Israel Car Rental: Our tips and tricks to help seal the perfect deal

Israel car rentalSometimes there is no better freedom than your own set of wheels, and with some of the more remote (and amazing) parts of Israel to discover, renting a car in Israel is one of your best options.

There are a number of car rental companies to choose from throughout Israel including the major brands (Sixt, Budget, Avis, and Hertz), as well as local established companies such as Eldan. See our list below of leading rental companies in Israel for contact numbers you can call.

The most popular cars available for rent will be the Mazda 3 and 6 and Hyundai Getz/i10, with other, newer Hyundai models slowly being added to that roster. As buying a car in Israel is generally an expensive option in the Holy Land, rental cars tend to be less sleek and luxurious compared to other countries, but are generally up to date with the bigger brand companies usually offering newer models.

Where to rent a car in Israel?

Hiring a car at Ben Gurion airport is easy and you’ll find signs pretty much everywhere for various car rental firms. If you’re hiring a car away from the airport, many of the main cities (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat) have the big brand companies. You may find one or two hire options in smaller towns, but by hiring from a larger city you are better placed to compare prices.

For the best option, check out our list of contact numbers and websites below of the leading car rental companies in Israel.

Our top tips and tricks

In order to get the best deal possible, and to get the most out of your Israel car rental experience, here are some of our top tips:

  • Check your driver’s license is valid BEFORE you travel.
  • Check the insurance – always note what is and isn’t covered including any excess so that you know what your maximum liability is.
  • Israel has laws regarding children traveling in car seats. Check before you book and hire a seat if required.
  • Check the rental period. It is usually an exact 24 hours so a late return, even by minutes, might result in a further day’s charge.
  • If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, don’t forget to bring some music along.
  • Crossing the border to Sinai or Jordan with rental cars is not permitted.
  • When collecting a car at the airport, check what happens if you are delayed. The more established companies will check arrival times to ensure smooth collection.
  • Think about your luggage: a car may fit four passengers, but will it hold four large suitcases? Five door cars usually have bigger trunks.
  • Are you confident enough with maps? Consider whether you need to hire a GPS…
  • When you collect your vehicle, always check for bumps, dents and scratches and have these noted on the contract. Check the hubcaps too and ensure dirt isn’t covering any damage on the car.
  • It is also important to check the interior – radio, air conditioning and CD player and it is a good idea to start the car to see if any warning lights appear, such as an oil/engine light.
  • Summer is especially busy so it is best to book in advance, even by as much as a few months.
  • Consider how long you will need the car. A weekly rental is cheaper than daily and can even be cheaper than 5 individual days.
  • Take into consideration that driving in Israel isn’t the stress-free option, especially in the larger towns and cities. Read our guide to the reality of driving in Israel.

With these handy hints, you should be able to rent a car in Israel with confidence.

Leading car rental companies in Israel

Shlomo Sixt 972-3-9773500 – www.shlomo.co.il

Avis 972-3-6170000 – www.avis.co.il

Eldan  972-3-5579040 – www.eldan.co.il

Budget 972-3-9350000 – www.budget.co.il

Hertz 972-3-6841000 – www.hertz.co.il

6 Comments

  1. dorit

    May 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I was amazed to see this line on your site..
    Being a tour guide in Israel.. my salary is based partly on my income from the expected tips..
    The custom here is to tip a tour guide 3-10 us$ a day.
    As a tour guide in this fascinating but so complex place, I put so much effort to clear up so many issues regarding all religious creation.. the bible and its connection to Israel of today.. holy sites.. history of the land.. its many rollers threw the history..
    And here you come , a nice looking site and specifically guide you readers NOT to tip me. Also, for your knowledge, THIS IS AN OLD CUSTOM defiantly to tip tour guides and drivers that served you in a group tour to Israel.
    Off course, under the assumption that you where pleased from the guiding and service.

    Thanks,

    Dorit
    Doritk17@gmail.com

  2. Christian

    August 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    When returning the car…

    When returning the car it is always a good idea to refill with the type of fuel it uses; of course, you can return car with an empty tank, which will result in an additional payment plus a penalty.
    When you decide to avoid it and to return refilled car, it is god to know, that if paying by a credit card, you can only refill for up to 100.00 shekhels at any filling station (some local regulations) so I recommend ATM machine and cash transaction.
    Safe Journey!

    • Ashley

      August 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks for those points Christian, I take it they’re from personal experience?

  3. Dovid

    April 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hey! How come you didn’t mention The best car rental company in Israel Thrifty? They have amazing deals and incredible customer service!

    For example, right now you can rent a smart car for $22/day and get a free pass to Mini Israel Park!

    They have an office right at the airport in Tel Aviv and in the US. You can book in seconds online and they have a VIP pickup service in Israel!

    Please put Thrifty Israel’s URL at the top of your list here, unless you can prove that they are not the best in Israel: http://www.thrifty.co.il

    Gratefully – Dovid.

  4. David

    August 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I found Hertz at Ben Gurion to be a real ripoff. I returned the car full of gas but they claimed that it was only 7/8 full and therefore charged me $95 for the entire full tank that I was provided with when I took the car. It’s basically a scam — they know you are in a hurry to get to your flight and that you won’t put up a fight when you return the car.

    Eldan seems to be the most reliable place.

    • Ashley

      August 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks for the tips David!

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