The Complete Guide to Car Rental in Iceland: What Every Tourist Should Know

If you’re planning to hire a car in Iceland, there are certain considerations that might influence your decision. Take a look at Konvin’s complete guide to car rental in Iceland; here’s what we think every tourist should know before getting behind the wheel.

Have a rough idea of your route

Different routes within Iceland present different needs and challenges. Having a small car to park in the busiest car parks of South Iceland can be a huge advantage – and be cheaper to refuel – while if you plan to drive in more mountainous parts of the country then sufficient power to cope with steep inclines will be a boon. Rather than trying to find a “one size fits all” solution, it’s a good idea to think about where you want to go and use a website such as to help you appreciate the type of driving it will entail. That will enable you to make the right choice.

Make sure you know what’s included

Different rental companies include different things in their headline prices, so check the small print to make sure you are comparing like for like. For instance at Konvin, we include unlimited kilometres as standard. Take a look at the rental agreement and make sure you have factored in decent insurance, roadside assistance, additional drivers and any other extras you might want before comparing prices.

Should you rent a car or campervan?

Different vehicles suit different needs, so you’ll need to consider who’s coming before making your choice. Small compacts are fine if there are only two of you and you don’t have a lot of luggage, whereas if there are more of you and you’re in Iceland for a longer period of time you’ll appreciate the extra space and luggage capacity. In summer when accommodation prices rise and availability is stretched in popular destinations, renting a campervan can make things simpler, especially if you’re travelling on a budget.

Think about whether you want to upgrade to an automatic

A car with automatic transmission can be more expensive to hire than a manual. However, if you’re not used to driving a manual car (or stick shift as it’s called in the US) getting to grips with this different technique can be stressful. Though you’ll quickly master the skill of changing gears using a clutch pedal, you might prefer to choose a vehicle with automatic transmission so you don’t have to think about it. You can concentrate on navigating and seeing the sights instead.

Consider whether you need a 4×4 or not

One common fallacy with travellers planning a visit to Iceland is that a 4×4 is essential. In fact, it’s often not, particularly if you’re over here during the warmer months. What a 4×4 typically gives you, though, is extra height clearance and better grip. If your planned route is likely to include a significant amount of gravel roads or mountain passes, you might feel more comfortable with AWD. In the highlands – accessible during the summer – a suitable 4×4 is necessary to cope with the more challenging F-roads you’ll find there.

Don’t skimp on insurance

Accidents do happen, even to the most prepared and careful drivers. A stone flicked up by an oncoming vehicle’s wheels can quickly lead to a cracked windscreen, while a flat tyre is another possibility. While serious incidents are fortunately uncommon, it’s a good idea to take out comprehensive insurance. In Iceland, you’ll need basics such as CDW and theft protection but also may wish to consider sand and gravel protection, for instance.

Organising this aspect of your Iceland trip as early as possible means you’ll get the best choice at the best prices. Get in touch with Konvin today and lock in the vehicle that’s perfect for you.

Need a place to stay near the airport?

Check out our Konvin Hotel near the Keflavik International airport