Regular yellow private taxis are a fast and relatively inexpensive way of getting around Amman, Aqaba and other cities. They are found in abundance in most areas, and you will rarely have to wait long to get one. Taxi drivers are obliged to use their meter, which starts at 0.150 JD.
A cheaper option to a private taxi is known as a servees, or a communal taxi. These are usually white Mercedes or Peugeot 504s which take preordained routes around Amman. Servees taxis will stop to let you out anywhere along their route, although there are registered points where they begin and end their circuit. Like buses, servees taxis post their destinations and route numbers in Arabic, so you may find it difficult to familiarize yourself with their routes. If you cannot read Arabic, hail a passing servees, shout your destination, and it may stop to pick you up. Most servees routes pass through either downtown Amman or Abdali bus station. Servees fares run between 80 and 120 fils.
There are several types of bus service operating in Jordan. The enormous blue-and-white buses belonging to the JETT bus company run on limited routes within the country and run charter tours. JETT connects Amman to Aqaba, the King Hussein Bridge, Petra, and Hammamat Ma’een. You should book in advance for JETT buses. The JETT station is located on King Hussein Street about 500 meters from the Abdali bus station.
Large private buses, usually air-conditioned, run north from Amman to Irbid and south to Aqaba. There are two main bus stations in Amman: Abdali and Wahdat. Buses from Abdali go to Ajloun, Beqa’a, Deir Alla, Fuheis, Jerash, Irbid, Sweileh, Wadi Seer and the King Hussein Bridge. Most of these fares cost less than half a dinar. Buses from Wahdat station go south of Amman to Aqaba, Madaba, Petra, Ma’an, Wadi Mousa, Karak and Hammamat Ma’een. Fares for these routes are usually below 2 JD. Destinations are shown on the front of public buses in Arabic, so if you do not read Arabic ask to be shown the bus you need.
All smaller towns are connected by 20-seat minibuses. These leave when full and on some routes operate infrequently. The Dead Sea is one destination that is difficult to get to without private transport, as there are no JETT or public buses operating there.
Car rental in Jordan is fairly expensive in comparison to Europe and the United States, but there are plenty of choices available in Amman, Aqaba and at Queen Alia airport. All the main international car rental companies operate in Amman, and some have offices in other cities. Rental cars have green number plates with yellow writing, whereas Jordanian private cars have white number plates.
When you are calling to compare prices, be sure to check the amount of deposit required, as it can be very high. Obtain good insurance and read the contract thoroughly. Prices should range between 30-40 JDs per day for a medium-sized car. Mileage limits vary from 100-200 kilometers per day, after which you pay extra.
You can also hire a car plus driver from most rental companies. Car rental can also be arranged through travel agents and hotels.
Driving in Jordan presents few problems. While an international driving license is preferred, generally a national driving license is sufficient as long as it has a photograph of the holder. Foreigners who plan to live in Jordan must obtain a Jordanian driving license, but this is not necessary for tourists. Local vehicle insurance is also required.
Jordanians drive on the right-hand side of the road. Road signs are in Arabic and often English as well, so this should pose no problem. Jordan has an excellent road system, and can be crossed by car in approximately four hours. Be careful while driving in cities, as roundabouts are common and potentially dangerous. If you choose to drive in the desert, be sure to take a four-wheel drive with the appropriate tires and an extra container of gasoline. It is wise to bring extra water, as well.
There are numerous gasoline (petrol) stations in Amman and in major towns, but take care if you are driving to southern Jordan, as they are more sparsely spaced there. Gasoline or petrol is called benzene, and super is called khas.