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Taking a ‘special’ (speshel; ie nonshared) taxi can be very convenient but, at times, a bit of a hassle because some unscrupulous drivers overcharge tourists. The best way to avoid getting ripped off is to sound like a confident old hand as you give the street address, including a cross street. It’s almost always to your advantage to use the meter (by law the driver has to put it on if you ask); make sure it is reset to the flag-fall price after you get in.

Meter fall is 12.30NIS (10.50NIS in Eilat). Tariff 2 (25% more expensive than Tariff 1) applies between 9pm and 5.30am and on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Wait time costs 94NIS per hour. Legitimate surcharges include the following:

  • Pick-up at Ben Gurion Airport – 5NIS
  • Piece of full-size luggage – 4.40NIS
  • Third and fourth passengers – 4.90NIS each
  • Phone order – 5.20NIS.

Many Israelis now use the mobile phone app GetTaxi (www.gettaxi.co.il), available in Android and iPhone versions, to order and pay for taxis in all parts of Israel (except Eilat). Uber launched in Israel in 2014.

Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but in the absence of a rip-off attempt, it’s fine to leave a shekel or two in change.