There is no better way to get around Iceland and see the sights than in a rental car. Before you rent, though, it is recommended that you learn the rules of the road and gain an understanding about such things as driving conditions and safety tips.
Being aware of the rules is the best way to stay safe and avoid costly driving fines. We will give you a quick rundown here. Driving in Iceland takes place on the right side of theroad, with overtaking done on the left. Everyone in the vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt at all times. This includes all older children in the vehicle. Babies and toddlers should be securely seated in car safety seats.
TOP 5 Car Rentals in Iceland
A number of different rental companies, both local and multinational, operate in Iceland, including:
Cars Iceland has developed a solid reputation for providing quality personal service to their customers. That means only renting car that are as close to new as possible. They are perhaps the most affordable car rental company in Iceland, yet they deliver quality service time and again. Best of all, full insurance is included in the rental price.
The staff at Cars Iceland are genuinely interested in helping their customers as best they can, which includes acting as a tour guide if needed. They will make sure that you leave the rental car happy, and with the exact car you want, and all at an affordable price.
Perhaps the biggest and best known rental company in Iceland. Hertz has been working hard to try and minimize any potential environmental impact their operations may have in Iceland. They are constantly looking to improve on that.
This is a company that has a real love of cars. They have a vehicle to suit every taste and budget, with quality customer service always at the top of their list. The employees of ReykjaviK Cars and young, enthusiastic, and ready to help make your rental experience as enjoyable and pain free as possible. This is another company whose rates are very much on the affordable side.
This company is part of the largest travel network in Iceland. They only have new cars and their prices are very competitive. Take a look and compare:
Great rates and great cars are what you will find at Budget Iceland car rental. It doesn’t matter whether you need a car for a single day, or for the entire vacation, Budget will find you a vehicle at a price you can afford.
Car rental tips in Iceland
These tips should all be considered important when renting a car in Iceland.
Car rental prices will vary by season. Your best car rental deals will be found when you visit in May, June, September, and October. It’s also a good idea to book your rental at least 3 months in advance, as this will assure you a better rate.
In populated areas, the speed limit is set between 30 and 50 km/h. That limit rises to 80 km/h in rural areas with gravel roads, and 90 km/h on paved roads in those areas.
The area in and around Reykjavik usually sees gas stations open until 11:30 pm. Many of these stations offer automats outside of regular business hours, allowing you to pay by credit card or bank note. As for opening times, those tend to vary from station to station and place to place. Every station will accept major credit cards, and automats are available all over the country.
Expect mountain roads to stay closed till the end of June at the earliest. Snow and mud makes most of these roads totally impassable. Even when they do re-open, some of the roads can only be traversed in a 4X4 vehicle.
If you are visiting Iceland in the winter months, expect snow, icy roads, and darkness. Your car company should provide a vehicle with studded winter tires, so be sure to ask. If you plan on traveling outside of populated areas, check the reports and ensure that your vehicle is fit to travel in said conditions.
Always travel with a current map or GPS navigation handy, as there will be parts of the country that are very much isolated. We have compiled an article that will help, so be sure to read it first. It’s nice to travel, but you also want to get back safe and sound.
Listed below are some potential dangers you may encounter when driving in Iceland:
– Fording rivers.
– Icy patches that can force you off the road.
– Wild animals on the road.
– Strong winds that catch your door when opening it.
– Loss of traction on gravel roads, which is especially common in areas where asphalt and gravel meet.
– Potential tire damaged caused by an undetected flat.
– Wintertime temperatures that hover around 0°C.
Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)