Car sharing in Israel – is it a smart choice?
If you don’t want the hassle of owning or only need a rental car for a few hours, you might want to consider the car sharing option. It’s an attractive option and Israeli drivers can now rent cars by the hour/minute and distance traveled.
Car sharing vehicles are available in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Raanana and Haifa. Cars are parked in specially reserved parking spots around the city, fueled, insured and ready to go. You can order a car ahead of time, just like a regular rental, or even shortly before you need to leave. Cars open with a smart card. At the end of the rental period you just need to return the car to a reserved parking space.
Like many olim, we have never quite been able to afford to buy a reliable car for ourselves (Heb slang: ‘a private’). So renting a few times a year when local public transport services cannot get us to where we need to be, is a hassle free and economical solution. The idea of car sharing sounds simple, it’s appealing and easy especially if you only need a vehicle for less than 24 hours. Is it actually?
In October 2017 we needed a car rental for 3 days (72 hours). We selected a basic, 5 seater, automatic vehicle. With full insurance the rental, together with the online booking discount, cost us 656 Shekels or 219 shekels per day. Included with this was up to 3,500 free kilometers.
Then we had a special event on a moshav near Zichron Yaakov and there was no public transport option so we looked into the car sharing option. Our round trip was 50 km and the event together with traveling time was approximately 7 hours.
How much does car sharing cost?
First you need to register and then select a pricing plan. There are two price options:
1. Take the car from Point A and return it to Point A (round-trip plan)
2. Take the car from Point A and return it to Point B (one-way-trip plan)
Fees are calculated by the hour plus distance or per day plus distance.
By the hour
20 shekels per hour + 2 shekels per kilometer for the first 50km
To travel 50km for our event on the round trip plan we would need to pay:
7 hours = 140 shekels
50 km = 100 shekels
Total cost 240 shekels
180 shekels for 24 hours + 1 shekel per kilometer for the first 50km
This option would have cost us 230 shekels
This rate is based on the car category “basic” – small 2 door or 4 door box-cars
There is an extra charge for family sedans, prestige and commercial vehicles
Fees are calculated on a per minute basis @ 1.70 per minute which works out to 102 shekels per hour for a basic car.
So if you need a car for less than 6 hours, according to our calculations, it pays to car-share. Anything more than that, we suggest you go with a regular old rental company and pay by day or else just call a cab!