Michal Korach

Driving age in Israel is 17 for a private vehicle and 16 for a motorized scooter.  In 2008, 3.36 million Israelis had a driver license, of whom 58% were male and 42% female.

The percentage of licensed drivers in a particular locality or city is clearly linked to its socioeconomic status.  The highest percentages of licensed drivers (among persons aged 18 or older) were recorded in Kokhav Ya’ir, Shoham, Tel Mond, Even Yehuda, Ra’anana, and Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, all of which were in the 90-97% range.  (The list excludes localities with fewer than 10,000 residents.)

Conversely, the lowest rates of licensed drivers were found in the Arab localities, Hura, Kuseife, and Jisr az-Zarqa and in the Ultra-Orthodox localities Modi’in Illit, Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit, all of which were in the 23-36% range.  One must also keep in mind that the relatively low rates of licensed drivers among these two populations is a consequence of social and cultural attitudes and norms, as well as socioeconomic factors.

In Jerusalem, 54% of the adult population holds a driver’s license.  As can be seen in the diagram below, the percentage of licensed drivers in Jerusalem is below the rates found in the localities inhabiting Jerusalem’s metropolitan region, to the exclusion of Ultra-Orthodox localities.

When the numbers are broken down according to license type, they reveal that the highest percentages of commercial driver license holders (for driving a truck) are found in Arab localities.  In Kuseife and Ar’ara, between 66% and 67% of licensed drivers had a commercial driver license, and in Rahat, Hura, Tel Sheva, and Jisr az-Zarqa, between 45% and 54% of licensed drivers had a commercial driver license.  The number of motorcycle or moped driver license holders was highest in Tel-Aviv-Yaffo at 25%, immediately followed by Eilat, with 24%.  The numbers were also high throughout metropolitan Tel-Aviv, ranging between 20 and 24 percent, in Giv’atayim, Ramat Gan, Azor, Yahud, Ramat Hasharon, and Kiryat Ono.