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Driving and Public Transport

Israel - Driving and Public Transport

When travelling to Israel and wanting to drive a car you must either have a full license or an international driving license. If you intend to stay in Israel for longer than one year since your arrival into the country you must apply for an Israeli license. Driving without a valid license is illegal and could invalidate any insurance that you have.

Seat belts must be worn at all times by all passengers and headlights must be turned on during daylight hours when driving on intercity roads from November 1st till April the 1st. When driving in Israel you are required to drive on the right hand side of the road and distances are marked in kilometres. All road signs are posted in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The speed limit is 50kmh in urban areas and the limit is 90kmh on intercity roads unless marked on the roadside. Accidents are common due to the erratic driving practices of some Israeli drivers.

Speed traps are in operation in on the highways and there are also speed cameras that operate in and around Tel Aviv. Those who wish to rent a car must be over the age of 21 and hold a full driving license. You are not permitted to cross the border into Sinai or Jordan when using a rental car.

Friday afternoon till Saturday evening is Shabbat (holy day) and there is no real public transportation during this time but some taxi services may be operating, though this will depend upon the area you are in.

Train services run along Israel's Mediterranean coast and there are connections between Tel Aviv and Haifa. There are also airport connections which are regular and reliable. There is a very scenic route that runs between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and it takes 75 minutes. A new high speed rail link is due to be completed by 2011 and they hope it will cut the journey time by half.

There also is a bus company called EGGED that provides very frequent inexpensive local services in all the main towns except Tel Aviv. It runs throughout the suburbs and links the cities to small communities. They are a fast and efficient way to travel. If you choose to take a taxi please be aware that a tip is not expected. You can tip if you want to, the standard amount is around 10% but you are not obliged.

If you wish to travel via a boat there is a ferrie operated by the Kinneret Sailing Company that runs across Lake Kinneret from the west side Tiberias to the eastern shore at Ein Gev Kibbutz, for a less hectic mode of transport.

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