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Iceland Car Rental


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Hi, we rented in Reykjavik. Prebooked  online with europcar.   The pickup office is a tiny shed right where you are docked.  If you are overnight (we were), then you  park the car right there in parking lot  near ship.  I believe we were in port around 1pm to 3 pm next day. 13:00 to 15:00    Just did a 24 hour rental but were able to pick up early & drop off late.  Drop off was basically leaving the car  & dropping keys in box.  We were able to drive & hike golden circle day one & were at blue lagoon day 2 by 8:30 am,  both days missed the hordes on tour buses & it was fantastic. Highly recommend.    Booking, prepaying, & verifying your drivers license on app ahead of time very important,  it will get you on your way much quicker.   Enjoy! Iceland is magical.  

 

 

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8 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Hi, we rented in Reykjavik. Prebooked  online with europcar.   The pickup office is a tiny shed right where you are docked.  If you are overnight (we were), then you  park the car right there in parking lot  near ship.  I believe we were in port around 1pm to 3 pm next day. 13:00 to 15:00    Just did a 24 hour rental but were able to pick up early & drop off late.  Drop off was basically leaving the car  & dropping keys in box.  We were able to drive & hike golden circle day one & were at blue lagoon day 2 by 8:30 am,  both days missed the hordes on tour buses & it was fantastic. Highly recommend.    Booking, prepaying, & verifying your drivers license on app ahead of time very important,  it will get you on your way much quicker.   Enjoy! Iceland is magical.  

 

 

Hi Cruise Kitty,

Thank you for your detailed response!

Sounds like you had a fantastic time in Reykjavik.  We will not overnight at the port but docking from 8am till 8pm.  We are hoping to do the Golden circle by ourselves.  Missing the tour buses and setting our own pace are our plans.

How far in advance did you make your reservation?  The Europcar site does not have the Reykjavik port as an rental place option now.....may be to early as our cruise is in 6 month?

Thank you again for taking time to answer our questions😃

Mo.

 

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Renting a car for a day in Iceland is a nice option. Golden Circle from Reykjavik is a good option and very good roads. For Akureyri the roads in Northern Iceland can be more difficult and difficult to predict timing - be careful when planning for Northern Part of Iceland.

Also not all roads are accessible for rental cars.

I have only rented cars at the airport DP so cannot answer for cruise  ports. In general rental cars are quite expensive.

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42 minutes ago, hallasm said:

For Akureyri the roads in Northern Iceland can be more difficult and difficult to predict timing - be careful when planning for Northern Part of Iceland.

Also not all roads are accessible for rental cars.

 

Hi Hallasm;

Thank you for good tips😄!

Golden circle by car will be our firm option after reading suggestions.

We will be careful around northern part.  May be 4X4 for the northern Iceland.

Mo.

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6 hours ago, adventurenerd said:

Hi Cruise Kitty,

Thank you for your detailed response!

Sounds like you had a fantastic time in Reykjavik.  We will not overnight at the port but docking from 8am till 8pm.  We are hoping to do the Golden circle by ourselves.  Missing the tour buses and setting our own pace are our plans.

How far in advance did you make your reservation?  The Europcar site does not have the Reykjavik port as an rental place option now.....may be to early as our cruise is in 6 month?

Thank you again for taking time to answer our questions😃

Mo.

 

Hi, I'm able to look at my notes & emails from that trip, booked first week in March,  I already had created an account ahead of time,  if I recall, that's when bookings opened...  we were in Iceland 3rd week of May, & had snow while we were driving so just be prepared for that.  

 

For Akureyri, we used Saga tours, & they were fantastic...  saw so much with them that day,  small van with 6 people....

 

My best two pieces of advice:  1. when you're driving, if you see something cool that's not on your itinerary, stop anyway.  2.  buy the gas station stew...  you'll know it when you see it, just buy it, you won't be sorry.  3.  Waterproof yourself & get as close to waterfalls as allowed.  

 

Enjoy!

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Be very careful when renting a car in Iceland to THOROUGHLY document the condition of the car when you pick it up and when you return it(video!) on all sides including top and inside, to make sure you aren't charged for existing damage when you return it.  Most companies aren't an issue, but quite a few have dozens of complaints of folks getting home and finding a bill for $1000 or more with a photo of a small scratch or dent.

 

It is easy to get a small scratch or dent in Iceland so make sure you have proper insurance, too, as repairs are expensive.

 

That being said, we have rented cars for over 30 days in Iceland so far without issue because we were prepared (at least for our last 4 visits, the first one we didn't know to be careful and we had no issue)

Edited by Nitemare
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Thank you all for very informative replies!

 

hallam, thanks for the video.  I am very excited to see the great nature.

 

Cruise kitty, thank you for looking into your trip history to get information.  From your example, I will try to book cars in March for June trip.  I will check the Saga Tours in Akureyri as well.  Also, thank you for the good advices.  I will follow them....but, stew from gas station??....ok, I will do it!!

 

Nitemare, Thanks for the warning.  I usually take some pictures before drive out from rental car lot.  Sounds like I should take extra detail pictures in Iceland...I will make sure to get proper insurance.  

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  • 1 month later...

Re: Iceland car rental

We were dinged for a ding to our windshield that the agent found by taking a flashlight from the inside of the vehicle! 750 €! Luckily our cc reimbursed us. 

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On 2/1/2022 at 12:41 PM, TMLAalum said:

Re: Iceland car rental

We were dinged for a ding to our windshield that the agent found by taking a flashlight from the inside of the vehicle! 750 €! Luckily our cc reimbursed us. 

Wow, good thing that you had an insurance.  I am planning to get full super coverage......you will never know..just be safe....  Thanks for the info.

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Mo, we have rented from both ports.  We were in Akureyri overnight.  We rented our car through holdur.is (Europcar) and they had the car right at the port.  We had a fantastic day going to multiple amazing waterfalls and the Myvatn Nature Baths.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  Since Akureyri is fairly small I rented the car 11 months in advance right when bookings first opened to be sure to obtain a rental.

 

We were in Reykjavik overnight as well and also rented from Holdur.is (Europcar) at the Reykjavik port.  We got to the small rental building before it opened and there were probably 5 people in line in front of us to complete the rental process and that seemed to take longer than it should have but all was well in the end.  I also booked this car 11 months in advance.  That day we drove south, again seeing beautiful waterfalls and rivers before arriving at Reynisfjara, the most amazing black sand beach.  There is a small cafe there with good food and drinks. (We had been to Iceland several times previously so decided to bypass the Golden Circle). We had an amazing day here too but not something I would attempt with a short day in port.  

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On 12/4/2021 at 6:43 AM, adventurenerd said:

  The Europcar site does not have the Reykjavik port as an rental place option now.....may be to early as our cruise is in 6 month?

 

 

 

Mo:  I just looked at the Holdur.is site and it does list Reykavik Harbor (cruise ship pick up) still.  That is their terminology for Reykjavik East Cruise Ship Harbor (Skarfabakki).  Our reservation stated the same thing and the car was picked up at the port - not us to go to another location.  

 

They were very responsive to an emailed question I had so don't hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.

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1 hour ago, kccrzr said:

 

Mo:  I just looked at the Holdur.is site and it does list Reykavik Harbor (cruise ship pick up) still.  That is their terminology for Reykjavik East Cruise Ship Harbor (Skarfabakki).  Our reservation stated the same thing and the car was picked up at the port - not us to go to another location.  

 

They were very responsive to an emailed question I had so don't hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.

Thank you for the information.  I will check.

Mo.

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On 12/4/2021 at 2:03 PM, cruise kitty said:

Hi, I'm able to look at my notes & emails from that trip, booked first week in March,  I already had created an account ahead of time,  if I recall, that's when bookings opened...  we were in Iceland 3rd week of May, & had snow while we were driving so just be prepared for that.  

 

For Akureyri, we used Saga tours, & they were fantastic...  saw so much with them that day,  small van with 6 people....

 

My best two pieces of advice:  1. when you're driving, if you see something cool that's not on your itinerary, stop anyway.  2.  buy the gas station stew...  you'll know it when you see it, just buy it, you won't be sorry.  3.  Waterproof yourself & get as close to waterfalls as allowed.  

 

Enjoy!

Hello @cruise kitty !  We are trying to finally get to Iceland leaving on Celebrity Silhouette Aug 29th this year out of Southampton.  A few stops in Ireland and UK too.  We have had two other pandemic cancellations for Iceland so hoping this one finally goes!  Anyway we have been thinking of a car rental but... can you tell us about road signs, or other possible disadvantages for two people who only primarily speak English?  Any other tips?  We were leaning on trying one of the many excellent private tour groups but not sure which ones are still operating post-pandemic and if we can actually get off in Iceland on our own at this point.

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We did a three week driving tour of Iceland in August, 2021.  We had no problems.  For the most part we were on paved, well marked roads.  The few times we were on gravel roads, they were well maintained.  Road signs were understandable.  The cost of rental cars is high as is the cost of fuel.  Do no be shocked if car costs are $200-300 US per day (including insurance).  Unless you are going off the main highways, a passenger sedan is probably adequate.  

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1 hour ago, TeeRick said:

or other possible disadvantages for two people who only primarily speak English? 

None. Easy to navigate - and roads of good quality. Just note that depending on the rental car you’ll not be allowed to drive at some gravel roads. you can get an idea from my short video in post #6.

Primarily in Northern Iceland it might take longer time to drive than you anticipate. Just make sure you have sufficient time - will be very expensive if you miss the ship the last day in Iceland.

As WisRiver is saying - rental cars are expensive - also make sure you have adequate insurance coverage - they will check the car for even very small scratches- Check the car before you leave the garage.

Enjoy Iceland.

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5 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Hello @cruise kitty !  We are trying to finally get to Iceland leaving on Celebrity Silhouette Aug 29th this year out of Southampton.  A few stops in Ireland and UK too.  We have had two other pandemic cancellations for Iceland so hoping this one finally goes!  Anyway we have been thinking of a car rental but... can you tell us about road signs, or other possible disadvantages for two people who only primarily speak English?  Any other tips?  We were leaning on trying one of the many excellent private tour groups but not sure which ones are still operating post-pandemic and if we can actually get off in Iceland on our own at this point.

Hi Rick,

 

it was surprisingly easy to navigate there,  I prepurchased a really good map, & completely laid out our itinerary for both days...  road signs seemed similar to what we have in the states, ( I don't remember ever being confused)  & pretty much everyone there speaks English.  If you're going to drive the Golden Circle the signs pointing out turnouts are very clearly marked (& you can't miss the big tour coaches). 

 

We also watched on You Tube several videos on driving the golden circle, driving to the blue lagoon... etc.    

 

Our private tour in Akureyri was with Saga, & they were excellent !

 

best wishes for you getting to go, our kids are hopefully going on same cruise in June for a much belated honeymoon 🙂 

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21 hours ago, hallasm said:

None. Easy to navigate - and roads of good quality. Just note that depending on the rental car you’ll not be allowed to drive at some gravel roads. you can get an idea from my short video in post #6.

Primarily in Northern Iceland it might take longer time to drive than you anticipate. Just make sure you have sufficient time - will be very expensive if you miss the ship the last day in Iceland.

As WisRiver is saying - rental cars are expensive - also make sure you have adequate insurance coverage - they will check the car for even very small scratches- Check the car before you leave the garage.

Enjoy Iceland.

Thank you for all the advice!

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17 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Hi Rick,

 

it was surprisingly easy to navigate there,  I prepurchased a really good map, & completely laid out our itinerary for both days...  road signs seemed similar to what we have in the states, ( I don't remember ever being confused)  & pretty much everyone there speaks English.  If you're going to drive the Golden Circle the signs pointing out turnouts are very clearly marked (& you can't miss the big tour coaches). 

 

We also watched on You Tube several videos on driving the golden circle, driving to the blue lagoon... etc.    

 

Our private tour in Akureyri was with Saga, & they were excellent !

 

best wishes for you getting to go, our kids are hopefully going on same cruise in June for a much belated honeymoon 🙂 

Thanks @cruise kitty.  Good advice.  We will check out You Tube videos.  We were thinking of going with SAGA if allowed.  Perhaps by end of August things will be much better.  

 

We originally signed up for this cruise on Reflection in July 2020 for our 45th wedding anniversary.  Cancelled of course.  We shifted to Silhouette for the same cruise in Aug 2021.  Cancelled.  Now we are trying Aug 2022 on Silhouette.  Third time is a charm!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We rented from Blue Car. They were at the airport. We had a fabulous experience. We did take a video of our entire car due to comments on Cruise Critic. We did the entire Ring Road. We had no issues at all and a fantastic trip.

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Thnank you for the info gogogirl55.

 

I think many things has changed during Covid restriction.  

Ice land has opened up without any restriction now.  May be many tour operators including car hire will be back to preCovid operation level soon.

For now, I found Holdur (Europcar).  Holdur operates as a Europcar Iceland division.....??? I was successful making a car reservation for my June visit to Reykjavik and Akureyri ports using Holdur web site.

I hope this info will help some DIY port of call touring cruisecriticers😄

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