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4x4 rental in Iceland: the greatest adventure

Do you dream of exploring Iceland on your own? Have you imagined what it would be like to wake up next to the waterfall? Have you thought about the freedom of stopping wherever you like to cook your lunch or just enjoy the views and fresh air? No need to search further. Read below our guide on why 4x4 rental is the perfect choice for your Iceland vacation.
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Why 4x4 rental is your best choice?

  • You can travel the F-roads which offer the best scenery.
  • You can rent a 4x4 vehicle with a roof top tent.
  • With 4x4 rental overcoming 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.
  • Usually, 4x4 vehicles have raised ground clearance and bigger special tires for the rough conditions, while they still have a wide range of options.
  • And the most important – you have more fun!

4x4 rental in Iceland or camper rental?

Iceland road trip is an astonishing experience no matter which vehicle you rent. Renting your own vehicle means you can visit popular sites whenever it suits you and you can change your mind with the weather. If you prefer a more high-end holiday, but still want to be closer to nature, don't stress yourself trying to look for a room, but hire a campervan. With a campervan, travelers can comfortably stretch their legs, grab something to eat, and have a snooze anytime, anywhere. Most campervans today are equipped with modern amenities such as cozy beds, couches, microwave, fridge, gas stove, CD/DVD player, and air-conditioning. It’s like staying in an instant hotel but being independent of things like check-in and check-out times!

But if you travel on a budget and want to experience the real, beautiful and harsh Iceland while driving on the F-roads, you need to choose 4x4 rental. It offers you more freedom, the driving is easier since the 4x4 vehicles are smaller, lower and more agile and you can even make savings on fuel consumption. But remember that off-road driving with 4x4 rental in Iceland is strictly forbidden. Driving off-road causes serious damages on sensitive vegetation and it can take many years for some vegetation to grow back. 

While planning your vacation, be careful to check where you can spend the night with your 4x4 rental vehicle. All the information on driving in uninhabited areas or where can you stop for the night can be found on The Environment Agency of Iceland website. You must camp in campsites, but that is not a worry since there are at least 215 campsites all around the country.

Most tourists stick to the ring road, the main road that goes around the country, so you will meet most of the tourists there. But if you would like to see more secluded places, you need to book a 4x4 car and use the F roads.


Adventurous choice: try 4x4 rental with roof tent

In the summer months, when the weather is nicer, the winds are mild and the temperatures are higher (but still do not come with only summer clothes), we propose you try out the great way to explore Iceland - with a 4x4 vehicle with a rooftop tent. This allows you to drive on all F-roads (except F249) or other gravel roads. If you have rented a car, please still comply with local driving laws and regulations.

Main benefits of 4x4 rental with roof tent: 

  • you can set it up in less than 1 minute
  • folding takes a little longer, but still quick and easy with less than 2 minutes
  • with a rooftop tent, you're sleeping off the ground (which is warmer and more comfortable)
  • you can see the northern lights from your bed
  • summer winds are not so strong, so you don't need to worry about that.

Our partner IceRental 4x4 car hire company offers a great choice of 4x4 vehicles with rooftop tents from Dacia Duster to Suzuki Grand Vitara. They are high-quality James Baroud tents, where the sleeping area is full size, 125/210cm bed with a comfortable mattress.

Not all the car hire companies offer 4x4 rental with a rooftop tent, but the ones that do, usually include 2 sleeping bags, 2 pillows, mattress and bedding in the rental price. And if you want the full experience you can also rent a Kitchen Box (Cooking utilities), table and chairs or extra sleeping bags if you want more comfort.

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

Yes, to some of the best and amazing places in the Highland you need to drive on the F-roads and for those, you need a 4x4 vehicle. Be aware that you need to be an experienced driver since these roads can also be dangerous to drive. But if you are careful and considering all the recommendations and suppliers’ instructions, you will be able to experience the breath-taking views and the most amazing scenery Iceland has to offer. We propose you take your 4x4 car and visit Landmannalaugar, Askja and Kaldidalur. But don't forget that no car hire company offers insurance covering river crossings. 

What is an Iceland F-road?

The mountain roads in the highlands are called F-roads and are indicated with an F in front of the number of the road on maps. You will need a 4x4 vehicle to drive on these roads. Iceland 4x4 rental is, therefore, a must if you want to drive in this magnificent place. The scenery is big and powerful, like this, you can see black mountains and black sand. There is only one gas station up there called Hrauneyjar which is the last stop before the great Highlands. There you can fill up your car, use the facilities, get a meal before heading out to the wilderness.


How to drive on F-roads with 4x4 rental?

  • It is strongly advised that people travel together in 2 or more 4x4 rental cars.
  • You should check information about the conditions of the roads before you start your journey. It is best to check www.road.is.
  • Make sure that the F-road you plan to travel on is open for traffic.
  • Drive slowly and be aware of the possibly very bad gravel road in front of you.
  • Cross rivers carefully and watch some tutorials before your trip.
  • Driving off-road in Iceland is always forbidden!
  • Buy a detailed map of the routes on Iceland.
  • Whenever possible, try to talk to local people about conditions in the area.
  • Tell somebody about your travel plans.
  • It is good to be prepared for all types of weather.
  • Be aware that telephone signals in the highlands are not very stable and you can go for a long while without a mobile connection.
  • The emergency number in Iceland is 112. You can dial it even without a connection.
  • There is only one petrol station in the highlands, at Hveravellir, so make sure you fill up! 

Best 4x4 cars for Iceland

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

  • Range Rover sport
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Dacia Duster
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • A Jeep with a roof-top tent
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