Rent a 4x4 in Iceland

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What people are saying about us

We are proud of our standards of quality and service and those standards are reflected in what our users have to say about us. Book your rental car or day tour with Northbound and rest assured that a strong team of travel advisors is prepared to assist with any of your questions or concerns both before or after your Adventure.

4x4 Car Rentals

Why use a 4x4 in Iceland?

It's the most popular type of rental car in Iceland, the 4x4 opens up a new world of opportunities and horizons to explore in a land that is partly inaccessible to most other rental cars. But is a 4x4 the right choice for you? Read our Ultimate Guide for all the information you need to make the right choice for your Icelandic adventure.

Real Reviews from Real Customers

Our customer written reviews

Car rental companies in Iceland can be incredibly different from one another which is why reading the reviews and hearing what others have to say about them is probably the most important thing you'll do before you settle on a car. Visit our review center to compare over 10.000+ testimonials from verified travelers.

Reviews for Car Rentals
  • Perfect!

    Rented a 4x4 in September 2023

    We were very happy with the car and the service from Ring. The car was really new (26.000 km), clean and perfect to explore the whole country without any problems. We can really recommend both the dacia duster, the Ring car rental and booking with no...

  • Perfect!

    Rented a camper in September 2023

    The trip was perfect. The van was as described and even better than expected. The booking process in Northbound was quick and easy. I would use it again and I recommend it

  • Perfect!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    Everything went perfect. Airport pick up & drop, new car, extremely clean and very nice people. I'll definetely recommend Northbound.

  • Perfect!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    Amazing to have rented through Northbound! Made my reservation well in advance, had the car rental company (Go Iceland) contact me stating that they didn't have my vehicle at the price anymore, Northbound stepped it and made it all right and I receiv...

  • Outstanding!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    I wish to let you know that Ring rental was very smooth and the Staff very helpful and nice and would like you let them know this. It was really a pleasure.
    The car was in excellent condition.
    I will certainly use Northboun...

  • Outstanding!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    Dear Northbound-Team,
    all the service and handling were great: booking, adjustments that had to be made due to dates and times shifts, check-in and check-out with the My-Car Team! The car itself was clean, reliable and without any incidences o...

  • Fantastic!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    My experience with Lava Car Rental via Northbound was good. We have rented Toyota RAV4; we were planning to use some of the F-Roads. The condition of the car was very good. It was in a pretty good condition. You could see that it's well maintained. W...

  • Outstanding!

    Rented a camper in August 2023

    The service of Northbound are super that IS permited a very good travel.

  • Perfect!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    It was perfect ! L’accueil à l’aéroport, le transfert, le check in / out et bien sûr, le véhicule, une jeep Renegade automatique, tout à été parfait. Très bonne voiture, propre, récente, sans aucun souci. Je recommande Northbound, et repasserai par l...

  • Outstanding!

    Rented a 4x4 in August 2023

    The Kia Sportage provided by Lotus was perfect for my wife and I and our 20 year old son - including all our backpacking gear - as we drove the Ring Road and hiked the Laugavegur Treck. The car and its built-in navigation unit and ApplePlay worked...

Search for a 4x4

Comparing prices for rental cars in iceland

Search now and get the best deals on 4x4's in Iceland

Ultimately, the smartest thing to do is compare the prices. You may have your eye set on a specific type, but there are many car rentals who supply that type and some are far more affordable than others. You can use price comparison engines like Northbound to search and compare 4x4 rental car prices from multiple car rentals to ensure that you book the right car for your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Driving a 4x4 in Iceland

What to know before renting a 4x4 in Iceland

Do I really need a 4wd car in Iceland?
4wd vehicles are not necessary, but they do provide you with far more security, convenience, and opportunities, especially during the winter seasons. If you’re carrying a lot of luggage, then the boot of a 4x4 will definitely be able to swallow up more bags than a regular-sized vehicle.
If you have a craving for some off-the-beaten-path adventure, then a 4x4 is definitely necessary for driving on any of Iceland’s mountain F-roads.
Taking a round trip during winter means that you may need to drive through heavily snow-covered areas and, as such, a 4x4 would be far better capable at traversing any thick snow you may need to travel through.
Types of 4x4 rental cars
There are many types of 4x4 vehicles, from compact 2-person Jimnys to hulking Land Cruisers and anything in between. Which type is for you will ultimately depend on the itinerary of your journey. If you’re planning to drive Iceland’s F-roads, then you should get familiar with which roads you’ll be driving as they can be tremendously different from one to the other.
The type of car you need can also depend on how many passengers, how much luggage you’re carrying or how much comfort and security you require for your ideal vacation

View our comparison of the most popular 4x4 types.
Can you get a 4x4 camper in Iceland?
Yes, there are such things as 4x4 campers. It is where the ultimate adventure can be found as it will afford you the opportunity to drive nearly every road in Iceland including the highland F-roads, and let you camp there for the night.
There are many variations of 4x4 campers, such as modified luxury jeeps, 4x4 campervans, trucks with housings and the cheapest option, a roof tent camper.
Fuel prices & fuel economy
Obviously, a 4x4 vehicle will spend more petrol or diesel than a smaller hatchback but there are ways to minimize the toll that it takes on your budget by reading carefully about the vehicle's fuel consumption and keeping up to date on where you may find the cheapest fuel in Iceland.

Read our comparison of the most popular 4x4 vehicles to see average fuel consumption.
Read our guide on where to get the cheapest fuel in Iceland for some valuable budget-friendly advice.
How old must I be to rent a 4x4 car?
The age requirements for renting 4x4 vehicles in Iceland vary depending on which car rental is supplying the vehicle or what type of model youre renting. A Dacia Duster or a Suzuki Vitara might only require you to be 20 years old or even 19 in some cases, while a Land Rover Defender, Jeep Renegade or a Mitsubishi Pajero will normally require you to be at least 21.
The general rule of thumb would be that if you are at least 21 years old then you’ll be able to find a 4x4 that you are permitted to rent and drive in Iceland.
When you book your Iceland car hire you should see information posted by that particular vehicle that will state the age requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions


Insurances for rental cars in Iceland explained

What insurances should I get?
Every rental car in Iceland comes with the standard CDW and Third Party Liability insurance included. These insurances can carry a self-risk of up to 3,000 EUR which can be a lot of liability for someone to carry. In this case, you may like to upgrade the CDW insurance to a Super CDW, therefore lowering your self-risk amount significantly.
Other specialized insurances such as Gravel Protection or Sand and Ash Protection could also be great additions to protect against special circumstances such as gravel bombarding the car or even a sudden sandstorm raging through.

Read more about Gravel Protection or Sand and Ash Protection.

  • Gravel Protection
    Most of the roads in Iceland, outside of towns, are not paved. Even Route 1, Iceland’s longest and most driven road, isn’t fully paved. The Gravel Protection usually covers damages from gravel roads to the body of the car, the headlights, and the front windscreen.
  • Sand and Ash Protection
    We all remember the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The fact is, loose ash and fine sand still cover much of the terrain in certain areas of Iceland. As the wind blows, the ash and sand may whirl up and blow towards anything and anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. This may cause serious damages to the car and gives it an undesired, matte finish. Icelandic insurance companies do not cover damages such as this in the regular CDW policies, which is why this protection is offered as an optional damage waiver, covering sand and ash damage to your rental car.
  • Theft Protection
    Iceland may be one of the safest countries in the world but, believe it or not, crime still happens here. The theft protection lowers the lessee’s self-risk down to 0 EUR in the case of vehicle theft. It may be worth it for the added peace of mind. Bear in mind though, in the case of gross negligence this protection may be void.
  • Super Collision Damage Waiver
    An upgrade to the standard Collision Damage Waiver, lowering the self-risk of the lessee considerably. Note: amounts may vary depending on which car rental you choose.
What is the cancellation policy?
Bookings can be cancelled free of charge for a full refund up to 48 hours before the start of the rental period. Bookings cancelled with less than 48 hours advance are subject to a cancellation fee equal to 15 - 20% of the total price, depending on the minimum required deposit for the rental.

For motorhome bookings, the following cancellation policy applies: Filling out our cancellation form and submitting a notice of cancellation with 30 days or more until your booking begins, will make you eligible for a full refund of your booking. Cancelling with less than 30 days until your booking begins will render your deposit nonrefundable.

If the vehicle cannot be picked up due to any of the following:
  • Insufficient documentation
  • Failure to provide a valid credit card containing sufficient funds to cover the deposit amount.
  • Failure to collect the car at the specified time/date.
Refunds are not available for no-show cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

F-Roads, Highlands & Offroad Driving

F-Roads are special roads in Iceland that usually lead through the highlands

F-roads in Iceland
The highland F-roads of Iceland have become increasingly popular throughout the years for those travelers that seek a bit of uncharted adventure and to escape the crowds of the more popular sights found along the ring road. Traveling an F-road can be demanding and even dangerous if you’re not properly prepared and behind the wheel of a suitable car.
Car rentals in Iceland will not permit you to take your regular car on F-roads but most will allow you to take a 4x4 rental there with the exception of a few of the more challenging roads like F249 to Þórsmörk.
Read our Guide to F-Roads in Iceland.
Which F-Roads can I drive?
The highland F-roads in Iceland are many and varied. While some, like the F35, can be driven in any small 4x4 SUV others will involve deep rivers or rocky terrain and may thus require a bigger, more capable vehicle such as a Land Cruiser or a Ford Expedition. The best way to get familiar with which roads are suited to your vehicle would be asking beforehand or upon pick-up
Smaller 4x4's are generally suited for roads like F35 or Kaldidalur while the F206 and F26 will require a bit more firepower.
Whichever F-road you do venture on, remember to drive carefully and don't underestimate the rivers or roads.

Read our comprehensive F-roads Guide
Can I drive highland roads with my rental car?
If your vehicle is a 4x4 then in all likelihood it is Highland Capable, but some smaller 4x4’s are forbidden on F-roads. Certain roads, such as F249 in Þórsmörk, are usually forbidden to drive no matter what rental car you have chosen.
Difference between F-road and off-road
F-roads are not off-road. Driving off-road is illegal in Iceland as you would be damaging terrain and landscape that can take several hundred years to grow back to its former state. Off-road driving can result in extremely high fines if caught. As F-roads are actual roads, only with more treacherous terrain than normal roads, they can be driven as long as you have the suitable vehicle necessary for them.

Read more about the differences between F-roads and going off-road.
Can I drive off-road?
No. Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland and will result in a fine, issued by police, of up to 100.000 ISK.
Can I cross rivers and fords in my 4x4?
This depends on which 4x4 you have chosen, which road you are taking and what rental you have rented from. The conditions vary, but if you contact us we may able to help you find the answers you seek.
Still have questions?
Visit our Help Center for answers to any questions you may have.