If you don’t rent a car in advance over the Internet, car rental Tel Aviv is the way to go. As a visitor, you’ll actually get better deals than most locals since you won’t have to pay VAT. Just make sure you have your passport in hand. Like the majority of hotels overlooking the beach, many Tel Aviv car rental companies have branches along HaYarkon street. If you’re staying close by, renting a car in the same area is very convenient, and will save you time when you return the car.
While booking a hotel and car rental deal online is definitely an option, driving in Israel can be tricky (especially in and around Tel Aviv). You’ll also have to return the car before your flight, which is always an added hassle when you want to check in on time. For first time visitors, we recommend taking a cab or train into Tel Aviv, checking into the hotel, and then renting a car when you’re fresh and ready to get out of the city.
As you can see on the Israel Car Rental page, the most established agencies to work with are Hertz, Budget, Avis, and Eldan. You can also work with one of the independent companies like Shlomo SixT. Here’s a list of locations for Tel Aviv car rental – they all have offices at Ben Gurion airport and toll free booking when you call from the US, so you’re good to go either way.
Tel Aviv Car Rental Tips:
- Rent a GPS with the car that will supply you with directions in English. If you have a smart phone with a data plan, you can just download the Waze app, which provides great GPS and real-time traffic info. The Israeli street signs in my opinion are not well posted and difficult to read especially when people are honking at you.
- Make sure the designated driver is at least 24 years old. You can add additional drivers but the cost will increase.
- Bring a clear pictured valid driver’s license in English or an international driver’s license. I recommend getting an international license only if you want to rent a large 8-10 passenger van because a standard D.L. issued in the States does not specifically allow for large vans with over 8 passengers.
- If you can show a valid foreign passport (not Israeli), you do not have to pay the hefty 18% VAT (Value Added Tax for Israeli citizens only).
- Gasoline in Israel is currently about $7/gallon or 7.45 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) / liter so plan your trips carefully.
- Inspect the vehicle thoroughly for any and all existing damages. If you don’t, the company will charge you when you return the vehicle! I remember my first Israel car rental experience. They brought out my vehicle and I immediately noticed huge dents and scratches on the front fender. Of course, I requested a ‘good car’. The reply was ‘This is a good car’ and they weren’t kidding! You may not get a car in perfect condition – just make sure you document every imperfection before signing off. This in not uncommon for most Israeli car rental companies.
- Book online at rentalcars.com (above) for best prices
More about Israel Travel Secrets.
S’u bi-Zehirut (Drive safe 🙂