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Car Rental in Israel
Having a car while you are in Israel will give you a great opportunity to see the country and take in the sites. Renting is similar to the process in most developed countries. The Countries size will allow you to drive the length and breadth quickly and with a good road system, connecting all the cities together, you will really see Israel for what is - a beautiful, scenic country.
It’s worthwhile to be aware that is will be far easier to rent in a city that you’re staying. The main car rental companies have offices through Israel and in all major cities.
A good tip while you’re in Israel and renting a car is to get a GPS it will give you great directions in English particularly if you want to go beyond the beaten track. Beyond the highway the signs can be difficult to read so it’s helpful to have a GPS companion to help. If you have a smart phone the Waze app will also greatly enhance your information available to you while driving around Israel.
Know the Rules
Make sure the designated driver is at least 24 years old. You can add additional drivers but the cost will increase.
There are obviously some legal elements to consider. Designated drivers should be 24 years of age. Bring a valid English drivers license or an international driver’s license. It may be worth getting an international drivers license if you want to rent a large passenger van. Standard Drivers licenses from America do not mention permission for this size van so other licenses will be helpful. Having a non Israeli passport will save you the 18% VAT levied on Israeli citizens.
Like in other countries, when renting a car, inspecting the vehicle before signing for it and driving away is of paramount importance. In Israel it’s no different. Even with Eldan top car rental companies who will service you well it’s still worth checking over the car and agreeing on any scratches and cosmetic issues with the car. Anything you don’t report before hand, that then they finds after, will be added as a charge on the car rental, so be careful. Some other rental companies may not be give you a top brand new car like you might expect in other cities round the world. If the car does not feel right don’t dismiss it and return it immediately.
Like Eldan, Budget gives you the option to arrange rental online and you can pick up your car at the airport and then return it before checking in to your return flight back home.
Driving while talking on a cell phone or mobile device is illegal in Israel so it’s important to bring your consider bringing a hand free adapter for your device so you can continue talking when you’re driving.
Insurance is always important and you will feel more comfortable if you know you’re covered.
Limited Damage Waiver is mandatory and all major respectable rental companies will have good plans to help you fulfill requirements. So if you rent with a company like Avis the cost will be about 40% of your rental so a $200 car rental rate will cost $80 on top for the standard coverage. Choosing liability coverage will likely mean that you will have to leave a large deposit to cover any damage during your rental period. That deposit can be anywhere from $2500
Collision Damage Waiver and Theft protection is referred to as comprehensive cover. This will be additional payment of about $15 a day and may be waives depending on your credit card. Some damage is not covered including damage to the undercarriage of car and its tires. It’s important to tell your credit card and be aware of their conditions.
A good tip is to bring a letter stating your credit cards coverage for this territory which will likely be different than the coverage you have in the US or Europe.
Obviously the insurance coves you for you’re driving while Israel crossing any borders will remove that coverage so check what areas your coverage includes.
The Insurance just covers the car and not any loss of personal items so be careful and protect any valuables in the car.
In Israel the driving is quite intense so stay on your toes and enjoy the country.