It is possible to get around Iceland without renting a car, and you don’t have to lose out too much on choice or price, though both do become slightly more limited. There are taxi tours available, but also taxis that mainly work within Reykjavik.
Iceland currently doesn’t have either Uber or Lyft services, and you’re not supposed to hail an empty cab as it passes you on the street either. Instead, you have to book a taxi or go to one of the designated taxi ramps with the centre. Both of these services run 24 hours anywhere in the city. If you’re within Reykjavik you can just call and wait a short while for the taxi, but if you’re outside the main city it is advisable to prebook.
Their taxis also don’t have a particular style, such as a yellow cab or black taxi, but they come in a range that suit your needs. The thing that makes them uniform is the yellow taxi signs on the roof, unless its October, where the signs go pink for breast cancer awareness month.
Hreyfill - +354-588-5522
BSR - +354-561-0000
If you prefer to book online, they both have websites and Hreyfill has an entirely English version. They both also have apps that are available in both the App Store and on Google Play. Hreyfill’s is called the Hreyfill Taxi App and BSR’s is simply called the BSR app.
All taxis within Iceland run off similar prices, though they tend to be more expensive than other countries. What they don’t require is a tip at the end of the journey, which is a cultural aspect that extends throughout services offered in Iceland.
Taxis run by the meter and accept all major credit cards, and they tend to be able to speak decent English, so you won’t get lost. They are also friendly and most will engage you in conversation.
If you are travelling from the airport into the city, most companies offer a set price, though it is much more expensive than taking the bus.
If you don’t want to stay within Reykjavik there are also plenty of taxi tours available to you. Hreyfill and BSR both offer them, but there are many other small companies that will offer good services. They tend to offer private day tours to individuals or family groups, but most are willing to customise or adapt their journeys, and may offer entirely customised tours.
This way you can still travel the Golden Circle or reach the Blue Lagoon, and the drivers will often share interesting facts and history from the areas that you drive through.
If you don’t want to bother with the booking and planning, renting a car for the day is a good option as well.