DrivingRental CarsWhy You Should Rent a Car in Iceland
A Toyota Land Cruiser from Go Car Rental parked in Iceland with a captivating landscape backdrop featuring black sand beaches and the country's unique tectonic plates.
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Leah BIlquist
By Leah BIlquistDec 7, 2023 • 7 min read

Why You Should Rent a Car in Iceland

Enormous volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, and steaming hot springs are just some of the reasons tourism is booming in Iceland. The best way you can explore these attractions is to take your own self-drive tour. There are so many perks to renting a vehicle in the land of fire and ice. We are going to discuss our top reasons why you should reserve a car and plan your own Iceland road trip!

Benefits of Renting a Car for Your Iceland Trip

Are you ready to learn all about the epic perks of renting a car for your Iceland trip? Here are some of our favorite reasons!

Saving Money

Taking a vacation to another country can quickly add up, so saving money is important. Renting a car is one of the top ways to save a few bucks.

Tours can be expensive, especially if you want to see a lot of locations. Rental car prices are way cheaper than taking tours every day. Booking three tours could cost the same as renting a car for an entire week in Iceland.

You can check off all the items on your Iceland itinerary while saving some money during your travels.


Freedom is everything when visiting Iceland! Fortunately, you can have full freedom by renting a car for your trip.

Having your own vehicle will allow you to visit all of the destinations on your Iceland travel list.  Taking public transportation or tours can limit your time and flexibility.

You can also spend as much time as you would like at every stop you make with your rental vehicle.  Maybe you want to visit the gorgeous Ásbyrgi Canyon, but then decide to camp overnight. This option is entirely yours when you rent a car in Iceland.

Bask in the radiance of Iceland's Ásbyrgi Canyon on a sunny day - a sight to behold on your self-drive tour!

Scenic Road Trips

Iceland Road trips can bring you to some of the world's most breathtaking locations. But did you also know that the journey getting there is just as beautiful as the destination? That is why taking scenic road trips is one of the top reasons you should rent a car in Iceland.

One of our favorite Iceland travel tips is to take as many scenic drivers as you can. Top road trips include the famous Ring Road and the Golden Circle.

You can also visit black sand beaches with your car rental in Iceland!

Marvel at the surreal beauty of Iceland's black sand beaches during your self-drive tour.

Accessing Remote Areas

While driving the famous routes listed above is on most people’s Iceland bucket list, remote areas are also great to explore. Iceland has so many hidden gems that are not on Ring Road.

A good example is the Valley of Thor, a beautiful destination that is located in Iceland’s Highlands. There are not many tours that will take you here. This is also one of the reasons why so many want to visit.

You can also take a soak at Krossneslaug Hot Spring. This hidden geothermal treasure is just a five-hour road trip from Reykjavik, next to the small village of Norðurfjörður.

If you want to disconnect from the world while enjoying Iceland's beauty, remote areas may be more your scene. This is one of the top reasons adventures decide to take a remote Iceland self-drive tour.

Convenient Airport Transfers

Landing at a foreign airport can be confusing, and sometimes finding transportation can be hard. Renting a car will allow you to enjoy convenient airport transfers.

Just simply pick up your rental car at the airport and return it at the same location. That way you can get on the road instead of waiting for your Iceland car hire to arrive.

This will also save you even more money since taxis and transfers can be expensive from Keflavik Airport.

Cost-Effective for Groups

We already mentioned that renting a car can save you money! But, if you are traveling with a group, you will save even more.

Splitting a car rental cost with a group of people will make the rental price even more affordable. You can also split gas money and other necessities.

This means you can spend more time enjoying traditional Icelandic food or splurging on a souvenir to take home with you.

Accommodation Flexibility

Most people will take a shuttle or taxi to their hotel stay in Reykjavik. They may take tours during the day to see some attractions, such as the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon. But if you want to stay in some of Iceland’s bizarre and quirky accommodations, rent a car!

This will allow you to spend the night in some of Iceland’s charming towns. Such as Seydisfjordur, which is famous for Regnboga Vegur, also known as Rainbow Road.

The vibrant Rainbow Road in Seydisfjordur, Iceland, stretching towards a quaint town set against mountainous scenery.

You can even reserve a stargazing tent at the 5 Million Star Hotel. This bubble hotel allows you to stargaze in the comfort of your own space.  The overnight stay is included in some of their day tours. A true once-in-a-lifetime experience!

A transparent bubble tent, known as the 5 Million Star Hotel, set in the serene Icelandic wilderness under a star-studded sky.

Foodie Self-Drive Tour

Rent a car if you are a foodie who wants to try all of Iceland’s delicious eats. The country has so many hole-in-the-wall restaurants in remote areas and trendy food trucks.

Most of the time food locations are planned when taking a tour. I am sure they are still delicious, but having the option to plan your foodie route is way more fun.

Maybe you want to try lobster at Local Langoustine near the shore of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Or, you want to devour an Icelandic hot dog in Akureyri at the famous Hot Dog Stand. You can do both, which is why you should rent a car in Iceland for your foodie road trip!

A delicious Icelandic hot dog served in a bun with traditional toppings, a must-try street food in Iceland.

Our Fleet of Rental Vehicles

We are going to go over our vehicle types. Now that you know why you should rent a car in Iceland.


Those traveling to Iceland as a couple or even solo may prefer our small rental cars. These vehicles are also referred to as Standard or Economy cars. They are cozy and comfortable, making it a perfect vehicle choice for exploring the country.

A sleek Hyundai i20, a great option for car rental in Iceland, parked against a beautiful Icelandic landscape.

You can easily fit a few suitcases too if you plan on taking a longer trip. They are preferred during the summer months when Iceland’s tourism is booming.

The spacious boot of a Hyundai i20, an ideal car for rental in Iceland, showcasing ample space for luggage and travel essentials

One of the best perks of our standard rental cars is the fuel efficiency you will get with them!

We even put together a guide that will help you choose the best standard rental car for your Iceland vacation.


Midsize vehicles are similar to Standard vehicles except they do provide more room. These vehicles are preferred by those traveling with 3 or 4 people.

A stylish Renault Megane, a comfortable choice for car rental in Iceland, set against a stunning Icelandic backdrop

Midsize vehicles have a bit more room for your luggage too. So if you over packed and are traveling with 2 people, this could be a great option for you.

These cars are popular for traveling routes such as the Golden Circle or Ring Road. Similar to the Standard Vehicles, these cars are also fuel efficient!

4x4 SUV

If your eyes lit up when you were reading about accessing Iceland’s remote locations, we got you covered! Our fleet of SUVs will be more your style when renting a car in Iceland.

A robust Toyota Land Cruiser navigating the off-roads in Iceland's rugged terrain

These cars are built to handle rough road conditions and mountain terrain, such as Iceland's F-Roads. Just make sure the vehicle is a 4X4. It is illegal to drive F-Roads without a 4X4 vehicle and the last thing we want is for you to bring home a ticket with you.

If you are not driving F-Roads a regular SUV will work great for you.

Both vehicles are fantastic for winter travel too! So plan that Northern Lights adventure or glacier hike with ease.

A robust Toyota Land Cruiser from Go Car Rental tackling off-road conditions in Iceland, showcasing the adventurous side of an Iceland self-drive to

Need more information? Read our guide on why you should rent an SUV in Iceland.

Minivan & Passenger Vans

Family travel to Iceland has been gaining popularity over the years. The best Iceland car rental advice we can give is to rent a Minivan for large groups or family travel.

A luxurious Mercedes Benz Vito, a premium option for car hire in Iceland, parked amidst the picturesque Icelandic scenery

These vehicles can easily fit 7-9 people. Having that extra space for the entire crew and their luggage is so important. Especially for comfort during long road trips.

The spacious boot of a Mercedes Benz Vito, an ideal choice for car hire in Iceland, highlighting its abundant luggage capacity.

Minivans are an amazing choice for those in smaller groups that have a lot of camping gear.


Renting a car in Iceland is easy! Especially with Go Car Rental. Now that you know all of the benefits of renting a car, it is time to get yours reserved.

Soon you will be cruising down Iceland’s coastline admiring cascading waterfalls and immense mountains. It truly doesn’t get much better than that!

Frequently Asked Questions

To answer any remaining queries, here are some frequently asked questions about renting a car in iceland.

Why are cars so expensive to rent in Iceland?

Iceland's high car rental rates are typically due to the nation's steep taxes and obligatory insurance. Despite this, we're dedicated to helping you secure an affordable vehicle for your journey.

Can foreigners rent a car in Iceland?

Absolutely! Just keep in mind you do need a valid driver's license from your home country.

Is it hard for an American to drive in Iceland?

No, it's not. Americans will be driving on the same side of the road as Icelanders. Popular routes, such as Ring Road and the Golden Circle are paved and easy to drive.