DrivingRental CarsDriving Decisions: Should You Rent a Car in Iceland?
Car rental through the exceptional landscapes of Iceland
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer James Taylor
By James TaylorDec 7, 2023 • 8 min read

Driving Decisions: Should You Rent a Car in Iceland?

A rental car in Iceland is the best way to enjoy adventures in the country. Here are 10 reasons why you should rent a car in Iceland for your next adventure.

If you’re on the fence about whether it’s worth renting a car in Iceland or not, we’re here to convince you that it’s the best option for getting around. Even though we can hardly be considered an impartial judge on the subject, we fully believe that to truly experience Iceland, you need to get out into the countryside and explore – and to do so, you’re going to need a vehicle.

Our car rental in Iceland offers plenty of different options to choose from, whether you’re after a small car for zipping about the countryside or a 4WD for adventures into the highlands. Here are ten reasons why you should rent a car in Iceland. 

You Can Be Spontaneous

With a car rental in Iceland, you’re not beholden to the available tours, which ferry visitors to the same popular spots. For those who want to stray from the well-trodden tourist path, renting a car in Iceland is essential.

Want to jet off to the Westfjords for a weekend? No worries. How about driving to the glacier lagoon while the midnight sun grazes the horizon? Awesome. These kinds of spontaneous adventures make traveling wonderful and having a rental car in Iceland is an essential key for this.

Find Yourself Alone with Nature

Adding on to the spontaneous adventures you’ll find yourself on, with a car rental in Iceland you’ll also be able to seek out the quiet areas where there are no other people. This is another big pull for those making the journey to Iceland – the promise of solitude among the gargantuan landscapes, awakening feelings of awe and insignificance as opposed to being annoyed that your tour group has just arrived at another place with several other busloads of visitors.

Driving in Iceland lets you make your way to the unexplored corners of the country, to where the tour buses don’t go. You’ll be able to seek out the solitude and peaceful corners, hike across the epic landscapes, and spend your days exploring without any worries.

Lonely man discovering the landscapes of Iceland

Public Transport in Iceland is Bad

Another reason renting a car in Iceland is a clever idea is that the public transport here is quite terrible. Technically, it is possible to travel around Iceland on the bus, but the logistics behind planning this kind of trip aren’t worth the hassle at all. Buses travel through the country sporadically, dropping you off at the next town with no way to get outside said town to explore the natural sights – the whole reason you came to Iceland in the first place.

There are buses, but if you’re planning to visit the Westfjords, or trying to get from Akureyri to Egilsstaðir, forget about it! The painstaking process of working out the buses just takes away too much time from enjoying the country. Renting a car takes away all that stress and lets you enjoy choosing which waterfall to visit, or what hot spring you’ll enjoy a soak in.

Renting a Car in Iceland is Great Value

There’s no skirting around the fact that Iceland is an expensive country. Between the excessive cost of groceries to restaurants charging a lot for a meal, this is a country that turns even the most carefree travelers into tight penny pinchers.

When it comes to transport, it’s also expensive. Stringing together several Iceland tours will start to add up – often, renting your own car and paying for the fuel yourself is much better value. Plus, you’ll also have more time, which is valuable if you only have a week or so to explore.

a person driving a 4x4 Jeep Wrangler rental car in Iceland near a waterfall

Car Rentals in Iceland Are Cheap!

One of the reasons why car rentals in Iceland are so cost-effective compared to tours is because car rentals are cheap. From as little as €51 per day, you could be hitting the ring road to admire the waterfalls, soak in hot springs, and hike across glaciers. 

The price becomes even cheaper if you’re not traveling solo – splitting that low cost of your car rental and fuel is far more affordable than public transport or joining tours.

If you are interested in saving money in Iceland we recommend reading our article: 10 Tips for Saving Money in Iceland.

Your Travel Plans Become More Flexible with a Car Rental

With a rental car in Iceland, your travel plans instantly become much more flexible. For example, if you’re really enjoying spending time exploring a destination, you’re free to stay longer if you like, not having to worry about any time limits set by a tour to reach the next sight and get back into town on schedule.

Another way your travel becomes more flexible with a car rental in Iceland is that you’ll be able to chase the pleasant weather. Often the north or east of the country will be enjoying beautiful warm days with plenty of sun, while the rest of Iceland is suffering under yet another day of rain. Or perhaps the south of the country is suffering under a weather warning (remember to keep an eye on the weather!) while the west is clear and calm. With a car rental in Iceland, you’re free to go where you like.

A woman being flexible in Iceland because she rented a car with Go Car Rental

Driving in Iceland is Easy

With a car rental in Iceland, driving through the country becomes an attraction in of itself. And thankfully, driving in Iceland is super easy. There’s hardly any traffic, plenty of parking at all the sights you’ll want to see, and a simple layout for the roads without any huge highways with an endless number of exits.

Often, renting a car in another country comes with a lot of stress about the road conditions, rules, and unique hazards. For more information about all these things, check out our ultimate guide to driving in Iceland.

Rental Car in Iceland is Hassle-Free

With your car rental in Iceland, we make it easy for you to pick up and drop off your vehicle – yet another reason renting a car in Iceland is a clever idea.

You can pick up and drop off the car from the airport without any trouble, simply by walking a short distance over to the parking area and finding the keys in the glove box. Drop offs are the same – and we’ll always be available on the phone and via email in case you need to talk with us. The other option is to drop by our office in Hafnarfjörður (we could pick you up from your hotel in Reykjavik) to pick up your car. We also offer a free ride back to your hotel or a paid shuttle to the airport after you’ve returned your rental car.

Driving in Iceland is Safe

If you’re planning to rent a car in Iceland, you can rest easy knowing that the roads in the country are very safe. The speed limit is 90km/h maximum, and the wide-open spaces mean that you can see far ahead of you.

The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration also pay particularly good attention to any changing conditions on the road. There are live cameras in gas stations that you can see to check the roads ahead, and you can always check the road openings on road.is as well. There are of course gravel roads where you’ll need to be cautious, but aside from that, the driving in the country is very safe.

Iceland is safe

You’re Never Far from Help

Finally, if something does go wrong with your car rental in Iceland, you can rest easy knowing that help is never far away. We have a network of mechanics and tow trucks around the country and will always be able to send out some help in case you need it.

We have a 24-hour emergency phone number for you to call, so you’ll have support from wherever you are in the country if something goes wrong. If there’s been an accident, a breakdown, or something else that is stopping you from traveling, we’re just a phone call away.

drive a rental car and enjoy the sunset

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