Renting a Car in Jordan

Our Rental Car new Qasr Burqu -- Jordan

There are various ways to rent a car when you are travelling in Jordan. There is one I was used to previously, the western car company approach. All the big car companies exist here in Jordan (Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Thrifty) and it operates generally how you expect. You go online or call and you reserve the car and time you want and go and pick it up and drop it off at the expected times.

Generally speaking they tend to be far more expensive than the local options. You can get good deals if you are renting and traveling outside of the high season or depending on how many days you are renting for. They are definitely worth checking if you are looking to rent a car during your stay in Jordan. But often during the high season and other times renting from one of the big companies can prove to be really expensive and if you are on a budget it is worth understanding and checking out the local options as well. We ended up during our stay here in Jordan renting from both a large western car rental companies as well as local place as well.

Finding the companies:

Mobile Photo: Car Rental Companies

Rental companies in Jordan tend to be peppered around all parts of the city. Several of the large hotels have several companies that are situated within them and are definitely worth a look. Even some of the five star hotels have a local rental company inside that can actually prove to be quite cheap. It is worth checking out the intercontinental or the Le Royal or many other hotels as there has been really cheap rentals found in even these high end hotel chains.

One of the best places to go and check rental though is the King Abdullah Gardens. Here conveniently situated under a dilapidated amusement park are about 50 or so small rental companies. Basically you can just go from rental company to rental company to find what you are looking for. All classes and types of cars can be found from mini manual cars to large vans or four wheel drives.

Insurance:

Insurance was a tricky thing for me to figure out. First of all be careful of those that say “full” insurance as full often means just having insurance. Generally speaking Insurance works here that there is basically a 250 JD deductible you pay on any damage or accidents. They put a 250JD hold on your credit card and then refund it when you return the car. This is pretty standard I found even at many of the big western car companies as well. There are a few places that do offer insurance above this but usually this ends up costing quite a bit extra as well. So be careful and ask a lot of questions.

Prices:

Prices basically fall all over the place. And they can vary wildly between companies. So depending on your budget and time it is worth checking out several different places. Remember prices are negotiable and especially if you are renting for an extended period of time they will be more willing to negotiate with you.

Reservations:

Haha this took us way too long to figure out. Reservations are basically non-existent in the local companies. I don’t think most of them even know what a reservation ahead of time is. Basically you show up the day you want to rent and find a car that day. If you show up earlier they will often just tell you to return the day you want to rent. They don’t seem to know their availability, and don’t go through the frustration we did trying to actually get this information. You’ll find a car, don’t worry, it may not be your first choice, but there are a lot of companies and a lot of cars available.

Mileage:

There are two mileage options generally available at the rental companies, fixed and unlimited. Think reasonably about how much you plan to drive for which option is best for you. The longer you take the car for the more likely they are to up the mileage. Generally I found about 100 – 200km per day with 1JD for every 10 ever km. The fixed mileage options are generally cheaper rentals (but again it depends on the place and how much they want to rent that day), but if you are going to be driving a lot (like we were on our way out to the desert castles) you might end up spending a lot more if you go fixed. Some places won’t offer you unlimited however unless you rent for a certain days. If they won’t budge on that and you need to drive a lot go somewhere else. There are many other companies that will surely offer it to you.

Other Tips:

Negotiate:

Everything is negotiable. Negotiate and negotiate hard. Price, the time you return to the car, mileage, etc. There are a lot of companies out there and there is probably one who will give you what you want for a reasonable price. The companies know this too and are willing and expecting you to negotiate (locals do negotiate / haggle).

Inspect the car:

The quality of the car does also vary wildly between rental companies. Some of them are rather new and some really old and in not so great a condition. Make sure you go and see the car and take a look at it before you go and pay them for it. It will be a lot easier on you if you don’t like the car to walk away. Trying to get back your money may end up being a painful endeavor (especially if you don’t speak Arabic).

Weekend Rentals:

If you are planning to rent a car for the weekend, it is important to note the days the company is open. Generally most local companies are shut on Fridays (first day of the weekend), so therefore if you are planning a weekend trip make sure to go and rent your car on Thursday as otherwise you’ll be out of luck getting a rental.

Also You may want to make sure you car is clean before you return it ….heh

Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have!

Comments

  1. Jan says

    Thank you for your all information. We definitely will visit Wadi mujib as our plan on route. Did you use GPS when you had a trip in Jordan ? Any recommend which GPS app (offline map) for iPhone ? It’s expensive if we use data roaming for GPS connecting internet. We use iPhone and download WAZE app GPS . Hopefully it works offline in Jordan.

    • says

      I used google maps while I was there. I had a sim from Umniah. Cell is pretty cheap if you have an unlocked phone that you can stick a SIM in. The best coverage is from Zain which I learned after I got my Umniah SIM. I also own a hand held GPS that I download openstreetmaps to (open source maps). So i don’t have too much experience w/ offline iOS apps but i will look around. i wasn’t able to get the google maps to download coverage for Jordan offline on my phone. Not sure if that was an issue w/ me or being in Jordan. I hope Waze works offline in Jordan but don’t have experience with using it there myself.

  2. Jan says

    Thank you for your information.
    I just google and find an website agency www. economycarrentals.com . I book a car through it , they give me e-voucher with Auto Nation Rent a car. I paid total 346$ for 13 days. I calculate to convert from US$ to JOD, it cost me around 18.8JOD/day for a small car Kia Picanto. I contact to Auto Nation number through the e-voucher, they said that they will give me a new car year 2013 ! I wonder that Auto Nation is a reliable company ?! I could not find any reviews or comments about Auto Nation in anywhere…I still have an option to cancel my booking before 2 days of the pick up day !

    I also contact to Reliable Rent a car, they give quote 25JOD/day with Nissan sunny 2013. Monte Carlo quote me 25.5JOD/day withNissan sunny 2011. I still consider between three of them….. which one should I go with ??? Decision…decision…any idea ?

    Another question about Additional CDW insurance (0 excess) as they state if I want to have. Auto Nation costs 10JOD/day. Reliable costs 8JOD/day. Monte Carlo costs 9JOD/day. With your experience about Jordan before, would you mind give me an idea that do I need to buy this extra insurance in the rent, don’t I ? Did you buy this extra insurance when you rent your 4wD. This extra insurance cost much more to my budget. Are people in Jordan crazy in driving ?

    • says

      18.8 JD is a decent enough deal, well depending on the condition of the car. You can definitely do cheaper in person. Most of the car companies dont actually have websites sadly. They are just tiny little shops. In King Abdullah Gardens there are a couple dozens and there are a lot more spread out around the city. Jordanians then to go and get a car when they need it and then return when they are done. It took a bit to get used to that. If the Kia works for you then it might be better than spending for the Sunny. If it’s 0 excess that might be ok, but most have at most 250JD excess for the insurance. So only you can decide if the cost of 13days of insurance is better than the risk of paying up to 250JD. We didn’t get the added insurance for the 4WD (but we did on a car previously) since they didn’t offer the full insurance (not every place does, and some do, but some still require liability and you’d still owe so you have to really triple check w/ them). We didn’t need it thankfully. Driving in Amman can be a bit crazy and perhaps also Aqaba, but the rest of the country isn’t too bad. There is a lot of open area. Beware of the speed bumps on the “highways” though. Where are you planning on driving during your 13days?

      • Jan says

        I book a car through agency website because I think that they will be ready a car for us and i don’t have to waste much time to shop around one by one in Abdullal King Gardens area….?! I have called Auto Nation and talk on the phone what kind of car year model , they said that they will give us a new one 2013 Kia Picanto ?! Hopefully on the pick up day, they will give us the new one as that said….! Haizzz…….
        Our itinerary :
        *May 4th: arrive at Queen airport and stay overnight in Amman.

        *May 5th: visit Jerash during day time, then drive to Ajloun, stay over night in Ajloun

        *May 6th: visit Ajloun and Umm Qais during day time , then drive to Shuna, stay over night in Shuna

        *May 7th: driving along Jordan valley and visit Salt in day time, then late afternoon drive to Madaba and stay overnight in Madaba

        *May 8th-10th: visit Madaba, mount. Nebo, Dead sea, different treks near Dead sea as (Wadi Mujib Sig, Wadi Attun, Wadi Himara). Stay over night at Madaba 8th-9th.
        ***Stay over night May 10th–> Have not decide which is hotel yet !!!?

        *May 11th: drive to Disi and visit this area, stay over night at Bait Ali camp

        *May 12th: full day in Wadi Rum with jeep 4Wd tour of Green Desert Camp, stay over night at Green Desert Camp.

        *May 13th-14th (full moon): morning 1 hour Camel drive tour with Green Desert Camp , then drive to Petra, explore Petra. Stay over night at Petra

        *May 15th: drive to and visit Little Petra, stay over night at Seven Wonder Bedouin Camp.

        *May 16th: drive to Dana, hike in Dana Nature Reserv., stay over night at Dana reserve hotel.

        *May 17th: continue explore Dana nature in the morning , afternoon visit Ma’In hotspring near Dead sea, stay over night in Madaba (hotel not yet decide ! )

        *May 18th: drive to Qeen airport early morning to fly back usa. End trip.

        Hopefully this itinerary stable, not thing change on the route.

        • says

          Wow that is quite an itinerary. Definitely a lot of driving but also seeing a lot of great places. Awesome, glad the car is newer than, that is important. Some of them can be really old. I agree anything you can plan ahead of time is worth it… it’s always good to have the car ready if the price is acceptable. I was living in Jordan so it was easier for me to do deal with things in country. I hope they end up being honest! Please do let me know how it goes, I would love to hear about it, and any stories you want to share :-). If you need any advice on Amman or whatever let me know. Also if you have the chance I would highly recommend visiting Wadi Mujib, it was one of my favorite places in Jordan.

    • says

      I don’t write too many practical info posts….but after 6 months in Jordan I was trying to come up with certain things that were not immediately apparent for me at least when I went there. I might try to pull all the info into a city/country guide too possibly.

      • Jan says

        Hi,
        If you don’t mind may I ask how much you paid for rental car per day and what is local company name ? I will visit to Jordan soon and try to search to rent a car in 2 weeks before going for trip, but it seems to overwhelm to me . As you said , It looks like I don’t need to make a reservation through website agency before a trip, just go straight to the day you want a car and rent it with negotiation ?

        • says

          It depends on what type of car you want to get, we wanted a big SUV so we paid a bit more. We ended up paying around 50JD per day for a 7 passenger 4WD vehicle since we were going off road. We went with Avis on another trip when the prices were really cheap (December). For a smaller vehicle I’ve seen roughly about15-20JD for a medium to large about 25-40. and for really big 45+.

          If you are going off-season you can sometimes get a deal from the big rental agencies. but in april/may it would be really expensive. I’ve had friends who’s used Monte Carlo Car Rental (local agency) with lots of success. They didn’t have cars for us. The place we went to was fine, wish I recalled the name now, but it was kinda irrelevant. If you go to King Abdullah Gardens there are a lot of car agencies and cars available. Some of the hotels have cars too. I know I’ve seen cars at the Le Royal Hotel in Amman for even less than 15JD a day, but selection can be a bit spotty.

          Honestly if you go with a local company you really can’t book ahead of time, they don’t have the ability or desire to do that. Just go when you want a car and get one. If you try to come early they will just tell you they don’t know their availability or the price. Just make sure not to go on Friday as most local places are closed (although the big agencies are usually open).

          You do need to negotiate on prices though, ask around, find a good vehicle and price. You can even get them to modify times returned, mileage (we got unlimited for ours), price, whatever.

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