Driving in Jordan: Essential Tips + Best Rental Car Rates!

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If you’re planning a trip to explore Petra, the Dead Sea, or Wadi Rum, renting a car may be a great option for you. This guide breaks down everything you need to know about driving in Jordan, including what to expect on the roads and where to find the best deals on a rental car.

Amman Jordan

Between the diverse landscapes of the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum, plus many fascinating historical attractions like the ancient city of Petra, it’s easy to understand why traveling to Jordan tops so many bucket lists. 

It’s a relatively small country, taking just six-ish hours to drive from north to south, so getting a rental car and driving in Jordan is a great option to hit all the highlights on your own schedule. 

There are a handful of things we wish we would have known before getting a rental car in Jordan, so we’ve put together a complete guide with everything you need to know. This way you’ll be much more prepared than we were!

In this article, we’re breaking down the exact cost of a rental car in Jordan, answering some of your most frequently asked questions, plus sharing our top tips for driving in Jordan to save you money and headaches.

Driving in Jordan Guide

Useful things to know before driving in Jordan

Driving in Jordan

Before packing up your rental car for that ultimate Jordan road trip, there are a few helpful things we think you should know. 

Which side of the road do they drive on in Jordan?

In Jordan they drive on the right-hand side of the road. If you’re coming from the US or Europe, then you’re probably already used to this. 

However, if you’re used to driving on the left-hand side of the road, we have a few pieces of advice:

  • If this will be your first time driving on the right-hand side, we’d recommend specifically choosing an automatic vehicle, so you don’t have to think about using the stick shift and keeping your vehicle on the opposite side of the road. 
  • You may also want to choose a vehicle that is roughly the size of your own car (if possible) so that you’re only throwing one new thing into the mix.
  • The first day will be a little tricky, so don’t plan on driving too long of a distance. Give yourself some time to get used to it, and it will get easier! Pretty soon, it’ll feel totally normal, and when you get home you’ll have to remind yourself how to drive on the left-hand side!
  • You got this!

Laws for driving in Jordan

The general laws for driving in Jordan are pretty much the same as you’d find elsewhere in North America and Europe: Always wear your seatbelts, obey the posted speed limit, use your headlights when it’s dark out, and DO NOT text and drive. 

Traffic lights are also the same as they are all over the world; green means go, red means stop and yellow means slow down. 

Speed limits and signage 

Driving in Jordan (Jorge Láscar)
Image by Jorge Láscar via Flickr

The speed limits in Jordan are marked by white signs with a red circle around the number. These speed limits are in kilometers, as well as the speed gauge on cars in Jordan. 

The general speeds limits for Jordan are as follows:

  • Urban areas: 50 – 60 km per hour
  • Rural roads: 80 – 90 km per hour
  • Highways: 100 – 120 km per hour

Road signs in Jordan will always be posted in both Arabic and English, so you don’t have to worry about missing important signage. 

There are also speed cameras posted on roads in Jordan, so you will want to be extra careful to obey the posted speed limit so you don’t wind up slapped with a bunch of expensive fees from your rental company months later!

Road condition and speed bumps

Driving in Jordan (Taras Kalapun)
Image by Taras Kalapun via Flickr

Jordanian roads are—generally speaking—pretty decent. However, there are pot holes to watch out for. 

The biggest hurdle to driving in Jordan that I found was the speed bumps. Especially along the Kings Highway, there are speed bumps all along the way, and they aren’t always well marked. The yellow paint that is supposed to warn you is often worn out and invisible, plus the roadside signs sometimes are posted at the actual speed bump itself, giving you no prior warning. 

It can be frustrating to navigate these when you are driving down the highway (at highway speeds) and run into an unmarked speed bump. (Yep, I’ve been there!) So it’s good to know to keep an eye out.

Police checkpoints

It is not uncommon to see police checkpoints, especially on highways in Jordan. These are just routine safety measures, so it’s not a problem if you get stopped at one. You have nothing to worry about. 

If you see a police checkpoint, be sure to slow down and watch for their signal if they want you to stop or not. Oftentimes if they see you are a tourist, they will wave you through, but you never know. 

If you do get stopped, you’ll likely be asked for your destination, passport, drivers license and car registration/rental documentation. Be sure to have all of the proper documentation easily accessible when driving in Jordan. 


Parking and street art in Amman Jordan

I drove my rental car all over Jordan and can confirm that finding parking was never an issue. All our hotels and Airbnbs were equipped with parking spots. Street parking in cities like Amman and Aqaba was easy enough to find. 

There’s no driving in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum Desert Jordan

One important thing to be aware of is that private vehicles are not allowed inside the Wadi Rum Reserve

When you first arrive, you’ll need to go to the Wadi Rum Visitor’s Center to buy your entrance tickets, which cost 5 JOD ($7 USD). Wadi Rum is also included in the Jordan Pass, so you can scan your pass here if you have one. If you have the time, there are a few excellent short walks and viewpoints right near the visitor center. 

Once you have your tickets and are ready to enter the preserve, you’ll pass through the Visitors Center entrance gate and drive for about 10 minutes to Wadi Rum Village. Private vehicles can’t go any further than this, so you’ll have to park in the visitor’s lot and arrange transportation with your hotel or camp to take you the rest of the way. 

Staying in Wadi Rum for at least one night is highly recommended, but if you aren’t staying overnight, you can arrange 4×4 Jeep and camel tours, as well as other excursions, from Wadi Rum Village.

Planning a Trip to Jordan? Find out the best time to visit Jordan based on regional weather patterns and your personal travel style.

Tips for driving in Jordan

Rainbow Street Amman Jordan

If you’re renting a car, there are some things you should know about driving in Jordan. 

I thought long and hard about all the things I wished I would have known before my Jordan road trip, and put them together in one convenient place for you. 

Hopefully this advice will help ease your nerves about driving in Jordan and you can learn from my experience and avoid getting (expensive!) tickets while on your road trip.

1. Watch our for speed cameras and speed bumps

Pay attention to the road signage as there are speed cameras posted on the highways and other roads in Jordan. There are also plenty of speed bumps—on the highways—that we found challenging to navigate when we weren’t expecting them.

2. Be aware of driving customs in Jordan

Driving in Amman Jordan

Although the laws are generally pretty much the same for driving in Jordan as they are elsewhere around the world, Jordanian drivers do things a bit differently…

We found this most apparent in the major cities. For example, there are marked lanes on the roads, but drivers don’t tend to follow them or use their turn signals very often. 

Jordanian drivers also use their car to signal in ways we are not used to in the US. Horn honking is pretty frequent (and somewhat inescapable in big cities), plus a few blinks of your hazard lights is usually a signal of thanks for letting me pass. 

Sometimes they even use a turn signal to signal to the driver behind them that it is safe to pass on that side (which is very counterintuitive to what we do in the US!). 

Driving in Jordan is all about being super aware of your surroundings, but we found that it was actually really easy to get used to outside of the big city. 

3. Fill up on gas (and use the bathroom!) before you leave the city

There are gas stations all over Jordan and on fairly regular intervals between cities on the major highways. However, as a woman driving with a single female companion, we felt a bit uncomfortable in the more rural areas. 

Finding a decent public restroom during the long stretches of highway between Amman and Petra for example was not an easy feat and in the end we opted to “hold it” until we got into the city and felt more comfortable stopping. 

4. Get an eSIM to help with navigation

Airalo Install

We use Airalo to get data during all of my travels abroad and it is seamless! 

Data in Jordan is a bit more expensive than in some other countries we’ve traveled to, but the convenience of Airalo makes it totally worth it. You can get 5 GB of data for 30 days, for $19 USD. Or 10 GB of data for 30 days, for $32 USD. 

It was really nice knowing that we were using local cell towers so we had the best coverage possible. That said, there are some places throughout the country where cell service is weak or non-existent. 

For that reason, it’s important to follow the next tip…

Psst! Will you be traveling in more than one country? Use our ultimate guide to getting an international SIM card, including helpful tips for using your phone abroad. 

5. Download offline Google Maps just in case

We always recommend downloading offline navigation so that you can still have access to your GPS location and the map when you go out of cell range.

For this, Google Maps is amazing! Not only can you pin all the points of interest along your route, but it will also show your current GPS location even when you’re not within cell signal. To enable this feature, keep reading…

How do you Download Google Maps Offline?

It’s super simple, just follow these steps:

  1. Sign into Google Maps (it’s connected with your Gmail account).
  2. Search for “Jordan” in the search bar.
  3. You’ll see a white bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen. You may need to swipe right to find the “download” icon.
  4. Make sure you’re in Wifi, and click the “download” icon.

The map data from this region will now be on your phone, and can be accessed even when you have no cell signal! You’ll even be able to see your current GPS location as long as you have it authorized. (Settings > Google Maps > Location > select “Always”)

Maps.Me is another great map option, and we use it a lot to find hiking trails and things that aren’t always marked on Google Maps. You might want to download both maps before your trip!

6. Pack a phone mount

One thing that is often overlooked when renting a car is having a place to keep your phone while driving. 

I don’t know about you, but I love being able to see Google Maps without craning my neck or looking down in my lap. Been there, done that, and it’s not fun (or safe!).

Pack your phone mount from home (or get a new portable one specifically for travel) so that you can have your navigation conveniently displayed while driving in Jordan. It’ll make getting around so much easier, I promise!

FAQs about driving in Jordan

Wadi Musa Jordan

It’s perfectly safe and relatively simple to get a rental car for your Jordan road trip, but there are still a handful of things you should know before you do. 

Is it safe to rent a car in Jordan?

In short, yes. Roads in Jordan are generally well-maintained, have good signage, and are very easy to drive on. In particular, Jordan’s major highways, the King’s Highway, Desert Highway, and Dead Sea Highway (also called the Jordan Valley Highway) are easy to navigate. 

The bustling capital city of Amman is the only exception to everything above—there’s significantly more traffic and driving is quite a bit more chaotic. Even so, it isn’t nearly as hectic as many other large cities in the Middle East and Asia. 

Is driving in Jordan difficult?

Driving in Jordan (Hindol Bhattacharya)
Image by Hindol Bhattacharya via Flickr

Driving in Jordan is easy! 

There are some countries where the insane traffic and crazy driving etiquette would scare us away from renting a car. (We’re thinking of many major cities in Vietnam!)

However, most of Jordan is pretty laid back when it comes to driving (especially outside of Amman). The rules of the road are pretty much the same as you’d find elsewhere in North America and Europe. 

Depending on where in Jordan you plan to drive, you likely won’t encounter too much traffic or difficult situations (the major exception to this is if you’re driving through Amman). 

Who can rent a car in Jordan?

It’s relatively simple to get a rental car in Jordan, but one of the most important things to know is that you must be at least 21, despite the country’s minimum driving age being 18. Much like in the United States and throughout Europe, you need a valid passport and driver’s license from your home country. Some rental companies may charge an additional fee for drivers under 25. 

It’s also important to note that the law officially states that drivers must have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP), aka an international drivers license, in order to get a car rental in Jordan. 

Do you need a Jordanian drivers license to drive in Jordan?

You do not need to have a Jordanian driving license to drive a car in Jordan. 

As discussed above, you’re technically supposed to have an international driving license or IDP in order to get a car rental in Jordan. However, this law doesn’t seem to be strictly enforced country-wide. 

Having said that, we’d recommend you err on the side of caution and go ahead and get your International license if you are planning to get a rental car in Jordan. 

It certainly doesn’t hurt to have one, especially if you frequently travel internationally — popular destinations including Greece and Chiang Mai, Thailand do require them as well. 

As long as you have a valid driver’s license in your home country, you can get your international drivers license here, for just $30 USD. They have urgent processing available to get your digital license within 15 minutes. 

Driving in Jordan

Can women drive in Jordan?

Yes, there are no laws against women driving or renting a car in Jordan. 

Are road signs in Jordan in English?

Road signs in Jordan will always be posted in both Arabic and English, so you don’t have to worry about missing important signage. 

Speed limit signs are white with a red circle around the black number. Keep in mind these are posted in kilometers per hour, but your car will also be showing your speed in km so you don’t have to do any converting!

What’s the cheapest rental car company in Jordan?

Much like in the U.S., all the big players offer rental cars in Jordan: Thrifty, Dollar, Budget, Avis, Enterprise and others — all at mostly similar price points. Factors like the time of year, type of car, and demand among people searching all affect the exact price. 

We love to use Discover Cars when searching for rental cars in other countries because they compare rates for you so you can easily find the best rates on your exact trip dates.

Why rent a car in Jordan?

Aqaba Jordan

If you’re on the fence about getting a rental car in Jordan, here are the top things to consider and the reasons we think renting a car is the best idea.

1. It’s cheap

We expected renting a car to be expensive, but as we found out, it is actually cheaper than renting a car in the United States. Read below to see exactly how much you can expect to pay for a rental car in Jordan.

2. You can see more hidden gems

Jordan is a very touristy country, and the only way to escape the crowds is to venture off the typical tourist trail. The best way to do this is by renting a car and going on a road trip!

Some of the highlights of my time spent in Jordan included things we couldn’t have done without the freedom of our rental car. Road tripping around the country was my ideal way to see everything I wanted to see, and on my own time.

3. It’s faster

Local buses may be cheaper, but can be oh so slow! Local buses in Jordan are akin to mini buses or colectivos in Latin America. They won’t leave a stop until they are full of passengers, so a short journey can take exponentially longer than you might think. 

The JETT bus system in Jordan is great for getting from town to town, but you’ll have to adhere to their schedule, which may not always match up with your own. 

4. It’s convenient

If you have your own vehicle, you don’t need to look up bus times, or stick to someone else’s schedule. You don’t have to wake up early to catch that 6 a.m. bus or leave a destination before you are ready because it’s the last ride home. 

You can stop whenever you need to, whether it’s to use the restroom or you get hungry. Turn on the AC or roll down your windows. It’s up to you!

5. It’s fun!

There’s just something about road trips that are so much fun! Stock up on snacks, crank some tunes and sing aloud, or listen to a podcast with your travel buddy. No headphones needed!

Reasons not to rent a car in Jordan

Kings Highway Madaba_STOCK-U

Getting a rental car in Jordan was the best option for my travel plans, but I certainly don’t think it’s the best option for everyone. Here are some things to consider:

  • If you’re planning to visit just Amman or Aqaba, renting a car might not be your best option. I can tell you first hand that Amman has some pretty crazy drivers and the traffic was a bit chaotic. Uber works here, which was our preferred method of transportation around this city.
    • Also note, if you’re staying near the city center in Aqaba, it is very walkable. Taxis are also available to take you longer distances if you need. 
  • If you’re only going to a single destination in Jordan, it might not be necessary to rent a car. This is especially true if you don’t plan to do much exploring outside of the place you’re visiting. For example, if you only plan to visit Petra during your stay in Jordan, you may not need a rental car. Private transfers are more expensive, but they allow you the ability to skip renting a car and you can rely on walking or taxis to get around Wadi Musa. 
  • If you’re nervous about driving in another country. Even though we felt driving in Jordan was quite easy compared to many other countries, it can still be a bit stressful driving in a foreign country. If this worries you, it might not be worth the stress of renting a car.
  • If you’re traveling solo and/or you’re on a tight budget. The cost of a rental car in Jordan is quite affordable, especially if you’re splitting the expense between travel partners. However, if you’re on your own and are on a budget, this might be an expense that is hard to justify since taking a bus would be much cheaper.

How much does a car rental in Jordan cost?

Rental cars in Jordan are pretty affordable, especially compared to prices in the US and Europe. 

Like anywhere else, prices fluctuate based on demand, so you’ll find lower prices in the off-season (December through early March, and July and August) and higher prices during peak season (mid-March through early June and September through November). 

Low-season prices average about $30-35 USD per day for a “compact” car, while high-season prices are between $55-60 USD. We like to use Discover Cars to search and compare prices from all the rental car options in the area, and find it generally saves us money in the long run.

Search & Compare Rental Car Prices

  • Discover Cars: We personally use this aggregate site to compare rental car prices from all the big name companies and get the best price possible. 
  • Booking.comWe’ve had good experiences finding rental cars with this site (formerly RentalCars.com) in the past. 

Do I need rental car insurance for driving in Jordan?

A Collision Damage Waiver, commonly referred to as CDW, is legally required to rent a car in Jordan—and built into the rates. Even if you have great rental car insurance from a premium travel credit card, CDW is non-negotiable. However, you can decline theft protection and other insurance “extras” with your rental company. 

Tips for renting a car in Jordan

rental car in Jordan

These tips are pretty universal whether you’re renting a car in Jordan, Europe or the United States. We hope they are helpful to you as you plan your trip.

1. Take pictures of the outside of the car before driving

Get up close and personal. Take photos on your cell phone of any scrapes and dents, no matter how small. And don’t forget any little cracks on the windshield. This way, none of these issues can be blamed on you.

We’ve never had to use these photos, but it’s a good idea to have yourself covered just in case!

2. Rent your car online

Since the online booking platforms reserve several cars and pay the company whether or not someone actually rents them, they get a great rate and can pass the savings onto you. 

It is almost always cheaper to book online rather than walking into a store. (I never would have believed this until we walked into a car rental shop in Costa Rica and were quoted nearly 3 times as much for the same vehicle as it was listed online!)

Plus, you won’t need to worry whether there will be availability if you book it ahead of time!

3. The longer you rent, the less you pay per day

When we looked for a 1-day rental in Jordan, it was going to cost us nearly $50. But when we decided to rent for a week, it broke down to just $27 per day. Had we rented the car for longer, it would have been even cheaper.

4. Combat car sickness

If you’re someone who suffers from the occasional motion sickness, getting crammed into a minibus with a crazy driver is not an ideal situation. I understand, believe me!

If you’re like me, having your own vehicle will allow you the freedom to stop when you need to. Plus, sitting in the front seat (or driving) helps prevent car sickness a ton.

Travel Tip: Motion sickness wrist bands and ginger chews have helped me a lot!

5. Make sure you have travel insurance

We never leave home without it, and neither should you!

Travel insurance is just as important as your passport and contrary to popular belief, it is NOT expensive. Take a look at our travel insurance comparison to learn why it’s so important and find out which policy is best for your travels.

Other forms of transportation in Jordan

Wadi Rum Desert Jordan

If you’re still on the fence about getting a rental car in Jordan and want to know what your other options are. Here’s how you can get around Jordan with public transportation. 


Another great option for traveling around Jordan is by bus. The JETT bus company connects all of the major cities and travel destinations throughout the country. 

It’s very affordable and actually quite comfortable with air conditioning and power outlets. The best part is you can purchase your tickets online with 12go.Asia (we love this service and have used it to purchase bus tickets all over Asia and the Middle East). 

While JETT services all of the larger cities and destinations in Jordan, there are also local buses that run shorter routes between towns. These mini buses are akin to colectivos in Latin America and typically won’t leave until they are full of passengers (making it hard to plan around their schedule). 

The best way to find out more is to visit the bus terminal in your area to find out about routes and pricing. 

By Taxi

Taxis can be an excellent alternative to a rental car in Jordan, depending mostly on where you plan to visit. In popular destinations like Amman, Aqaba, and Petra, taxis are readily available and pretty affordable, especially if you have a travel partner you can split costs with. 

To get from the Amman airport to downtown, about 30 minutes away, costs 20-25 JOD ($28-35 USD). The rates are identical for traveling between Aqaba and Wadi Rum, and only slightly higher to go from Petra to Wadi Rum. 

One thing to know about taxis in Jordan is that it’s extremely common for the driver or company to take only cash. It’s a good idea to come prepared with small change. 

Another important note is that the law requires drivers to turn on the meter, although many don’t unless expressly asked. Be sure to (politely!) ask your driver to turn it on to avoid any unpleasant arguing or “negotiating” the rate later. 

By Rideshare

Uber operates in several cities in Jordan, including Amman. It works just like in any other city and, though not cheap, is a convenient and safe method for getting around town. 

You can also call an Uber to further destinations like the Dead Sea and Wadi Mujib if you’re in need of a ride, just be sure you arrange a pick up with your driver as the app will not call cars back to those destinations. 

To give you an example of cost, our Uber ride from the airport to Amman city center was 32 JOD ($45 USD).

By private driver

If you are worried about driving in Jordan, you can hire a private driver to take you around the country. This will be easiest to arrange for shorter day trips, but you can also find companies that’ll set you up with a private driver for a multi-day Jordan tour (at a substantial cost). 

Drivers may offer you their cards on the street, but you should be able to arrange something with your hotel or accommodation.

To give you an idea about cost, we arranged our transport from Amman to the Dead Sea with a local Jordanian driver who had given us his card during an Uber trip. He charged us 50 JOD for round trip service from our Airbnb in Amman to the Kempinski Resort. 

Are you planning a trip to Jordan?

We have lots of resources on travel in Jordan and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Jordan Travel Homepage for everything you need to know, or read some of our favorite articles below.

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Rental car in Jordan | Two Wandering Soles
Rental car in Jordan | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Do you have any more questions about getting a rental car or driving in Jordan? Comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions!

Comments (1) on “Driving in Jordan: Essential Tips + Best Rental Car Rates!

  1. Nathan says:

    How long does it take from the time you land to the time you pull out with your car from the airport? Trying to plan some stuff and not sure how long to factor this in for.

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