Buying or Importing a Car in Israel
Regulations for Olim
Olim are entitled to buy cars in Israel within three years after making Aliyah at a reduced tax rate. There are two main restrictions:
- If an Oleh wishes to sell the car within four years of the date of purchase, he is obliged to pay back the reduction received at the time of purchase.
- Only those who use the Oleh benefits to purchase a car are allowed to drive it. Written permission for additional drivers such as family members and children, friends, etc., must be obtained from the Customs Authority by the oleh. Any additional driver must provide a copy of his driver’s license, the car’s license and his Teudat Zehut. The request can also be emailed or faxed.
How to go about buying a car in Israel
- Choose a reliable car dealer and a suitable car
- The car dealer needs your Teudat Oleh, your Israeli driver’s license (after completing all required procedures), your driver’s license from your country of origin (issued at least three months prior to your arrival in Israel), your foreign passport with your Aliyah visa and your Teudat Zehut.
- The car dealer sends all the documentation to Meches (The Customs Authority). You should be able to take possession of your car, with tax benefits, within 10 days to three weeks.
- Passport to Passport is a term used when a new oleh sells his new car to another new oleh within four years from its date of purchase.
- More car buying tips here…
Buying a Car from an Oleh – Passport to Passport
An Oleh can buy a car from another Oleh who is selling his new car within four years of the date of purchase. The Oleh seller is not liable for the tax penalty if he sells his car to another Oleh. The buyer and seller go to the local Customs Authority (Meches). The Customs Authority determines the value of the car and any additional taxes that are to be levied. The buyer has to present a valid Israeli driver’s license and Teudat Oleh. A new, four-year restriction on selling the car is then listed on the buyer’s name, beginning on that date.
Buying a Second Hand Car from a Non-Oleh
Should you buy a used car from an Israeli, you are not using your Oleh benefits, therefore you are still eligible to buy a car (new or passport to passport) within 3 years after your Aliyah with tax benefits.
The procedure is simple:-
- Find a suitable car
- Settle on a price
- Go to any post office together with the seller and transfer the ownership to your name (forms are obtained at the post office). Transfer of ownership costs currently costs 187 NIS. The buyer is has to pay this fee in cash at the post office. The transfer of ownership fee is set by the Ministry of Transport and may be adjusted from time to time.
Importing a Car from Abroad
Olim are entitled to import a car for up to three years after their date of Aliyah. The shipment is not counted as one of the three tax-free shipments that Olim are allowed. If you wish to sell the car within four years of the customs clearance date, you will be obligated to pay back the reduction you received at the time of import.
Valuation of the Vehicle
The valuation of the vehicle is determined by the Israeli Customs Authority according to the age of the car
- An Oleh can import a car of any age; however a letter from a certified garage in Israel who guarantees service on the vehicle must be provided.
- Returning residents can import cars that are up to four years old. The car must be imported within three months of their date of return to Israel.
Clear Ownership of a Vehicle
- You must have clear ownership of the car.
- If there is some controversy regarding ownership, the vehicle may be held up in your country of origin until the matter is resolved or until the car is removed from the container.
Shipping a Car
- Most cars are shipped in containers and can be shipped in the same container as your household goods.
- The car is tightly secured into place.
- The car is removed from the container and cleared separately from your household goods. Do not fill the car with household goods, as it complicates the clearing process.
Your shipping company will outline regulations and specifications.
In order to clear the car through the Customs Authority in Israel, you need:
1. Your Israeli driver’s license – according to the regulations as set out above
2. A personal import license from Misrad Hatachburah (Ministry of Transportation) as per their requirements
3. Valid Bituach Hova (third party insurance).
4. Clear ownership of the car.
5. The purchase invoice.
6. Confirmation that the car has passed local safety requirements – roadworthy test.
7. All the documents required in order to use your Oleh benefits: Teudat Oleh, Teudat Zehut, passport with Aliyah visa, etc.