Jan 28

Renting a car in Israel


Many people who travel to Israel do so in organized groups. This is probably the most simple way of taking such a trip since there are not normally any anxieties involved with transportation. Others really prefer to set a personal schedule and to decide where to go, where to stay or where to eat. Israel is a country that offers many different attractions for the traveler and it is possible to discover new places in every corner. I have found that one of the best ways to travel around the country is by renting a car. Many people are afraid of doing this but it is actually a quite straight forward process.

There are many car rental companies with offices in the airport and in the main cities. One can do the reservation using any travel website. Israel accepts most international drivers licenses. If those documents are not issued in Alfa numeric characters they may require an international drivers permit.

Prices are quite attractive. I had to pay something around 280 USD including taxes for a one week rental of an almost new Sedan. One can rent a GPS for 75 USD and it will take you anywhere in the country. GPS are programmed to avoid what is called “C Zones” these are the Palestinian territories, it is easy to deactivate that configuration if one is thinking in going to Bethlehem or Jericho, but it is good to keep in mind that the insurance will not cover you there.

Gas prices are the main problem: it is really expensive. But at the end it represents a real value if one compares that with the prices of hiring a private driver or cab for the day. Many hotels offer free parking, so if one is renting a car it is important to choose the lodging accordingly.

There is just one toll highway in Israel (number 6) and the GPS can be programmed to avoid it, as well there are clear street signs if one prefers to take another route especially with so many other good highways in the country. Driving around is a pleasant experience, all the signs in the streets are posted in English, Hebrew and Arabic. So, if you prefer to take your time in every spot and to do unexpected changes in your itinerary to enjoy new recommended places a car rental can be the perfect way to see Israel.


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