The Cost of Licensing and Insuring “That Old Car”

Last month I renewed my car’s national license, national insurance and private insurance. The process began when I received the annual notification for renewal from the Ministry of Transport – National Infrastructures and Road Safety Authority. Costs vary as per make, model, and age of the car. BEFORE taking my 10-year-old Volkswagen Passat in for its annual test I paid:
1. 1,377 Shekels to the Ministry of Transport for the car’s registration license. This money goes directly to the Ministry of Transport and is used to maintain the nation’s roads.
2. 1,320 Shekels to my private insurance carrier for nationally required coverage of the car. This money goes into a government administered general insurance fund which covers those injured or killed on national roads, its best parallel translation in the USA would be private liability coverage.
3. 4,706 Shekels insurance premium for private coverage. The other two are required, this one is partially under my control, as, within minimum parameters, I determine how much coverage to provide for the car, its passengers and additional drivers. The fact that I pay for one male driver under the age of 25 increases this cost dramatically.    
Subtotal: 7,403 Shekels ($2,069.61)
After I received proof of payment, I went to one of the privately owned, government monitored vehicle testing centers. It is just my luck that the day I choose was “long line at the testing center day”. I waited 55 minutes before showing the clerk all of the cars insurance documentation and my valid driver’s license, I paid another 96 Shekels for the car test. 
Subtotal: 7,499 Shekels ($2,096.45)
The actual car test including verification of the car’s serial number and license plates, and systems checks of the brakes, wheel alignment and balance, the lighting system, the chassis, and car emissions took 15 minutes. Once I was finished I was notified that the car ONLY needed to have its headlight casings polished in order to comply with minimum required head light beam distance and new license plates. I was given a week to have the headlight casings polished and told to return for review and issuing of annual license for the car.  
As I drove around and towards the exit of the testing center I passed several repair garages where one eagle-eyed repairman shouted out to me: “You need those light housings polished, just for you, I’ll do it for 200 shekels! Then you can back up and finish with the test today.”
“Forget it!” I called back, “My car lights-guy will do it for 150 shekels!” 
Mr. Eagle-Eyes knowingly smiled: “Let’s close at 170. We’ll say the extra 20 shekels is to save you the inconvenience of having to come back.”                  
He got me. I drove in, waited another 10 minutes for him to get organized and polish the car’s headlight casings, went through the fast lane for a secondary check, passed the test and then went to get new license plates. To my great delight not only was there no line at the license plates station but new license plates are made and affixed to the car free of charge!
Total cost for licensing and insuring “That Old Car”: 7,669 shekels ($2,143.97)  By the way, this total does NOT include annual mechanical upkeep or fuel costs for the car…it is JUST the cost of insurance and licensing. Expensive yes, yes it is, but now my family and I can enjoy the challenge of driving on Israeli roads with licensing and insurance in place for another year so I’ll close by saying “This is such deal!”


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