Car Rental In Iceland.
When we were first looking to go to Iceland jeep hire hadn’t entered our head at all. We were only looking at day trips with a tour company. These are a huge cost but the travel agent we were using pushed hard for us to book all our tours through them. I am always a little suspicious when a company tries to push you to buy something so I decided I would look up tours in Iceland myself. What I found was if I booked the tours myself I would save well over 150.00 euro compared to what the travel agent had quoted us.
We hadn’t booked any tours and the time was running out when I stumbled across jeep hire. THis was one option we hadn’t thought about at all. Go to a different country, drive on right hand side of the road and on gravel roads. Then we noticed the huge price difference in car/jeep hire compared to booked out each day with tours. We worked out if we drove ourselves we would still see the same things as we would on the tours but with more freedom to come and go as we pleased.
As I started to look into car hire and read the reviews most had awful times with their hire company. No matter what company I looked at their bad reviews far out weighed their good ones. How was I going to pick a company if they all seemed to have the same catches and complaints from people using them. So i used what works well for me when picking my next book to read and that was which website caught my eye the most. The one that I liked the most was Northbound , they had nice jeeps, very good price, pick up/ drop off at the airport and winter tyres. So that was where we booked Daisy, thats what we called her. We booked a 171 Suzuki Grand Vitara. We got the basic insurance but after driving in the country its not enough insurance to have. Northbound got us a jeep from Icerental 4x4 , they run a shuttle service to and from Keflavik airport 24hrs a day.
When we arrived at the airport we were picked up and dropped to pick up our jeep. It had a few little marks on it which we were shown and told to check the jeep ourselves for any others that hadn’t been noticed by the company. If we did notice any we were to take a photo of them to show they were there when we collected it. The staff went through some safety for driving, some things about the jeep and contract with them. Then we were off on our adventure.
We drove a lot over the three days we were there and had no problems at all with the jeep. It was clean, in good working order and not hard on petrol. We loved daisy and were sorry to drop her off when we were going home. We had a shuttle back to the airport again and were on our way. We were lucky because our hire ran perfectly smoothly, with no problems at all. What I did see were problems mostly caused by the people who had hired the jeeps in the first place. We saw people arriving back late with their hire cars and then stressing they would miss their flights. We heard people complain about insurance and not knowing about stuff. We also saw people not checking their hire car for marks before they left the hire company like they were asked to do.
We did all the above and handed our jeep back as we got it, we had no hold ups and the staff were very quick to do our paperwork. When we go back we will be hiring again because we want to drive the ring road and we will be asking Icerental 4x4 for a jeep to do this. If you are thinking of going to Iceland do think about hiring a car/jeep we saved 100’s of euro by doing it and it gave us total freedom to come and go as we pleased and to stop for as many pictures as we wanted. Here are my tips for car hire :
Really look at the insurance you are getting. Companies can put a hold on your credit card if you only have the basic cover and this can be upwards of 2000.00 euro. This is a big amount of money frozen till you drop the car back and you might not find this out till you are at the hire company. My advice even if this wasn’t the case is to get all the cover. The weather is extreme over there so extreme cover is needed its not like here.
Have your drivers licence with you, you will need it to take the car.
Read the hire contract before you leave the company and ask any questions there and then.
TAKE PHOTOS OF ALL MARKS ON THE CAR/ JEEP BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HIRE COMPANY.
Leave at least an hour between dropping off the jeep and when you need to check in at the airport. You will not be the only one leaving back or collecting a car/jeep so it will take a while to get it sorted. The staff will need to check over your jeep when you drop it back, check the engine and make sure there are no outstanding parking or speeding tickets on it before you will be able to leave for the airport. This all takes time and this was what I saw as a huge problem for people while we were dropping off our jeep.
Be nice and the staff will be nice back. I am always amazed at how rude people can be when they are on holidays. You are suppose to be relaxed !.
Leave it back as you find it and then it will be fine.
We were so happy we decided to hire rather than go on a tour bus, it was great freedom.
*** We were very lucky to be given a 50% discount on our hire and some of our insurance as well in return for an honest review on either Tripadvisor or Google which we were happy to do. My review is an honest account of hiring for us and we are very thankful for the discount we recieved***