The Best Time of Year to Rent a Car and Drive in Iceland

There’s no bad time to rent a car and drive in Iceland, but there are pros and cons of driving around the country at different times of the year. If you’re thinking of coming but aren’t sure which season’s best, here at Konvin we can offer you some pointers to help you plan your trip.

Summer

Summer is the busiest time to visit Iceland but also the time when statistically you’ll have the best odds of fine weather. The long hours of daylight are ideal for sightseeing; if you’re habitually an early bird or a night owl, consider visiting popular spots outside the middle of the day when having your own car at your disposal means you aren’t tied to tour schedules. Renting a car also means you can drive around more of Iceland. In summer, the interior highlands are accessible to those in 4×4 cars, and the dazzling colours of Landmannalaugar are sure to put a smile on your face. The roads leading around Iceland’s coastal fjords are also a delight to drive at this time of year. Even in summer, both the Westfjords and East Iceland see relatively few visitors compared to the areas closer to Reykjanes and Reykjavik, so make the most of them.

Autumn

The crowds thin by autumn but the chance of inclement weather becomes more of a risk. But this is a season with many advantages when it comes to car rentals and road trips. As far as driving’s concerned, traffic will be lighter and it will be easier to find a space to leave your car in the busiest car parks. But you might find there are days when you have to contend with strong winds, heavy downpours and even snowstorms. One of the benefits of renting a car at this time of year is the ability to get off the beaten track to find autumn colour in canyons and beside waterfalls. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit hard to reach locations where the réttir is taking place. This is the country’s annual livestock roundup and usually visitors are welcome to join in – a must for anyone who’s interested in Icelandic culture.

Winter

In many respects this is the season that represents the biggest gamble when it comes to car rental. Iceland’s winter weather can be challenging, even though your vehicle will be fitted with winter tyres. You might need to be flexible with your itinerary if roads are temporarily closed because of gusty winds or heavy snowfalls. However, if you strike it lucky with dry sunny weather it can be the most glorious time to drive in Iceland. Make use of the excellent real-time maps that help drivers keep abreast of current conditions. You can head out into the countryside and drive through landscapes where snow-capped mountains form

a photogenic backdrop to frozen waterfalls dripping with icicles. It truly can be a winter wonderland, and even more magical as the nights draw in if you also see the aurora borealis dancing in the inky black sky.

Spring

Spring offers a tempting compromise between winter and summer. In early spring you might still see the Northern Lights. Having a rental car means you can drive yourself to somewhere dark and yet it won’t be as cold as you wait around for the aurora to make an appearance. Later in the spring, you might see lambs trotting after their mothers beside country roads, or swathes of purple lupins colonising rugged lava fields. Fewer travellers at this time of year means that the most popular sites, such as those along the south coast, are far less crowded and traffic is lighter. As a consequence of lower demand, prices tend not to be as steep as they can be during peak season. Your car rental budget will stretch to an upgrade and you might choose to hire a larger vehicle.

Got it figured out? Lock in your Konvin rental car today.

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