A trip to Iceland wouldn’t be worth it if you didn’t explore the incredible volcanic, hot spring, lava field and waterfall filled landscapes it has to offer. The best of which are visited by road, and for this reason, there’s no shortage of car hire companies in this Nordic island nation. In fact, you’re almost overwhelmed with choice. The most convenient will likely be Keflavik airport car rental, but luckily, we’ve compiled a low-down of your car model options to help you choose the right vehicle in the right seasons.

In Summer:

Generally, during the summer, a small car is fine for most roads, especially if you are just traveling around Reykjavik or the ring road.

These cars aren’t suitable if you intend to venture further around Iceland’s rugged landscape, but they’ll suffice for shorter trips.

Toyota yaris 07 Hatchback

We recommend something tiny: Toyota Yaris 2WD 2007-2009 Model -This extremely small three-door car will suffice if you’re just doing some quick trips around the Golden Circle. It’s one of the smallest cars available and is a great, cheap option if you’re not too worried about comfort and only need the convenience of having your own car to see the city.

Hyundai i10 MY 2011

Alternatively, you can try something a little less tiny: Hyundai i10 – This small yet still five-door car will get you comfortably along Iceland’s ring road and is a very practical vehicle. Choose this car if you’re predominately driving on the ring road, with the potential to deviate along alternate routes or gravel roads on occasion.

In Winter:

If you’re travelling in winter, you’ll want to find a larger vehicle that is better equipped to the outside conditions. Bear in mind that 4WD vehicles are mandatory for the Highland F roads in Iceland, so it’s essential to plan your trip.

You’ll also feel safer in a vehicle that can handle the weather and drive well on the slimmer gravel roads. Moreover, remember that in the icy, winter conditions studded tires are essential.


Try something of reasonable size: Suzuki Grand Vitara 4×4 – This is a sturdy vehicle that has 5 doors and a capacity of 5 people. It is suitable for Iceland’s Highland F roads and is reliably tough, though with a comfortable interior. This car is big and tough, but not so big that it’s daunting to drive on Iceland’s slim roads.

Renault Duster 2.0 Dynamique 4x4 2013

Dacia Duster 4×4. This SUV is similarly a good choice for the tougher roads in Iceland. It is also suitable for the Highland F roads can handle well in off-road travel. It has a comfortable interior and is similar in size to the Suzuki Vitara, so it really comes down to personal preference.

LC200 AT35 Facelift

Another option – something larger: Land Cruiser Arctic – Potentially the perfect car for Iceland, this vehicle is a whole grade higher than the smaller 4x4s on offer. With 35-inch tires, this automatic transmission vehicle is also lifted an extra three inches off the ground, and features a snorkel. It’s the true definition of suitable for Iceland’s wintery conditions, seating five people with plenty of storage space.

It will handle the Highland F roads with no stress, and give you the flexibility to visit some off-road sights.

At the end of the day, choosing the right car to hire in Iceland should suit your agenda. It’s a spectacular way to see the landscape, with the freedom to choose your own path. Just make sure you choose a car with the weather and roads in mind.