Jerusalem has twice as many residents as Tel Aviv does, but Tel Aviv has always had more private cars. This was due in part to the larger number of small households in Tel Aviv compared to Jerusalem, and to the higher economic status of those small Tel Aviv households, each of which owned at least one car, on the average. Based on a household expenditure survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, 67% of Tel Aviv households in 2019 owned at least one car, compared to 55% of Jerusalem households.
But 2021 saw a reversal of that trend. In the years 2020-2021, the number of private cars in Jerusalem grew by 9,200, while in Tel Aviv it decreased by about 500. Thus, in 2021, Jerusalem had 231,000 registered cars, compared to 221,400 in Tel Aviv.
In comparison to the year 2000, the number of private cars registered in Jerusalem grew by 113%, while in Tel Aviv it grew only by 41% (the overall increase of registered private cars in Israel in those years was 69%). Furthermore, the last decade (2011-2021) saw an increase of 34% in the number of Jerusalem residents holding a driver’s license for a private car, in contrast to a corresponding increase of 20% in Tel Aviv (in the same years, the population of those 18 and older in these cities grew by 20% and 13%, respectively). That is, a higher percentage of Jerusalem residents chose to obtain a driver’s license for a private car than in previous years.
Moreover, the data indicates that Jerusalemites hold onto their cars for a longer period. In 2021, the average age of private cars registered in Jerusalem (9.1 years) was higher than the average age of private cars in Tel Aviv (5.8 years). For the sake of comparison, in 2000 the average age of private cars registered in Jerusalem was 7.3 years, and in Tel Aviv – 4.4 years. This statistic indicates that cars remain in a household for longer than in the past, both in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv.
Source of data: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research data processing for the Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook