Anyone wishing to explore rural areas of the country or to cover large distances will find it advantageous to rent a car in Israel. Another important point to note is that public transport doesn’t run on Shabbat (Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon), meaning that roads are quieter and non-driving travel options are limited during this time.
Parking can be confusing in Israel, especially in urban areas. As a general rule, red and white stripes at the curb mean that parking is forbidden, blue and white stripes mean a fee is applicable, and a gray stripe means that parking is free. When parking in a city overnight, it might be smart to use a secure underground garage, although this is a more expensive option.
By law, children under the age of four must be restrained in an appropriate baby or child booster seat, even when making the initial trip out of the airport and into the city center. Most agencies can provide age-appropriate restraints, but it is very important to book these in advance, especially during busy periods like Passover. Expect to pay a daily fee of around 14-18 ILS (4-5 USD) with an agency like Budget.
It is not permitted to rent a car in Israel and drive it into another country, especially not into the West Bank or Gaza, which are under the control of the Palestinian Authorities. Agencies also do not allow rental vehicles to be driven into East Jerusalem.
Economy (Chevrolet Spark or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Israel.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Israel are Alamo (8.7, 6481 reviews), Enterprise (8.5, 12857 reviews), and National (8.0, 878 reviews).
Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.
Anyone who chooses to rent a car in Israel will find main roads and highways to be well maintained, and an intelligent highway network makes it easy to travel across the country. Rural roads can be more basic, especially in mountainous areas, and driving styles can be more aggressive than what you’d find in other countries. Toll roads are quite common and can add considerably to the budget for any trip. It is also important to keep an eye out for expensive congestion lanes on national highways.
Most rental agencies require drivers to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Israel. Young driver surcharges are common for those under 25 years of age, and there is usually a maximum age limit of 75 in place; for example, Sixt imposes a surcharge of 43 ILS (12 USD) per day on renters age 21-23 or over 75. A domestic driver’s license in English is required for car rental in Israel. If your domestic license is not in English, an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) will be needed.
Petrol prices in Israel are generally considered to be very high, often reaching two or three times the price of fuel in the USA: expect to pay around 6.6 ILS (1.84 USD) per liter of gas, which equates to around 6.96 USD for a gallon. While petrol stations are widely available in cities and beside highways, it is recommended to keep your tank at least half full when driving in rural or desert areas. Note that some self-service machines may not work with foreign credit cards, or some might ask for a passport number before fueling can begin.
Three main speed limits are enforced throughout Israel, with road signs visible in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. In urban areas, the maximum limit is 50 km/h (31 mph), while national roads have a top limit of either 80 km/h (50 mph) or 90 km/h (56 mph). Only highways have a higher limit, which is 120 km/h (75 mph).
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car hires for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last hours. Car hires are subject to change and may not be available on all car hires listed or dates of travel. Some car hire providers charge additional fees for other services (gps, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the car hire providers' sites.