Olim have rights to bring one vehicle (car or motorcycle) from any country within 3 years of their aliya. US cars must come via the US, and European cars via Europe, Japanese car via Japan. Cars of all sizes are taxed at the same rate. Taxes are about 77% (instead of 127-144%) of the value at origin less depreciation plus shipping. Depreciation is about 20% for the first year and 10% for each year following to a maximum of 80% after 10 years. Olim can bring cars of any age or description, but they must be able to get the local commercial importer, or a local, qualified garage to give a letter stating that they are willing to provide service and parts (not necessarily quickly or for free.) Olim must have acquired an Israeli license and have a valid foreign license, which they had for at least 3 years.
Returning residents who have been abroad for more than six years get the same tax reduction as Olim on cars, but they can only bring in a car up to four years old, and they have to import the car within 3 months of their arrival in Israel. Returning Residents who have been abroad for less than 6 years have no tax reduction, but they do have the possibility of bringing in used cars up to 4 years old, compared to 22 months for normal Israelis. A car does not count as one of the tax-free shipments. Olim have no special reduction on hybrid cars, since everyone pays only 77%. Tourists and students pay no taxes, but tourists must take the car (and themselves) out of the country every year for 3 months. Students can keep the car, as long as they keep the status.
Related Topics: Hebrew guide to personal import of cars.