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Car rental and driving in Israel

Coleraine, United...
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Car rental and driving in Israel

My husband and I are hoping to visit Israel last week of March and first fortnight in April 2014. Starting in Jerusalem for 4 days and renting a car from Jerusalem for the rest of the trip.

Who are the best firms to rent off?

Is there any difficulty driving out of Jerusalem to Beersheba?

We finish in Galilee and hope to drive to Tel Aviv airport and drop the car off there at the finish of the trip - will this be difficult to do i.e. in finding our way around the roads and getting to the rental drop off point?

Any hints/suggestions would be most welcome

Israel
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1. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

First of I suggest you start in Tel Aviv and save Jerusalem for last or the middle. There is no problem driving from Jerusalem to Beer Sheva.

Chana

Israel

Jerusalem, Israel
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2. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Do you have any special plans in Beersheba?

I agree with Chana - I would advise to to something like this:

- arrival to Ben Gurion int'l airport

- Tel Aviv (pick up a car when you leave)

- Galilee (with car)

- Dead Sea (with car)

- Jerusalem (drop car as soon as you get to Jerusalem)

- transfer to Ben Gurion int'l airport with the shuttle ("Nesher" sherut service)

Road signs in Israel are clearly marked in English. We can give you the general directions if needed.

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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3. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

There are many car companies to rent from. I like Eldan, an Israeli company and have used them a few times with no problems. You will also find Hertz, Avis, and Budget as well as others. Look on the forum for comments about people's experiences.

There are no problems driving between Jerusalem and Beers Sheva. What was it you were concerned about?

It is not a problem to return the rental car at the airport. Make sure you read the information on return as some companies return at Terminal 3 (right at the departures) while others return at another lot which is clearly marked when you enter the airport property but is not at the Terminal.

It might be smoother to make the change in itinerary as suggested depending on why you have Beer Sheva on your itinerary.

Bratislava, Slovakia
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4. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Hi, I´m not an expert of any kind but have some recent experiences - me and my husband have rented a car for 7 days and drove literally all around the country in mid August ´13. We began in Holon (Tel Aviv southern ,,suburb"), which was closest rental from the Bat Yam apartment we´ve spend a week before, drove up to Acre, then to Galile, then through Nazareth, Tel Aviv, Ashqelon, Ashdod, Beersheba all the way down to Eilat and later up again through Masada and Dead Sea (Ein Gedi) to Jerusalem, where we´ve returned the car. I was really a bit skeptical about how will this dreamy itinerary made behind the computer and maps work in reality - but in fact it was pretty smooth, safe and easy, we didn´t even need any GPS - a tourist road map worked perfectly as the signs are very good and precise in Israel. And I can honestly say that it was the most beautiful and inspiring travel experience in our lives as the country is very very nice and it changes on every 50 kilometers of your journey.

The speed roads are great, we have avoided the Highway no. 6 so cannot tell you much about it. Be careful in the cities, locals drive a bit wild sometimes, mostly the taxi drivers seem to care a bit less about how the others are doing on the roads... But after all it was just a matter of time to get used to it and we had no accident at all...

To the rental agencies - We used Dollar/Thrifty (also under the name Albar in Israel) - they were cheap and had no limits on kilometers per day. The car Mazda2 was scratched all over but went very well. The agency robbed us a bit on the insurance as they have assured us we had all included in previously agreed price and then took more from my account afterwards - for the exact insurence, which was previously included. I went to agency to talk about it, they agreed I´m right and promised to solve it and return some money on my account but still didn´t. I will try to solve it from my home by mail now but don´t really give it much chance :) :) I´ve heard these problems accure in other rental agencies too so I´m not sure there is any way to avoid this..

Anyway, loads of luck on your trip and enjoy it, it´s worth it!!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Malalutka, I obviously don't know what the laws are in Slovakia, but in the US you can dispute a charge on your credit card if you can show a good-faith dispute and have that amount re-credited. I would try that.

And that would be a reason NOT to use that company -- that is fraud in my view. That is why many of us recommend Eldan. No company is perfect -- and rental car companies particularly seem to all have some customer-service blemishes -- but I have never heard of anything like that with Eldan. Hertz and Avis are similarly reputable. I and several others had bad customer-service experience with Budget Israel.

Douglas Duckett

P.S. And Malaluka, thanks for contributing! Don't worry about "not being an expert." That's just a label that Trip Advisor puts on some of us who post a lot. We love having new travelers share their experiences, as seeing this country through "first-time eyes" is very valuable to other visitors. Thank you!

Edited: 20 September 2013, 12:56
Israel
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6. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Doug even Eldan had been known for extra fees being charged for after the fact so no company is blemish free.

Chana

Israel

Coleraine, United...
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7. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Many thanks for all the helpful replies. In fact we already have an itinerary booked so can't alter the starting point. After Jerusalem we planned to go through Beer Sheva to Mitzpe Ramon, then on to Eilat, north to En Gedi and then the Galilee area. We have been to Israel before and so have visited some areas before. This is the first time we have gone on our own and hired a car and I suppose I am a little nervous driving out of Jerusalem and at the end of the trip, to the airport, on busier roads.

Thanks for any recommendations/tips.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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8. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

There is nothing wrong with your itinerary. There is no law that says you have to start in Tel Aviv and end in Jerusalem. AND I see you are not going to Tel Aviv so that is a pretty good reason to start there.

In terms of being nervous--don't be. Malalutka said it best. It isn't a big deal!

Bratislava, Slovakia
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9. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Hi dear travelers, I must update my latest post about my difficulties with the Thrifty Car rental, when I was charged more on insurance than I should have been and I was unsuccesfuly waiting for their promised return of my money ,,up to 21 days".

Well, it took approximately five weeks but finally Thrifty really sent me the difference between the agreed and charged insurance fee. So - happy ending after all and I feel it ´s proper to inform you, that the company is not THAT BAD after all :) Best regards, Lucia from Slovakia

Israel
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10. Re: Car rental and driving in Israel

Glad to hear it all worked out well for you.