Iceland is the perfect country for road tripping thanks to the long and quiet roads

and the incredible scenery that surrounds. I can guarantee you won’t be able to

drive for more than 15 minutes in Iceland without stopping to get out and take

photos of the dramatic landscapes.

Hiring a car is a popular way to explore Iceland with many tourists choosing this

over tour buses or public transport. Having your own car allows you to travel at

your own pace and see everything you want to see. If you have a car full of

people, it’s also much more affordable than the organised tours.

One of the best things about having your own car is the ability to avoid the crowds

often associated with a coach load of people. You’re able to get off the beaten

path and explore the sights away from the guidebooks – some of the best

adventures happen when you get lost.

Icelandic roads are very easy to navigate as there are so few of them and all

junctions are clearly signposted. You may feel like you

can travel for miles without passing another car but the roads are never too

isolated. You’ll pass plenty of fuel stations, cafes, restaurants, shops and public

toilets to keep everyone happy during your road trip.

Here are my top tips for hiring a car in Iceland to ensure your road trip goes without a glitch.

2WD or 4WD?

2WD or 4WD?

If you’re travelling to Iceland during the winter then I’d recommend a 4WD. These are the only

vehicles permitted on F roads and they’re much safer in the snow and ice, particularly if you’re

new to driving in these conditions. If you’re visiting Iceland in the summer and plan to stick to the

main tourist sights then a 2WD will be fine.

Travel Insurance

Make sure your travel insurance policy that covers you for driving as well as your other holiday

needs. When you hire a car you’ll probably be offered extra insurance to cover you against

things specific to Iceland like volcanic ash or sand storms. These can ruin the paint on your car

and without extra protection you’re probably not covered. Don’t scrimp on your policy and make

sure you’ve covered for all the biggies. No one thinks they’re ever going to crash, especially

while they’re on holiday. Remember that insurance is cheap but paying the cost for ruining

someone’s brand new car or covering medical bills isn’t.

They’re right in Iceland

They’re right in Iceland

In Iceland they drive on the right. If it’s your first time driving on this side of the road then Iceland

is a great place to try it because the roads are pretty quiet and there aren’t many roundabouts.

Headlights on

It’s the law to have your headlights on at all times in Iceland, even during daylight on a lovely,

sunny day.

Airport pickup and drop off

Airport pickup and drop off

Use a car hire company that is either close to the airport or offers airport pickup and drop off. This

will save you money on airport transfers and makes hiring a car much easier.

Stick to the road

It is forbidden to drive off-road in Iceland due to the sensitive vegetation surrounding the roads.

Your car hire company won’t allow it in case you damage the car.

Don’t drink and drive

It’s against the law to drink and drive (obvs!)

Stay off your mobile

Stay off your mobile

It’s against the law to hold your mobile phone while driving. Don’t use your phone as GPS and ask

your car hire company for a satnav instead.

Stick to the speed limit

Speed limit signs are everywhere and there are speed cameras and hefty fines. If you’re unsure

about what the speed limit is, use a GPS which will beep when you go too fast.


You’ll need to pay for parking in certain places, especially around Reykjavik. Parking is very cheap,

even in the city, so make sure you always pay as they do have wardens patrolling the streets.

Once you’re in the countryside it’s unlikely you’ll need to pay for parking anywhere.

Watch our for sheep

Keep your eyes peeled for livestock, particularly sheep which can venture into the roads. That

would make a mess of your car!

Be prepared for any weather

The weather in Iceland can change in a heartbeat. You can expect brilliant sunshine, rain, snow,

sleet, hail and more brilliant sunshine all within an hour. Make sure you’ve packed accordingly and

have your boot filled with waterproof clothes and warm jumpers.


Here you can hire your rental car