Renting a 4x4 in Iceland

The ultimate guide to renting a 4x4 in Iceland

4x4 Car Rentals

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. 

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Reviews for Rental Cars in Iceland

Car rentals 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 4,000 testimonials from verified travelers. 


Reviews for rental cars in Iceland

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. 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 vehicle you should see information posted by that particular vehicle that will state the age requirement. 

Do I Really Need a 4x4 in Iceland?

4x4 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. 

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.

Which F-roads Can I Drive?

The highland F-roads in Iceland are many and varied. While some can be driven in any small compact vehicle such as the F35, 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

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 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. 

Comparing Prices for Rental Cars 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.

Start comparing now by using our search form on the right. 

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