Driving in Jordan with a rental car: tips & tricks

You booked your trip to Jordan, congratulations! Now you are considering renting a car to drive to all the beautiful sights. But is a rental car really necessary? And is it safe to drive yourself in Jordan? Also in Amman? And what are the costs of renting a car? In this blog we’ll answer all questions you may have about your rental car and driving in Jordan.

Driving in Jordan | Driving in Jordan | Road Trip | The Orange Backpack

Why Rent a Car?

There is public transport in Jordan, but it is not recommended for travelling through this country. Public transport is not frequent and does not come in many places. It is very tricky without rental car to travel through the country.

Jordan is therefore the ideal destination for a road trip! The roads are of good quality and rental cars are not particularly expensive. The freedom to go to smaller towns and beautiful viewpoints on the way, made our trip unforgettable!

Tip: A number of roads in Jordan lead you through such a beautiful environment that these roads are a must in itself. We advise you to take the Kings Highway and the Dead Sea Highway for sure in your itinerary.

Is self driving in Jordan safe?

In a word: Absolutely! On security in Jordan, travellers are worried, but that is absolutely unjustified. Jordan is one of the countries in the Middle East where it has been quiet and safe for years. The country is therefore not only popular with travellers, but also has a large influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. At present (2019), their are only warnings for the northern borders with Syria and Iraq. That corner, as a tourist, will probably not be on your itinerary in Jordan.

The roads in Jordan are also very safe. Most of the roads are very quiet, but not so quiet that you have to wait for a passer-by for car breakdown hours.

Our main safety warning is therefore for crossing animals and thresholds. In Jordan, it is not surprising when a herd of goats, a camel or donkey will block your way. Therefore, always be alert to the crossing animals, especially if you see them walking along the side of the road.

But the most dangerous we found were the speed bumps. Speed bumps? Yeah, you read it right. To prevent people from driving too hard, there are speed bumps throughout the country. On small roads, but also on broader major roads. Because they are sometimes after a bend and have the same color as the rest of the road, you easily see them over the head. But at normal speed you really can’t drive over there.

You will undoubtedly also encounter many police checks during your road trip. You don’t have to worry about this. When you stop at such a check, you show the car papers and your driver’s license. In most cases you will get a sociable chat and you will receive sincere questions about your travel and destination. A fun way to talk to locals again!

Jerash | Jordan | Jordan | The Orange Backpack
Must-Do's in Amman | The Orange Backpack

Should you avoid capital Amman?

Many blogs state that the traffic in Amman is chaotic and dangerous. The advice is therefore always to stay outside the city with your rental car. But our experience is totally different.

We found the traffic in Amman very quiet and well organized for a big city. There is a lot of one-way traffic and all motorists seem to take good account of each other. Maybe that’s just because there are few traffic lights and road signs with rules. We were left with the car everywhere, and had no trouble with, for example, roundabouts, big junctions or driving a road.

In fact, we have explored almost all of Amman with our rental car. I was at that time a little sick and walking the steep hills up and down was a it too much. Sebastiaan therefore, effortlessly, drove us to every corner of the city. Although Sebastiaan can find big cities quite stressful in the car, we had no problems at all in Amman.

Tip: Find out more about all sights in Amman? Read our blog with practical map of the city!

Itinerary | Jordan | Jordan | The Orange Backpack
Petra | Treasury from Above | The Orange Backpack

How are the roads?

The roads in Jordan are very good. They are asphalted and well maintained. You don’t really need a 4WD either. With a normal 2WD you can get anywhere. Count on a mountainous landscape with in some places mainly winding roads and lots of valleys and climbs.

Parking in Jordan is also not a problem. In many smaller towns you can easily find parking spaces. In cities you can park for free on the street. It wasn’t even hard to find parking spots in Amman,

To not inadvertently make your holiday more expensive, you should pay close attention to your speed while driving in Jordan. We saw regular speed checks and were warned of high fines.

Driving in Jordan | Driving in Jordan | Road Trip | The Orange Backpack
Jerash | Jordan | Jordan | The Orange Backpack

How much does a rental car cost?

The prices of a rental car vary considerably per season. We paid in June 2019 a total price of €251.85 for 10 days with a basic insurance. That was a price of about €25 per day. Our preferred car rental company is Discover Car Hire. They often have the best deals and their site gives you a good indication of the prices for car rentals on your trip.

Spring and autumn are the most popular moments to visit the desert country because of its pleasant temperatures. At that time, therefore, count on higher rental prices.

We started and ended our itinerary near the airport near Amman. Would you like to drop off your car in a different location than where you picked up the car, like in Aqaba? You will also have to pay extra for this.

Your costs also depend on the insurance options you choose. Because Jordan has good roads, we opted for a basic insurance. We have therefore not purchased the full excess and other options outside the basic insurance.

Tip: Want more tips for your itinerary? And how to make a tour, or just travel from Amman to Aqaba? Check out this blog about compiling your ideal itinerary.

Driving in Jordan | Driving in Jordan | Road Trip | The Orange Backpack
Driving in Jordan | Driving in Jordan | Road Trip | The Orange Backpack

Extra (packaging) Tips

  • Download the Google Maps offline maps in advance. Renting navigation with your car is not really necessary, because on Google Maps you really have enough.
  • Use the offline maps of well for your hikes, but not to navigate in the car.
  • When navigating, observe which route is chosen. The Kings Highway will often not be chosen by your navigation itself.
  • Buy a SIM card directly at the airport. It is nice to be able to make a phone call at local rate or to search for a car when driving.
  • The traffic rules are roughly the same as many European countries, but it’s good to check out the differences upfront.
  • Take a car plug to charge your phone and maybe other electronics in the car.
  • Music, a podcast or an audiobook in the car can make your road trip extra fun. We therefore always take audio cables on a road trip.