Car rental Amman
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Why rent a car in Amman?
Amman is an awesome place to explore. Both ancient and modern, Jordan’s capital city is one of the most impressive capitals of the Middle East and has plenty to offer when it comes to food, history, and atmosphere. Great distances mean that getting a rental car is your best bet to see it all. Having your own ride will also give you a chance to explore the rest of Jordan.
Top ways to enter Amman
- Amman Queen Alia Airport. Queen Alia Airport, offering flights to and from destinations in Asia, Europe, and Africa, serves more than eight million travelers every year. It has often been named the best airport in the Middle East. The airport is about 30 km (20 mi) south of the city.
- Amman Civil Airport. Also known as Marka International Airport, the other airport serving the capital city is much smaller, but nonetheless offers flights to and from Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Amman Civil Airport is just 5 km (3.1 mi) northeast of downtown Amman.
- Aqaba Airport. The only international airport in Jordan outside of the capital, Aqaba Airport serves a resort city of the same name, located on the Red Sea in the very southwest corner of the country. The airport is about a four hour drive from Amman.
Note: While it is possible to enter Jordan from three of its neighboring countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories, it is currently not possible to enter Jordan with a car rented in a neighboring country. Neither is it allowed to rent a car in Jordan and then to travel to a neighboring country.
All non-essential travel to Jordan’s two other neighbors, Iraq and Syria, is strongly advised against by most foreign ministries and international organizations due to the security situation.
Useful city facts
With a semi-arid climate, Amman has hot, but tolerable summers, although heat waves can occur. The average temperature in August, the hottest month, is 26.6 °C (80 °F). Even in winter, the temperature rarely drops below 10 °C (50 °F). However, due to the city’s proximity to the mountains along with a number of other contributing factors, different areas of Amman can experience different microclimates, for example, the neighborhood of Abu Nser is significantly colder than the rest of the city while the neighborhood of Marka neighborhood is the opposite.
Amman has been inhabited for nearly 10,000 years, with oldest human statues found near the city dating back to the Neolithic era. Initially built on seven hills, Amman now stands on 19.
Top destinations and activities
- Amman Citadel. One of the seven original hills of Amman, the Citadel is an impressive place that tells the long and fascinating story of the many civilizations that have ruled and inhabited the city. Here you’ll find the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, the Ayyubid Watchtower and much more.
- Rainbow Street. Labeled by some travelers to be one of the most interesting areas in the Middle East, this street is named after the old Rainbow Cinema and is now lined with coffee shops, galleries, and performance venues. If you want to see the hip and youthful side of Jordan, look no further than here.
- Roman Theater. Built more than 2200 years ago, this impressive venue is not only a remnant of the Roman times in Amman but also houses the Jordanian Museum of Popular Tradition and the Jordanian Folklore Museum, both interesting places to learn about the city’s history and culture.
Traffic and parking tips
- In Jordan, vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road.
- You need to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to drive in Jordan as a foreigner. Not having one can lead to large fines.
- Most road signs in Amman are written in both English and Arabic. However, different English spellings might be used for the same street and location names.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120 km/h (75 mph) on motorways, 80 km/h (50 mph) on country roads, and 60 km/h (38 mph) or less in populated and built-up areas.
- Most general roads in Jordan are in good shape and are well-maintained. Rural roads can have widely varying quality, even within the same area.
- Always have a working GPS system when driving in the desert in Jordan. Set out your route in advance and make sure you will always have a chance to get fuel before running out of it. Always have extra water in the vehicle as temperatures in the desert can reach extremes.
- When driving at night, especially in the countryside, take extra caution as some vehicles might be driving without the lights on or might be stopping on the side of the road without the lights on. Also, watch out for pedestrians on the road as some areas have no pavements.
- It is only allowed to use a mobile phone while driving if you use a hands-free system.
- Unlike in Europe or North America, Jordanian drivers use their horns a lot. Do not let this upset you - rather than a sign of road rage, it is simply a different way of communication between drivers.
- Drunk driving is prohibited in Jordan. The law has been enforced more strictly during the last few years, and breaking it can lead to large fines or even imprisonment and deportation.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The police phone number in Jordan is 191 or 192, the fire brigade and ambulance number is 193.
Although there have been some suggestions to create them in the future, there are no toll roads in Jordan as of 2019.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Jerash. Just like famous Petra, Jerash is an impressive archaeological site, but this one is much closer to the capital city. Historically known as the Roman city of Gerasa, it features many ancient structures like the Jerash nymphaeum and the Arch of Hadrian. Jerash is one hour’s drive north of Amman.
- The Dead Sea. Featuring the world’s lowest elevation on land, the Dead Sea is very alive as a tourism destination. From sites mentioned in the Bible to a number of quality spas and the otherworldly Mujib Reserve, it has something for everyone. The sea’s northeastern coast is less than an hour’s drive south of Amman.
- Madaba. Known as the “City of Mosaics”, cozy Madaba more than justifies its name with impressive Byzantine-era mosaic maps of Palestine and the Nile delta, among many others. Do not miss its ancient churches, shrines, and fortifications either. Madaba is just a 45 minute drive south of Amman.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Amman is the Kia Picanto, closely followed by the Hyundai Grand i10 and Kia Cerato. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and full-size.
- Petra. One of the most famous sites in the Middle East, Petra is an ancient city, a large part of which is not built, but instead carved in rock. Impressive buildings that you won’t see anywhere else abound, as do historic sites and enormous caves. Petra can get quite crowded at times, but visiting will still be an experience of a lifetime. Petra is about a three hour drive south of Amman with 230 km (140 mi) to cover.
- Aqaba. The only coastal city of Jordan, Aqaba is a famous tourist resort on the Red Sea. With great options for diving and other water sports, and a warm-to-hot climate throughout the year, it is a relaxing place where you can easily spend a couple of days or even a week. Located in the very southwest corner of Jordan, it takes about four hours to reach from Amman by car, but the long drive is worth it.
- Wadi Rum. Another really famous Jordanian destination, Wadi Rum is a desert valley not far from of Aqaba. Known as the Valley of the Moon for its spectacular landscapes, it is also an important center of Bedouin culture. Wadi Rum is 314 km (195 mi) south of Amman.
How can I save money on my rental car?
This is how to land a cheap rental car in the capital of Jordan:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Amman is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 42% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 55% cheaper than renting a car in October. Come visit Jordan in wintertime!
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