Everything You Should Know About RV Rental in Iceland
Updated: Apr 21, 2019
When you come to Iceland with the intention of exploring the island, you need to answer a basic question: how would you like to do that? Will you rent a campervan or a motorhome? Maybe you will just plan to go on packaged tours, excursions, and guided trips?
Iceland is a beautiful and unique country, where nothing is like other countries. You will not find a well developed train infrastructure or many public buses here. The best way to visit and explore the country and get as much of your trip as possible, is renting a vehicle in Iceland. The vehicle you end up renting for your Icelandic adventure is very important. It is probably the most important decision of the entire trip. That is why it is crucial to choose the right RV and know everything about RV rental in Iceland.
The differences between a campervan and a motorhome
RV is an abbreviation from recreational vehicle, which are another way of talking about motorohmes and campervans. We already explained the differences between campervans and motorhomes in the previous article.
So as you already know, a motorhome is a large, 4-wheel vehicle with living accommodations, including kitchen, WC and shower. This is basically your temporary home on four wheels. They are perfect for families or larger groups of friends.
The main advantage of travelling in a large RV in Iceland is that you do not need to worry about the toilet facilities or the weather. In case it’s stormy outside, you can still prepare your meal without having to cook in the rain. You can take a shower whenever you want without having to look for a campsite. This really makes you feel like you’re at home. If you gather all the necessary information about the RV rental in Iceland, everything will go smoothly and nothing will stop you from fully enjoying your vacation.
Motorhomes are larger then campervans and usually have more amenities and therefore, are more expensive.
Campervans are the smaller version of motorhomes. There is no bathroom or shower and most of them don’t have enough space for a tap with running water You will be though provided with a water tank you can refill whenever it is empty. The kitchen is equipment with a simple gas stove, plates and basic cutlery. The back seats can be converted into sleeping area at night. Storage space is limited. There are, however, some benefits to renting a campervan instead of a motorhome.
If you are planning to visit Highlands or simply go for a one-day trek in Landmannalaugar, you will definitely need a 4wd vehicle. You can rent a 4x4 campervan and don’t need to miss out on some attractions located off the beaten path of the Ring Road.
Things to consider in terms of equipment
In order to have a pleasant trip you need to choose an RV for your rental in Iceland which is adjusted to your needs. There are few things that you should take into consideration when booking a motorohome or a campervan.
First of all, decide how many seats you need. It seams easy right? Cause you know how many people are going to travel with you. Remember to check how many seatbelts are in your rental vehicle, especially if you are travelling with kids. Beware that even if your child is small, you still need to get them a baby seat. So you need an additional seat belt. Putting a baby seat in the front seat is also forbidden. Safety first!
Most of the vehicles come with unlimited mileage included and a tank with water. Remember to check regarding the gas bottle for your gas stove as not every company includes it as a part of the basic equipment.
Your storage area depends on the model. If you are travelling with a larger group it is worth checking the storage dimensions so you avoid any issues with suitcases not fitting.
The same thing is true if you are travelling with bikes. Not all the models allow bike racks to be installed, so this is another thing you should think about in advance.
Both motorhomes and campervans have a 12V cigarette lighter socket and a USB input so you can easily charge your devices. It is a good idea to check if you will need any inverters or charger adaptors to avoid any issues during your trip.
You can as well consider getting the Iceladic Camping Card which will help you save some money on campsites. You can find more informationhow to get one and how it works here.
This is extremely important thing when booking your RV in Iceland. You want to travel safely and comfortablely. Appropriate insurance is the thing which will help you with that.
Each vehicle comes with the basic CDW insurance included, which covers the damage caused by accidents.
You have also extra insurance which is optional: SCDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver), GP (Gravel Protection), (SAAP) Sand and Ash Protection, and TP (Theft Protection).
SCDW is basically the same as CDW insurance but lowers your self-risk fee (deductible). GP insurance will protect against damage to the windshield, headlights and body of the car. Remember that in Iceland most of the roads are gravel with loose stones, so it is easy for that kind of damage to occur. SAAP will protect you from the high winds and the volcanic ash that can cause damage to your rental RV. TP covers the cost of the vehicle in case it is stolen. The amount of the self risk fee (deductible) for each type of insurance depends on the vehicle.
The booking process
Most of the Icelandic local rental companies, including us, allow their customers to search their selection of RVs online. It is the easiest way as you should always make the booking for your vehicle rental in Iceland in advance. The booking process is simple. It only takes few minutes and you’ll have your vehicle booked!
In most cases only the small part of the payment is required at the booking confirmation. Normally it is around 15 to 17% of the total cost of the rental. The rest can be paid upon the pick up with your debit or credit card.
Remember that a valid credit card is required for your rental security. However, there is usually only an imprint taken of your card. You still need to present one upon pick up.
Read the terms and conditions carefully before completing your booking. If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to send us your inquiries.
If you hold a regular driver’s license from your home country that is equivalent to a Category B European license or D class license in the United States, there is no need to apply for any extra permits. Just make sure it allows you to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tons or around 3,500 kg. Although they might look enormous, not even motorhomes weight more than that.
That make things more complicated, if your license is not written in English or in Latin characters. Then you will need to obtain an IDP, which is International Driving Permit. It certifies that your home license is valid to use outside your country. Remember that it always needs to be accompanied by your original license.
Apart from that, you need to meet the age requirements. In order to rent a campervan you need to be at least 20 - 23 years old, depending on the model and 25 years old to rent a motorhome.
Driving Iceland’s Ring Road
As we mentioned before, you can find both types of roads in Iceland, both gravel and paved roads. Most of our tourists choose to travel around Iceland using the main road called Ring Road.
It remains open all year long and is accessible for both motorohmes and campervans without the need for a 4wd vehicle.
Remember safety while driving the Ring Road. People often tend to just stop in the middle of the road to take photos, which is dangerous for other travelers.
Remember that although the Ring Road is our main road, some of its parts are quite deserted. Always bear in mind that gas stations are not that common in Iceland and as soon as you have a chance, top up your tank.
Everything you should know about RV rental in Iceland
I hope this post will turn out to be helpful in planning your RV rental in Iceland. Remember that good preparation is essential for a hassle-free trip. Exploring Iceland in an RV will definitely be one of the best experience in your life and you’ll hold onto the great memories forever.