Being a small country, with desert climate and impressive mountains, the best means of transportation in Jordan is by car (rented). If you have a driving licence and some experience, you will not regret for a second that you have chosen this means of transport.
What are the roads in Jordan like?
We enjoyed extraordinary landscapes on the chosen routes. For example, if you want to get from Amman to Wadi Rum you can choose from two routes.
The simplest and most boring (but fast) is to go on the highway (Desert Highway). The highway looks good, it has wide lanes. And now (August 2019) it has many parts that are being paved, which is perfect for the autumn-winter season.
We wanted to explore more of this wonderful country and chose Road 35 (King’s Highway). It is the old “king” road, a road that winds through valleys and canyons, through villages, and large and crowded cities.
No matter where you want to go, you will have well-paved roads. Rarely came across a few pits in the over a thousand km we travelled. Although the roads are well-paved, you will not exceed the speed limit, because you will hit speed limiters that will make you fly. After a week spent in Jordan, we got tired of these speed limiters. Especially since they were not signalled and they were extremely frequent, even in the middle of the desert … But I would say that it is a small “price” to pay for impeccable asphalt (although not very related to each other).
Another interesting thing to keep in mind when choosing to rent a car in Jordan is that 99% of the roads are not painted. So the delimitation of the lanes is subjective and you have to be very careful.
Is gasoline expensive in Jordan?
A thing that we didn’t expect, the price of gasoline seemed to be regulated. In any gas station we filled up the tank, the price was the same (0.75 JOD /litre). So I could say that the litre of gasoline in Jordan is cheap. We spent 71 JOD on gasoline and we travelled a lot, just for a day or two we left the car in the parking lot.
Is it difficult to rent a car in Jordan?
In Jordan, it is quite easy to rent your car, especially if rented before. As in most countries, if you are under a certain age you will pay more. In Jordan, the age limit is 24 years and a minimum one year experience.
We rented the car through a specialized site and also purchased insurance for any unpleasant event.
The less pleasant part was that when we got in the possession of the car we were announced that the insurance is not related to the rental company. And in case of an accident, we will pay that damage, and then our money will be reimbursed. So if you want to drive in Jordan and you also want insurance, it is best to take insurance directly from the source. In our case, there was no cost difference between the one paid online and the one offered by them. (being also 3-5 euros per day).
A less common thing was when we were refused payment with the Revolut card, for various reasons. Like: it’s not a credit card, other customers asked for money back from Revolut and they weren’t paid. However, after we explained to them that there aren’t credit cards in our country, he understood. But he asked for any card, but not Revolut. So consider this as well.
What is the traffic in Jordan like?
The traffic in Jordan can be very light, another car at a few minutes. Or very crowded, in which case no traffic rules are respected. Depending on where you drive, be prepared to be amazed by the sharp differences in traffic and scenery.
If you go to Petra or Wadi Rum you will have light and boring traffic on the highway, or very beautiful landscapes and deserted roads on Route 35.
In cities, however, it is quite another story. As you get closer to Amman, you feel and see how it get more crowded and how the tension in traffic is intensified. Slowly, slowly the traffic rules are ignored and you have to be very careful not to have an accident.
Tip for when driving in Amman (or big cities): be calm and get in the “game” of traffic. Once you understand it, it will be very easy and stress-free.