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Why rent a car with us ?

This is the largest marketplace of rental cars in Iceland. Here you will find the cheapest prices and largest selection of cars for hire in Iceland. In the title of each car you will also see how old it is. We add no fees and have a best price guarantee. Compare dozens of car rentals and hundreds of vehicles for rent. Reserve with Guide to Iceland for the best prices and most transparent car rentals in Iceland. See few of the testimonials that we have received.

Testimonials & Reviews

Carole Roy
Great service! Great price, Great car!! You Can book without hesitation!
Kimberly Scholz & Ted Burrell
Iceland was a once in a lifetime trip for us, a couple from sunny San Diego, California! We survived multiple whiteout blizzards in our trusty, brand new Yaris thanks to its GPS and snow tires! Customer service was fantastic, they were helpful from dropoff in downtown Reykjavik to pickup (conveniently) at the Blue Lagoon. Thanks for the wonderful service, can't wait for nex time!
Lee Mccaffary
After being on a plane for 11 hours (when the flight was only supposed to be just over 2 hours) we were tired, hungry and annoyed to say the least. But when we got off the flight we were greeted by a woman who couldn't have been more nicer; she made the whole bad flight experience disappear. The people that dealt with us were nothing but great. The woman who greeted us off the plane had also recommended a few places to see and we fitted it into the holiday and it was amazing. The man who did the paperwork with me explained everything very well. When we got to the car he showed me 2 minor scratches on the car. He even took out a torch so I could see them. He then showed me the paperwork to show it was already marked in. The car was fantastic, clean, smelled great and had everything we needed. We got plenty boot space and seat warmers which was a god send after being outside for a long time. The only fault I could say was the GPS. If you didn't know how to spell the place in perfect Icelandic it didn't come up so used my phone for most of the trip. Could have alot more better pre-planned destinations in it. Anytime we had any questions and phoned the office (24hours) they where happy to help. Has to be the best customer service I have ever came across. Now the price was amazing, they where the cheapest and most reliable I could find and I spent days looking. The cost of the car, all insurance's and the GPS was the best I could find by far. I have already recommended Guide to Iceland and Lagoon to some friends that might go to Iceland. When I come back to Iceland I wont even look any where else for a car I'll go straight to this website. Thanks very much, you made our holiday so much easier and most likely better!
Helena Korpela
It was perfect. Car was good, cheap and service was very friendly and helpful. The pick-up worked well, and the guys bring me thre car just on my hostel's front door. I have nothing bad to say to this company. Greetings from Finland! -Helena
Mariah Henderson
Guide to Iceland was excellent! Their site was easy to use for booking a nice and affordable car for road trip around Iceland. Not only did they offer the lowest prices of the agencies that we were initially looking at, we also got newer automatic car. This was great since neither my friend or I can drive manual! The customer service was what impressed us the most. Anytime we had a question or concern, we would email or call and would have a response from them within an hour! This was very comforting to us and we knew we had picked the right company. We did not experience any road or car issues, but I would recommend purchasing gravel insurance since some roads in Iceland are not paved and kind of dangerous. Overall, I would 100% recommend this agency and will definitely be using them again when I return to Iceland!
Excellent service, extremely nice and flexible staff. The home-delivery/home pick-up service was flawless as was the car. If I'll ever need a car in Iceland again don't even bother to search for an alternative... this is the place to go. Definitely recommend it.
Yichen Lu
I rented a car but because of change of plans I had to cancel it, but I got a full refund back so everything worked out fine! Thank you so much!
Sacha Lee
Great experience! Even though the weather in winter didn't permit us to use the tent too often, the car itself got us around everywhere through every type of storm which we were very happy with! Ólafur was also great, providing us with weather warnings and info on road closures. They sent us travel information and told us where to find the best attractions. We will definitely book again with Guide to Iceland!
Christina Høøck Osorno
We had a very positive experience. We rented a 2 wheel drive Hyundai i10. On our arrival to Iceland, we picked the car up at the airport, where someone was waiting for us with the car keys and instructions. A very nice welcome. And on the day of our departure, we just left the car in the parking lot at the airport. It couldn't have been any easier. The car was nice and clean, and it worked perfectly well for what we had planned, which was to follow the ring road around Iceland. We will definitely recommend booking with Guide to Iceland.
Winnie Sin
I had a really pleasant experience renting with Guide to Iceland. They were incredibly accommodating and responded quickly to all and any concerns I had. Should I ever find myself back in Iceland, I will definitely rent from them again!
sara gao
Great services. The company located very near to airport, and the pick up service it's very convenience! Very friendly and nice staff! I would 100% recommend this agency and will definitely be using them again when I return to Iceland!
Kirill Vaino
Great cooperation! We arrived rather early in the morning (4 AM), but airport pick up was on time. The staff was very friendly and always available. The car bravely withstood Icelandic severe weather and made it around the country without any issues. This rental agency offered the best price and great service! I would definitely use their services again when I return to Iceland.
Novry Jafar
We rented the car at the end of May 2015 for almost two weeks. We were greeted at the airport and despite the delayed arrival the staff was very courteous. The paperwork and vehicle handover process was quick and efficient. After 2 days in Reykjavik, we suddenly discovered a defect in the SUV. We went over to the airport office and after a brief inspection was offered a replacement which happened to be a brand new vehicle! That turned out to be the perfect ride for our 10-day circle tour of Iceland since there were 5 of us and needless to say, the boot was fully utilized. Thank you so much for the excellent service which made our family trip a wonderful and memorable experience!
Maikel Wijsbek
Very friendly staff and very helpful too. The car (Toyota Rav4) was great and good value for money, we have truly enjoyed the use in snowy conditions. It was unfortunate that someone else dented the door, which cost me about EUR 1,000, but the staff remained very helpful in finding a solution for insurance cover. I can recommend Guide to Iceland, but advise to check your credit card insurance policy for such coverage (because mine does not appear to cover this)
Adrian Cheng
Great car for the price. Owner dropped off the car in front of our address on time. Explained what to be careful and what to expect for road rules in Iceland, especially about parking the car against the wind, so the car door won't be blown away. (True story, the wind at suburb is really that strong.) Now we weren't that lucky, or lucky but not fortunate. Our car got rear ended by another car. We called. Owner explained everything we needed to do in case of car accident. Unfortunately neither cars have a blank accident report. (Double check this on your next car rental in Iceland). We exchanged driver's license, rental car and insurance companies' information, wrote what happened on a piece of paper, took photos and sent to the owner. No questions asked when I returned the car. One week passed, owner didn't come after me either. The way we returned, not the way I was used to, is to park the car somewhere in the city, put 2 hours $2 worth of parking, and inform the hotel front desk where the car is parked. The hotel front desk will inform the rental car company where the car is parked. If they don't pick up in 2 hours, it's not our problem. Owner was helpful when we called about how to handle the accident. Overall very smooth and good experience despite the unexpected car accident.
Kim Reksten Grønneberg
Will definitely use this company again. In a busy time in Reykjavik, they managed to deliver a car to us in 30 minutes, and when we got to the airport, they were there waiting for us - just went out of the car with the motor running and handed it over - extremely comfortable:)
Michael Kazanowski
Using Guide to Iceland to rent a car with SS was an effortless experience. We were personally greeted at the airport, guided to the car they even met us with an exchange vehicle when our rental didn't meet our needs. I'd definitely rent from them again and can't recommend them enough. A++!
Carly Tucknott
Great price for the right size and type of car that we needed. So relaxed when we picked up the Jimny. The guys explained the information we needed really clearly and went through everything to make sure we were happy. Car was clean and in good order. Would definitely go through Guide to Iceland to use RentAWreck again.
Chris Smith
This service was a great and enjoyable experience. The associates made me feel so comfortable even though I don't know Icelandic. It was very English friendly. The whole process was smooth and there was no problem with the car I rented, it was clean and everything was done quickly and accurately. I'm already excited to get back to Iceland so I can use this service again. I definitely recommend it. Overall just very nice and genuine, hands on people.
charlotte wester
My experience with this family company was great. Would 100% recommend them and absolutely use them again. Thank you !!!
Sanna Azul II
I had a great experience with this company. A nice, comfortable car and the associates were very helpful and kind as well. I will definitely rent a car with them again!
Anja Brandt
The staff was friendly and always able to be reached, which helped a lot. We could easily rent our car another day and were equipped with self-explanatory information on how to give the car back at the airport. Price/performance ratio of our Suzuki Jimny was okay.
Rui Flora
It was a perfect choice for renting a car in Iceland. In two weeks I rented a car twice through Guide to Iceland and it was very well managed and professional. Staff was really nice and helpful. The costs were good too. I definitely recommend reserving your car through this website.
María Valdeolivas
The car was new, clean and worked very well. The pick up and droop off was where we needed it and the communication with the company was excellent. We were very happy with the service.
Vienna Wien
Great experience with our Suzuki jimny jeep and free GPS package. Free pickup from airport and smooth paperwork. Very flexible with time frame of pick up and return. Decent price for a small 4x4 jeep. It's prefect for 3-4 people.
Hyeong Goo Lee
At first, they provided me with the wrong car. But when I pointed out the mistake they upgraded my car. I got a very nice car with free GPS and almost all insurances included. Don't hesitate. Rent a car from Guide to Iceland and Car Rental SS. Thanks.
YI PEI Chung
It was good value for money to rent a car through Guide to Iceland. Everything went good and they were quick to respond to any questions I had.
Andrew Martin
So easy - truck worked great and was perfect for driving around Iceland.
Lisa Roemer
Friendly staff, helpful and made great recommendations for scenic routes. Gave me maps of the area, suggested a few good early morning hikes upon landing early in the morning and gave me a discount petrol card to use. Great service, clean reliable vehicle- will definitely use this company again when I return to Iceland.
Zheng Huang
The staff was very friendly and helpful. The car we rented (Toyota RAV4) was in good condition, new, nice and clean.
Barnabás Pán
Both the lady at the call center and the guy who brought the car were very kind and helpful. Everything went smooth and simple.
Aleksandar Zahariev
The Suzuki Jimny is the car I do recommend for anyone who wants to visit the island and who wants to feel safe on any road and in any conditions (snow, rain, ice, strong winds). The car is 4x4 and had winter tires with studs so that makes the car more stable on the road in snowy/icy conditions. The service of Guide to Iceland & NL Car Rental was exceptional - they were very flexible on their pick and drop off conditions. Firstly, they have agreed that we can pick up the car from our hotel (Keflavik B&B hotel) without extra charge. Secondly, our flight was delayed with 24 hours so they agreed to bring the car to the agreed pick up point with no additional fees on the next day. And finally, they allowed us to have the car for extra 12 hours (because we wanted to catch up what we have missed), again with no extra fees.
Len Ca
A member of the team was waiting for us at the airport upon our arrival. The car was in excellent conditions we really enjoyed it for all 10 days (Suzuki vitara) recommended !
Whitney Tracy
Why can't car rentals in the USA be this easy? The representative met us at our hotel, went over the car and paperwork with us, gave us some tips for driving and where to visit, and boom! Done! We had the car for a week and had no issues with it whatsoever. When returning the car, we met the rep again in front of the departures entrance at the airport and that was that. Super easy and super affordable. We were so impressed!
Ivy Svoboda
For what we did, this was a perfect car! We maybe should have asked for a 4x4 but as far as this company goes, our agent was super helpful, very courteous, answered all our questions about the car (and driving in Iceland). Top notch rental!!
Abbie May
Great experience. Representative met us at the airport despite our delay in getting to Iceland (thanks Delta). Went over all the paperwork, rules of the road, and explained everything very clearly before handing us the keys and getting us on our way. Our representative even waited for us at the airport four our departing flight despite further delays and trouble getting to KEF that morning. Overall great company that completely took care of us!
Michael Fehrenbacher
Excellent service, very simple and easy. Highly recommended!
Terribly disappointed by the tour operator! Do not be deceived by the images and video. We signed up to se ice cave but what we got was more like an 'ice hole'. No doubt the weather was not favorable on the day we visited but seriously?? We were brought into such a small area which was probably about 5m in depth. 5 METRES! This is not a cheap tour but we felt cheated. I have videos and photos to proof as well. Only consolation is that the place is indeed blue and beautiful. The beauty of the tour was terribly let down by the so called 'cave' which we led to.
I was so excited to visit an ice cave, it was one of the purpose of my entire travel in Iceland during winter period but the tour completely disappointed me. The organization was good and the guide was prepared and professional. The truck we've used seems to be a little bit old and with some problems but the transfer to the cave was good. The worst part of the tour was due to the fact that there were a lot of people inside the cave, literally arm against arm sometimes, as a photographer I would enjoy more a less crowded situation such as the picture used to promote the tour. In addition we stayed inside the cave just for 30 minutes, enough for a common tourist, too short for a photographer. There are a lot of tourists now in Iceland so I invite you to manage the ice cave tours in a different way.
Julia Simon
Really great rental company, kind and convenient service and a great car! Always make sure to take the best available insurance package, there's lots of little rocks on the streets and you don't want to pay extra at the end, I'm really glad I chose it. I can definitely recommend this, especially if you're travelling alone.
Petros Nikolaides
I never got on board for the ice cave tour due to the fact that a sandstorm hit Jokursarlon lagoon area moments before my scheduled tour, broke two of my car windows. I had to drive back to Reykjavik in order to change my car. The funny thing is that i tried to speak to the ice cave tour guide about the situation and he answered me with no hesitation that is not his job to help me. After i told him to stop and listen to what i had to say, that i was one of the members of the ice cave tour, he suddenly became friendly and told me ''good luck'' to whatever i was going to do. And he left with the rest of the group. I don't know what happens in situations like this (if there's a refund or something). Now i am back to my country. I hope one day to go again to Iceland and be more lucky this time.
Jorge Spinolo
Warm, informative, caring people. Car was in excellent condition. They even filled up the tank when I returned the car without filling up, and did not add a surcharge for doing so! Will definitely use them again whenever I am lucky enough to return to Iceland.
Jesper Pedersen
We had a great experience renting a car with them. This site is highly recommended! Everything went smooth, both pick up and return.
Elisabete Sousa
My flight was due to land in Keflavik airport but due to weather conditions it was diverted to Reykjavik. I was meant to pick up the car in Keflavik but I was in the wrong airport! I contacted the car rental company and they immediately sent someone to collect me and my friend and they had a car waiting in the Reykjavik office. All this at no extra cost. That was excellent customer service! Thank you!
Quick and friendly staff! Very understanding and worked hard to get the car we ordered ready for us. Definitely recommend the rooftent!!
Alan Tom
Excellent customer service and amazing staff. Shortly before our trip, they checked in with me to make sure I was picking up the car at the right airport. Upon arriving, we were greeted and brought to the pickup location. They ran out of the car we booked and got upgraded immediately! Great experience and would highly recommend
Rafal Szypulski
Absolutely fantastic! I can definitely recommend this service! Although we had a little problem with being picked-up from the airport, the other 99% of our experiences was really great! The car was good, the car-keys-to-hand process was fast and the drop-off procedure was amazingly swift! All nice and pleasant!
Louis Cornelussen
We rented a Landrover Discovery but it wasn't available due to damage by the last renter. We got a free upgrade to a wonderful Mercedes! We loved the car, service and the way we were treated. Accepting and returning the car was well managed professional. I recommend booking with them for everyone visiting Iceland!
Terese A. Cioffredi
This was a great rental experience! They provided me with abundant information about driving in Iceland as well as tips and information about things to do on my stay. The customer service was above and beyond, and I would highly recommend this rental to everyone!
Ellen Wiig Andresen
I got picked up at the airport by the staff, and he drove me to the airport after delivering the car. The car was nice and worked great. Communication before was good, and I am all in all very happy with my experience with Magic :)
Shenghao Han
Free shuttle on demand between their Office and KEF. Missed our pick up but got a ride to their Office from the driver picking up other two families. Paid on Guide to Iceland made the pick up in the office even simpler. Our car had a bit preexisting damage, but those were marked up on the pick up strip so we won't held against those (Do keep that yellow strip cus they will need to look at it when you return the car). Got an Olis discount card saved us a small chunk of budget <3. The car got a bit muddy after we driven down a wrong road near ION Hotel, but don't have to worry about washing the car before returning it. Will come back to them again!
Erik Sarasola Arruabarrena
We got an old car with wheels under low pressure. In the middle of the way, the wheels exploded with almost an accident. And in addition to giving us the wrong car, we paid 700 EURO for the wheels, also having PREMIUM insurance. Very unhappy and I will write in many places what happened to us.
Martin Nemec
Perfect service, very good car, fast pick up service. Everything was well prepared and very well organized. Check out was also very well prepared and it took really minimum time necessary to check the car. I would recommend and use the service again.
Norbert Szénási
Great service. Good and reliable car. We checked-in in Reykjavik near Harpa. Everything was on time. Check-out was also fine. Needed to wait a little because people before us did not have insurance. I recommend to have gravel protection insurance.
Erika St. James
Overall experience was very positive. Pick up at the airport was timely and easy. Suzuki 4x4 was as stated on the website, easily fit four people, and our luggage. Great gas milage. Furthest drive was to vik and stayed in Fludir. Only filled the tank once. Used the wifi occasionally which was nice to have and GPS was helpful, but didn't always take the fastest route from where we were staying. Returning the car was easy and drive back to the airport was nice to have
Sarah Preston
Marta picked us up right from the airport and gave us some wicked useful tips to navigating Iceland. The car worked great and having a rental was priceless for all the site seeing we wanted to do independent of our tour. The VW Polo was practically new and we only had to fill the tank once while we were there. Five stars!
Olivia Dooley
My most memorable and exciting experience in Iceland !! The drive to the ice cave is so awesome in the monster jeep. Our guide Sven made the whole tour fun, he was very unique and funny and made me feel 100% safe at all times even going directly in front of me through the ice tunnel when I said I was a little claustrophobic. He made everyone feel like they were having a personal one on one tour and took the time to take pictures of everyone whilst giving us history of Iceland and the caves etc. Highly recommend this tour !!
Hulda Robbins
By far the best and friendliest car rental I have experienced. Travelled on business and the service was fantastic! Very affordable. Will recommend to anyone travelling to Iceland.
Ling Deng
It was definitely an amazing trip, saw the NorthernLights twice and enjoyed the lobster!!!!!!
DUPRE Bertrand
It was GREAT ! When we arrived at the airport agency, we have been upgraded to have a Subaru Forester (we booked a Dacia Duster) so a very good surprise. The cars are recent and full of options. When we drop off the car at the Reykjavik agency, the person who welcome us has checked the car and offered to drive us to Reykjavik center ! (Otherwise it was a one hour walk to our accomodation). The prices are very good and people really nice. I highly recommend ! Just be carrefull to one thing : For french people if you have a Debit card you can't give the deposit ( around 3500€) you need a credit card ! So you have to take more insurance (for us, 100€ more for a week).
Samantha Munson
Overall we had a good trip; end of October 2018. Our guide was "Stone" of Aurora Hunters. He was a great driver and informative if you asked him questions. Didn't luck out seeing any northern lights and the weather varied widely (bring warm clothes and rain gear). We stopped at all the places described in daily itinerary and it gave us a greater appreciation of Iceland. The one thing I will note is that if you do not do the side activities (horse riding, glacier, ice cave, etc) you end of sitting around a lot waiting for the other group's activity to end. This led to some disgruntlement from individuals on group tour since other activities were indicated but they ended up not being much or nothing at all. Thankfully we booked most so didn't have same experience. Other thing to note is if you are vegetarian, have other eating restrictions or on restricted budget the hotels we stayed at had limited options and were expensive so make sure tour guide stops at super market/etc to pick up items you can eat. Again, we didn't have this issue but others in our group did. I'd recommend tour with caveats noted. Glad we did this vs self drive as weather was so variable at this time of year.
Yuan Gu
Wonderful tour ! Our guide Harpa was very helpful and fun, and lead us even to some hidden jewels which were truly amazing! highly recommend!
Tim Wong
Our tour guide, Good John, is amazing. He is doubtless rich in knowledge (whether you believe the tales he said or not), talkative, and friendly. This tour is also well-planned in terms of time management. I can't agree more with the previous comments about the spots being serene and breathtaking. That being said, my friends and I agree to disagree on the point of whether it is best to visit these places in wintertime.
On Ki Chan
Good. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Although the weather was bad, we still enjoy a wonderful trip.
Kunal Paymaster
This is a fantastic way to explore the southern coast of Iceland if you don't want to drive on your own. The sites covered on the tour, although touristy, are worth visiting. Iceland has much to offer and the landscape is unlike anything we'd ever seen before. The Jokulsarlon glacier and ice cave (day 3 of the tour) are the highlights of the tour and the scenery was simply outstanding. The tour operator - Aurora Hunters- does a good job with all the logistics, including transportation and accommodation. Our tour guide Sikka? was very nice and friendly too providing a ton of information about the sites and Iceland in general, which made the tour more enjoyable. Highly recommend this tour for those who want to explore all that the southern coast of Iceland has to offer but don't wont to drive on their own.
Hristo Angelov
Thanks for the wonderful adventure! The minibus was comfortable and thanks to our guide Ulmar we made most of the short winter days and managed to see a lot of places. Ulmar's great sense of humor kept us entertained and his jokes cracked us up during the trip. The hotels were comfortable , the breakfast was tasty and the sights/landmarks weren't too crowded. Highly recommended to make the trip and next time I'll bring my family with me.
Huixuan Chen
Jimmy Huen
I joined this tour with my family in Dec 2018. We totally enjoyed our time in Iceland and throughout the trip we kept saying how right we were to have chosen an 8 day tour which really gave us a great taste of what amazing scenery Iceland has to offer. The hotels were modern and comfortable with good food. We were so lucky to be seeing the Northern Lights 3 times in only 7 nights! Our guide Haukur was knowledgable and friendly. The only two points we felt somewhat disappointed about were: 1) the size of the minibus. When it’s winter time, everyone would be putting on more clothes, which made the not too spacious minibus more crowded (we were a group of 18). 2) if our guide would only help the group warm up a little bit during the first day of the trip, we would have mingled way better (believe it or not, after so many days of traveling together, we barely knew other’s names!)
Eunice Lim
On the first day, the pickup from bus stop was an hour late. Had to call the hotline 3 times, each time the customer service assured us that the bus was just round the corner and was told the delay was due to some confusions on other travel mates pick up point. An hour wait in the rain and having a possibility of being left behind was definitely upsetting. At the end of the trip, the drop off was also not at the bus stop requested and it was raining too. Not really impressed with the service standard.
Mitchell Green
dongjun shin
얼음동굴체험은 방만한 얼음동굴 들어가고 20만원 받아요 ... 진짜 환불받고 싶네요 지금 생각해돈 너무 화나요
Wayne Le
We booked the tour on-line almost a month ahead in Feb. Stayed at Selfoss, 322 km away, we had to reschedule the tour couple of times due to either ring road closure (prohibited to drive) or very difficult to drive on snowy day. There were several email communication, fully informed about the reason of reschedule, our Iceland trip schedule, our stay, etc. We picked up one of the options given the night before via email (although little late) and made our effort of driving 4 hours a day prior to leaving Iceland. We arrived Jokulsarlon at 1:40 pm for the tour starts at 2:40 pm. Kept checking email, we did not receive any replies until 2:04 pm (not at 9 am when start the day, not before we head to the road) that the tours were fully booked for the rest of day and we couldn’t be accommodated any more. Further, we were told that the prepaid 79,600 ISK was not refundable either. We ended our trip with extreme disappointment, as glacier lagoon exploration is the major reason for our family visiting Iceland in winter. We paid big bucks, made the effort, yet achieved almost nothing! A lesson to learn here is don’t buy ticket on-line so early. The weather in iceland changes in minute. You don’t know what to expect next hour, snow, wind, or sunny.
Robert McCarthy
This was the worst part of our trip to Iceland. We booked the Vatnajökull ice cave tour through Guide to Iceland who outsource the trip to some money grabbing company called Iurie Belegurschi Photography Ice Caves. We stayed in a nearby hotel the night before in order to arrive early for our 0830 tour. During the night it snowed heavily but our hotel advised us that the roads should be cleared. By morning there were near blizzard like conditions but as we had not heard anything from our tour guide we set off to the meeting point at Jökulsárlón. We got about 3km down the road before a local trucker flagged us down and advised we turn around as conditions towards Jökulsárlón were much worse. Conditions at this point were bad with around 10-15cm of snow on the road and it was still snowing heavily. He did however say a snow plow should be along soon so we could return to the hotel and wait for the roads to be cleared. With this in mind I called our guide and he was insistent that the tour was going ahead so we advised him we couldn't make 0830 due to the road conditions but could wait for the snow plow and catch a later tour. He told us this was not possible and told us to speak to the office. Disappointed we set off back to Reykjavik to catch our flight home the next day. Anyway having spoken to both companies they are refusing to refund our money. I believe the guide knew we wouldn't be able to get to Jökulsárlón due to the weather but instead of calling us and cancelling the tour (then we would be entitled to a refund), they claimed it's going ahead as planned and then we aren't entitled to any refund. Therefore I've lost a significant amount of money. Terrible customer service, all they are interested in is taking your money. Do yourself a favour and book direct with another company.

Car rentals in Iceland

Driving in Iceland

When you rent a car in Iceland, you give yourself the freedom of exploring this breathtaking country in your own time, and at your own pace. Self-drive tours are becoming increasingly popular, as adventurous travellers devise their itineraries and set out to see the incredible nature by themselves. What many would-be self-drivers don't realise, however, is that the driving conditions in Iceland are fairly challenging and that the rugged landscape and unpredictable weather pose difficulties that many haven't faced before. If you're planning to drive around Iceland during your stay, it is important to be aware of the following information.

Where to rent a car in Iceland

Most car rentals in Iceland are based in the capital city, Reykjavík, or by the international airport in Keflavík (a 40-minute drive away from Reykjavík). For travellers that plan on driving the whole time they are in Iceland, it's mostly convenient to hire a car from the international airport and then return it at the airport before the return flight. It does not matter what time of day or night your flight arrives, you can pick up your car 24 hours a day at the airport. If you only want to rent a car for a part of your stay, then it's also possible to rent cars from Reykjavík, which most people tend to use as a base. It is possible to pick your car up in Keflavík and drop it off in Reykjavík, or vice versa, sometimes for an additional fee but some companies don't add any extra fee. 

There are also car rentals available around the country, such as in Akureyri and Siglufjörður in the north, Egilsstaðir and Höfn in the east, Selfoss and the Westman Islands in the south, Patreksfjörður and Ísafjörður in the Westfjords and in Ólafsvík on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Car rentals are available in most larger towns in Iceland's countryside. Note that in those locations there may however only be one or perhaps two car rental agencies, so you will have limited choices of cars. Please contact Guide to Iceland's office if you're looking to rent a car outside of Reykjavík or Keflavík. It is also possible to rent your car in one location in Iceland and drop it off at another, for an additional fee, which needs to be done through contacting Guide to Iceland's booking team at info@guidetoiceland.is

Please note, that even though you pay for the rental car using a debit card, most companies do require you to provide a valid credit card on the day of pick up. 

The road network

The most used road is Iceland is its Highway 1, which encircles the country and is your best bet for travelling around quickly and safely. Being Iceland's most important road, it is well-maintained and open throughout the year, although extreme weather conditions can sometimes lead to temporary and partial closures, especially during the winter months. Highway 1 is just two lanes wide, but you will seldom see any traffic in rural Iceland. It is, however, dotted with many one-lane bridges. The rule when crossing these is that the right of way goes to the driver who is closest, so always approach slowly to make the correct judgement, even if you don't see anyone ahead. 

Most other roads, such as those leading to popular destinations such as the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, are tarmac. If you stray into the wilderness, however, you are increasingly likely to encounter gravel tracks. These can be narrow and very bumpy, thus should be traversed with caution, especially by those who are not used to such conditions. They can, however, be driven on by all vehicles. F-Roads in Iceland are only accessible if you rent a jeep or four-wheel drive, however, and can be quite daunting, crossing rivers and winding along narrow mountain passes. Only confident drivers should take these routes. 

Although they come with a unique set of risks, the roads in Iceland are perfectly safe to drive if you act with care and good judgement, and know your limits.

Rules and regulations

It is imperative that travellers who rent a car in Iceland are aware of laws here that are different to those of their home country, so be sure to take the following notes.

To rent a car, you must have had a valid driver's license for one year, and be at least 20 years old. To rent a minibus or a four-wheel-drive, you must be 23. Your license must be in characters of the modern Latin alphabet, or accompanied by an official translation.

The speed limits are generally lower than in other European countries due to the hazards associated with driving in Iceland. The maximum speed limit on paved highways in the countryside is 90 km/h; on gravel roads, the limit is 80 km/h, and in towns and cities, generally 50 km/h. If you are unsure or if the area is not signposted, it is best to assume the limit is 50 km/h. In some areas, there are signs encouraging you to reduce speed, but it is generally expected that drivers will use common sense and choose a safe speed according to the conditions. More common are signs indicating specific hazards ahead, such as sharp bends or exposure to high winds.

For safety reasons, motorists are obliged by law to keep headlights at all times, even during summer when the sun does not set. Blind corners are common, and, of course, the deep winters are notoriously dark; even at midday, it is barely brighter than during the twilight hours. As in most countries, all passengers are required by law to wear a seatbelt. Driving under the influence of alcohol, or using a mobile phone while driving, is strictly forbidden. Speeding fines are high, and there are many traffic cameras throughout the country.

It is only legal to travel F-roads if you rent a jeep or a four-wheel-drive; and only if they have been opened for summer season. It is against the law, and foolish, to travel on any roads that are cordoned off for safety reasons.

The fragile, delicate nature of Iceland's wildlife means that driving off-road, outside of official tracks, is strictly forbidden and punishable by fines of over 350,000 ISK and even a jail sentence of up to four years. Much of the country's volcanic landscape has been formed over millions of years, and the haunting moss that creeps across it takes centuries to grow. Driving carelessly through vegetation will cause catastrophic damages. Please, respect our nature during your stay.

If you have an accident or need urgent help, call 112 for emergency services.

Off the beaten track

The majority of roads within Iceland's interior have a loose gravel surface, many are narrow, and some are raised from ground level to prevent weather-related closures. Although they are safe to drive, they present a unique set of hazards you should beware of if you plan to rent a car in Iceland.

Many accidents that visitors to Iceland have are when leaving a tarmac road for a gravel one; they approach too fast and lose control of their vehicle. Drivers should always slow down and stay focused when the surface of the road is changing, and if the car does begin to slide on the gravel, to release the gas and steer gently in the direction it is pulling. Slow down when you see oncoming traffic, and move as close to the right-hand side as is safe; beware that the loose road surface means it's easy to kick up rocks and stones, so practice this even if the roads are wide. 

Should you decide to rent a jeep in Iceland, you will be able to access the country's most remote reaches; the best time to do this is in summer, as before June, snow blocks and muddy conditions make many mountain and interior roads completely impassable. These roads can be very challenging to traverse, so it is always recommended that two or more four-wheel-drive vehicles travel together. It is also advised that you leave your travel plan at Safetravel.is.

You should always know what the road conditions will be before you set out, and you can check this on the website of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration.

Don't forget the weather

The unpredictable, extreme weather in Iceland can make driving even Highway 1 a challenging experience. In winter, snowstorms, high winds, dense fog, icy roads, and perpetual darkness can complicate the simplest of journeys and such conditions need to be prepared for. Before setting out anywhere, check the weather in Iceland on the website of the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Heed bad weather warnings, and always err on the side of caution, especially if you do not have experience driving in these conditions. Throughout summer, the weather in the west and south is usually a lot less rough, but it is always wise to check out the prediction before starting your day.

Overall, drivers who are aware of the weather, the road conditions and their own driving skills, and who rent the right vehicle for what they plan to do, will have a safe and enjoyable time driving through the incredible beauty of Iceland. Make sure you know the rules and take all necessary precautions, and the whole of the country will be at your fingertips. 

If you seek more information, please check out this ultimate guide of driving in Iceland.