DrivingRental CarsSmooth Rides: Tips to Navigate Car Rentals in Iceland
Car rental in Iceland with a person and a picturesque landscape in the background
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Aron Freyr
By Aron FreyrNov 29, 2023 • 8 min read

Smooth Rides: Tips to Navigate Car Rentals in Iceland

Traveling to Iceland? It's likely you've considered a car rental in Iceland to explore the captivating landscapes this country offers. But beware! The process isn't as simple as it seems. There are rookie mistakes you must steer clear of to have a smooth journey. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Understanding Iceland's Car Rental Market

Importance of Car Rental in Iceland

When it comes to Iceland, public transportation can only get you so far. That's where rental cars in Iceland step in, offering the flexibility and freedom you need to explore the country's beauty at your own pace. But be careful, as the car rental process comes with a few potential pitfalls.

Mistake #1: Ignoring the Weather

Iceland’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. One moment you’re cruising under sunny skies and the next you're in the middle of a snowstorm.

Gravel road in Iceland demonstrating potential challenging driving conditions

Tips for Weather Preparedness

Firstly, always check the weather forecast. Apps like Vedur offer accurate, up-to-date weather information. Moreover, prepare for all kinds of weather conditions, even in summer. Your car should be equipped with winter tires from November to mid-April.

Mistake #2: Skipping Insurance

Some might think of travel insurance as a luxury when planning to rent a car in Iceland, but it's not—it's a necessity!

Necessary Insurance for Iceland Car Rental

While many car rental companies offer standard Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), it's also important to consider additional coverages like Gravel Protection (GP), Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP), and Super CDW. At Go Car Rental Iceland, we've got you covered. We provide CDW, SCDW, Gravel Protection, and Theft Protection for free with all our rentals, offering you peace of mind at no extra cost.

Mistake #3: Underestimating Fuel Costs

A common oversight by many travelers is not considering the cost of fuel when planning their Icelandic road trip.

Fuel station in Iceland indicating potential high fuel costs

Fuel Costs: A Key Part of Your Travel Budget

Fuel costs in Iceland can be high, so it's crucial to include this in your trip's budget. Calculate your estimated travel distances and consider the fuel efficiency of your rental car. But don't worry, we at Go Car Rental Iceland understand this concern. That's why we provide not only a selection of fuel-efficient vehicles, but also a fuel discount key to help manage these costs more effectively. Now, you can travel more and stress less about your fuel budget!

Mistake #4: Underestimating the Terrain

The picturesque landscapes of Iceland can sometimes mask the difficult terrains beneath.

Tips for Handling Iceland's Terrain

Plan your route wisely. Some roads, particularly in the Highlands, are only accessible by renting a 4x4 vehicle. Check road conditions regularly at road.is, which provides real-time updates on road closures and conditions.

Mistake #5: Renting from Non-Reputable Companies

While everyone loves a good deal, choosing a car rental company simply based on price can lead to unpleasant experiences.

Go Car Rental Iceland, a reputable car rental company

Choosing a Reputable Iceland Rental Car Agency

Always remember to check online reviews before booking. Here at Go Car Rental Iceland, we're proud to share our rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 1000 reviews. As a local agency, we prioritize transparency in our pricing and policies, making sure our customers have all the information they need. We're dedicated to providing reliable, personalized, and value-for-money services, always ensuring the best car rental experience for our clients.

Mistake #6: Not Planning Ahead

Last-minute plans may work in some countries, but not in Iceland. The high demand for car rentals often leads to shortages, particularly during peak travel season.

Car Rental Planning Tips

Book well in advance, particularly if you're traveling during the high season (June to August). Not only will this guarantee you a vehicle, but you can also get some early booking discounts.


Renting a car in Iceland is an experience that can be both a dream and a challenge, depending on how well-prepared you are. Avoid the common mistakes mentioned above, and you're already on your way to a hassle-free and memorable Icelandic road trip.

Happy customer driving a Go Car Rental vehicle in Iceland

At Go Car Rental Iceland, we're committed to making your car rental experience smooth and enjoyable. We believe in providing transparent services, offering comprehensive insurance coverage, and ensuring our clients drive away with confidence and peace of mind.

After all, we're not just about car rental—we're about delivering unforgettable Icelandic adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to rent a 4x4 vehicle in Iceland?

While a 4x4 vehicle isn't always necessary, it's highly recommended if you're planning to drive in the Highlands or in winter conditions.

Is it safe to drive in Iceland?

Yes, it's safe to drive in Iceland. However, weather conditions can change rapidly, so it's important to be prepared and check the weather and road conditions frequently.

What type of insurance do I need for my Iceland car rental?

It's advisable to get CDW, GP, SAAP, and Super CDW insurance for comprehensive coverage.

When is the best time to book a car rental in Iceland?

The best time to book is well in advance of your trip, especially if you're visiting during the high season.

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