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Iceland Rental Cars & Driving Tips

Driving in Iceland can be the best thing ever or the most challenging thing ever!  Really depends on the time of year you visit and what Mother Nature dishes out.  But there are ways to prepare yourself to ensure you are ready no matter what!  Therefore, today we will share with you all you need to know about Iceland rental cars and give you tips for driving while you’re here!

Choosing Iceland Rental Cars

Likely, after you book your flights and accommodation you will look for Iceland rental cars.  Will you choose an economy, electrical car, SUV, van, or Land Rover?

First, you need to determine what type of adventure you wish to have.  Meaning, will you stay on Route 1 the famed Ring Road?  Or do you want to venture off onto F-Roads, and dirt paths, and get more offbeat?  Second, if the first you can get away with an economy, midsize, etc during the months of April-October.

Third, when winter comes (November-March), we suggest you upgrade to something with 4-wheel drive or an SUV.  That way you will have more confidence and capability to be able to maneuver in winter weather.  Furthermore, your next question is what is the best company with Iceland rental cars?  Our recommendation for you is to check out our friends at NorthBound.  They have developed the best search tool for rental cars in Iceland as you will see below…

Fuel Prices in Iceland

If you’re not going the electric route while choosing Iceland rental cars, you may be curious about fuel prices.  To illustrate and help you with planning your Iceland road trip check out this fuel calculator.  Who knows, depending on how you want to explore you may find signing up for our private tours will be more fun to do!

Next, if you want to be prepared here is a list of Iceland fuel station names so you can be on the watch for them:

  • ÓB
  • Orkan
  • Dælan
  • Atlantsolía
  • Costco Fuel (If staying within the Reykjavik area can be convenient)
  • N1 (Note: On average more expensive but most available throughout the countryside)
  • Olís (Note: On average more expensive)

Tips for Driving in Iceland

For those of you living in countries that drive on the RIGHT side of the road, you’ll be happy to know Iceland does too!  Meanwhile, our Ice Pic Journeys team would love to share with you some tips about driving Iceland rental cars:

  1. Be aware your headlights must be on at all times, it’s the law.
  2. Please wear your seatbelts!
  3. Iceland has a 1-drink tolerance when it comes to blood alcohol levels.  Don’t dare to drink and drive though!
  4. Follow the speed limit!  In Reykjavik, towns, or villages where people live the speed limit is 30-50 km/hr.  On countryside gravel roads it is 80 km/hr.  And along Route 1 and on paved countryside roads the speed limit in Iceland is 90 km/hr.
    • It’s a heavy toll if you don’t and a pretty shocking experience.  For example, if police catch you speeding they pull you over, tell you to shut the car off, take your license, and escort you back to their vehicle for a 20-minute lecture.  Additionally, they will ask if you want to pay the fine on the spot for a discount (do this!).  But also know they only accept Visa or MasterCard.
  5. Storms in Iceland often come with the following: Gale-force winds, rain, hail, snow, or blizzard conditions.
  6. Can be advantageous to travel with an emergency kit on hand.  You can check out our Amazon Storefront for more ideas.
  7. Most American credit cards do not have a security “pin” to use.  Therefore, when you use the outdoor pay stations at fuel stations you may get an error.  So you will need to head inside.  However, if you know your debit or credit card “pin” beforehand to use at the fuel pumps you’ll be good to go!

Must Know’s Before Your Iceland Road Trip:

Before you go to bed each night and most certainly before you head out in the morning double check these websites to ensure you’ll avoid any challenges.  Or at the very least knowing can also allow you to “plan b” earlier if needed due to weather.

  • Iceland’s Number for Emergencies is 112.
  • Best Weather Website:
  • Road Conditions Checker:
  • Log your trip in advance just in case:
  • Pro Tip: If you’re planning to drive in remote areas of the countryside during winter, fill up every time you can.  Why?  Because fuel stations are less frequent.  Also just in case you slide off the road it could be hours before someone can help you and you’ll stay warm in the meantime!

We hope today will aid you in your journey to Iceland!  Lastly, be aware our Glacier Tours, Day Tours, and Private Tours all run year-round and we would love to see you on one soon!

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