a different side of Israel

Big Deals on Wheels

Big Deals on Wheels Yes, People; the ‘civi’ model of this car is very popular!

They may be driving that Toyota Yaris or ubiquitous Mazda or Ford ‘lease-mobile’ in everyday life. But when many Israelis go abroad, they choose to pamper themselves by hiring the biggest Boss 4X4 or most luxurious Mercedes that can be found in the destination country’s rental car corral.

Recent studies of what people choose to drive on their vacation treks outside of Israel, found that a good 65% of them hire either a family size “jeep shetach” (on or off the road vehicle) or an ultra upper class family style salon with “all the bells and whistles” available. Of the above percentage, 33% of these holiday makes actually did choose the 4X4 , including extra large ones like Toyota Land Cruisers or those upscale American made jobbies like Buick or Lincoln ‘city trekkers’, designed more for roughing it at the mall than climbing Pikes Peak. The price difference between what one can afford while vacationing in America, as opposed to European countries, makes a big difference concerning what kind of ‘bang’ you can get for your buck, or Euro as the case the may be. With fuel prices still being considerable cheaper in the U.S., leasing these four wheel drive gas guzzlers, especially ones like the Hummer, is far more attractive as well.

“The Israeli tourist loves to be spoiled while abroad, commented Ophir, manager of a travel company that specializes in reserving and providing Israeli tourists with cars they know they can never own in the “Land of Milk and Honey”. He went on to say, that besides booking the most luxurious accommodations (they would never be caught dead staying in 3 Star class hotels or ‘Motel 6′ type of establishments (even if they leave the light on for you).

Those who don’t care for the 4X4, as 35 % of the total choose more luxurious family cars (whose family anyway, Paris Hilton’s?) like Mercedes Benzes or BMW’s (if touring around Europe); or the many types of American vehicles, such as Cadillac or Lincoln.

The age of these tourists is also a factor, as younger ones (those who have money that is) prefer the ‘jeeps’ while older ones prefer to drive what their American cousins drive in those “sunshine city” retirement communities. What’s even more interesting is that a whopping 46% of these Israelis living in the Sharon or coastal plain, all ages mind you prefer the jeeps. The only conclusion from this is that parking places have always been more plentiful in Raanana and other Sharon area communities than in crowded North Tel Aviv.

Of course, this survey didn’t take into consideration those going to India, Thailand, or Manaus Brazil, where hiring any kind of vehicle may be out of the question. For those places, more practical items, like plenty of toilet paper, might be the better choice.

(Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia)


  1. Hey guys,

    Re-arrange the page so’s I can read the story
    better! I wouldn’t mind renting a Hummer meself;
    just have to figure out how to afford the petrol.

  2. Heck, it’s even fun to go to Test Track (at Universal or Epcot, forget which) and just sit in the Hummer! Cheeper too. Great photo shot.

  3. What I and most ecolos cannot figure out is why Israel is not at the forefront of petroleum-free living. Consider this:

    1. Israel has no oil reserve of its own,
    2. You get your oil from the least unfriendly supplier, Russia, who would not think twice before cutting off such a small customer for political reasons,
    3. Your consumption helps keep oil prices high and feed, with petrodollars, those that want your destruction,
    4. You have more than enough brainpower and chemical industry expertise to come up with something to replace oil,
    5. Your lives depend on warplanes and trucks that, currently, run only on oil.

    Are there ecologists in Israel? What do they say about all this orgy of petroleum consumption?

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