10 Important Tips when Renting A Car In Iceland

1. The weather will change when you least expect it.

At least be prepared for that. The weather in Iceland changes often and you don’t want to be wearing only shorts and a t-shirt when a it starts to rain. We recommend that you pack for all seasons. You might also want to bring your swimwear since you might just get lucky and run into a secret hot spring or an outdoor pool.

2. Stock up on food and drink before you leave the city

You should consider this tip if:
a) You want to be able to spend more time exploring the country.
b) You don’t want to be hungry or thirsty while traveling. Being hangry is not going to help you when you’re on the road.

Sometimes the restaurants and gas stations are spread apart, so there won’t always be an opportunity to stop and grab some snacks.

Two main grocery stores are Kronan and Bonus, there you will find everything you should need when it comes to food. Those stores don’t open until 10 am at the earliest, so if you are able to be there when they are open, you can save some money on foods instead of going to higher-priced stores or gas stations.

No gas station?

4. Care for nature and the places you are visiting

Every place that you wish to see in Iceland wouldn’t be like they are now if it wasn’t treated with respect. Most of these things are natural landscapes. So please stay on natural footpaths, and try not to leave any marks there, unless there is a guest book, then, of course, write your name.

Tourists have been known to poop, litter, graffiti, tear up moss, leave trash and drive off road on moss or grass. Often they end up on national news and get fined by the police. Please help us keeping keep things in their natural way, and never leave any place in worse condition than it was before.

Find safe places to stop.

3. Stay safe, and don’t stop on the side of the road

It wouldn’t be a surprise for anyone if you wanted to stop every 10 minutes to take a picture. Everything changes and it looks more beautiful every time. The roads are narrow and there is usually not much space for cars to pull over, so cars driving past you will have to go to the other side of the road to get safely around your car.

You shouldn’t risk your life or anyone else’s life, so we recommend stopping in areas where there is plenty of space available, not on the roadside where it’s dangerous for everyone in the traffic.

5. Fuel up!

Iceland may not have a huge population, but the country isn’t that small though. There might come a time where you will be driving around for a long time without seeing a gas station, so we recommend that you make sure you have enough fuel on your car. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of Iceland.

6. No cash, no worries

Most stores, gas pumps and ATM’s accept major credit cards in Iceland. So it’s not so big deal if you haven’t been to the bank to take out Icelandic currency.

Taking pictures in Iceland7. Taking photos? Bring your large memory card

If you’re recording videos or taking photos, you might want to bring a large memory card so you don’t have to start deleting your content to make space for more. You will see interesting places and then you will see some more. It’s better to make sure there is plenty of memory left when you need it.

8. Good tunes, good vibes

While traveling on the road, driving from one amazing place to the next one, good tunes will always make the time more enjoyable. If you want to listen to Icelandic music, you can find plenty of playlists on Spotify. It might be a good idea to download the playlist(s) before though since you might be traveling to places where the internet connection isn’t as stable as in most places.

Just remember to bring your Aux cable or a similar device to plug into your rental car.

Bring plenty of memory cards!

9. Planning and safety

It will save you a lot of time if you have some things planned out before you travel. Sometimes, two locations have the same name here in Iceland, so make sure you’re traveling to the right one when you put in the location name in your GPS system. It’s also important to follow guidelines, so when some road is closed or impossible to drive, don’t risk getting into trouble. Respect the nature and other people and enjoy one of the most memorable trips of your lifetime

Sheep in Iceland10. Watch out for the sheep

When you’re traveling from town to town, it’s better to know that you will most likely see some hairy animals, sometimes with horns, roaming around freely.

That would be a sheep. Sometimes they cross the roads, so if you meet them on the road, just honk lightly and they usually run off the road right away.


Want to know more? Read our guide to driving in Iceland and check out our favourite 4x4 roads in Iceland.