Exploring Israel by Hire Car
Many people shy away from visiting Israel. The security situation often seems too tense. Yet large parts of the country are relatively safe and beautiful.
To make your trip by hire car an experience, we have put together a few tips.
Taking over the hire car
Most travelers arrive in Israel via Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Many hire car agencies are located in Terminal 1, which you can also easily reach via a shuttle from Terminal 3. Just make sure before you rent that your rental company is also located right at the airport.
Because if he only maintains his office near the airport, you may have to wait a long time for a shuttle to take you to the rental station.
Choosing the right hire car
Especially in the cities, the road traffic is raging. However, since there are also many sights there, you should rather go for a small vehicle with which you can find a parking space more easily.
Hire car prices
Hire car prices in Israel tend to be in the mid-range. You can often get the cheapest deals by reserving your hire car well in advance of your trip and using our handy price comparison tool.
hire car price comparison Israel
Insuring the car properly
In the turbulent traffic of Israeli cities, an accident can happen quickly. Protect yourself and book a car with fully comprehensive insurance without deductible.
When it comes to third party liability, make sure you book with a rental company where the coverage is at least one million euros.
Because if people are injured in an accident, it quickly becomes very expensive. If your rental company’s coverage seems too low, you have the option of taking out a so-called traveller policy for additional protection. Make sure that your traveller policy covers Israel.
Most hire car companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old to hire car in Israel. And drivers older than 75 are often not rented a car either. Drivers younger than 25 often pay an additional fee. Check the terms and conditions of your rental company before renting the car.
Also in Israel, you must always reserve accessories separately. Order well in advance to ensure that the items you want are actually available at your hire car station on the day you pick up your vehicle.
To see as much of Israel as possible, you should book a hire car with all mileage free.
Book with a rental company where you can pick up the car with a full tank and return it with a full tank. This will save you from annoying discussions about the correct level of the tank when you return it.
Find out how your hire car company handles security deposits. It is best if the amount is only blocked on your credit card for the duration of the rental.
Because if the money is actually charged off, you may have to wait longer for the money to be transferred back to you after you return the car. Before you travel, remember to make sure your credit line is sufficient to cover the deposit.
Avoid certain areas
The Foreign Office warns to travel to the Gaza Strip and the immediate surroundings. Furthermore, you should avoid the Syrian border areas. Travel to the Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese border areas is also advised against.
Since the security situation can change again and again, it is advisable to check the current status shortly before travelling. On the pages of the German Foreign Office you can find everything about the security situation under “Country information”.
Subscribe to the Crisis Preparedness List
The German Embassy in Tel Aviv, as well as the German representative office in Ramallah, offer Israel travelers the opportunity to sign up for a crisis list.
This allows the embassy to quickly contact Germans who are in the country in the event of a crisis. Here are the links to the respective crisis list:
A warning triangle, safety vest and first aid kit must be available in all passenger cars. Make sure that your hire car has them.
One more word about the safety vest. In the event of an accident or breakdown, each person leaving the car must wear a safety vest. So if there are three of you on the road, there should also be three safety vests on board.
Customer Satisfaction Hire Car
Some customers complain about long waiting times, especially when returning the car. So always plan enough time to avoid missing your plane. Some customers also complain about the exterior condition of some vehicles.
Let all defects be confirmed in writing in a defect protocol and keep the document well. Only in this way can you prove when you return the car that it was not you who caused the damage.
Safety hire car
Although you can usually expect to get a roadworthy hire car in Israel, you should still test the vehicle’s lights.
Remember to check the brake light and turn signals, too. And do a quick brake test while still in your rental company’s parking lot.
Traffic Rules Israel
Israel has an excellently developed road network that is structured throughout, especially in the urban areas. Hitchhiking travelers are a common sight on the roads everywhere here, with Israeli drivers instructed to give priority to military personnel. Travel to Gaza is specifically warned against and is also banned by most hire car agencies.
An international driving licence is essential.
Throughout Israel, there is a strict ban on alcohol, so a 0.0 promille limit.
Varies from place to place. Can sometimes turn out quite violently.
Other than that, similar traffic rules apply as everywhere else in Europe. The speed limits are 50 km/h in cities, 80 km/h on rural roads. On highways may also be driven 100 km / h. In winter, in the period from November to the end of March, the vehicle must also be driven with dipped headlights during the day.
Children under the age of 17 must be placed in the back seat. Seat belts are only compulsory outside built-up areas. Stopping is permitted at blue and white kerb markings and prohibited at red and white ones.
Suggestion for a trip by hire car
Haifa: Beauty by the Sea
Start your trip in Israel in the city of Haifa. The city by the sea is considered by many Israelis as the city of work. Yet Haifa has much more to offer. Especially in the center, with its maze of shops, the Mediterranean charm of the city opens up. Stroll along one of the four signposted walking paths. They were specially created by the city administration to show visitors the beauty of Haifa. The cave near the Carmelite monastery Stella Maris is worth a visit. This is where the prophet Elijah is said to have hidden. Consequently, the monastery is also dedicated to the prophets Elijah and Elisha.
Nazareth: testimony to Christian history
From Haifa, continue on to Nazareth. In just under an hour, you’ll be there. Jesus spent his youth in Nazareth, and the archangel Gabriel announced the Savior’s birth to Mary. The largest Christian church in the Middle East stands on the exact spot where the announcement is said to have taken place. It was built in 1969 and is well worth a visit. Especially the 57 meter high dome is impressive. After the visit, you should simply stroll through the streets of the city and enjoy the oriental flair. After all, Nazareth is the largest Arab city in the country.
Belvoir: The time of the Crusaders comes to life
Continue the journey. Belvoir is the next destination, which you will reach in about an hour. Here there is a Crusader castle to marvel at. The foundation stone was laid in 1168. Five years later the castle was finished. Not only the fortress, but also the surrounding landscape inspires. The castle is located at an altitude of 312 meters and allows wide views into the surrounding countryside.
Bet She’an: The Entrance to Paradise
The next stop is Bet She’an. After a half-hour drive, you’ll be there.The town is mentioned as early as the Talmud: “If the Garden of Eden is in Israel, its gate is in Bet She’an.” And indeed, year after year, hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way there to verify the truth of this sentence.
Bet She’an has an ancient history. Settled as early as the Neolithic period, it was a major Egyptian city in the years 1500 to 1200 BC. Greeks and Romans also settled here. Finds from different eras can be viewed in the national park. Feel free to take a whole day to do so.
Qumran: Bible manuscripts and swimming fun
A 90-minute drive now takes you to Qumran. This is where the oldest surviving Bible manuscripts were found. Today, the scrolls are in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. At Qumran itself, you can still visit the remains of an ancient estate that was destroyed by the Romans in 68 AD.
You may want to end the road trip with a dip in the Dead Sea. The salt content of this body of water is so high that it is impossible to sink. Comfortably luxuriating in the waters, you can plan the rest of your trip.
Israel is best explored by hire car. The road network is well developed and most destinations are easily accessible by car.
Before you book your trip and hire car, however, you should always check the current security situation on the website of the German Foreign Office.
For the trip in Israel you will then always find a suitable and cheap car through our practical price comparison.