Iceland is open: volcano update


4x4 Car Rentals in Iceland

A self-drive tour is a fantastic way to experience Iceland’s natural wonders at a flexible pace, from geysers to glaciers and everything in between.

Four-wheel drives (4WD) and AWD for hire

A self-drive tour is a fantastic way to experience Iceland’s natural wonders at a flexible pace, from waterfalls to glaciers and everything in between. As a well-established local travel agency, we are able to provide our self-drive customers an excellent selection of vehicles from a reputable car rental agency as well as plenty of tools to help navigate Iceland with ease and discover hidden gems along the way.

For your own unforgettable road trip in Iceland, you can select one of our popular self-drive tours or request your own custom-made itinerary by using our tour customisation form. We also offer 4x4 adventure tours for those who want to go off the beaten path!

Rental car types for Iceland (see details):

Type Name Transmission
A Toyota Yaris or similar Manual
B Volkswagen Golf or similar Automatic
C Toyota Corolla Sedan or similar Automatic
D Toyota Corolla Station or similar Automatic
E Hyundai Tucson AWD or similar Automatic AWD
F Toyota RAV4 or similar Automatic AWD
F1 Tesla Y Midsize SUV Electric Car
G Toyota Land Cruiser or similar Automatic 4x4
H Land Rover Discovery or similar Automatic 4x4
I Ford Transit Automatic

Included in all rentals:
• Basic liability insurance coverage
• Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
• Unlimited mileage
• Free, unlimited in-car Wi-Fi
• Authorisation for two drivers (extra fee for additional drivers)
• Free pick-up and drop-off service within opening hours
• Icelandic VAT @ 25.5%

Not included:
• Fuel or oil
• Overnight parking at hotels
• Parking fees, parking fines or towing charges
• Fines for traffic violations
• Fees for ferries, tunnels or toll roads
• Charges due to negligent vehicle damage (e.g. incorrect fuel, alcohol/drug use, off-road driving, etc.)

• Insurance upgrades (e.g. super collision damage waiver, gravel protection, tyre insurance, sandstorm protection, theft protection, etc) 
• Additional driver(s)
• Child seat
• Other special equipment subject to availability

*Optional features are available for an additional fee and can be selected at the local car rental office at the time of pick-up.

Payment information: A valid credit card is required by the car rental company – your rental agent will make an imprint of your card for security reasons when you come to collect your car. Your voucher covers the cost of the rental, but the imprint may be used to pay any extra charges or cost due to the use of the rented vehicle. Most major credit cards are accepted, and the credit card must be in the driver’s name. No cash is accepted.

Please note:
• The minimum rental age is 20 for most car groups. For larger SUVs (type G, H or J) the minimum rental age is 23 years old.
• A valid driving licence, which has been held for at least one year, is required for all rentals.
• Vehicles travel on the right side of the road in Iceland.
• We strongly recommend a 4x4 (4-wheel drive) vehicle (Types E–J) for travelling from mid-October through to mid-April.

Nordic Visitor provides all self-drive customers with:
• All travel vouchers
• Hard copy of customised itinerary
• Detailed map(s) with accommodations marked
• Information about local driving regulations
• Mobile phone and charger (for temporary use while travelling) with 500 ISK worth of call-time
• 24-hour helpline number
• Highlights of Iceland booklet; includes helpful information about travelling in Iceland and details about unique attractions that you may wish to visit along your drive

Frequently asked questions about four-wheel drive rental

Do I need a 4-wheel drive for Iceland?

You actively need to use a 4-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive) in one main situation: if you want to explore the interior highlands. This area is accessible only by travelling on unpaved mountain roads, known as ‘F-roads’.

It is illegal (and dangerous) to drive a 2-wheel drive car on F-roads. These gravel roads may have potholes, and some are even criss-crossed by rivers. Also, it is essential that whoever will be at the wheel of your 4x4 is experienced and confident in off-road driving.

Do you need 4-wheel drive for certain months or seasons in Iceland?

Icelandic winter weather can be unpredictable, so if you’re driving from mid-October to mid-April, we strongly suggest renting a 4-wheel drive. The cold weather conditions can cause snowstorms and the roads may become icy. A 4-wheel drive handles these wintry conditions better. 

What areas of Iceland do not require a 4-wheel drive vehicle?

Most roads in Iceland are paved and accessible by standard 2WD cars. In spring and summer, you can drive on most roads except the F-roads in a 2WD as you would back home. These easy-drive routes include the Ring Road (or ‘Route One’), the Golden Circle, South Iceland, Reykjavík area and more.

It is only the F-roads leading to the highlands that absolutely require a 4x4. Of course, you may want to enjoy the roomier driving experience of a 4x4 anyway. Ask one of our travel consultants if you’re unsure what you need.

Do I need training before driving a 4x4 in Iceland?

You do not need any formal training to drive a 4x4, but whoever will be in control of the four-wheel drive car must be experienced and confident in driving on unpaved roads. They should also know how to safely cross unbridged rivers. 

This last point is especially important as rental car insurance in Iceland does not cover water damage. If you don’t have an experienced driver in your group, consider hiring a driver.  

How can I book a 4x4 driver in Iceland?

If you book a privately guided tour, you can enjoy the convenience of a professional driver guide who will take you to all the attractions, off-road or otherwise, that you choose. They will also share their knowledge of the places you visit. 

Another option is to join either a small group tour or multi-day tour, where you’ll travel with a group of like-minded travellers and an experienced local guide.

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