of people. Typically, minivans in Israel can fit up to 9 people and have room for about 4 large suitcases. Minivans that can be rented in Israel include Volkswagen Caddy, Opel Zafira, Renault Traffic, Kia Carnival, Volkswagen Transporter and more.
  • SUVs – this category includes vehicles such as Opel Mokka, Mazda CX5, Nissan Qashqai and more. SUV rentals can usually fit 5 people and about 4 large suitcases.

Car Rentals in Israel – Rental Period

Renting a car for the day

Most rental companies in Israel have a minimum rental period of one or two days at least. A rental day is usually equal to 24 hours from when you pick up your car.

Each of the car rental companies in Israel has its own terms and conditions regarding extending the rental period by less than 24-hour increments. Cal Auto, for example, considers an additional hour as a third of a rental day, two hours as two thirds and any extension by 121 minutes or more a full rental day.

Hertz considers a rental day as 24 hours from when you sign your rental agreement. Hertz charges its customers each hour of delay in returning the car according to a third of its daily rate, while returning your car over 3 hours late is considered a full rental day.

Budget also charges its customers a third of the daily rate for each additional hour, while returning your car more than 3 hours late is considered a full day.

Eldan charges its customers half of the daily rental rate (including rental fees, surcharges etc. for returning your car an hour and up to 2 hours late. If you return your car more than two hours late and up to 3 hours will be considered 75% of the full daily rental value, and 3 hours – 24 hours is considered 100%.

Renting a car for a month

You will be able to use the rate comparison search engine to search for car rentals in Israel for the best prices available for a day, two days, a week and even a month. If you rent a car for a month or more, you can expect to get a discounted rate per day, and this will also affect the number of kilometers included in the rental rate.

Hertz limits its monthly rentals to 4,000km per month in accordance with the agreement conditions. Renting from Eldan for 26 days and up include 3,000km, while Budget offers 4,000km in its monthly rate.

Note that if you rent a car for a longer period, you may have to check in with the agency periodically, and if you have to service the car, you will have to notify the agency ahead of time.

Renting a car for a week

Renting a car for a week will also affect the number of kilometers included in the car rental rate in Israel. Hertz offers no-limit rentals for a period of over 3 days and up to 21 days. Budget offers unlimited kilometers for a period of 3 days and up (excluding monthly rentals).

Eldan offers unlimited kilometer rentals starting at 3 days and up to 25 days.

What Do Car Rental Rates in Israel Include?

Each result that pops up when you use the rates comparison search engine will include the rental terms and conditions that apply to the individual agency. You will also be able to view the specifics included in the car rental rate. Each car rental company in Israel has its own condition, but most rates you will find through the Rentalcars search engine include a collision damage waiver (CDW), a third-party liability insurance (TPL) and insurance against theft (TP). The above types of insurance are of course only applicable if customers comply with the rental contract.

Each reservation rate includes a certain number of kilometers that are specified in the car rental conditions. Exceeding the number of included kilometers will result in an extra charge. In some cases, there is no limit to the number of kilometers included in the price.

Fees incurred after picking up your rental, such as fines, unpaid tolls etc., are of course not included in the rental rate.

When the authorities contact the rental agency to inquire about the driver, the rental agency will try to contact you, which could occur a while after the end of your rental period. The rental agency will then charge your credit card with the administrative fees associated with handling the fine, and these are quite considerable.

One Way Car Rentals

Most Israeli car rental companies charge a considerable fee for picking up your rental at one location and dropping it off at a different location (for example, picking it up in Ashkelon and dropping it off at the company’s Hertzliya branch).

Additionally, you will have to notify the rental agency ahead of time that you intend to drop your vehicle off at a different location than the one you picked it up at.

Fuel Policies for Car Rentals in Israel

In most cases, your rental car will arrive with a full or partially full fuel tank. You will be required to leave a deposit, which covers the fuel cost and the deductible, and you will be expected to return the car with the same amount of fuel as received.

Some of the rental companies will add a charge if you return the car with an empty or partially empty tank.

Be sure you know the type of fuel required for your rental car; otherwise, you may be asked to pay extra fees for any damage that may occur as a result of faulty use.

Where Can I Rent a Car in Israel?

By using the car rental rates comparison search engine, you will be able to choose from a range of car rental location throughout Israel:

Rentals in the north of Israel – Haifa, Hadera, Karmiel, Nahariya, Nazareth, Afula, Tiberias and Kiryat Shmona.

Rentals in the south of Israel – Eilat, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Netivot and Kiryat Gat

Other locations available in central Israel include: Beit Shemesh, Bnei Berak, Glilot, Hod Hahsaron, Herzliya, Holon, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Kfar Saba, Modi’in, Nes Ziona, Netanya, Poleg, Petach Tikvah, Rosh Haayin, Rushon Lezion, Rehovot, Ramat-Gan, Ra’anana, Tel-Aviv and TLV (Ben Gurion) Airport.

Car Rental Companies in Israel

Eldan

Eldan is an established Israeli company that leases, sells and rents cars. The company has about 24 branches across Israel. If you are looking to rent a car in the northern part of Israel, you wil find Eldan’s offices in Kiryat Shmona, Haifa, Tiberias and Karmiel. In central Israel, Eldan operates in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Lod, Rishon Lezion, the Poleg Industrial Park in Netanya, Hod Hasharon, Glilot and TLV (Ben Gurion) Airport. The TLV airport office is open 24/7. If you are interested in picking up your car in the south of Israel, you will find offices in Ashdod, Bilu Junction near Rehovot, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Eilat and Beersheba (Be’er Sheva).

Budget

Budget is the third largest car rental company in the world and has offices in Israel as well as 120 other countries. It has been operating in Israel since 1981. Budget’s offices can be found in Herzliya, Jerusalem, Petach Tikvah, Afula, Tel- Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Netanya, Haifa, Bnei Berak, Beersheba (Be’er Sheva), Eilat, Ashdod and Ben Gurion Airport. Budget’s airport location is open 247. Budget also has a logistics center at TLV (Ben Gurion) Airport City, which includes administrative offices, a garage, a car wash and a car sale hall.

Avis

Avis is an established international car rental company that started its operations in the US and has been operating Israel since the 1960s. The company has its offices throughout the country: in Eilat, Ashdod, Beersheba (Be’er Sheva), Hadera, Haifa, Tiberias, Jerusalem, Nahariya, Ben Gurion Airport, Netanya, Afula, Petach Tikvah, Rishon Lezion, Ramat-Gan and Tel Aviv. In 2004, Avis Israel received honorable mention twice from Avis Europe for its operations in the field of car rentals in Israel. In 2016, Avis’s fleet included approximately 31,000 vehicles.

Hertz

Hertz is the biggest car rental company in the world and has offices in 170 countries worldwide, and since 1965 has been operating in Israel as well. Kesher Rent-a-Car is Hertz’s franchiser in Israel. Hertz offers its Israeli customers a 24/7 customer service and a VIP service to International Gold Card members (which includes, for example, upgrades based on availability). Hertz locations can be found in Eilat, Ashdod, Beersheba (Beer Sheva), Bnei Berak, Herzliya, Holon, Haifa, Tiberias, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Nes Ziona, Nazareth Illit, Ben Gurion Airport, Netanya, Petach Tikvah, Rosh Haayin, Ra’anana and Tel Aviv. The Ben Gurion location is open 24/7.

Europcar

Europcar is a French car rental company established in 1949. The company now has branches in about 140 countries. Albar of Elezra Group is the sole representative of Europcar in Israel.

Cal Auto

Israeli car rental company Cal Auto Group, established in 1992, offers short and long-term car rentals. Cal Auto serves thousands of customers each year and offers a variety of rental options and a wide range of up-to-date vehicles. The company operates throughout the country: at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat, Ashdod, Beersheba (Beer Sheva), Holon, Haifa, Modi’in, Nes Ziona, Netivot, Afula, Pi Glilot and Koach Junction.

Enterprise

Enterprise is an American car rental company (the largest in the US). The company has a few car rental offices in Israel – Tel Aviv Eilat, Jerusalem, Netanya, Tiberias and Ben Gurion Airport. Enterprise was established in 1957 and has more than a million and a half rental cars worldwide.

Sixt

Shlomo Sixt has over 27 offices throughout Israel, including five car rental locations in Tel Aviv, three car rental locations in Jerusalem and one car rental counter at Ben Gurion Airport, which is open 24/7. The company is a representative of SIXT Worldwide and operated in accordance with its international service standards.

DRIVING IN ISRAEL
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