Rent a 4×4 in Iceland
If you want to have the freedom to travel wherever you want in Iceland, a car is obligatory. Further, if you intend to travel there during the winter season, a 4×4 is highly recommended! Before my trip to Iceland in mid March I was actually hesitating between a regular vehicle and a 4×4. The 4×4 vehicles are quite expensive to rent, but on the other hand you are better prepared and can explore Iceland in a more comfortable way. I would advice to check with your car rental, provide them with as much as information as possible about your itinerary on Iceland, based on that, they will recommend you what car type to reserve.
My roadtrip in Iceland was about exploring the southern part, and this is more or less what I did: Keflavik-Jökulsárlón-Höfn-Jökulsárlón-Vik-Reyjkavik-Keflavik. However I would not recommend to do the route Keflavik-Jokulsarlon in one go, it’s quite long and remember that in Iceland the speed limit is 90km/hour on the highway. However, due to that my flight was cancelled, I had to cancel my planned night in Skogafoss (between Keflavik and Jökulsárlón) in order to keep up with the rest of the itinerary.
On Iceland there is only one main road and it’s called the Ring Road, it takes you all around Iceland, on that road you simply cannot get lost ;-) To visit the destinations I mentioned earlier we drove on the Ring Road which is perfectly fine to do with a regular vehicle, but then again, during wintertime you may consider a 4×4 vehicle with studded winter tyres.
Ace Car Rental in Keflavik
There are many car rental companies located near the airport of Keflavik but also in the capitol, Reyjkavik. I did lot’s of research and compared the different car rental companies and in the end I opted for Ace Car Rental, a family owned company only 5 minutes from the airport in Keflavik. They are also running two guesthouses in Keflavik, since I had reserved our last night of our trip in their Home Guesthouse, I felt it would be more convenient to rent through them. It was not only the proximity of the car rental to the airport of Keflavik that made me choose them, but also for below listed insurances and options that are included without any extra charges:
- Unlimited kilometers
- Collision Damage Waiver
- Gravel Protection
- Theft Protection
- Super Collision Damage Waiver
- One free additional driver
- Studded winter tyres (during winter season)
Some of the above you actually had to pay extra for through the other agencies, at Ace Car Rental we only added Sand & Ash protection which is 10€ per day. For additional 15€ they pick you up at the airport and if you stay in one of their guesthouses on the return, you can leave your car there free of charge. At our arrival to the airport Gundhy, the wife of Gunnar was waiting for us. She welcomed us to Iceland and drove us to their office where we met her husband Gunnar. To our surprise they had upgraded our car choice from Dacia Duster to a The Toyota Rav4 that was simply perfect for our road trip. After an inspection of the car we signed the papers, they advised us about the traffic rules and roads, provided us with some maps and broschures… then we were ready to set off!
A tip, fill your car with some snacks/food before leaving, just around the corner of Ace Car Rental’s office, you’ll find a supermarket.
Review of Ace Car Rental in Keflavik:
I was very happy with the rental service of Ace Car Rental in Keflavik. A friendly family run business and they handled everything very professional. The initial payment, 30% deposit, through Internet was easy to do and in their office I paid the remaining amount. They took their time to control the car before we signed the papers and shared useful information with us in regards to the roads etc. The return went very smooth and the car in itself was excellent. If I return to Iceland I will definitely rent a car through Ace Car Rental again and can truly recommend their services. Great value and friendly service!
The Roads in Iceland
A few basic things to know about the roads in Iceland: the speed limit in urban areas is 50km/hour and 90km/hour on the highway. ALWAYS keep the headlights TURNED ON when driving. Before you take off for your daily adventure, have a look on the weather forecast first! I recommend Vedur to see the weather in different areas in Iceland. It’s not only the weather you should be aware of, also the road conditions are important to check up which you can do on the website ROAD. If the wind will blow more than 20m/s, do like the locals, stay home. Don’t look at other cars and think that if they are driving in rough conditions it will be safe for you to do so too. They might be tourists just like you. We did see a quite few cars flipped down the roads…. So act wise, stay safe!
Passing by a fuel station but still got a half full tank? Stop the car and fill it up! You never no how far it will be until you see the next station. Do have in mind that many fuel stations are self-service, so make sure to have a credit card along.
Driving in Iceland
Driving in a foreign country, especially a country such as Iceland, I truly recommend to do some research and prepare yourself for the roads. A video that helped me understand what was waiting us is Driving With Elfis an informative and funny video. Even on the flight with Iceland Air, this video was available to watch. For winter driving I can also recommend you to read this page Winter Driving In Iceland. Drive safe on the Icelandic Roads ;-)