A trip to Iceland is everyone’s dream come true. And if you have been reading our blog or about Iceland travel in general, you would have figured out that renting a car and driving around Iceland is one of the most preferred ways to explore this beautiful country. There are a ton of car rental companies out there in Iceland and its honestly confusing which one to select. Let me ease your doubt by presenting you this post which is a compilation of experiences of travel bloggers who traveled to Iceland. Hope this rental cars in Iceland reviews post will help you to figure out which company to zero in on while you travel to Iceland. For your convenience, I’ve also included a few camper van reviews too.
Best way to book your rental car in Iceland
One of the best ways to find book your rental car is through this website rentalcars.com. We literally have used this site on all our travels in Europe and recommend this to our readers too. We punch in our travel dates and find out the best deals from different car vendors and book the one that suits our requirement and budget. Use the search box below to get the best prices for your future travels.
Rental cars Iceland reviews
Now that you found the best place to hire the car from, lets move onto the reviews of different companies, so you can get a clarity on which one to zero in on!
James Davies from Where you’re Between – Avis Car rentals
We hired a car with Avis for our trip from Reykjavik to Iceland’s second city of Akureyri. Our trip took a massive detour through the Westfjords, one of the least visited but most beautiful regions of Iceland. We collected the car at Keflavik airport with no fuss at all, the staff were friendly and the paperwork was all dealt with very smoothly.
The car was in great condition and was perfect for our trip across Iceland. That said, extreme caution was needed in some parts of the Westfjords where the mountain roads were unpaved and pretty dicey.
We did have one minor drama with a small collision in our hotel car park in Akureyri. Both cars only suffered minor scratches but the insurance paperwork that Avis are meant to leave with the car was missing. We had to call the office back at Keflavik and fill in an official police report at an insurance office in Akureyri. It meant an hour sat in an office filling in forms, which wasn’t ideal but not the end of the world.
Thankfully we had taken out the complete damage waiver option when we hired the car, more in anticipation of Iceland’s dodgy roads than a bump in a car park. This meant that we didn’t face any additional repair charges, which would have been quite high.
Sara from Our Kind of Crazy – Cars Reykjavik
When we headed to Iceland, we knew we wanted to road trip so we had to get a rental car. We found a company called “Cars Reykjavik” that had some really great prices. We landed super early in the morning, but they still came to pick us up at the airport to take us to their offices. It was a very easy process to pick up the car and get on our way. You only have to put a 15% deposit down until you get there as well. Cars Reykjavik has a great selection of brand new cars including 4x4s. They also have several automatic transmissions, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t drive manual. We never did a car inspection while we were at the office, but when it got light outside, we noticed a dent in the roof of our car. We quickly emailed the company and sent photos and they told us not to worry. We had no problems with that.
One of our favorite things about this company, was they offered a WiFi Router as an add on, which we took full advantage of. We had service wherever we went with that router…even on a long hike up a mountain. They also give you 24/7 roadside assistance should anything go wrong, so we knew we were covered and had no worries. We definitely recommend booking through Cars Reykjavik if you want to save lots of money!
Gemma Armit from Two Scots Abroad – Cheapcarrentaliceland.com
Cheap Car Rental Iceland.com is a decent rental option for those who don’t mind a well-used car.
For an additional €32, a friendly driver from the company will pick you up at the airport and drop you off again. However, there are only two runs per hour so factor that into your trip timing.
The checkout procedure can be long. The office staff appear unprepared but in good spirit with it.
Mid-sized cars are economical at €308 for five days. Just don’t expect it to come in full working order. This wasn’t an issue for us during our Iceland honeymoon, we could handle a missing petrol/gas cap and some scratches and dents to the bodywork.
The lack of alarm when we left the lights on was annoying and could have resulted in a flat battery but luckily people pointed out when we forgot to switch off.
Before you leave, thoroughly check the report for damage and add any new examples to avoid a hefty bill at the end of your trip!
Sherrie from Travel By A Sherrie Affair – Budget Car rentals
Landing early in the morning from New York we headed straight to our car rental company Budget. We have used them pretty much everywhere we travel and have always had a good experience. This time the agent behind the counter saved us literally from a storm.
As we checked in the agent made friendly conversation and asked us where were headed to, which we replied was out to the Golden Circle to Ion Adventure hotel. He stopped us right there and told us there was no way we would make it that day. A major snow storm was headed in within in the next few hours. He also advised us to call a few hotels ASAP and try to spend the night in Reykjavik. We heeded his warning and advice and I believe we were able to book the last room available in the city! As we flew in, there were many trying to fly back out, which put the city in total chaos.
Our Budget agent helped us thoroughly with maps and directions for our trip. He also provided us with road and weather advice to be more prepared for the rest of our vacation, which we found invaluable. Especially, being able to know of road closings and what to look for when driving. Once again, Budget car rental worked out great for us.
Danni Lawson from Live in 10 Countries – Budget
Setting off on an epic road trip around the entire island was really exciting a really exciting plan – but one I really didn’t have a big budget for!
I was working and living on the east coast, but due to switch to a new role in Reykjavik and thought of getting the best possible price on the trip. One handy thing about Budget was that they have agents in rural locations, so even in the tiny village if Vopnafjordur, I found a rental and was able to leave the car later in their main office in the capital.
The service was really professional and I was shown the car and documents before having to sign anything. There was no hard sell for optional extras either.
As you walk around the car, be sure to photograph any defects, just in case. They had small and light cars which are good for backpackers and very fuel efficient and yet still offer enough space. I did pay for the top range insurance, including cover for freak accidents such as sand storms which are charged as an extra.
I’m so glad I did because my trip buddy and I somehow chipped a lot if paintwork on the car. The roads in Iceland are often just gravel, so it’s likely that’ll happen to you too.
When I returned the car, the dealer looked like he was about to give me a huge bill right up until the moment I showed him I’d paid for the extra cover, so it was worth it’s weight in gold. In total the bill was around 600 euros for 4 days.
Claire from Past The Potholes – Europcar
We recently completed our 10 day Iceland ring road itinerary and loved every second of it! I did a lot of research prior to making a reservation with Europcar. We first used them in Portugal and had such a positive experience, we’ve become repeat customers.
Not all rental companies allow use of a credit card for insurance, and those that do often put a ridiculously large deposit on the card. Not so with Europcar. While the price wasn’t the absolute lowest, it was still competitive and being able to decline the insurance did make it cheaper.
We landed in Keflavik and walked straight up to the Europcar desk without a minute’s wait. The clerk processed our reservation and gave us a handy book that included safety information for driving in Iceland. She explained to us that, as the winter weather was just arriving, the car did not yet have studded winter tires but we could go to a different Europcar location and have them installed if we chose. While this was a great option it did unfortunately eat up a few hours of our first day in Iceland. However, most other rentals hadn’t been given this choice and the difference was obvious.
Our Suzuki Jimny was in excellent condition but as the cheapest 4×4 option, as basic as expected. We carefully checked it for existing damage, finding none. Returning the vehicle was just as painless. It’s a little nerve-wracking using credit card insurance. The agent quickly checked the car, told us there were no problems and we were on our way!”
Veronika Primm from TravelGeekery – SS Car Rental
We booked a car from SS Car Rental via the Guide to Iceland Platform. The whole process was very smooth. We selected our car (the cheapest one) on the website and left it to the destiny what exact model we’d get. We ended up with a beautiful new Kia Cee’d (2WD) of white color.
A representative of SS Car Rental was waiting for us at the Keflavik Airport and led us to the car. We took care of the paperwork inside the car and then we were free to go. The whole process took about 15 minutes. We also had a GPS pre-booked, but the one we received was old and not very user-friendly. We ended up using our phones and Google Maps instead.
The car was very comfortable, smooth to drive and we had no issues whatsoever. It protected us well from the craziness of Icelandic weather. 🙂 The return process was even smoother, even though a bit strange to us. We were asked just to leave the car unlocked at the airport parking. We took so many photos to prove we really did leave the car there, in case it would get stolen! Fortunately, it didn’t 🙂
Vanessa from Wanderlust Crew – SADCars
When we visited Iceland last year, we knew that a rental car would be one of our biggest expenses. Since we were traveling Iceland on a budget we wanted to save as much money as possible.
Luckily we found SADCars who are self-proclaimed cheap Iceland rental company. SADCars offers good solid vehicles at a low cost. Some of their cars may be cosmetically damaged or older, but they are all great and work fine. They offer a wide range of cars, even four-wheel drive, which is so important in Iceland when you’re traveling on mountainous or gravelly roads.
We rented a four-wheel drive for our party of 6, which cost us about $400 for the week. We couldn’t have done Iceland without a car!
SADCars was fantastic to work with and they even offer free hotel pickup if you are staying in Reykjavik.
Jenny Smit from IkReis – Sunny Cars
I wanted to enjoy the freedom of a self-drive holiday in Iceland at a low price. Therefore I’ve rented a 4×4 via Sunny Cars at Reykjavik Airport. Sunny Cars has an all inclusive formula: all cars are all risk ensured. That’s great, I’m always a bit scared a company wants me to pay for damage caused by some one else.
Due to bad weather conditions the airport was a mess when I arrived. I had to wait quite a while before I got the keys of the car. (People were also waiting for the other rental companies. ) As soon as I got the keys everything was fine! I’d chosen a Skoda Octavia 4WD. The car was quite new and in a good condition. I didn’t rent a SatNav, I simply used my phone. That worked fine.
The 4WD was handy for some remote roads. However, a normal car would have been sufficient for most of my trip. Even during the stormy and snowy weather I had in the winter season.
The drop off of the car at the end of the trip went smoothly. I had an early morning flight, but the little office was open already.
Denise from Inhetvliegtuig.nl – Global Rent-a-Car
Global Rent-A-Car is a professional and popular car rental company in Iceland. One of the staff members picked us up from the Keflavik International Airport with a big branded bus. He was very friendly and brought us to their office, which is only 10 minutes away from the airport. After filling in all the forms, they from provided us with a big Honda CR-V. A beautiful car, with a big rooftop window that was perfect for spotting the Northern lights from the passenger’s seat.
During wintertime, they only rent out cars with winter tires and studs for extra safety. The service was great and we even got some coupons and discount codes to fuel up the car during our road trip. Right in front of their office is a gas station. Make sure to do this before you return it. Otherwise, they need to charge you extra. Also, don’t forget to take pictures of any damages on the car before driving it. That way you can prove the damages were already there in case of insurance problems.
In our case, the drop off was quick and easy. We had a very early flight and it was no problem to bring the car back in the middle of the night. They even rushed us to the airport so we wouldn’t miss our flight. Great service!
Jessica from One Girl, Whole World – Sixt Rental Car
For our epic road trip, we used Sixt Rental Car. I had used them on a few previous European road trips as well as a couple in the U.S, so felt pretty comfortable with overall customer service and reliability—plus they’re usually an affordable low/mid price option. Overall I was super happy with Sixt and the experience.
The car we had was really nice, clean, and had some bells and whistles such as GPS and easy connection for our iPods. The staff was polite and helpful. The only downside was in the process of picking up the car. Many of the rental car companies’ offices are off-site, which is not uncommon in airports, so you’ll need to take the little shuttle bus 5 minutes to the rental car office. The only challenge I had was that when I arrived at the Sixt office, the line was super long, so I had to wait almost 45 minutes to actually get my car. The two people working there were doing their absolute best, I just happened to arrive at the same time as a ton of other people, so it slowed me down a bit. But that was my only issue, everything else was great.
Lagoon Car Rentals by yours truly!
We traveled in Iceland over 10 days and the Hyundai Tucson from Lagoon Car Rentals was our faithful companion. The car was well maintained, fairly new and we absolutely no issues whatsoever with the car. Lagoon has two offices in Reykjavik – one in the city and another, 5 mins from Keflavik International Airport. We had to wait for a few minutes for the shuttle bus to arrive which was supposed to drop us to Lagoon’s office. We use that time to buy a Simmin sim card, with good data pack and that was used very well as we used Google Maps through out Iceland.
We were upgraded to 4×4 Hyundai Tucson when we arrived, we had initially booked a 2wd car (Read here to know whether you need a 2wd or 4wd car in Iceland?) Though we traveled far north into the West fjords, we hardly engaged all the wheels. The entire itinerary would have been manageable by a 2wd. Also, the main reason was our itinerary never involved any F roads. The car took good care of us.
The return was very straight forward, the officer inspected our vehicle and we were good to go! They also dropped us to Keflavik airport for free. Overall, we recommend Lagoon Car Rentals to anyone looking to rent a car from them. Read our full review here.
Campervan Iceland reviews
Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse – Go Campers Iceland
A camper van is, without a doubt, the best way to see and camp around Iceland’s Ring Road, and will provide the best opportunities for finding the Northern Lights.
Renting a camper van for your Icelandic road trip can be overwhelming with so many companies to choose from. My buddy and I rented our camper van from Go Campers Iceland, which is recognized as one of the country’s strongest companies, and we were completely happy with them. The office is located on the way from the main airport to Reykjavik, though they also offer pick up from the airport, which was a convenient option. The staff is great, the vehicle was in great condition, it had everything we needed, and the price is right.
With a camper van, we were able to see some waterfalls and explore the highlands that aren’t accessible without a 4×4 car. We also saw the northern lights three out of the seven nights we were camping the ring road, simply because we had flexibility. Plus, we could stop any time we wanted to take photos.
Finally, The camper van also allowed us to camp and wake up at the glacier lagoon on the third day, as they allow camper vans but not tents in the parking lot. That allowed us to combine the northern lights at night and a sunrise over the lagoon in the morning. It was wonderful having that kind of flexibility and we saved a lot on food and accommodation.
Nina Ragusa from Where in the World is Nina? – Kuku Campers
I campervanned most of the West Coast of Iceland in a campervan and I was quite happy with Kuku Campers! While the van is pretty basic, it still has everything you need. There is a full on kitchen set up in the back, sleeping bags prepared to snuggle you and keep you warm (I was here in September and was kept warm!), and our car was given to us in perfect condition. There’s nothing worse than having something go wrong a day or two into your trip; we had zero issues. They were even nice enough to email all current customers when there was a notice of closed roads ahead due to weather which was very nice of them and saved us from getting stuck.
Check in and check out was seamless as well. We had a really early flight out and they allowed us to just drop the car off and place the keys in a box so we didn’t waste anytime at all. The only issue is their vans are not four wheel drive so if you plan on going on some rough roads, this is not the company to go with.
I hope these reviews really help you to decide on the rental car company on your journey in Iceland. Feel free to add your experience about your rental car in the comment section below. It will definitely help other fellow travelers.
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