Buying a Car in Israel - Top Tips
Hebrew: טיפים לקניית רכב בישראל
Tips & Advice
Buying a New Car
- The car dealer's selling price, in Israel, is generally not negotiable, but they may offer you free or reduced "extras"
- The factory price, for a new car in Israel, may be discounted as a special-offer. These special-offers are advertised in the various newspapers. Take advantage of them if you can.
- Some car dealers will not allow you to test-drive a brand-new car. Ask!
- Bigger cars are more expensive to run and maintain – parts, tires and fuel consumption.
- Diesel cars are more expensive to buy - so is diesel fuel. They are, however, very economical as fuel consumption is low. Licensing and the annual, compulsory roadworthy test are also high.
- Purchasing of hybrid vehicles is encouraged and large tax reductions are offered.
- There is a heavy tax when buying a new car in Israel. So you will pay much more for a car in Israel than for the identical car in the U.S.A.
- Olim are entitled to buy new cars in Israel within three years after making Aliyah at a reduced tax rate
Buying a Used Car
Make sure you know the car's history – some questions to ask:
- How many owners have there been?
- Was it owned by a leasing company?
- What is the repair history? Ask to see it.
- Has the vehicle been in any accidents? Ask for accident reports.
- Some unscrupulous sellers may have fiddled with the mileometer – this is likely if the mileage seems too low
- Have the car tested and get an official report before making a final decision
- Sign a "zichron devarim (statement of intent) – a binding contract between you and the seller.
- Passport to passport is a term used when a new oleh sells his new car to another new oleh within four years of its purchase.
Car & Vehicle Insurance
- In Israel, you cannot drive a brand-new car, out of the showroom, without insurance. You will have to arrange this before you take delivery of the vehicle.
- Insurance cannot be transferred from one vehicle owner to another– you will have to arrange insurance in your own name before you take delivery of a second hand vehicle as well.
- Hova is compulsory insurance and covers personal injury.
- Makif is comprehensive insurance covers damage to the vehicle.
- Insurance can be paid by credit card in monthly installments – ask your insurance agent for details.
What if I lease a car?
- If you buy a car from a leasing company they will provide a history of the vehicle, road-worthy test results and repairs. They may even offer you a limited warranty.
Determining the Price of a Car
- The Levi-Yitzhak car price-guide is published monthly and lists the current value of a vehicle as well the value of accessories and mileage variables.
- You can negotiate the price of a used car using the Levi-Yitzhak car price-guide as a starting point. The car may not be in perfect condition or may need repair. If so, you can probably reduce the selling price accordingly.
Financing a car
- Have the money ready but do not pay in cash – a bank guaranteed check is best.
- Financing can be obtained from your bank and some car dealerships offer financing as well.