Rent a 4x4 in Iceland

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The Lowest Prices for 4x4 Car Rental in Iceland

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Pick-up available in Reykjavik and Keflavik International Airport! Shuttle service between airport, hotel and car hire office.

The Best Car Rentals in Iceland

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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. 

Reviews for Rental Cars in Iceland

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 7,000 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 or what type of model you're 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. 

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. 

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, 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

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?

4x4 Camper

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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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a 4x4 in Iceland?

That depends entirely on what you intend to do while you’re in Iceland. If you’re coming during winter then a 4x4 is the safest and most comfortable choice for handling the snow. It’s also a comfortable choice as you roam through the Icelandic roads, some of which are not paved and may prove a challenge for smaller vehicles.

What insurances do I need?

The insurances are there for a reason. They provide security and peace of mind so that you can enjoy your Icelandic adventure happy and without worry. Each optional insurance targets different scenarios in which the standard CDW does not cover.

  • 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.

How old must I be to rent a 4x4 in Iceland?

The required age may vary depending on the car rental that you choose. The usual minimum age is 20 and sometimes higher for larger vehicles. Contact us if you’re having issues with the minimum age and we might be able to direct you to the right rental.

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.

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.

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.

Still have questions?

Visit our Help Center for answers to any questions you may have.