A rental car is essential when travelling around Iceland, as it allows you to reach remote locations and also get around the whole country with ease. But Iceland car rental can be different from other European locations due to the extreme weather conditions you could face. This is, even more, the case during winter when you can expect snow and very cold temperatures. Our top Iceland Car rental tips include;

  1. Make sure you are aware of the CDW liability
  2. Choose car rental that includes gravel protection
  3. Consider renting a 4WD in Iceland
  4. DON’T Stop in the middle of the road
  5. DON’T Buy fuel at the last minute
  6. ALWAYS take car insurance

We have put together a guide to the best Iceland car rental tips to ensure you get the most out of your rental.

Tip #1: Make sure you are aware of the CDW liability

Many car rental companies in Iceland will include Collision Damage Waiver as a standard part of the insurance that they offer. But what a lot of people don’t realise when they book car rental in Iceland, is that you are still liable to pay damages with the standard CDW insurance and the amount can vary massively depending on the rental company that you choose. You are liable to pay damages up to a limit set by the rental company, with many major brands charging as much as $2,700 in the event of any damage. Make sure you are aware of your liability before taking rental and if possible, look for car rental companies that include SCDW.

Tip #2: Choose car rental that includes gravel protection

Something that you should be aware of when travelling to Iceland is that the roads can be quite treacherous, and in many cases, you could find yourself on gravel roads. Even if you are cautious yourself when driving, your rental car could become damaged from loose gravel thrown from the car in front of you. This can scratch the paintwork and even possibly chip the windscreen, and you could be liable to pay damages according to your CDW. But choosing a car rental that includes gravel protection or remembering to add this during your booking can save you the hassle.

Tip #3: Consider renting a 4WD in Iceland

Although this isn’t essential, you should definitely consider renting a 4WD if you are heading to Iceland during the winter or planning on driving to more remote locations. During the winter, snow and ice are common in Iceland which can make getting around difficult if you only have a small car. If you plan on heading outside of Reykjavik to more remote locations, such as the Westfjords, then you will struggle to get around if you have a small car. Renting a 4WD in Iceland can help you make the most of your trip and truly explore the wild and untouched regions of the country.

Tip #4: DON’T Stop in the middle of the road

One of the biggest issues in Iceland that can lead to car accidents involves people stopping in the middle of the road. Although the landscape is often beautiful and dramatic, you should fight the urge to stop in the middle of the road no matter how empty or clear it might be. Many of the roads in Iceland are narrow and have plenty of turns, while locals are used to roads being clear so might not give enough time to stop. There are also plenty of places to stop too, so make use of these stops instead.

Tip #5: DON’T Buy fuel at the last minute

Another don’t that you should always consider when driving in Iceland, is to plan ahead and think about refuelling earlier than you usually would. Once you head outside of the capital of Reykjavik, fuel stations become few and far between and you can often drive for miles without coming to a station. Make sure you plan your driving ahead of time and make sure you are aware of the nearest petrol stations. You should think about refuelling when you get to half a tank, as this should allow plenty of time to find a fuel station.

Tip #6: ALWAYS take car insurance

One of the biggest misconceptions about car rental in Iceland is that personal insurance will cover you for any damages.  Even if you have full insurance, through something like your credit card company, you will always need to pay for damages or the CDW out of your own pocket. You may get that money back from your credit card company upon returning, but this is a hassle that you could avoid by simply taking insurance with your car rental company. Many rental companies offer insurance with little or no CDW, at a small cost on top of your rental. So it is always sensible to take the insurance your rental company offers.