Car Hire in Iceland – 8 Things You Should Know (2020 Update)

8 things you should know before renting a car in Iceland cover2

UPDATE: March 2020

Going to Iceland? Great choice, the beauty of this country will leave you speechless, I can promise you that!

What transportation option should you choose? Let’s see: Iceland has no trains, buses are almost non-existent, hitchhiking, although possible, can be frustrating as there are not that many empty vehicles passing by. Thus, there is no better way to explore this 100,000 square km island (40,000 square miles) than by rental car! After you decided to rent a car in Iceland, read on!

Out of all the countries I visited, I loved traveling by rental car in Iceland in particular because it gives you the freedom to choose your own route and the flexibility of doing things at your own pace. Not to mention that Icelandic roads take you to some out-of-this-world landscapes, so finding the right car rental for your journey will actually make your entire experience better!

By the way, if you have decided to rent a car in Iceland for an epic vacation, I also have some pretty detailed posts that will help you plan your Icelandic vacation day by day with distances prices, accommodation suggestions and more so if you need help with that, start here!

Here in this post, I have put together a guide on how to rent a car in Iceland, which rental car company to pick and which type of car to choose depending on your trip and activities.

First of all, I recommend checking out these 2 price aggregators –  AutoEurope and RentalCars. Both of them offer price comparisons of all best car rental companies available for your dates from which you can filter out car types, prices, location, etc. I recommend checking them both out and going for the best available price on one of them!

NOTE: You must be at least 20 years old in order to drive a car in Iceland!

At the moment these 2 are the top deal finders for companies in Iceland that offer rental car services and both have been in the market for years and have good reviews.

This is why I can vouch for both of them:

  • They compare rates for Iceland rental car agencies – both International chains and reputable local companies;
  • They offer a low rate guarantee!
  • No need to use your credit card to book;
  • They have 24/7 support for your car rental and great reviews as well.

Everybody told me this before going: “Driving in Iceland is nothing like driving wherever you are from! and I can only repeat it to you now.

But don’t worry, there is nothing to be scared of, it’s just a bit different. Keep reading and you find everything you need to know!

First of all…

1. Think ahead when you plan to rent a car in Iceland!

Iceland roads amazing views 2

Each year more and more tourists come to the “Country of Ice”. Even though there are many car rental companies in Iceland (mostly in Reykjavik or near Reykjavik Airport), the most efficient cost-performance options will be sold out quickly.

And you want to be among the ones to get the best deal, right?

If you know for sure you are going, booking in advance (even a year in advance!) is the best option, especially if you are visiting in the high season!

Remember, if you rent with RentalCars or AutoEurope, most of the time you can cancel with no charges, but booking last minute will not get you a good deal.

The earlier you manage to book it, the cheaper your car rental will be. There is no such thing as a last minute deal in Iceland, trust me!

It does not matter how far in advance you are planning, you can already check the rates for your dates now:

NOTE: Check out BONUS 2 below to choose the most convenient Iceland car rental type for you and for the type of excursion you are going to take.

This might be obvious, but if you want to further reduce the cost of your car rental, invite your friends to join the journey! You will benefit twice by sharing this amazing journey with the people you love, and by reducing the cost of transportation per person! In my case, we went in a group of 4 and it was pretty awesome!

PRO TIP: Most rental car companies are located directly in Keflavik International Airport (which is the name of the Reykjavik International Airport). Renting a car as soon as you land makes sense because getting to Reykjavik city is about 25€ per person with the bus/minibus and around 140€ for a private transfer. Or, maybe the car rental company you chose offers free transfers from the airport to their office nearby or in Reykjavik? If not, how much will it cost? The company I used for my rental car in Iceland and can highly recommend (Lagoon Car Rental) has an office about a 5-minute drive away from the Keflavik International Airport. They were waiting for us with a sign and gave us a ride to the office free of charge!

2. Get that extra insurance!

Gravel road Iceland2

So, you have already chosen your best car rental and you are ready to go exploring?

Great! Now, don’t argue, just get the gravel road insurance (also consider ash and ice insurance if you are going in the winter, sand and ash insurance in the summer or in an areas with a lot of volcanic ash). Below is a hack on how to significantly lower the insurance price for your car rental, so read on.

Gravel roads are roads that are good enough to drive on (and usually lead to a spectacular natural wonder!), but they are full of little rocks. It only takes one little rock thrown on the body of your rental car, or worse – on your windshield, to open a crack that will make you need to pay for a new windshield/paint job. The same goes for the ash and ice in high winds. Those act exactly like rocks and can damage your car in no time.

 

Most Icelandic car rental agencies give you the option to purchase insurance in their online form, BUT I recommend doing the following:

  1. Check if your personal vehicle insurance covers car rentals. Some do and that would save you a lot of money;
  2. Check if your credit card covers overseas car insurance (you can call the bank directly if you are not sure);
  3. If you do need to buy the insurance, here is my good tip for you – use Bonzah. Bonzah is a third-party insurance provider that has MUCH better rates than using the Iceland car rental company directly – about 7€ a day on average instead of 27€ that we paid per day. NOTE: Make sure to buy it BEFORE you start driving, otherwise it will not work.

Sadly, Bonzah is only available for US citizens for now, except in the state of Washington. If you are not from the US (I know the feeling, I am from Russia) and there is no insurance coverage from your bank, etc., you should buy the extra insurance online when booking your car. I know it is more pricey, but better safe than sorry!

Here are a few simple tips for safe driving on gravel roads in Iceland:

  • Try to keep your speed low enough not to throw rocks into the sides of your own car;
  • When driving in behind another car, keep a large enough distance from the car in front of you so that the rocks thrown with their rear tires don’t reach your hood or windshield.

You can also opt for theft insurance for your car in Iceland, but to be honest, Iceland is a very safe country, and most of the cars have GPS trackers. Not to mention we are talking about an island. Thefts are rare, if any. It’s up to you if you want to get the theft insurance, that’s fine, I just laid out the facts for you.

UPDATE: Check out my article about multi trip travel insurance to find the top option for you!

3. Watch out for sheep, horses and birds on the road

3 Sheep crosing Iceland road2

Did you think it was that easy?! Like in a Super Mario game, you will encounter all kinds of fauna that want to delay you!

Iceland has many sheep roaming free in the warm season. In fact, once you get out of the Golden Circle, you will probably meet more sheep than people! They are free to graze wherever they please, and that means they will cross the roads sometimes (read: many times!).

Whenever you see sheep nearby, I strongly suggest you slow down and pay extra attention. An angry ram can damage your Iceland car, or, as stories go, people have flipped cars with their wheels up trying to avoid sheep.

Horses in iceland

Same goes for horses (who are sometimes moved around pastures on the roads) and even birds which fly low.

Watch out in the evening; we were once surprised by 2 owls that flew over the road at low altitude at sundown. Luckily we had enough time to slow down and let them pass! They got to go back to their nest and we got to give our rental car back without a scratch. 🙂

4. Avoid speed traps

4 Speed traps Iceland car2

Iceland has a number of fixed speed traps and police cars which patrol the Ring Road and they’re almost always equipped with mobile detectors.

Now I will share with you the ultimate way of avoiding fixed and mobile cameras. Are you ready?

The best way to avoid getting a speeding fine is staying within the speed limit (which is 90 km/h outside localities). Hah, bet you didn’t see that one coming! 😉

Iceland Road Sign Speed Camera Speed Trap

This is the sign you should be looking out for (it can also be black and white).

Even if you do get a fine, you will not know right away, but your car rentals company will charge your bank card with an unpleasant surprise a few weeks after your trip. We do not want that to happen, right?

As the fines are large, you should really consider this point.

NOTE: The fixed cameras are always signaled a few hundred meters before you see them. There is a specific sign letting you know there will be a detector well in advance, so keep your eyes open!

5. Think ahead about fuelling up

Iceland gas stations 2

Depending on which road you are taking, especially if going through the mountains, check ahead where the next gas station will be, don’t leave it to chance!

I remember quite well that there are parts of about 250 km, somewhere on the Ring Road, where we didn’t see any gas stations at all!

The good thing was that my car’s GPS had an option to show me where the closest gas station was; it was really convenient! Please do not forget to keep an eye on the fuel meter, – even if it will be a funny story for your friends, it won’t be funny if you can’t move your car in the middle of nowhere on a deserted road.

There are self-service gas stations (most of them are like this) that work 24 hours and you just need to pay with a credit card. There are also larger gas stations where you can buy some snacks and hot-dogs and maybe even connect to free Wi-Fi – in this case, you have to fill your car first and then go to the cash register to pay.

PRO TIP: Talking about gas stations – as a bonus, you should know that most gas stations have a free self-carwash in Iceland! It’s quite well organized and it pays off to clean your car every few days. The roads and the weather in Iceland take their toll on the cars’ exteriors.

6. Before you rent a car in Iceland – check if you have any mileage limits

6 Car Iceland Milage limit2

This is verrry important!

Remember that some car rentals impose mileage limits. This might be really inconvenient if you are going to cover a lot of ground each day, and it can bring your rental cost much higher. Remember to ask and check ahead if you have chosen such a company to rent from.

PRO TIP: Many car rentals offer 2 types of rentals: limited mileage or unlimited mileage. Usually, the difference in rates between the two is small and it represents the difference you would pay if you traveled an extra 10 km. Thus, I would say to go for the unlimited option, unless the limit is somewhere at 250-300 km per day or if you know exactly how many km (miles) you are going to drive.

The company I used for my car rental, Lagoon Car Rentals, did not have any mileage limits, which was one of the main criteria for me and I considered it one of the top companies that offer car rental in Iceland (for my needs at least).

7. Don’t stop in the middle of the road to take pictures

7 dont stop in the middle of the road Iceland2

I know, we are all guilty there! 😉

The island-country is full of beautiful spots who just beg you to stop and take a picture. We are all tempted by this, I also wanted to stop and take a picture literally every 100 meters.

When you do stop, please stop in a place where you know you won’t block traffic. There are plenty of side roads and parking lots. I have seen many tourists stopping more or less in the middle of the road and casually opening their doors to take pictures. It is quite dangerous, especially as sometimes the roads are narrow.

NOTE: Just a little extra about items to pack – you’ll need some stuff for this trip and it’s a lot better if you can buy them at home. Iceland is very expensive compared to any country I’ve been to, so I think getting some items at home might save you a lot of money you can later use for your fuel!

  • A good waterproof and windbreaker jacket – a must have in Iceland, I’ve been there in August and although it was summer, it was cold, rainy and windy almost everyday.
  • Hiking boots – you’ll need a good comfortable pair, and the prices for these in Reykjavik were plain scary.
  • A thermos – sometimes you’ll go for hours without finding a place to buy a coffee or tea, and I love tea! This was one of my most used items.
  • A GPS device – it will be at least 9-13 euros per day if you rent one. This way you can bring your own and use it back home as well!

Don’t leave home without these essentials for your Iceland vacation:

8. Be prepared for rapid weather changes

8 Different weather Iceland rent a car2

Let’s face it – Iceland has very specific weather conditions. It can be sunny one minute, and heavily raining the next, making everything slippery. Not to mention that you can drive your car in Iceland in clear weather and just wake up in a thick layer of fog after a few curves!

Keep in mind that the safest way to tackle the weather conditions in Iceland is to match your speed to the current weather. Sometimes, maybe you will even have to stop for a few minutes, until the visibility returns or the wind speeds slow down.


So, when is it better to go to Iceland?

I went in August and I found it to be the most pleasant time to visit – you can enjoy a never-ending day, the weather is mild and all the roads (and the attractions) are open.

True, July and August is the most popular and touristy season, but it is touristy for a reason – it is pretty much the only month when it is not freezing in Iceland. Plus, touristy means a different thing in Iceland – you can still drive for hours and not meet another car despite being in the high season. CONS: Car hire prices are also the highest and the chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis are almost non-existent in August. But hey, at least it is relatively warm and there is sun!

If you want to avoid higher prices and accommodation, I would suggest visiting in the shoulder season June or September, when the weather should still be fine.

BONUS 1 – Choosing the right type of car for your Iceland trip

What is the ideal car rental company in Iceland, which is the cheapest car hire? Which type of car to choose? There are so many options!

The first question you should ask yourself is “Which type of activities am I likely to do in Iceland?

If you only plan one thing about your Iceland vacation, then plan the car!

As I experienced, there are 4 types of journeys and 4 types of cars suited for them.

Let’s see – which one are you?

1. You are an off-road warrior. An adventurer

all-wheel-drive-iceland

TYPE OF ACTIVITY: Do you like going on hard roads and climbing steep mountain slopes, hiking and using your tent to sleep overnight?
Do you want to have the ultimate Iceland experience by going outside of Reykjavik and through the middle of the country, and set up camp in the mountains instead of sleeping in hotels?

RECOMMENDED CAR: You have a choice and one choice only: you need a car that can reach the Icelandic F-roads (a type of road I will describe later).
Your choice should be a 4×4 (an all-wheel drive). There are a wide variety of SUV rentals in Iceland that offer 4w4 cars. It is not allowed to drive any other type of car on these F-roads, and for good reason. Of course, the bigger the car, the more interesting and fun it will be, but it also depends on your budget.

PRICE PER DAY: 65-130€ per day for the cheaper models, or up to 150-250€ per day for the high end options, depending on the season.

As I mentioned above, there are 2 sites where you can compare all the deals and choose the best prices according to your needs and dates

The closer you get to the peak season (July – August), the more expensive cars can get!

2. You’re looking for a comfortable trip, along Iceland’s Ring Road

Car waterfall Iceland2

TYPE OF ACTIVITY:  You are doing the classic Ring Road outside of Reykjavik and you are going to take alternative routes, or gravel roads to see fjords, waterfalls or other natural wonders only occasionally?

RECOMMENDED CAR: a 2WD would suffice. You can choose any of the “normal” cars depending on your budget and the comfort level you are looking for. That was the one that I took.

PRICE PER DAY: 50 to 100€ per day, again, depending on the model and the season.

3. You are on a quick trip just around Reykjavik

Toyota_aygo_rent_a_car_reykjavik_iceland

TYPE OF ACTIVITY: You don’t have much time and will not wander more than the Golden Circle? Are you searching for the cheapest car rental in Iceland and you’re only planning to drive in Reykjavik or very close to Reykjavik?

RECOMMENDED CAR: You are almost surely going to be fine with the cheapest tiniest car. Unless, of course, you need more comfort (and maybe more room for your luggage)

PRICE PER DAY: Expect to pay anywhere between 50 to 180€ depending on the model and the season (This is the cheapest car rental price in Iceland, unless you find some super limited promotion)

4. You don’t mind sleeping in the car

7 things you should know before renting a car in New Zealand 31

TYPE OF ACTIVITY: If you don’t mind spending a night in your car, renting a campervan might be just what you need! A huge part of our Iceland budget went to accommodation and you can easily save up on that! Camping sites in Iceland are really clean and well taken care of (and costs about 7-9 euros per person).

RECOMMENDED CAR: How about renting a van in this case?

Again, RVs can be rent at both the International Airport and in Reykjavik centre, whichever you prefer

PRICE PER DAY: from 90€ per day for a small one (2 people), about 200€ a day for a bigger one (up to 5 people). From 300€ for a motorhome (toilet, hot shower, sink and stove all included). Campervans are not cheap and of course they’re more expensive than normal cars and they consume more gas, but overall it should be cheaper because you will not pay for lodging, especially considering you are a group of 4 or more.

Check Guide To Iceland – they offer the most affordable prices for camper vans and have great reviews from my research)

BONUS 2 – Iceland Car Hire during the winter time

Iceland road from the car2

Ok, even if I did not personally visit Iceland in the cold season (yet!), I have asked around about the top practices of driving in Iceland in the winter. The scenarios will be very different than in the summer, and it’s very likely you will see the Aurora Borealis.

You just need to be smart and careful so here is what you need to know:

  • Go for a 4×4 car. Remember that the weather can change and you are far up north, so the possibility of heavy snowfall is big;
  • Always check the road.is website or Veður App. It provides the best report on the road conditions of your route;
  • If you are given the choice rent a vehicle with studded tires. That will help a lot on the icy roads;
  • Speaking of icy roads, don’t go fast. You are in a new country, you don’t know the roads and where ice could be so keep it safe;
  • Fuel up all the time. Better safe than sorry!
  • Daylight is limited. Make the most of it by driving in the hours with light;
  • Watch out for animals in the dark;
  • Make a stash of snacks, water and even blankets. Iceland is a very developed country, but even there, in case you are stuck, it can take some time until someone reaches you.

Please don’t sacrifice your safety for financial reasons. There are some great rates for 4×4 cars that you can easily compare for all Iceland car rental agencies in one click here.

By following those safety guidelines you are in for a great experience, it will feel like time stopped, along with the frozen waterfalls! I can’t wait to get back myself in the cold season, so I can see the Aurora Borealis!!

Essential packing list for visiting Iceland in the winter time!

If you are going to travel in the winter, there are a few items that you need to take with you. And since in Iceland these will be quite expensive (an Icelandic wool sweater will rarely go under 180€), I suggest getting them from home. Remember that it’s going to be very (very!) cold and windy, so you’ll need to dress in layers and be able to maintain a comfortable warmth at all times. Here you go, your packing list for winter time in Iceland:

Where to rent a car in Iceland?

Iceland is a very technically developed country, thus, the easiest and most efficient way to rent a car there is definitely online. You could also use some private rental service, but I would recommend using a well-known supplier with a good reputation.

As I mentioned above, I suggest using price aggregators because this way you can compare all the prices in one click. What’s cool about them is that they offer a best-price guarantee and usually some better customer service in case something goes wrong (they are basically a middleman- in the chain between you and the car rental company, and they protect the customer, thus, you). So if you have any questions or something’s not as you wanted it to be, you can always contact their customer service!

The cheapest way to rent a car in Iceland is, as I said, booking as much in advance as possible and the most convenient place to rent a car would be either Keflavik International Airport or Reykjavik city. You can also find some car rental companies in Akureyri, but it will be much more expensive there.

DISCLOSURE: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands!


Conclusion

Petting horses on the road Iceland

Iceland is an amazingly beautiful country which is most conveniently discovered by driving around with a rental car. Other options exist, such as hitchhiking, but having your own car will give you the freedom to enjoy the country at your own pace and according to your own itinerary!

Last, but not least, even if it might sound expensive, renting a car  in Iceland will always be more efficient than taking day tours. The tours are more expensive and they are far less flexible!

I hope I have convinced you that deciding to rent a car in Iceland is for now the best option to see what this mesmerizing country has to offer! I also hope my rental car and driving in Iceland tips were useful (they should be if you read through carefully enough!)

Iceland is my favorite country so go explore and have fun, it is really worth it, believe me! 🙂

Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to ask me questions, I am always happy to hear feedback from my readers!

 

Yulia


RELATED ARTICLES:

Please read these for more great travel tips about Iceland:

All posts below:

  1. Iceland – All Seasons Ultimate Packing List
  2. Iceland’s Top Hotels – An Easy Way To Book Accommodation Before Your Trip
  3. 10 Top Tours You Have To Take In Iceland
  4. 9 Best Hotels In Reykjavik City Center
  5. Best Things to Do in Reykjavik On a Budget
  6. Road Trip Around Iceland in 14 Days

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By |2020-03-06T16:09:03+04:00October 1st, 2017|Iceland, Europe|186 Comments
About the Author:
Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in the heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice on how to travel "smart".

186 Comments

  1. Liz 20.04.2016 at 17:31 - Reply

    Thanks for some useful tips about renting a car 🙂 Also, concerning the best time to visit Iceland, I would really suggest visiting country at least TWICE. It’s awesome in summer but it’s also incredible and unique in winter

    • Yulia 29.05.2016 at 19:39 - Reply

      Absolutely! i d really like to go in the winter now! 🙂

    • erik carlson 31.05.2017 at 06:27 - Reply

      how do write all this great advice about renting a car….yet neglect to mention that petrol prices in iceland are some of the very highest…like third…in the world? petrol costs a fortune here, how do you manage to leave that part out?

      • Yulia 02.06.2017 at 04:12 - Reply

        I think i mentioned t, didnt i?
        Anyway, yes, iceland is definitely not the cheapest country in the world and that includes prices of gasoline too!

        • erik carlson 02.06.2017 at 04:24 - Reply

          nope….no mention of it anywhere. you mentioned that gas stations may be few and far between and that’s as close as you got to talking about “petrol.” I realized too late that it will cost three to four times what it costs me here in Washington dc to fill the tank there. I realize this may not count as sticker shock to Europeans but it certainly does to us. i like and appreciate the time and effort you put into your blog. just don’t forget your friends here in America.

          • jen 12.09.2018 at 22:50

            chill out Erik Carlson, geez

          • TS 18.04.2019 at 05:20

            making americans look fantastic here, Erik…yikes
            thank you for the free advice, Yulia. Great blog!

          • Yulia 18.04.2019 at 17:33

            Thanks! <3

          • Tad 12.05.2019 at 06:28

            I would like to think most people aren’t relying on a single blog for all of their research, as an American as well I know just from how much prices vary here in the USA to check before I go anywhere be it Massachusetts, California, or another country what the price of gas or petrol in my destination is if I am going to be doing any driving as should everyone else. Don’t just assume anything, and don’t blame a blog post because you didn’t do your research.

          • Yulia 12.05.2019 at 11:55

            Thanks Tad!
            I am updating the article pretty often, but as you said, I can’t cover everything in 1 post.
            Have a great trip if you are planning to go to Iceland atm!

  2. Vanessa 28.05.2016 at 19:59 - Reply

    hello!
    was it difficult for you to drive around, especially in the towns when you first got your car? not sure if the people there are friendly as well. we are quite nervous as this will be a very new experience! 🙂

    • Yulia 29.05.2016 at 19:37 - Reply

      Hi Vanessa!
      The only actual city in Iceland is Reykjavik, its population is less than 120 000 people. The second biggest (Akureyri ) is just 17 000, so you dont have to worry about traffic or anything of that sort.
      As for the people, they are some of the nicest people I have met, and it reflects on their driving behavior – calm and helpful.
      Don’t worry, Iceland is an IDEAL country to drive in!
      Have a great trip! 🙂

  3. Siaosi 01.06.2016 at 19:26 - Reply

    It is smart to rent a car when traveling. I would not want to put the miles on my own car. I would also want to rent a car to get better gas mileage.

  4. Sigurður 04.08.2016 at 02:47 - Reply

    Please do not stand on the road, like you see in the post above (3 times), to get a silly photograph. That is both dangerous and illegal.

    • Yulia 07.08.2016 at 22:23 - Reply

      You are definitely right, Sigurður!

  5. Christopher 15.08.2016 at 22:44 - Reply

    Hi – I am traveling to Iceland in mid-October and would like to know whether the weather at that time would warrant a 4×4 vs. a small economy car. We are planning to visit Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon, and drive along the Golden Circle to see Þingvellir National Park, Geysir/Strokkur, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Thank you!

    • Yulia 18.08.2016 at 18:03 - Reply

      The places where you are going are very popular among tourists (the Golden circle). It will be safe to say it is totally ok to drive with a small economy car there. You only need 4×4 for off-roads and remote destinations.
      Have a great trip, i am sure you wil have lots of fun! 🙂

  6. Garen 16.08.2016 at 11:32 - Reply

    Renting a car for your travel destinations is the best choice for tour transportation. You enjoy it at the same time and avoid transferring problems

    • Yulia 18.08.2016 at 17:48 - Reply

      Absolutely! Also, being in Iceland, it is pretty much your only option if you want to really see the country!

      • Baddi 12.02.2017 at 14:58 - Reply

        Well, you might have a few other options there too 🙂
        A personal guided tour, a coach tour with an open pass, the “Strætó” buses and domestic flights to name a few. But I agree that Iceland is best enjoyed by driving wether it’s by yourself or with a guide. But I highly recommend (should almost be a demand) that you read a lot about it before coming and plan your trip carefully.
        Many people get in trouble when traveling here and most often because a: they don’t realize how long it takes to drive between places here and b: because they did not plan their accommodations before coming (in summer).

  7. Kris 23.08.2016 at 05:33 - Reply

    That was useful, thanks so much!

  8. Dannie 01.09.2016 at 05:12 - Reply

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the internet.
    I am going to recommend this website!

  9. Drew 02.09.2016 at 11:18 - Reply

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author. I will bookmark your blog!

  10. dig 05.09.2016 at 03:05 - Reply

    Very good article. I’m facing many of these issues, thanks a lot for your help!

  11. John 06.09.2016 at 17:45 - Reply

    It was actually very useful as we are planning our trip right now! Thank you for sharing!

  12. LC 08.09.2016 at 05:05 - Reply

    Fantastic tips and ideas thank you! It seems a little choppy but I was also thinking of sleeping in the car because the cost of the combination is outrageous, did you also do that?

    • Yulia 08.09.2016 at 20:20 - Reply

      Hi and thanks for the comment!
      While I havent slept in the car, I really understand you, Iceland is definitely far from cheap!
      Hovewer, there are some budget options if you book in advance or get an airbnb!
      Good luck! 🙂

  13. LC 08.09.2016 at 05:06 - Reply

    Typo, campy not choppy and ACCOMMODATION to sleep in the car also. I tried to edit my original but I could not 🙂

    • Yulia 08.09.2016 at 20:21 - Reply

      I got it! 😉
      People also do camping, but I am not sure it is much cheaper than booking a budget place in advance.

  14. Luke Yancey 26.09.2016 at 19:48 - Reply

    You are right– it is probably a good idea to make plans on renting a car in advance. I am planning on going next July. It’s in my best interest to start looking now!

  15. Brain 29.09.2016 at 08:32 - Reply

    Hey there outstanding website! Does running a blog such as
    this require a lot of work? I’ve no understanding of coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, if you have any recommendations or techniques for new
    blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject however I just needed to
    ask. Thank you!

    • Yulia 29.09.2016 at 14:47 - Reply

      Hi Brian!
      Thanks for the question. Yes, it does require tremendous amount of work, that people might not see right away.
      I will definitely write a blog post about how to start your own blog and avoid the mistakes that I made on the way soon, stay updated! 🙂

  16. Michelle 06.10.2016 at 18:05 - Reply

    Hi Yulia, thank you so much for your tips! I was looking at planning a trip for Nov, perhaps I should consider next summer instead. I love your blog, it’s very fast and has a cool design (mine is kind of slow since I don’t update it much too). I’ll follow you on Instagram as well. Keep up the good work!

  17. Michael Bart 10.10.2016 at 11:08 - Reply

    Thank you for Advice. Reading your blog helps me save money and time. just wanna ask. What is the common requirements for renting a car? Age/Documents?
    Again Thank you?

    • Yulia 10.10.2016 at 22:03 - Reply

      Hi Mike!
      The general requirement is to be older than 18 and have driving licence B, however, I advice you to double check with each car rental company individually.

  18. posy 10.10.2016 at 14:54 - Reply

    Thanks a lot, I have finally found all the info in one place!

  19. fiona 12.10.2016 at 17:27 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    Do you think a 2WD would be ok for december driving, our trips will include the golden circle route for 1 day and a 2 day trip to Vik/Jokulsarlon? I am a bit worried about snow!

    Thank you!
    Fiona

    • Yulia 20.10.2016 at 13:52 - Reply

      Hi Fiona!
      Good question and this time your worries are well funded. As far as I know, in the winter, the weather is very unpredictable. It can be ok one minute and you can wake up inside a blizzard a few minutes later. Most people would recommend a 4WD and a lot of caution. Remember to keep an eye on the http://www.road.is website. It tells the weather conditions on the roads and it’s very useful, especially in the winter.

  20. Krishna Raghvani 17.10.2016 at 14:40 - Reply

    Great tips Yulia!
    I am going to Reyjavik mid Nov for 4 nights and looking to hire a car, we will be doing the typical tourist things, Blue lagoon, Golden Circle etc.. no F Road driving, would a basic 2 wheel car suffice? Considering a Toyota Yaris or similar from Sixt, would need to be an auto though as I have completely forgotten how to drive a manual!

    • Yulia 17.10.2016 at 15:28 - Reply

      Hi Krishna!
      Yes, 2 wheel will be totally fine for what you want to visit, don’t worry!
      Sixt is a big company, I’m sure they have plenty of automatic cars there.
      Enjoy your trip and be sure to let me know if you have more questions!

      • Krishna Raghvani 17.10.2016 at 19:21 - Reply

        Thanks Yulia!

        Will 500km be enough for those 5 days? Will get the gravel insurance but do you recommend getting the sand and ash?

        Thanks!

        • Yulia 18.10.2016 at 18:32 - Reply

          Yes, I definitely recommend getting sand and ash extras (see above in the post why).
          About the mileage – it should be enough for the standard tour, but please count in advance the approximate route you want to take and add, say, 15% to it just in case, thats what i would do! 🙂

          • Mike Golding 21.04.2017 at 06:56

            Thanks Yulia.
            I also see the Loss Damage Waiver for Sixt. Do you recommend this on top of the Gravel/Sand and Ash Protection?

          • Yulia 24.04.2017 at 17:10

            Hi Mike!
            This really depends on how risk adverse you are and your budget allows it. I did not take it.

  21. JUDIT FABIAN 18.10.2016 at 18:39 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    This is a very useful site, it has answered many of my questions. I am planning a trip to Iceland with two friends mid-September to early October next year. We are avid nature photographers and want to see the natural wonders of Iceland. We also want to camp throughout the whole trip. Do you have any advice as to where to find camping information?

    • Yulia 21.10.2016 at 18:19 - Reply

      Hi Judit!
      While it is possible to do camping, I have met people doing it, i Stayed in hotels and airbnbs, so I am sorry, i cannot give you useful info on this one.
      Iceland is THE country for nature photography, enjoy it! 🙂

  22. Kaitlin 19.10.2016 at 01:54 - Reply

    I hope nobody else has asked this and I am not repeating, but I didn’t see it! We love the blog and your tips are great, but we were leaning against renting a car for the sheer cost (we live in Mexico currently and the peso doesn’t seem to get us very far in Iceland!) However, you have some great points about the benefits! I was just wondering how much did your total trip cost more or less? I know that’s a hard question sometimes, but what would your best guess be??

    • Yulia 20.10.2016 at 13:16 - Reply

      Hi Kaitlin! Tough question, because it depends a lot on the season you are going there and your ability to organize and prebook everything. Also depends if you want to camp or to get hotels or airbnb. My advice is to prebook everything, because I didn’t and got everything maximum one week in advance (in August) when there were very few places available. It ended up costing a bit more than 100 euros per person per day. But, if you are going to camp, get a good car deal in advance and split the car costs with more people, it can get a lot cheaper. It really depends on the type of travelling you prefer. Did that answer your question?

  23. David Leung 21.10.2016 at 01:34 - Reply

    Thank you for the insights. I think most of your suggestions are on the cautious side. I am adventurous type. I will take a 2 wheel drive auto on those F roads in late October to early November, before the snow sets in, and most tourists have gone home. Of course I will be smart and cautious and not drive like a cowboy in a rodeo. I have planned the 7 day ring trip for days in details and rehearsed the entire trip over and over again in my mind using the internet advises and google maps. I am ready to tackle any problems; lodging, eating, weather, traffic, daylight, people, animals, and other unexpected situation. Also, I am doing the ring trip on a low very budget. My intention is to photograph as many tourist sites and landmarks as possible.

    • Yulia 21.10.2016 at 18:23 - Reply

      Hi David!
      As much as I would love to do off-road, we only had 2 weeks to visit the whole country, so we decided to do more “classical” route for this time.
      However, I am definitely coming back for more and will try to do 4 WD as well! Also, I’m not sure you can take a 2WD on F-roads, I think it’s not allowed, but double check before you go!
      Safe travels!

      • Raco 16.06.2019 at 05:24 - Reply

        Hi David,
        Yulia is right, 2 WD are prohibited on F Roads make sure to ask you car rental about this, as they will tell you the same. safe travels buddy. And wish you luck and endless fun.

        • Yulia 17.06.2019 at 14:31 - Reply

          Hi, Raco! Thank you for the confirmation! 🙂

  24. Wong 28.10.2016 at 19:59 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,
    Great post there! Thank you for some very useful and important tips. May I get your advice? My wife and I will be travelling to Iceland in Feb next year. Our plan is to drive around Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle and Snaefellsnes Peninsular. Is renting a Toyota Yaris sufficient? I worry about the snow and icy roads. Thanks!

    • Yulia 29.10.2016 at 00:03 - Reply

      Hi Wong!

      Actually this is a good question and someone has asked me before. The weather in February, given that it will be snowy as usual, is very unpredictable. I am sure extra measures are taken on the road around the Golden Circle and around Reykjavik but what everyone says to do in the winter is to take a 4×4 and be extra careful. You should look on http://www.road.is before the trip. And my advice is to take the local’s advice: ask the rental company.
      Hope this helps, enjoy Iceland, I think the Blue Lagoon in the winter should be a marvelous experience!

  25. Charlotte 03.11.2016 at 09:27 - Reply

    Dear Yulia,Thank you for your article, it’s useful in planning my Iceland trip.(I’m from Taiwan.)

  26. Robert 04.11.2016 at 01:02 - Reply

    Hi Yulia

    We are going the third week of November. How long would it take to drive around the entire country? It will only be 6 days. What are some must do’s or see’s while we are there?

    thanks!

    • Yulia 05.11.2016 at 15:30 - Reply

      Ah, I replied to the other comment, so here is your other answer:
      I don’t advise to go around the country in 6 days. You will rush through everything and you will be driving and hurrying all the time. For 6 days I would suggest an itinerary which you can combine from several of my posts: a tour of the golden circle and the south of Iceland and the parts of north of Reykjavik. I would pass by Reykjavik for one hour maybe but I wouldn’t stay too long there. The city is nice, but this itinerary will take you to such amazing places!
      …I think I want to come back now, that I’ve written all this 🙂

  27. Robert 04.11.2016 at 01:13 - Reply

    P.S. I noticed at one car rental place they offer 600km at no additional cost. I imagine we may drive much more than that. Do you know if any of the companies offer unlimited mileage? If not do you know what they charge per mile after you exceed 600km?
    Thank you for being so helpful. I love your page!

    • Yulia 05.11.2016 at 15:23 - Reply

      Hi Robert!
      I will try to give you an ample answer, as I had the same concern. The thing is, in 14 days of continuous exploring around the whole island we made something around 3-3500km. Which is an average of less than 250km per day. And we drove a lot. I strongly suggest to take an option that gives you a limit per day rather than a price per extra km after some certain distance. Even if they charge 50cents per km after 600km imagine what an extra 2500 km will do to your bill. On a destination where you explore so much, a 300km per day limit is reasonable, as you are also getting off from your car quite often. Still, if you just go around Reyjkiavik, 600km should be enough. But I really suggest you go around a bit!
      Did that answer your question? Let me know if I can help you more 🙂

      • Robert 06.11.2016 at 01:39 - Reply

        Thank you Yulia for answering both questions.

        You’re a peach!

  28. IsaacR 05.11.2016 at 07:29 - Reply

    Great article!!
    I’ve been checking the terms&conditions @ lagoon.. What does this mean “A deposit equivalent to the expected cost of hiring the car.”..?
    How much money you had to put on the deposit during your trip?
    I appreciate the wisdom 🙂

    • Yulia 05.11.2016 at 15:13 - Reply

      Hi! Good question. I think the terms and conditions are similar throughout the companies. Normally you don’t pay a deposit (at least I never heard of that), but you do need a valid credit card. We used a French debit card which allowed a (very) small overdraft and it worked. They need the credit card, in case something happens they would block a certain sum from it. But that’s all. Normally you pay just the rate of the car and whatever extras you got.
      Did this answer your question? Let me know if you have more!

  29. Liz Smith 29.11.2016 at 20:19 - Reply

    Hi! Thanks for the tips! I’m planning a trip with 6 people total, and we plan on renting a car. Would you recommend getting a larger SUV or van that can accommodate at least 7 people or renting two smaller cars? We are planning to go end of August/beginning of September. I’m concerned about luggage and comfort in taking 1 car, but I also don’t want to spend more than we need to by renting two smaller cars or have it be inconvenient with the group split up. Any suggestions would be welcome!

    • Yulia 04.12.2016 at 19:39 - Reply

      Hi Liz! I read your comment and thought well, in the end, I would recommend two cars. I remember we were 4 on this trip and luggage was a problem, which led to comfort problems in the back seat. We did not have a SUV but our luggage compartment was generous enough, so I expect you’d have the same issues. 7 people, if you are going with children, it can work with one car, but if you are all adults, I would stick for two. It will not be hard to keep the group together, you can establish meeting points and the roads are long and straight, you can see other cars from miles away. Also, I checked a bit, with the links i provide, many times two SUVs give a better price than a car for 7, try that too! Good luck, enjoy Iceland and ask me if you have any other questions!

  30. Rochelle D. 06.12.2016 at 04:33 - Reply

    Thank you for sharing these tips- I really enjoyed reading them…and that guy who picked you up looks cute! 😉 I’d like to add that you should always read the contract before you sign it. They should have an itemized statement about all that they are charging you for, so you can make sure you’re getting the deal you are supposed to be getting.

    • Yulia 07.12.2016 at 21:55 - Reply

      Definitely read the contract before signing it!

  31. The T List Singapore 10.12.2016 at 07:23 - Reply

    Thanks for the tips! Planning to drive to Iceland next year and this would be so useful!

  32. Jeremy 21.12.2016 at 19:38 - Reply

    hi, thanks for the useful advice!!! but i found out that the link you gave to direct us to the car rental website is not accessible, i am not sure whether its my laptop’s problem?