Ben Freeman

Travelled to 17 countries / regions

Written 10 briefs
Drove from Jerusalem to Dead Sea and to Tel Aviv



Asia > Israel > Useful Info
Updated on Jul 04, 2018 Useful Info

Driving tips for Israel

  • Many major international car rental agencies operate in Israel (Avis, Hertz, Europcar, etc.). I used Hertz
  • Unlike a lot of other countries, I didn't need to get the IDP (International Driving Permit) to rent a car in Israel. My Californian driver's license was good enough by itself. I did a bunch of research before my trip and it seems like this applies to all countries. As long as you have a valid driver's license from your home country, you should be good to go. Here's the Ministry of Transport web page that mentions this that I came across during my research
  • Do the pre-rental car check thoroughly! I was surprised how scratched up my car was. In America you treat the pre-rental car check as more or less a formality, but there were tons of big and little scratches all over my car. Make sure you note everything so you don't get blamed for it later. On a related note, you should definitely get some sort of liability/damage waiver in Israel (either offered by the rental agency or your credit card)
  • The driving condition was much harder than in America. Drivers were pretty aggressive here, especially in the cities. In Tel Aviv I had to be really aggressive to change lanes because other cars just wouldn't let me in. Just something to be aware of
  • Cars were mostly automatic gasoline cars like in America (I've driven in Europe it's mostly manual diesel cars)

If you plan to drive to the West Bank (Palestine)

  • I don't recommend driving to any cities in the West Bank. We drove through the West Bank from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, but only on the highways (highway 1 and highway 90). The highway was fine - well-paved and secured. I went to Bethlehem a few days later on a bus. Things definitely seemed more chaotic and rundown than in Israel proper. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving there
  • Have your passport and know where you're going: There were checkpoints we had to go through leaving Jerusalem into the West Bank. Nothing major, just a quick passport check and they asked us where we were going we just told them Ein Bokek
  • Fill up your tank: gas stations were pretty rare on the highways in the West Bank from what I recall

Leaving Jerusalem

West Bank