Taxis in Israel The Complete Guide

Revised and Updated - April 2024

Welcome to my comprehensive guide on taxis in Israel. This guide is tailored to address common questions and concerns voiced by passengers seeking reliable, current information about using taxis in Israel. It provides my insights into essential topics such as fare structures, the advantages and drawbacks of using taxis in Israel, safety precautions, and practical tips for smooth travels. I hope you find here answers to all your questions. For any additional questions regarding my services, don’t hesitate to contact me

Taxis in Israel

  • Taxis in Israel are widely accepted as a popular and convenient mode of transportation. Offering unparalleled accessibility, they provide a swift solution both for navigating city streets and traveling between cities.
  • The majority of Israeli taxis are equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning as a standard feature. Driven predominantly by outgoing locals, taxis in Israel are considered a safe and cost-effective mode of transportation for travelers.

  • Israeli Taxis can be easily identified by their distinctive white color and a yellow cap on top that says “Taxi”. It is worth noting that in east Jerusalem and across the West Bank, Palestinian taxis usually have a yellow color and display green license plates.

Taxi Apps in Israel

  • As of 2024 neither Uber nor Lyft operate in Israel. However, ordering a taxi is possible through local apps like Gett or Yango that work in a similar way. In most major cities these apps will easily find you a nearby available taxi. An important advantage of using these apps is that they present the price charged for the ride on the screen, leaving no room for misunderstandings or rip-off attempts.
taxis in israel

Paying For Taxi in Israel

  • Hailing a taxi on the street is a common practice in all major cities in Israel. Generally taxi drivers must use the meter (Moneh in Hebrew) unless a fixed fare is agreed upon before hitting the road.
  • The meter starts at ₪11.85 and fares fall into 3 different categories depending on the time and day of the ride. Note that work days in Israel are Sunday through Thursday and weekend is Friday to Saturday. Beginning on Thursday’s night at 21:01 the night and weekend fares come into effect and apply throughout the weekend until Sunday morning at 6:00. Same principle is true for Jewish holidays when the higher fares apply from 16:00 on holiday eves until the day after the holiday at 6:00.
  • There is an extra charge for calling a taxi on the phone or through an app (₪5.50), for exiting the airport (₪5), and for using toll roads or fast lanes where needed. Older surcharges for extra luggage and multiple passengers are no longer valid (as of 2024).
  • Payment can be done in cash and credit cards are accepted by most taxi companies but it is always recommended to ask the driver first. At the end of the ride the driver should print a receipt and hand it to you.

Tipping Taxi Drivers in Israel

  • Tipping taxi drivers is not customary in Israel and therefore not expected. However, if your driver has been exceptionally courteous or helpful and you wish to reward them on their excellent service, in that case leaving some extra change will surely be appreciated.
taxi app

Taxis at Ben Gurion Airport

  • At Ben Gurion Airport taxis can be found by the taxi stand outside the arrivals hall. Taxi drivers are not allowed to solicit passengers inside the terminal, yet this happens occasionally so keep away from those as they are likely to be unauthorized drivers.
  • You may ask the driver to suggest a fixed price before setting off. As of 2024 taxi fares from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem range from ₪300 to ₪350 and taxi fares from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv range from ₪200 to ₪220, varying based on the day of the week and the time of the ride.
  • In case of a dispute you may insist on using the meter although most drivers will probably try to avoid it. Remember that there is a surcharge for exiting the airport (₪5) and for using toll roads or fast lanes if needed. As mentioned above, old surcharges for extra luggage and multiple passengers are no longer valid (as of 2024).
  • Public transportation in Israel does not operate during Jewish holidays and weekends (from Friday afternoon till Sunday morning). This includes buses, trains, light rails etc, both within cities and between cities. For example, if your flight is expected to land on a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon, taxis are going to be your only available means of transportation for leaving the airport.
  • Update: As of April 2024, Gett operates the system of taxis at Ben Gurion Airport. You can use the Gett app on your smartphone or kiosks in the terminal to order a taxi and get a code. Outside the terminal, provide the code to a designated usher to get your taxi. Pay attention, users have been experiencing very long waiting times outside the arrivals terminal due to a persistent shortage of Gett drivers. To avoid potential delays, it is advised to pre-order your taxi from Ben Gurion Airport and ensure a smooth experience upon arrival, particularly during peak hours, weekends, and holidays.
tel aviv train station
Traveling to Tel Aviv?

Check out my comprehensive guide on getting from Ben Gurion airport to Tel Aviv

jerusalem tour from tel aviv
Traveling to Jerusalem?

Check out my comprehensive guide on getting from Ben Gurion airport to Jerusalem

ben gurion airport taxi sign

Shared Taxis in Israel ("Sherut")

  • Sherut (Hebrew for service) is a shared taxi service with yellow 10-seater minivans. They run in and between major cities in Israel along select bus routes at a cost similar to that of a bus but unlike buses they do run on weekends. There are no designated stops or stations, simply raise your hand and the driver will pull over to pick you up. Take a seat first and then pass the money to the passenger sitting in front of you until it reaches the driver. You will get your change in a similar way. Whenever you need to get off just say it and the driver will pull over and let you off.
  • In Tel Aviv sheruts follow the routes of buses #4 and #5 along the main streets of the city. Between cities the most popular routes from Tel Aviv are to Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa, Rishon le Zion, Ashdod and Rehovot. In other Major cities like Haifa or Beer-Sheva there are sheruts that run to nearby towns as well.
  • Sheruts are cheaper than regular taxis in Israel and is typically faster than a bus. However, this may not be the best idea if you travel with a lot of luggage as these minivans are usually cramped.
sherut shared taxi in israel

Traveling With Excess Luggage

  • Most taxi vehicles in Israel are average sized sedans with normal sized trunks and no roof racks on top. These cars can usually accommodate either 3 passengers with 3 large suitcase or 4 passengers with 4 carry-ons. Larger taxis do exist of course but they are far less common and may take a while to find on the street or at the airport unless reserved beforehand.
  • Therefore, if you are a group flying in with an excessive amount of luggage or even a couple traveling with multiple large bags and suitcases it is advisable to book a large taxi in advance for the ride from the airport to your hotel. In order for the taxi operator to provide you with the most suitable vehicle make sure you specify the number of passengers and the expected amount of luggage (both the number of items and their sizes). This may save you precious time on your arrival trying to get a large taxi.
excess luggage on a vehicle

Safety Tips for Using Taxis in Israel

  • Although uncommon, there have been incidents where taxi drivers tried to rip off unsuspecting visitors by manipulating the meter and charging them higher fares. Another way is by choosing unnecessarily longer routes on purpose.
  • If you suspect dishonest behavior of your taxi driver you should write down the taxi number and the driver’s ID number, in addition to keeping the receipt. These will be needed in order to clarify the issue with the taxi company or in case you decide to file a police report.

Traveling From Jordan to Israel by Taxi

  • If you visit Jordan and then want to cross the border to Israel, you should plan ahead. Jordanian taxis are not allowed to operate in Israel and similarly Israeli taxis are not allowed to operate in Jordan. Therefore, arriving from Amman you should arrange for a local taxi to bring you to any of the three border crossings and then after crossing on foot have another taxi booked on the Israeli side to take you to your next destination in Israel. Make sure to check in advance the operating hours of each border crossing, and be patient as they can get quite busy and have long lines.
  • Although taxis are quite common in major cities and urban districts in Israel, they can be scarce or even nonexistent around less toured areas and remote regions. If you wish to go on a day tour to The Dead Sea for example, it is highly recommended to book a taxi with a driver for the whole day. This way you will not need to worry about finding a taxi for the way back, as this is nearly impossible around The Dead Sea area.

Traveling to Bethlehem by Taxi

  • Travelers who wish to visit Bethlehem should remember that Israeli taxis are not allowed to enter the territories of The Palestinian Authority.
  • As a result, you can only take a taxi (or a bus) from Jerusalem to the crossing point (also called checkpoint 300). After crossing to the Palestinian side on foot (passport is not required) you can find a local Palestinian taxi to take you to the Church of Nativity which is located about 10 minutes away by car.
  • Another option is to find a Palestinian taxi (green registration plate) in eastern Jerusalem whose driver is authorized to cross the checkpoint with his vehicle and hire him for the drive to Bethlehem and back.
yellow palestinian taxi

Planning Your Itinerary in Israel

  • Israel is a relatively small country. This fact makes points of interest seem close to each other on the map with relatively short driving distances between them. However, when planning your day trip itinerary it is essential to take into account other time-consuming factors such as traffic and road congestions, parking, stops along the way and so on.
  • For example, if you’re planning on going on a day excursion from Haifa port to the Dead Sea with a stop in Jerusalem on the way back and then return all the way up to Haifa then forget it. Although the map may suggest it is possible, in this case a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so to speak. From Haifa port it makes more sense to go on a day trip that includes destinations like Haifa, Nazareth, Akko (Acre), and The Sea of Galilee. Ashdod port, on the other hand, is a much better starting point for a day trip to Jerusalem and The Dead Sea.

Conclusion

Traveling across Israel by taxi is an excellent choice. Taxis offer a convenient way not only for navigating urban areas but also for exploring the diverse landscapes of Israel. Taxis in Israel offer the most flexibility, allowing you to plan tailored journeys that suit your preferences, interests, and schedule. 

I hope the information in this guide will prove helpful. If you wish to request a quote or have further inquiries regarding any of my services, please contact me through the form below. Also feel free to check out this post with more useful travel tips for getting around Israel. Safe travels!

 

moshe barak

About The Author

Moshe Barak is a highly knowledgeable and reputable private taxi service operator in Israel, renowned for his professional approach, friendly attitude, and attention to details.
With over 20 years of experience and numerous satisfied customers he is the trusted choice by many international travelers seeking reliable transportation with a personal touch during their trip to Israel.

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