Iceland Guide

And what’s the point of buying a car to drive around on asphalt?

Where asphalt is, nothing interesting

and where interesting, there is no asphalt.

© Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

Monday begins on Saturday

Any guidebook will tell you that you need a car to travel around Iceland. Whose car this is and who will be the driver is another question, but the car is needed anyway.

During our trip, we saw: the 1st cyclist, the 1st motorcyclist and many buses with tourist groups, the size of a million people. But there is no worse scenario for me, where it is necessary to reckon with the needs of another 50-60 people.

We are madly in love, to be tied to someone, and I absolutely did not want to adjust to the schedule of the digestive tract of “colleagues in the workshop”. Iceland is a big, beautiful, and free country. So we wanted to travel as much as possible without any restrictions. Therefore, we decided to listen to the advice of “experienced” and rent a car

If you have ever read reports on trips to Iceland, then I am sure that you have heard about all those 9 circles of hell that you need to go through not only to choose a car, but also to pass it.

The forums are full of eerie tales of how they were deceived, given old cars or eventually forced to pay a fine for breaking parts, a scratch on a car and

Many of the tips, by the way, can be applied not only to travel around Iceland, but also, say, Ireland.

1. Rights and driver selection

Rent a car, can a person who has rights of international standard. The first thing you need to pay attention to is that the minimum age for a driver in each company varies. So, on average, a driver must be over 20 years old in order to rent low-cost or passenger cars, and must also be at least 23-25 ​​years old in order to rent 4×4 cars or luxury cars. It is important that the driving experience must be at least 12-24 months, but again it depends on the terms of the contract and varies from one company to another. If you are still very young or have recently received your rights, this may be a key factor in your choice.

It seems that everything is quite simple – rent a car and roll yourself along the deserted roads and neither you nor the police nor traffic lights. Who can not cope with such driving? Only in practice, the roads in Iceland are different and in places really difficult. Therefore, evaluating your strength and skills be realistic. We saw several very serious accidents that happened in the middle of an empty road (which is difficult to explain, right?), But the cars were completely broken. Once again we draw your attention to the fact that it is very important for drivers to be experienced!

Before the trip, do not forget to look here this (The link is here, as elsewhere, the active) page. At first this hint seemed rather strange to us, but in the end it came in handy. Read about the road and traffic rules in advance, and here here someone has collected a very useful material. You can see the road signs here here, and the owners of Android devices are lucky – you can download the application here here.

2. Get caught big and small

I think everyone has already heard that it is better to rent a big car (4×4). We would also note that the car should be spacious. Even if there are only two of you – and you travel with backpacks (which is unlikely if you have a car), the car should still be spacious. You will have to spend quite a lot of time in the car, so choose a model with comfortable seats. We would also recommend renting a car with an automatic transmission. If you (or someone else), hand on heart, not a very experienced driver, are worried and worried before driving in another country and / or are used to left-hand traffic (our option), then the automatic transmission will be very helpful.

3. Where to rent?

This question is probably the most important and you need to think about it as soon as possible. Now the market has a large number of companies providing these services. I put together a list here, but I will not list in the text, since we didn’t touch them (except 1) and I cannot recommend them.

Iceland Guide

Sign up to the newsletter from different companies better – this is the fastest way to get news about promotions. And sometimes it happens that subscribers give small discounts.

We also advise you to study several offers from different companies before making your final choice. If you do not be lazy, you may even be ready to make a table (as I did). It is necessary to record all the information in it (car model, gas mileage, insurance, link to the site and

For ourselves, we chose Hertz. Firstly, Hertz is a world famous company and in case of any difficulties, problems or proceedings, they will not disappear from the market. Secondly, they had a pretty good offer for those who book in advance and pay immediately.

We chose Toyota Rav 4, 2014, mechanics, and also did not take any additional insurance and did not book the navigator (but planned to take it on the spot).

Here begins the most difficult.

Renting a car in Iceland requires a tough choice. In Iceland, there is NO one full insurance for cars rented by tourists. The insurances are divided into 5 types:

CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) This insurance is usually included in the rental price and covers damage to a rented car in the event of an accident with another vehicle. Here, do not forget to draw your attention to the most important phrase – “with the franchise / excess” (its size is indicated in the contract).

SCDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver) – everything is like in CDW, but this time the franchise will be less.

Only better, you will be offered: SAAP (Sand and Ash Protection) – insurance against damage caused by sand and volcanic ash, TP (Theft Protection) – insurance against theft and GP (Gravel protection) – insurance covering you against the costs associated with compensation for damage to the car while driving on gravel roads.

Insurance is sold in different configurations, sometimes you can buy the entire package at once and save money. Sometimes it’s easier to buy one by one. It is important that, filling out your table, you should note not only how much insurance costs, but also how profitable it is for you (

To be honest, I almost lost my mind, while I did all the calculations and compared all the available options. The car cost us € 574, and the insurance would have risen to another € 400. It was not very convenient for me, but there was no way out,

I was desperate and decided that we must take all the insurance. After all, there are a million stories on the Internet about how people were spoiled by a single scratch on a car body. I understood that taking into account the road coverage, the stones will fly in all directions and we have every chance to “fly in full”. For a long time we did not dare to take the car, but in the end, we didn’t have time to push this question more. Quite by chance, on one of the forums, I found information about a company that does not insure you against the occurrence of an insured event, but insures your franchise.

I think these companies are not enough, we have chosen for ourselves Worldwide insure (active link). I called them several times, and then also wrote a huge letter in which I described in detail each insurance that we were offered to take. I asked to explain how this all works.

The answer turned out to be even better than we hoped – all insured events fit under the terms of the contract with Worldwide Insure, which means that insurance from the tenant could not be taken at all.

Of course, there was a risk in that, and if something had happened to the car, and its restoration would have cost more than £ 50,000, we would have been in a terrible situation. But we hoped that this would not happen,

But there was another case about which I wrote in Instagram (the link is again active), for which we had to pay almost € 700. In short, we lost the keys to the car. We were fined for this. Of this amount, € 250 is the cost of the key itself, which we drowned, and the rest of the transportation costs (the keys were sent by plane from Reykjavik, and then they were taken by courier).

This case brought us quickly, and most importantly, in time, returned to Earth. It was very felt that insurance at £ 50,000 in Iceland might not be enough.

Just recently, Worldwide Insure reimbursed us almost the entire amount (according to the contract for the loss of keys, the payment can be no more than £ 500).

Iceland Guide

We did not count on this at all, since transportation costs are usually not reimbursed.

But apparently, the company does not work robots, but people who understand that this is Iceland and there is no way to get new car keys differently.

In general, we are satisfied and happy – therefore, for ourselves, we just decided that we would take such insurance yet. But not as the only option, but as a backup.

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