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Orbit's Travel Blog - 21.05.2021.

4X4 Car Rental in Iceland

Do you dream of exploring Iceland on your own? Have you imagined what it would be like to wake up next to a waterfall? Have you thought about the freedom to stop wherever you want to cook your lunch or just enjoy the view and fresh air? Well, you need to look no further. Read below our guide to why a 4x4 rental is the perfect choice for your Iceland holiday.

Why is a 4x4 rental the best choice?

  • You can drive on the F-Roads that offer the best scenery.
  • With 4x4 rental, negotiating gravel and highland roads is easy.
  • You can visit the hidden corners of Iceland, and seeing all the hidden places is what we highly recommend.
  • As a rule, 4x4 vehicles have increased ground clearance and larger special tires for the rough conditions, while still having a wide range of options.
  • And most importantly - you'll have more fun!

4x4 rental in Iceland or campervan rental?

A road trip through Iceland is an amazing experience no matter what vehicle you rent. Renting your own vehicle means you can visit popular sights whenever it suits you, and you can change your mind depending on the weather. If you prefer a higher level vacation but still want to be closer to nature, don't stress about finding a room, rent a campervan instead. With a campervan, travellers can comfortably stretch their legs, grab some food, and take a nap - anytime, anywhere. Most campervans today are equipped with modern amenities such as comfy beds, sofas, microwave, fridge, gas stove, CD /DVD player and air conditioning. It's like staying in a hotel, but being independent of things like check-in and check-out times!

But if you are travelling on a budget and want to experience the real, beautiful and rugged Iceland while driving on the F-roads, you must opt for a 4x4 rental. It gives you more freedom, driving is easier as 4x4 vehicles are smaller, lower and more manoeuvrable and you can even save on fuel consumption. But remember that off-road driving with 4x4 rental vehicles is strictly prohibited in Iceland. Driving off-road causes severe damage to delicate vegetation, and it can take many years for some vegetation to grow back.

When planning your holiday, make sure you know where you can stay with your 4x4 rental vehicle. All information on driving in uninhabited areas or where you can stay overnight can be found on the Icelandic Environment Agency website. You will need to stay at campsites, but this is not a problem as there are at least 215 campsites throughout the country.

Most tourists stick to the Ring Road, the main road that goes around the country, so that's where you'll meet most tourists. But if you want to see more remote places, you will have to book a 4x4 car and use the F-roads.

Adventurous choice: try a 4x4 rental in Iceland.

In the summer months, when the weather is nicer, the winds are mild and the temperatures are higher (but still don't just come with summer clothes), we suggest you try the great way to explore Iceland - with a 4x4 vehicle. With this, you can drive on all F-roads (except F249) or other gravel roads. If you have rented a car, please still follow the local driving laws and regulations.

Can I visit the best-hidden corners with a 4x4 rental?

Yes, to some of the best and most amazing places in the highlands you will need to drive on the F-roads and for these, you will need a 4x4 vehicle. Be aware that you need to be an experienced driver as these roads can also be dangerous to drive. But if you are careful and follow all the recommendations and instructions given by the suppliers, you will be able to experience the breathtaking views and the most amazing landscapes that Iceland has to offer. We suggest that you take your 4x4 car and visit Landmannalaugar, Askja and Kaldidalur. But remember that no car rental company offers insurance that covers river crossings.

4x4 car rental in Iceland with Orbit Car Hire

What is an Icelandic F-road?

Mountain roads in the highlands are called F-roads and are marked on maps with an F in front of the road number. To drive on these roads you will need a 4x4 vehicle. Iceland 4x4 hire is therefore a must if you want to drive in this magnificent place. The landscape is big and mighty, so you can see black mountains and black sand. There is only one gas station up there, Hrauneyjar, which is the last stop before the big highlands. There you can fill up your car, use the facilities and have a meal before heading out into the wilderness.

How to drive on F roads with a 4x4 rental vehicle?

It is highly recommended to travel together in 2 or more 4x4 rental vehicles.

  • You should check the condition of the roads before you start your journey. It is best to check
  • Make sure the F-Road you plan to drive on is open to traffic.
  • Drive slowly and be aware of the potentially very bad gravel road ahead.
  • Cross rivers carefully and watch some tutorials before your trip.
  • Driving off the road is always forbidden in Iceland!
  • Buy a detailed map of the routes in Iceland.
  • Whenever possible, try to talk to locals about the conditions in the area.
  • Tell someone about your travel plans.
  • It is good to be prepared for all types of weather.
  • Be aware that phone signals are not very stable in the highlands and you may go a long time without cell service.
  • The emergency number in Iceland is 112, and you can dial it even without a connection.
  • There is only one gas station in the highlands, in Hveravellir, so be sure to fill up! 

The best 4x4 cars for Iceland

This is a shortlist of the best 4x4 cars we recommend, but of course, you can choose your own.

  • Range Rover sport
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Dacia Duster
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara

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