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Car Buying Tips for Olim – Buying a Car in Israel

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Last Updated on October 31, 2021

Buying a Car in Israel – Top Tips

Hebrew: טיפים לקניית רכב בישראל

Buying a Car in Israel

Car Buying Tips & Advice for Olim

Here are all the tips and advice you need to know before buying a car in Israel.

Buying a New Car

The car dealer’s selling price, in Israel, is generally not negotiable, but they may offer you free or reduced “extras”

The factory price, for a new car in Israel, may be discounted as a special-offer. These special-offers are advertised in the various newspapers.  Take advantage of them if you can.

Some car dealers will not allow you to test-drive a brand-new car.  Ask!

Bigger cars are more expensive to run and maintain – parts, tires and fuel consumption.

Diesel cars are more expensive to buy – so is diesel fuel.  They are, however, very economical as fuel consumption is low.  Licensing and the annual, compulsory roadworthy test are also high.

Purchasing of hybrid vehicles is encouraged and large tax reductions are offered.

There is a heavy tax when buying a new car in Israel.  So you will pay much more for a car in Israel than for the identical car in the U.S.A.

Olim are entitled to buy new cars in Israel within three years after making Aliyah at a reduced tax rate.

Make sure you know the car’s history – some questions to ask:

  • How many owners have there been?
  • Was it owned by a leasing company?
  • What is the repair history? Ask to see it.
  • Has the vehicle been in any accidents? Ask for accident reports.

Some unscrupulous sellers may have fiddled with the mileometer – this is likely if the mileage seems too low

Have the car tested and get an official report before making a final decision

Sign a “zichron devarim (statement of intent) – a binding contract between you and the seller.

Passport to passport is a term used when a new oleh sells his new car to another new oleh within four years of its purchase.

Car & Vehicle Insurance

In Israel, you cannot drive a brand-new car, out of the showroom, without insurance.  You will have to arrange this before you take delivery of the vehicle.

Insurance cannot be transferred from one vehicle owner to another – you will have to arrange insurance in your own name before you take delivery of a second hand vehicle as well.

Hova  – חובה – is compulsory insurance and covers personal injury.

Makif – מקיף –  is comprehensive insurance covers damage to the vehicle.

Insurance can be paid by credit card in monthly installments – ask your insurance agent for details.

Leasing a car

If you buy a car from a leasing company they will provide a history of the vehicle, road-worthy test results and repairs.  They may even offer you a limited warranty.

Determining the Price and Value of a Car

The Levi-Yitzhak car price-guide is updated monthly and  lists the current value of a vehicle as well the value of accessories and mileage variables.

You can negotiate the price of a used car using the Levi-Yitzhak car price-guide as a starting point.  The car may not be in perfect condition or may need repair.  If so, you can probably reduce the selling price accordingly.

Financing a car

Have the money ready but do not pay in cash – a bank guaranteed check is best.

Financing can be obtained from your bank and some car dealerships offer financing as well.

Vehicle Accidents & Procedure

Accidents can and do happen – hopefully they wont.  Should you have an accident follow these procedures:

  1. Swap details with the other driver.  See our Accident Details Card below.
  2. Report the accident to the police if someone is injured
  3. Do not make any agreement on the scene of the accident, verbally or written, that you were responsible for causing the accident
  4. Report your accident to your insurance company immediately or as soon as possible
  5. Repairs to the vehicle must only be carried out once you have received approval from the insurance company

Depending on your insurance policy, you may be required to take your vehicle to a specific body shop as nominated by the insurance company.

Motoring Tips & Advice

Keep your insurance policy number in your cellphone as well as the name and telephone number of your agent.  You are likely to forget these important details immediately after an accident when you may be in a state of shock.

If you have been in an accident and are able to, take photos of the any damage to the vehicle/s and a video of the surrounding area.

Swap Accident Details

You are required to swap details with the other driver.  Print out the Accident Details Card and keep it in the glove compartment of your car, so that you do not forget any important information in the event of an accident.

Your Details for Other Driver Other Driver’s Details for You
Name Your Details for Other Driver   Name Your Details for Other Driver
Address Address
Teudat Zehut (ID No.) Teudat Zehut (ID No.)
Telephone Number Telephone Number
Date Date
Time Time
Location of Accident Location of Accident
Car Registration Car Registration
Make of Car Make of Car
Model Model
Year Year
Your Insurance Company Your Insurance Company
Policy Number Policy Number
Name of Policy Holder Name of Policy Holder
Address of Insurance Company Address of Insurance Company
Tel.no. of Insurance Company Tel.no. of Insurance Company
Name of Insurance Agent Name of Insurance Agent
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