Driving in Iceland – It’s easy with four expert tips!

For our 2015 Sister’s Trip, my sister and I decided to explore the beautiful country of Iceland! Early on we decided that if we wanted to see everything this country had to offer, we would need to make it a two-week road trip!

“AHHH!! But we’ve never driven through a foreign country before” was the one thing I kept repeating over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to go to Iceland, but so far I’ve only used busses, metro stations and the effecient high-speed rail to get around while traveling. Iceland would be different, so we read all the guide books and blogs we could, chose a rental car company and took off to Iceland! To make your trip that much easier, check out my four expert tips below:

  1. Learn the “Rules of the Road”
    • While a bit cheesy, we found this video to be helpful in what to expect on the roads in Iceland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MprZuQ-gM3M
    • Watch out for sheep..they are everywhere!!!!
  2. Only order a 4×4 SUV vehicle
    • The best part of driving in Iceland is going on the gravel roads, dirt roads and F-roads. You MUST have a 4×4 to go on the F-roads, but we found that our 4×4 was really helpful on the regular and bumpy roads too!
    • While still expensive ($1300/2 weeks), we decided to rent from Viking Car Rental. We found their responses and customer service to be far superior from other companies that we spoke to and appreciated that extra bit of security just incase something happened.
  3. Order the correct Insurance and optional GPS
    • Your car rental can be a bit costly and that’s because you need the 4×4 SUV with all the extra insurance (ash, gravel, etc). Make sure your car comes with this or pay the fine!
    • GPS came with our Viking Car rental, but if it doesn’t, it’s worth the extra money to have it. Your other option is to get lost and use your phone for data which can cost even more.
  4. Be prepared for the high cost of gas
    • Driving in Iceland is so much fun, but paying for gas is not! We spent about $700 on gas during the two week vacation.
    • If you’re traveling from the US and don’t have a credit card chip, you will have to purchase a prepaid gas card. I recommend buying gas at the N1 Station because that seemed to be the most reliable. They sell the gas cards in 3,000kr, 5,000kr or 10,000kr options.
    • While getting gas, make sure you grab road snacks! We found Doritos that were labeled “Cool American” flavor….perfect!!!