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The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Israel

israel street
eFesenko / Shutterstock.com

Israel is a fascinating country with a very deep history. Vacationers will find a number of sites that they may want to visit in the area. You can explore Tel Aviv, go to Petra and the Old City of Jerusalem. You can spend time paying respects at the Holocaust Museum, and you can visit the Western Wall.

Why rent a car in Israel?

When you are spending time in Israel, having a rental car that you can use to get around the country is a great idea. It is far easier than trying to use public transportation and taxis. In order to drive in the country, you will need to have a valid foreign driver’s license. You do not need to have an international permit. The minimum driving age in the country is 16 years old.

The vehicle needs to have a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a fire extinguisher, and a yellow reflective vest. When you rent a vehicle, make sure it has all of these items. Also, get the contact information and emergency number for the rental agency in case you need to contact them.

Road conditions and safety

The road conditions in Israel are great in most locations, as this is a modern and developed country that works to maintain a strong road network. Traffic flows on the right side of the road, and all of the distances and speeds in the signs are in kilometers. The drivers and the passengers all need to be wearing seatbelts.

It is illegal to drive and use a cell phone unless you are using a hands-free system. From November 1 to March 31, you need to keep the headlights on at all times. You are not allowed to turn right on red. Pedestrians always have the right of way.

The road signs in the country are in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, so you should not have trouble getting around. The shape of the signs is very similar to those in other parts of the world. The colors can differ though.

  • Direction signs – Green, except on the freeways, where they are blue.

  • Local signs – White, and are used in cities and towns.

  • Tourist destination signs – Brown, and they will usually denote historical sites, natural reserves, landmarks, and similar locations.

There are also a number and colors that are used to denote different types of roads.

  • National roads have one digit and use the color red.
  • Intercity roads have two digits and also use red.
  • Regional roads use three digits and use green.
  • Local roads use four digits and are black.

Some parts of the day are busy and should be avoided.

  • 7:30 AM to 8: 30 AM
  • 4 PM to 6 PM

Speed limit

Always follow the speed limits when you are driving in Israel. The speed limits are as follows.

  • Residential zones – 50 km/h
  • Intercity (without a median) – 80 km/h
  • Intercity (with a median) – 90 km/h
  • Freeway – 110 km/h

Having a rental car will make it much easier for you to spend your vacation seeing and experiencing what you want rather than waiting on public transportation.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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