Driving in Israel

Cars in Haifa, Israel

Although Israel has a relatively convenient public transportation system, most people would agree that the best way to travel in Israel, especially outside of the big cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, is by renting a car. Driving in Israel will give you complete freedom during your trip, and enable you to get anywhere you want in the country, which will make exploring the nature of Israel a much more complete and convenient experience.

However, sometimes driving in Israel can get a bit more complicated than in other developed countries, as the rules and the driving culture are a bit different than in most countries in the world. Here is our full guide for driving in Israel, with all of the important information you should know before hitting the roads.

The Israeli road system

Israel has a fairly simple road system, as all roads with even numbers in the country go between south and north, while all roads with odd numbers go between east and west. This makes it fairly simple for those who wish to navigate their way by themselves.

Generally, most roads in Israel are fairly modern and convenient for driving. Dirt roads are very rare, and will mostly be found in the desert or very close to natural sites. In the past few years, many roads have been under construction, as the country is working to expand them and build many interchanges. For that reason, there is a very good chance you will run into a road that is currently in construction while driving in Israel.

Driving in Israel: important things to know

Speed limits

While of course, speed limits vary by each road, here are the general speed limit rules:

Inter-city roads

In a road without a barrier, the speed limit is 80 km/h if not stated otherwise. In a highway with a barrier, the speed limit is 90 km/h if not stated otherwise. However, in several main highways, the speed limit is higher and can reach up to 120 km/h. In addition, roads that are under construction are limited to 70 km/h.

City roads

If it doesn’t say otherwise, the speed limit inside any town or city in Israel is 50 km/h. However, in many residential areas, the speed limit is usually lower and stands at 30 km/h. On main roads within cities, the speed limit is usually gonna be 70 km/h.


Generally, the best way to navigate when driving in Israel is through navigation apps. The most common one to use here is Waze, which was invented in Israel and is a very convenient navigation app thanks to its use of data and reports it receives from users.

Other rules

Like most countries in the world, it is illegal to use your phone in any way while driving in Israel. In addition, unlike in North America, it is illegal to turn right on a red light in Israel.

Toll roads in Israel

While there aren’t many toll roads in Israel, they can be a very good solution for those who are looking to save some time during their trip, especially if you want to go to the desert in Israel or avoid traffic. Unlike other countries, in Israel, the only way to pay for the use of a toll road is through an automatic machine that is present in the car, so make sure that your rental car has one of those before going on a toll road.

Road number 6

Road number 6 is the most widely used toll road in Israel. While it’s constantly being expanded, it currently goes as far as Haifa in the north and as far as Beer Sheva in the south. As a high-speed highway without any stops on the way, it is a very convenient option for those looking to cross the country quickly. In addition, using road number 6 is not very expensive, as it costs between 10-40 ILS, depending on how far you go.

Carmel Tunnels

The Carmel tunnels provide a fairly convenient solution for drivers to cross the city of Haifa from south to north. While it is much less useful than road number 6, it is still a pretty good time-saving option. The use of the Carmel tunnels costs 20 ILS per car.

Tel Aviv to Jerusalem fast lane

The main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, road number 1, offers drivers a fast lane in each way, which enables them to avoid traffic and make their way much quicker. While the fast lane doesn’t go the whole way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but starts around the Ben Gurion Airport, it can still save plenty of time, as the traffic between Israel’s two biggest cities can get extremely busy in certain hours of the day.

The costs of using the fast lane vary and are automatically determined by the traffic. It’s important to note that buses always go on the fast lane, and that cars with 4 passengers or more, can use it for free.

Parking in Israel

Parking in Israel, and especially in big cities like Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, can be quite costly and complicated. The parking system in Israel is color-coded, as paid parking spaces are signaled by blue and white, while free parking spots are signaled by gray. Otherwise, if the parking space has any other color, it is forbidden for long-term parking.

Generally, parking outside of main cities or city centers is free, while parking in busy areas is paid. However, most people will tell you that you are very lucky if you’ve managed to find a parking space in the city centers of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, as in most cases, your only parking solution will be to use a paid parking lot.

Paying for parking in Israel

The easiest way to pay for parking in Israel is through a dedicated app called Pango, which will also enable you to pay for some parking lots.

Search for posts and destinations

What would you like to find? Search here information and ideas about any location in Israel

Planning your trip to Israel?

Join our exclusive Facebook group for the latest travel tips, real-time updates, travel hacks, and connect with local experts & fellow Israel enthusiasts in our Facebook group