So, you are preparing for an incredible trip to Israel? Did you map out all the restaurants, bars, attractions and sights you would like to visit? Did you book a place to stay? Last but importantly not least, did you consider renting a car?
While on vacation in Israel, a rental car is the easiest solution for getting around, discovering landmarks off the beaten path and traveling on your own schedule. Additionally, since Israel abides by the Jewish holidays, transportation does not run during the Sabbath: between Friday night and Saturday evening before sun-down. Driving in Israel will require you to come with a smile, an open mind, some patience and hopefully a GPS system (or you can download Waze). As you begin to research car rental, here are some important factors to keep in mind:
1. You can rent a car in all of Israel’s major cities and most easily at Ben Gurion Airport once you land. Please visit our website to discover all Shlomo Sixt locations. We have branches throughout the country so you can find a convenient location.
2. It is recommended that you reserve your rental car before you arrive in Israel. Specifically, the Passover season (during the month of April) is one of the busiest times during the year so advanced planning will avoid hassle or disappointment.
3. To drive in Israel, you will need your home country's license or an international driver’s license. Please check that your license is valid before you arrive to avoid any inconvenience.
4. You must be over 24 years-old to rent a car at most locations.
5. The speed limit in urban areas on the highway is 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers) and 56 miles per hour in rural areas (90 kilometers).
6. Please note that driving in Israel is on the right-hand side of the road. if you are not familiar with this, practice a bit in the parking lot before you enter the highway.
7. Most traffic and road signs are written in Hebrew, English and Arabic, so if you know one of those languages, you should be all set. We also offer a GPS that allows you to easily navigate your way throughout Israel.
8. All car passengers must wear seat belts. Babies & toddlers must be strapped in their age-appropriate seats.
9. Talking on a cellphone without a hands-free system (such as Bluetooth) is against the law in Israel. You will be stopped and possibly ticketed if seen holding your cellphone.
10. All cars have a yellow reflective vest that you should wear if you need to pull off on the side of the road.
11. Turning right on a red light is not allowed in Israel.
12. In terms of where to park: red & white stripes on the curb is forbidden, blue & white stripes require a fee and a gray color is open to all. The easiest way to figure this out (without receiving a ticket) is to download the application Pango and pay parking fees through this.
Highway numbers in Israel:
Road #1 Dead Sea – Jerusalem – Tel-Aviv
Road #2 Haifa – Tel-Aviv
Road #3 Beit Huron – Ashkelon
Road #4 Rosh Ha’Nikra – Ashkelon
Road #5 Ariel – Tel-Aviv
Israel has one toll road - Road #6 that runs from North to Central Israel. If you plan to choose this road, you should figure out the fees or charges when you book your car rental.
Drive safely and don't forget the most important thing – enjoy the ride!
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