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:
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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!