There are various ways to rent a car when you are traveling in Jordan. Overall, there is a right way, a wrong way, and a Jordanian way to renting a car in Amman 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, these 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 hiring cars from both a large western car rental companies as well as local place as well.
Finding the companies:
If you are looking to rent a car in Jordan, you’ll likely get the rental at the airport or in Amman. Rental companies in Amman 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 have 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. This is one of the top places to find a car hire in Amman.
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. If you can get more insurance it might be worth the investment anyway. Accidents are not uncommon in the country and the roads are so bad they are like getting a free car massager in the package.
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 number of days. If they won’t budge on that and you need to drive a lot to 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 your car is clean before you return it ….heh
Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have!
Car Rental Companies in Jordan
- First Time Vistor’s Guide to Petra
- Tips for visiting the Desert Castles
- Jordan Visa Information
- Hijaz Railway in Amman
- Guide to Amman Taxis
- 10 Places to Visit in Jordan
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ARMAN RENT A CAR – Dishonest rental car company – don’t trust them!
My friend and I (2 women) are back from a trip to Jordan. Everything has been great except from our really bad experience with Arman Car Rental at check-in and mostly at check-out.
At our arrival, we were greeted by Sohill, Arman Car Rental employee, who waited for us at the airport and was friendly and nice with us. We found a bit odd though to do the check-in, including the payment, over the bonnet of the car but tried not to get overly worried by this practice. It was not the only surprise:
1. The car in itself: dirty (inside and outside) and with no gas. We ordered a manual car on internet but got an automatic; we understand that automatic cars are more popular in Jordan but we should have been told right away instead of discovering it at check-in; there was no way as well to get a manual car as Arman Car Rental’s fleet is not located at the airport. The car was covered with various scratches and we tried to mentioned as much as we could at check-in while Sohill couldn’t help but show his impatience on this matter – that will have an impact on the check-out as you will see later;
2. Payment: as indicated above, it was done on the bonnet of the car, which is not usual practice as you generally pick up the car at an agency or at a booth of a parking lot. Sohill had a card payment machine, but after 4 declined attempts with 2 different payment cards (Visa and MasterCard), Sohill suggested to get some cash out. We paid 200 JOD by cash but while we received declined tickets for all the attempts to pay by card, 2 payments went through on one of our bank accounts. One payment has been reverted after one day, but the second one, only after 7 days while we kept informing Sohill of this situation. Our advice: be careful and check your bank account ASAP or bring some cash and don’t use your card!
3. Check out: this was the worst check-out experience we had on a rental car. It started well though as Sohill offered at our arrival in Jordan to pick us up at our hotel and bring us back to the airport after the car check-out for our return, and this free of charge. We thought it was a good idea as driving in Amman can be quite stressful. On the D day, he arrived with one of his colleague checking the car, again in the street. His colleague pointed out 2 scratches underneath the car’s front bumper, as well as a hit on the back plaque, allegedly caused by our driving. We were quite surprised as we didn’t have any accident or any problems during our trip, especially as we took great care of the car in view of the multiple speed humps on the Jordan roads. They told us that we should pay right away JOD 1,500 as per the rental contract and that we could claim then this amount to our insurance, as we booked the waiver for all deductibles. We argued that it was an easy way for them to get JOD 1,500, that represents 5 times the average salary in Jordan and it would represent an insurance fraud in view of the alleged damages – we are talking about scratches for JOD 1,500!!! Negotiations continued in the car, on the way to the airport with Sohill – and his boss on the phone: they told us then to pay only $250. We asked for a quote or an invoice as it would have to be submitted to our insurance. They sent an invoice on Sohill’s email address, on Arman Rent A Car paper. Hard to understand how they can issue an invoice on their own paper and without sending the car for review to a garage. Followed a long conversation where they gently agreed on a discount of 6% on JOD 250 to cover our costs of withdrawing cash, as of course it was requested to pay them in cash. The owner of Arman didn’t hide that for tax reasons it was easier for them to receive the sum in cash instead of wire transfer… we are not sure this is entirely legal but this is another story. It just proves our point that this rental company applies a borderline policy and basically act as con men. Their behaviour was particularly intimidating and both my friend and I felt really uncomfortable during the whole car ride that seemed to take ages. We had to call a good friend in a business trip in Amman and that speaks Arabic to reduce a bit the pressure: is it the language? Is it the fact that they had to talk to a man as Sohill arranged a conference call between him, his boss and our friend that helped us? No one knows but while staying on our grounds and refusing to pay anything, and in particular in cash, Sohill finally let us go or rather dismissed us.
We are seriously disappointed by Arman Rent A Car’s behaviour and attitude towards us: they were dismissive, arrogant and really intimidating while taking us for fools. We were a bit scared to be honest as they were really pushy on us to give them cash straight away without purpose and Sohill getting really angry. I don’t know if they’ve done that because we are tourists or because we are women. In both case, that’s disgusting and not in accordance at all with the very warm and kind welcome we have received all the time in Jordan. We are under the impression that their scheme was well planned in advance, taking us to the airport to have time to intimidate us… After checking lots of review on internet, we saw that it happens as well to another woman. In view of the other customer’s review, we expect an answer from Sohill, point by point, and generally speaking of Arman saying that we are wrong. This is our story as customers and prefer to bring it to other potential customers’ attention even if our advice is: NEVER GO WITH THIS COMPANY!!!
Just back from our trip to Jordan (me and girlfriend) and it happend exactly the same to us with them. So don’t think is gender thing, they just try with anyone or specially tourists.
They brought us the car to the hotel and we did the same procedure: car check (in the street using phone’s flashlight to see something), papers and payment. To be honest and not unfair with them, the car was clean at least.
The problem came with the returning. Similar as with you, the were really kind and offered us to make the return at our hotel so we don’t had to drive to their headquarters, everything free of charge. We accepted. But when were doing the “look arround” with the phone’s flash light (like for the first check), he suddenly pointed out a damage even if it couldn’t be seen from above. Even when I got down I still couldn’t see it. I had to go down on my knees and look under the car to notice it. At the moment it was clear for me that they already knew about that (or they didn’t notice it before, let’s give them a chance), cause it was impossible to notice under such a poor light and doing the same walking than the one we did on the starting day.
The end of the story is quite similar. They insisted that it was made by me and I replied it was impossible. it was not just a scratch, it was a scratched-dent and not precisely small one, something that you can’t cause without noticing. They were still defending the idea of having caused it by accident during an offroad trip (which we never did) or by a “valet” parking it (which never occurred niether). They never came to the money talk as I did never admit my part on that. When I refused to pay anything and to argue anymore, they left with the promise that they will charge it on my card, so let’s see what will happen now. I won’t give up so easy and won’t pay for something I didn’t cause.
My opinion: that was not the first time and won’t be the last they try something like this!
Outside this bad experience, I must say that Jordan and their people are amazing, so fully reccommend that trip. Just be aware if you rent 😉
i will be in Jordan end of may. I want to rent a 4×4 but not a new one. I’m looking for one like they have in wadi rum with the open air seats in the back.
do you know any place or local where I can find this.
thanks for your reply
The places in the article would have those available. I would go to King Abdullah Gardens so that you can check out a couple local rental agencies. That is what we did for a 4×4.
And what is you opinion about one-way rental? Renting at the airport, and returning it on another airport or border. Is this something easy to do? Do the rental company have their offices at for example Amman and Aqaba?
Most of the major rental companies will allow you to rent at the airport and do a one way rental to say Aqaba. Some of the smaller ones however require you to return it to the same location (most of them rent to people doing local rentals for shopping and other such trips). Beyond the big ones like Avis, Budget, etc that will allow you to do this, you could also rent from someone like Monte Carlo which offers this type of service as well.
Devansh Chaurasiya says
Anwar are u in jordan?
I lived in Jordan for quit ea bit of time. But no, I’m not currently in Jordan.
Gokhan Degirmenci says
If you are planning to travel through this airport, booking your rental car online will be highly advisable, helping you avoid the frustrations and the hassles that are characteristic of every busy airport through the world. However, picking the best car rental Jordan should be done keenly to help you get the best deals while at the same time guaranteeing comfort in all your road trips.
If you want to Go to Petra from Amman you either hire a driver and a car , or go from Abdali station at 6:30 Am all year round, also there is a local bus from the south station it goes when it is full only from Morning till after noon ,
True if you rent a car at the airport it is better to book it online with the major companies. However if you are in Amman it might not always be your best choice, particularly for price.
Abdali and the bus is great if you want to take a bus, but that is not relevant to this post.
Hey pal, thanks for the insightful blog. I will be driving in Jordan this July, and currently have a reservation with Budget. My question is about insurance, not only collision damage waiver, but also liability insurance. It doesn’t appear to be possible to purchase liability through rental companies, and that is concerning considering Jordan’s driver faulting system. Any advice on how to purchase liability insurance, as in if a pedestrian or animal is struck, repairs to other driver’s vehicle, property damage, etc. Also, with the 250JD CDW excess, does that cover the vehicle for all damages/losses..ie totalling the car etc? Just looking to be as safe as possible. Thanks for any information you can share! 🙂
Actually on a few places offer insurance above the 250JD collision damage (such as Avis, and a few of the other big ones, and a few of the small ones too) but its rare. I had a hard time finding someone who was willing to go for full coverage. It is doable but you need to ask around, the policy seems to change regularly at places there.
I never noticed your reply 2 years ago…thank you kindly for the reply. As I search for the same information again, I came across the same blog post and realized you had replied. Best to you!
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.
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.
Thank you for everything. We are ready for a trip ! 🙂
Awesome. Please tell us how it went after you return 🙂 Would love to hear the stories!
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 ?
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?
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.
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.
These are good tips! I didn’t rent a car while I was in Jordan but will keep these in mind since I definitely want to return there with my daughter.
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.
Thank you for info 🙂
I hope it helps 🙂
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 ?
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.