Car rental in Eilat on Shabbat

Old Jan 31, 18, 1:50 am
  #1  
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Car rental in Eilat on Shabbat

So, I'm thinking about going to Israel for a week in March, flying SAS to and from Eilat. I suppose the new airport hasn't opened yet, so that we'll be flying to and from Ovda.

Now, the thing is that I need a car rental for as long as possible, and the SAS flight arrives/departs around 4 PM on Saturday afternoon. As there's no car rental office at Ovda airport, I'll have to rent a car in Eilat. And as far as I've seen, all Eilat car rental branches are closed from 2PM on Friday until 8AM on Sunday.

So, the questions are as follows:

1. Does anybody know about any car rental agency in Eilat which is open on Saturday?

2. Or, does anybody know if I rent the car Sunday-Sunday, that I could drop it off on Saturday and drop the keys in a mailbox? I've done that many times in other places, but I don't know if it's possible in Eilat.

I would prefer to rent from Avis or Hertz, but I could rent from other agencies also.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 1:58 am
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Do you plan to stay in Eilat? or drive over to other locations?
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Old Jan 31, 18, 2:07 am
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I'm planning to stay a couple of days in Eilat first, but then head north for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. So, on the final Saturday, when the flight leaves at around 4PM, I would ideally like to drive from Jerusalem in the morning and drop off the car around noon in Eilat, before taking the shuttle to Ovda.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 2:57 am
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If you plan to stay a couple of days in Eilat, there is probably not much need for a car, seems like it might be worth swapping the days around, maybe grabbing a taxi to Jerusalem, rent the car there on Sunday and return it when you arrive to Eilat few days later?
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Old Jan 31, 18, 5:37 am
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Taking a taxi is not an option, because some of the purpose of the trip is to visit sights located in the desert. Also, taking a taxi to Jerusalem would probably be more expensive than driving a rental car; renting a car for five days or seven days is virtually the same cost. Plus, I'm taking a couple of kids that have never seen the Israeli desert (nor any other desert for that matter), and sitting in a taxi with them after a 4PM arrival at Ovda would basically mean that most of the journey would be after sunset.

Because of the late afternoon arrival and departure, I'm thinking that the best option is to stay in Eilat first. On the way back, we could leave Jerusalem at 6AM, and still have time to stop at a couple of sights before we need to be in Eilat at around noon. That is, if we can find a car rental company with a dropbox so that we can return the car on Shabbat.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 6:11 am
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In that case, your only option might be sleeping the 1st night in Eilat and renting a car the next morning, then returning to Eilat on Friday morning the latest.
And yes, such a taxi would be very expensive, there are also buses from Eilat which would be much cheaper but won't allow you to stop on the way to see anything.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 10:48 am
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So, to make sure that I don't make any big mistakes, I sent an email to Hertz Israel to ask about this, And they already answered (very quickly). The answer was:

"We do have a key box in Eilat branch- So if the rental is Sunday to Sunday it's ok."


I will probably do that.

I have taken the bus a few times, but never with kids. They'll be able to see much more if we can stop along the way.

Thanks for your suggestions, Ditto!
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