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Driving in Israel

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Although Israel has a great public transport system, driving represents an equally fantastic way of getting around the country. A vast and modern road network spans Israel, making driving a safe and enjoyable experience.

You may drive in Israel with a valid foreign licence for 12 months following your arrival in the country, after which you’ll be required to convert your licence into an Israeli one.

Exchanging your licence for an Israeli one

If you are aged 17 or older, you can convert a valid driver's license issued from a foreign country before your immigration date. In order to do so you should:

  • pass an eye test performed by one of the opticians certified by the Ministry of Transport ;
  • have a "Tofes Yarok" (form 18) filled out and signed by a doctor after a physical examination;
  • take lessons with a driving instructor (approximately NIS 110 to 125 a lesson) and pass a driving test (about NIS 465);
  • retrieve your Temporary Licence from the nearest Licensing Authority office; and
  • finally, pay the applicable fees for a Permanent Israeli Licence with the nearest post office. A 2-year-validity permanent licence costs NIS 92, and a 5-year-validity one, NIS 224. You should receive your permanent licence within 2 months.

If you do not hold a valid foreign driver’s licence and wish to start driving in Israel, the same steps will apply, in addition to a theoretical exam and a more thorough practical test.

 Attention:

You will be asked to provide a Teudat Zehut (Israeli Identity Card) or a Teudat Zakaut (Certificate of Eligibility) in order to convert your licence.

Highway code in Israel

The Israeli traffic regulation is in line with those of many European countries:

  • Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • The speed limit is set at 50 km/h on local roads, 80 to 90 km/h on intercity roads, and 110 to 120 km/h on expressways.
  • The legal blood alcohol concentration limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving, unless the car is equipped with a hands-free kit (diburit).
  • All passengers must wear their seat belts.

In case of infringement, you may be charged a fine and/or penalty points, and serious misconduct can result in your licence being taken away for 30 days.

Road signs are translated in English to ease navigation for visitors, and you will also find GPS and maps in English.

Parking in Israel

The colour of the curb will let you know whether you are allowed to park at the side of a road:

  • Red and white: not allowed
  • Red and yellow: reserved for specific vehicles like buses
  • Blue and white: allowed, provided you buy a parking ticket (available from automatic vending machines on the street or kiosks).

If unsure, just turn to one of the many private car parks you’ll find in all major cities.

Car rental in Israel

International as well as local car rental companies can be found everywhere across the country, and in particular at Ben Gurion Airport and near the country’s main train stations and transport hubs.

 Useful links:

Eldan
Rental cars
Sixt

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