If you have decided to visit Jordan, get ready for the trip of your life because this Middle Eastern country really has it all, from stunning desert landscapes, to one of the seven world wonders and delicious cuisine! You are bound for a once in a lifetime experience!
One of the best ways to explore this country is to get a car rental in Jordan, and I’m going to explain how you can do just that in this article!
There’s one fact about Jordan that is indisputable and that is that public transportation is limited in many places. We all know that relying on public transport and even taxis to get to the best spots in the city and/or country is many times a pain and in Jordan it can be quite time consuming and almost impossible!
That’s why I have written this article, to make your trip to Jordan more feasible, so you can visit and enjoy as many places as possible in this magical land. In this Jordan car rental guide, I’ll tell you everything about driving around this country!
If you are looking to rent a car in Jordan, there are many things that you have to take into account. It’s a totally different country with its own culture and different rules, so renting a car can be quite a challenge.
But do not worry, I am here to help and make your trip as smooth as possible!
Here we go:
- First of all, does it make sense to rent a car in Jordan?
- The basics of driving in Jordan
- 1. Booking online vs booking in person – How to find the best car rental prices in Jordan
- 2. Things to consider before choosing your rental company and a car in Jordan
- 3. Which car type to choose for your trip to Jordan
- 4. Things to consider when picking up your rental car
- 5. Car insurance for your rented car in Jordan
- 6. Watch out for any possible additional fees
- 7. Driving rules in Jordan
- BONUS 1: Other driving tips
- Public transportation or car hire in Jordan?
- BONUS 2: Crossing the border with your rented car
- BONUS 3: Road trips in Jordan
- Extra – Renting a car in Jordan with a driver
First of all, does it make sense to rent a car in Jordan?
Actually, Jordan rentals are more popular than you might think. Tourists from all over the world choose this type of transportation because they want to be able to explore this dreamy land. Plus, renting a car in Jordan is safe, very safe! The advantages definitely outweigh the few disadvantages that you might have.
Here are some of the main advantages:
- Road conditions and driving conditions throughout the country are great. Highways are well-marked and signs are well posted. Driving is easy!
- In order to get to their desired destination in Jordan, many tourists end up booking tours or hiring a driver or a taxi, as the public transportation system is quite unreliable, which means they end up spending a lot of money on transportation. So why not save yourself some of your precious travel budget by renting a car?
- On the contrary to what you might have been led to believe, GPS in Jordan works perfectly well and it’s super reliable.
- This is an important one: No hassles regarding the paperwork in order to be allowed to drive in Jordan. You just need your passport and your driving license!
- Renting a car gives you endless freedom, independence and flexibility. It is the best way to see the country at your own pace without having to stick to a group’s schedule.
- In case you need assistance or a hand from a stranger, Jordanians are extremely helpful and friendly and they will generally be happy to help!
The basics of driving in Jordan
Even though there are many advantages to renting a car in this country, there are also some road and driving rules that you have to take into consideration before you decide to hit the “Pay” button, such as the following:
- In Jordan, you drive on the right, just like in the US and most European countries.
- You can only rent a car if you are over 25 years old, even though the minimum driving age is 18 years old
- The only paperwork that you need to provide in order to rent a car is your passport and your driving license from your home country. If you have an international driving licence bring it along just in case, but it’s not necessary. You will also need a credit card, where the deposit of your car is going to be charged.
That being said, make sure you keep reading to learn all the best tricks for renting a car in Jordan:
1. Booking online vs booking in person – How to find the best car rental prices in Jordan
One of the first things that we think about when we are exploring the possibility of renting a car is: Should I rent in person or online? How much does it cost to rent a car in Amman? Is it even cheap?
The truth is that renting a car in person is quite popular. However, I do not recommend it. Even though sometimes it’s more affordable (only if your haggling skills are good enough), you could be out of luck if there’s any trouble with the rental company and it is also likely that this way you won’t find the best car rental in Amman, Jordan. It requires some online research beforehand and it’s easier to check prices on Google than in person!
That’s why I always recommend price comparison sites like RentalCars, because in case of any issue with the rental company or the car, they take as much responsibility as the actual rental company and they only work with the most reliable car rentals in the world.
RentalCars allows you to compare car rental prices in Jordan on the same single website and it helps you find the best rate for your trip. It saves you time by checking each rental car company website for you and comparing them all; it is also able to refund you in case you have any problems with the rental company. They have a best price guarantee policy and, probably the most important aspect: if there’s any trouble with your rental company because they didn’t provide the service expected, you can claim your money back through them!
HOW IT WORKS: The only thing you have to do is enter the location where you want to rent your car from, the dates you need it, pick up/drop off times and done! You will be shown a car selection from all the different companies available. With the filters, you can also select if you’d like an automatic or a manual car. Such a great way to get easy rentals in Amman!
For instance, I have looked into the total price for my sample 6-day itinerary in Jordan and, at the date this article was written, it would cost an average of US $230 for the 6 days for a large car.
As you can see, it is quite affordable, and quite the smart thing to do if you are travelling with someone else or with a group!
I researched 4 car types that you might be interested in and found the average price depending on the season. You will see, it is very possible to find cheap car rentals in Jordan!
The rates per day are more or less the following:
- Economy Car: Low Season – US $47, High Season – US $47
- Mini Car: Low Season – US $39, High Season – US $39
- 4×4: Low Season – US $58, High Season – US $77
- Premium: Low Season – US $58, High Season – US $77
I have divided the list by high season (March to October) and low season (November to February) but the price stays very similar, except for the premium and 4×4 cars. Summers are not as hot as in the Emirates, so they still get plenty of travellers!
ABOUT THE DEPOSIT: The car rental company will hold a sum of money on your credit card for the deposit which is usually from JOD 250 to 350 (~US $350 to US $500). That’s where you will get charged from in case you get a ticket or there’s any damage done to the car. If everything’s okay, the deposit will usually be cleared after 3-5 working days.
PRO TIP: Apart from this I would highly recommend using a guide’s services in order to explain all the fascinating history of sights such as Petra, otherwise you will miss out on a lot of interesting info about the country! For instance, you can look for a local guide on this website, pick and choose which one you would prefer depending on their reviews and description!
1.1. Gas prices in Jordan
We all know that fuel is not a scarcity in the Middle East. However, Jordan seems to be the only country where there is no conventional oil!
That means that fuel is not as cheap as in the Emirates but it’s also not extremely expensive either. Even more, Jordan is quite a small country so you know that you won’t be spending that much on gasoline anyway! Win!
All of those coming from the US might not find much of a difference, just maybe a bit more expensive sometimes, but those coming from Europe will. Here are some sample prices:
- Gasoline 98 – JOD 1.155 (US $1.63) per liter
- Gasoline 95 – JOD 1.005 (US $1.42) per liter
- Diesel – JOD 0.595 (US $0.84) per liter
You can check the up-to-date gas price here.
PRO TIP: You don’t fill up your tank by yourself in gas stations; instead, an assistant will do it for you. I would advise you to carry cash with you, it helps when you don’t speak Arabic to just simplify the shopping process!
IMPORTANT: There is a common fuel scam for tourists that when they’re filling up the tank they will stop when it is halfway full; however, the price meter will keep running. If you pay enough attention you can realise this, as the sound will change. If you find yourself in that situation and notice that the sound has changed, tell the gas station attendant to stop “filling” the tank.
1.2. Parking in Amman
Parking in Jordan’s capital can be a little bit difficult, even more so in the city center as it is usually pretty packed and congested. The number of parking lots is limited and roadside parking spaces are very scarce, so people do double park whenever they can, taking the chance of getting fined.
PRO TIP: If you have an Amman car rental and you’re thinking about going to the city center, you might be better off taking a taxi so you avoid the hassle of parking your car.
2. Things to consider before choosing your rental company and a car in Jordan
There are SO many things to take into consideration before renting a car abroad, some of them being very crucial in determining if you’re going to have a good rental experience or not. Have a read whether you are a pro at renting cars or this is the first time you actually do it!
Either way, it doesn’t hurt to review this list of things to consider as Jordan is quite a different country for many of us:
- All the big companies like Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Europcar, Thrifty and other are present there, but I recommend using a middle man (such as RentalCars) because it does all the research for you and it protects you in case you have some problems with your rental company
- There is nothing worse than finding out the car you have selected is too small for you, your travel companions and especially your luggage! If you are going to travel around the country, make sure you choose a car where you’ll be able to fit your luggage and all of your travel buddies.
- You won’t need GPS – You can either use Google Maps (downloading the whole country beforehand) or you can use Maps.me offline. It will be very useful from the very first moment of trying to find your way to your hotel in Jordan!
- Do you want to pick the car up in the same city as you want to drop it off? Do you want to pick it up in Amman and drop it off in Aqaba for instance? Some companies charge extra for one-way rentals!
- Would you like to have a manual car or an automatic one? Make sure to personalize your search in order to save some time!
3. Which car type to choose for your trip to Jordan
Depending on the type of trip you’re planning or how many people you’ll be travelling with, you would have to get one or another type of car! For instance, if you are going to be navigating the city’s roads with your family you might want a safe and sturdy car, or if you’re planning on doing some road tripping, you would want to get a 4×4!
I have divided this section into 3 categories for 3 different types of travelers and trips:
RECOMMENDED CAR TYPE: Economy car or mini car
If you’re looking for a cheap car rental in Amman and Jordan and you’re planning on staying in the city, you should get an economy or a mini car, depending on the number of people traveling with you (and maybe the size of their luggage). Moreover, small cars consume less gas than bigger ones, so you’d be saving money on fuel!
PRICE: Around US $40 per day. Super low budget car rental in Jordan!
RECOMMENDED CAR TYPE: Economy or premium car
If you are travelling with the kids, you should get a rather large and sturdy car. The amount of space you get is key on having a good time on the road. And need I mention the amount of luggage and toys that kids seem to carry around constantly?
PRICE: US $50 to US $75 per day
RECOMMENDED CAR TYPE: 4×4 or Premium Car
If your trip is going to have lots of road tripping you might want to consider getting a 4×4 just in case you get adventurous! However, a premium or large economy car should be fine as roads in Jordan are perfectly good. If you’re thinking about driving through the Wadi Rum Desert, jump to the bonus section where I explain everything you need to know about that!
PRICE: US $60 to US $80 per day
4. Things to consider when picking up your rental car
Now that you have decided on the car, here are some things to keep in mind on the day when you pick it up:
- Make sure you have a number to call in case you have any drama on the road; you can ask your rental company for this!
- Check that you have been given all the necessary car documents in case you get asked for them!
- Check that the AC is working! You don’t want to be in a hot car in the middle of the Jordanian desert!
- Ask your rental company about how it works when you return the car: do you drop it off at the office or somewhere else?
- Always inspect the car and take pictures of it, both when you pick it up and when you drop it off. This way you won’t have to pay additional fees for damage or scratches you didn’t cause.
- Always check the amount of gasoline you’ve been given and make sure you mention it to the rental company if they haven’t given you the agreed upon amount.
PRO TIP: Most rental companies are closed on Fridays as that’s when their weekend starts so, make sure you have your car on Thursday ready to go for the weekend!
5. Car insurance for your rented car in Jordan
Car insurance is something quite important when travelling abroad. It can really save you from some tricky situations and I always recommend getting it!
The basic insurance that you pay is the deposit that gets charged to your credit card in case of any damage or theft. This is usually around JOD 250 (US $352). However, this doesn’t cover you in case of any third party damage, so I would advise you to get insurance on top of that, as accidents are not completely uncommon.
PRO TIP: Your bank or even your credit card might offer options for rental car insurance abroad; it could even be free of charge, which is a common practice in the USA, for instance. Check in with your bank – if you have that, you can save quite a bit of money!
6. Watch out for any possible additional fees
The thing with rental cars is that there are always some extra charges to consider. The main rate the rental company charges you is for the rental of the car but if you’d like to include any add-ons you are going to be charged for those. Apart from that, there are the obvious charges that come with using a car as well!
Have a look at what those add-ons might be in my list below:
Rental cars do not have insurance included in the price on a general basis and you would have to purchase this as extra.
Even though some rental car companies provide cheap car rental in Amman, the insurance might add up quite a bit. As mentioned above, you can purchase insurance either from the rental company itself or from other third-party insurance companies.
NOTE: I would also recommend you get personal accident insurance for yourself (not only for the car), – it is likely that you have it included in your travel insurance already. And if you haven’t bought your travel insurance go get it already! Alternatively, many credit cards include insurances like these, so do double check with your bank and hopefully you can save a few bucks!
PRICE: Basic car insurance coverage should cost you US $17 per day.
As I mentioned before, you will need some type of GPS in Jordan. I don’t think you should be paying extra for it as long as you have a smartphone. Using the offline version of Google Maps (make sure to download the country map beforehand) and Maps.me is enough!
PRO TIP: I advise you check if the destination you have entered into Google Maps shows up more than once in the drop-down menu. Some of them show up a couple of times and the actual address varies a tiny bit, so it doesn’t hurt to double check!
While driving in Jordan you are going to realize that not everyone follows the rules.
It is a safe place to drive through, except for the fact that people seem to forget to stick to their lane, so always drive with caution.
This doesn’t mean that fines are not serious in Jordan, and it is not uncommon for police to fine tourists because they are going over the speed limit while turning a blind eye to locals, so watch out!
If you are pulled over and fined, do not pay on the spot as you are probably just unknowingly bribing someone. However, do wait until you return the car as your car rental company will deduct it from your deposit.
- Exceeding the speed limit would cost you a minimum of JOD 25 (US $35)
- Not wearing your seatbelt would cost you JOD 15 (US $21)
You can check out the Jordan traffic laws and fines here.
IMPORTANT: If you find a parking ticket on the dash of your car, first make sure that it lists your license plate as it is fairly common for people to place their ticket on someone else’s dashboard! If it has your plate number, you can pay through a self service machine (your hotel staff should be able to tell you where the closest one is) or just wait and have the rental company deduct it from your deposit.
6.4. Fuel tank
Just like in any other country, full-to-full policy is the norm in Jordan. You will be given a full tank of fuel at the beginning of your rental period and you will have to give them a full tank of fuel when you give it back. Always make sure you check that the amount of fuel you have agreed on is what they are actually giving you when you pick the car up!
As previously mentioned, gas stations have attendants that fill up the tank for you. Sometimes, the language barrier can be an obstacle, so the easiest thing to do is for you to give them the amount of money you want to spend and they will fill it up that much.
PRO TIP: Bring cash, as not all of the gas stations accept credit cards. And by the way, the farther south you go, the fewer gas stations there will be, so make sure you always have enough gas to get to your destination!
There are certain locations that might increase the price of your rental car. These could be, for example, areas that are a bit remote. Renting your car in locations such as Petra or the Dead Sea will mean that your choice of providers will be much more limited than in Amman or Aqaba, so the prices might be higher!
NOTE: Keep in mind that Friday is a holiday in Jordan, so often times it is not possible to pick up your car on that day!
7. Driving rules in Jordan
Even though cars in Jordan generally drive quite smoothly, driving in Amman can get very hectic! You should be expecting things such as traffic jams at any time of the day and very unexpected driving techniques from locals.
Driving rules in Jordan are important to follow as breaking them can incur fines or result in serious accidents. So, even if you see that locals are breaking some of the following driving rules, don’t break them yourself!
- You will be driving on the right-hand side of the road and passing on the left. This will be normal for people that come from the US and most European countries. However, it will be the opposite for those coming from countries such as the UK and Australia, so watch out!
- Speed limits in cities are 60 km, in rural areas 80 km and on highways 120 km. Even if you go faster, many cars have a little system incorporated that will beep whenever you are driving above 120 km/h which will help you keep the speed below that! Other systems they have to keep you driving under the speed limit are speed bumps and speed cameras.
- You are required to wear your seatbelt at all times.
- You will find that drivers in Jordan honk all the time. To thank you, to ask for permission, to give you permission, etc. Basically they honk to call your attention to different things, so just trust your instinct and be confident!
- Road signs are mostly in Arabic, but there are also some in English for tourist sites. As long as you have your own GPS or Google Maps, you should be fine. In order to make it easier for you, these are the signs that you will most likely be stumbling upon: circle (speed limits), red octagon (stop), brown signs (tourist attractions), blue signs (distances to towns)
PRO TIP: I recommend you use Waze App to get real time updates about speed limits for a particular part of the road you are on.
BONUS 1: Other driving tips
There are so many practical driving tips that I had to create a little bonus section about it! Here are some things that you wouldn’t think about but that are quite important to take into consideration:
Highway checkpoints are very common in Jordan, so be ready to stop at least once at one of these. Do not worry if this happens – these are done for everyone’s safety, due to Jordan’s location next to some countries in conflict.
During the check, you are usually only asked for your passport and licence, but it doesn’t hurt to have the car paperwork in hand just in case; that’s why it’s important to make sure that you have it whenever you pick up your car.
Bear in mind that police checks close to the border are more frequent.
The number of speed bumps in Jordan is definitely quite high compared to any other country in the world that I have been to!
They are frequent and not exactly far in between. There can be a sign warning you (usually an exclamation mark) 1 km ahead or even 300 km ahead, and sometimes there’s not even a sign. So expect the unexpected and always drive below the speed limit!
Driving in Wadi Rum
Just like when traveling to Dubai, travelers to Jordan often want to go off-road to visit the desert, more exactly the Wadi Rum. If you are keen on driving through this beautiful but challenging desert you should keep the following things in mind:
- You will need a 4-wheel drive and PLENTY of off-road driving skills because you’re going to be driving in soft sand, so your car is likely to get stuck VERY easily.
- There is no phone signal, so your GPS won’t work. You will need to study where you are going beforehand and get lots of tips from the tourist center. Get yourself a good map and a compass!
- You will have to pump air out of your tires in order to drive successfully through the sand.
- There is an entrance fee for private cars of JOD 25 (US $35)
As you can guess, my recommendation is that you don’t drive on your own through the desert because even if you are an experienced off-road driver, it can be very difficult to find your way around.
Alternatively, you can park your car at the visitor center or in the Wadi Rum village and get a tour through the desert or to one of the campsites, like the ones I am describing below.
Public transportation or car hire in Jordan?
If you are still not convinced, let me explain further to try to figure out the best option for you. Maybe by comparing prices, I can help you gain a better idea!
I have researched the different types of transportation between Petra to Wadi Rum and then some other travel costs you might incur if you don’t have a rented car:
Petra to Wadi Rum:
- Taxi from Petra to Wadi Rum – JOD 40 (US $56)
- Rental car from Petra to Wadi Rum (including gas) – US $45
- Jett Bus from Petra to Wadi Rum – JOD 10 (US $14) per person
- Private guide + driver – US $200 per day
As you can see, the cost mainly depends on how many people are travelling with you. If you’re traveling alone it might not make sense (financially speaking) to rent a car as you won’t be splitting up the cost.
If you are traveling on your own, you might want to check out these tours where you can explore Jordan and meet other like minded travelers:
- Full day tour to Petra with transportation included – from US $119
- Full day tour to the Dead Sea with transportation included – from US $55
- 2-Day Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea tour with transportation included – from US $175
BONUS 2: Crossing the border with your rented car
You might be thinking that if Jordan is such a tiny country, why not pop into Israel for a visit maybe? Or even to Saudi Arabia?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to take a rented car outside of the country’s borders. Yes, I know, it would’ve made such a cool trip!
But it does make some sense, as these three countries have pretty strong border rules due to their locations.
PRO TIP: If you’re planning to visit Israel for one or two days, you can just park your rented car at the Jordanian border on your way in and then pick it up on your way out of Israel and back to Jordan!
BONUS 3: Road trips in Jordan
There wouldn’t be much point to this post if I didn’t tell you my favorite road trips in Jordan, right? Many of them are thoroughly described in my 6-Day Jordan Itinerary post but I want to mention them here so I make sure that you don’t miss out on anything!
Keep reading for an overview of the best road trips in this magical Middle-Eastern country:
Dead Sea & Madaba
DISTANCE: Amman to Madaba = 40 km / 30 minutes; Amman to the Dead Sea = 73 km / 1 hour
It is said that Madaba, and specifically the peak of Mount Nebo is the place where Moses first spotted the Holy Land, so you can only imagine the beautiful views that you can admire from here! For instance, you can see the Dead Sea, Palestine and the Jordan River.
On your way out of Madaba, you can head to the Dead Sea, which is a must-see on any traveler’s bucket list! This extremely salty sea is easily reachable from Amman, located just 73km away or about a 1-hour drive. It is better seen in spring and autumn as the extreme temperatures in summer can be deadly!
Alternatively, if you don’t have a rental car you can take this full day tour to the Dead Sea where you’ll get to try the same beauty therapy as Cleopatra did!
DISTANCE: Amman to Petra = 236 km / 3 hours
A visit to Jordan is not complete if you haven’t had a chance to visit Petra. This archeological wonder dates back to 300 BC and it will be the highlight of your trip!
PRO TIP: I explain everything you need to know about visiting this place in my article about Best Tours in Petra – including how to save money on the entrance fee!
It is advisable to stay here for a couple of days. If you head to Petra along the scenic Kings Highway you can stop by Wadi Mujib, the Kerak Castle, Dana and Shobak. Without stops it usually takes 3 hours as it is a 236km drive.
Otherwise, if you’ve decided not to get a rental car, you can get this full day tour to Petra where you can explore this ancient city and its stone-carved wonders.
DISTANCE: Amman to Jerash = 50 km / 1 hour
You can also check the Greco-Roman ruins of the city of Jerash in Jordan! Just an hour away from Amman, this beautiful city dates back to 2500 BC and its amazingly preserved ruins are just otherworldly!
Alternatively, if you don’t have a car of your own you can take this 6-Hour tour of Jerash where you will venture into this Greco-Roman city and the place where Jesus was supposedly baptised!
DISTANCE: Amman to Wadi Rum = 327 km / 3.5 – 4 hours
Last but not least, make sure you visit the Wadi Rum desert as well! This protected valley houses the Bedouin tribe and it’s an unbelievably beautiful place full of stunning landscapes and wildlife.
As explained above and in my post about Things to do in Dubai, it is not advisable for you to drive through the desert on your own but you can always park your car there and take a tour to explore the camps. It takes around 3.5 hours from Amman or 1 hour from Aqaba.
Otherwise, if you prefer to book a tour than to rent a car, you can get this 2-Day Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea tour in which you’ll have meals included and will spend a night in a tent in a real Bedouin camp!
Extra – Renting a car in Jordan with a driver
If driving is not your thing but you’re still travelling in a group or you don’t want to rely on public transport, you can always get a Jordan Car hire with driver. They can take you anywhere inside and outside of the city, you name it, they will take you there!
I found this driver with amazing reviews that can take you to places such as Petra, the Dead Sea or Wadi Rum. You can’t get any better luxury car rental in Amman than this!
PRICE: US $251 for a full day service, Petra to Wadi Rum for US $132. You can check the price for each route here.
Thank you for getting to the end of this post because it means that you are now an expert on everything you need to know about driving in Jordan!
In the article above I have supplemented my Jordan Itinerary post with all you need to know regarding driving and a car hire in Amman, and all throughout the country of Jordan as well. I explain things such as what type of car to get, Jordanian driving rules and little tips on driving in this magical country.
I hope this will all be of use in your trip! For all of my Jordan articles, my experiences in the country and how to make the most of yours, you should definitely have a read here!
I hope you’ve liked this article, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
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