Are you planning to self-drive around the famous Ring Road and are looking for the best car rental company in Iceland? Then look no further than Blue Car Rental.
I never thought I could be blown away by a car rental company but Blue Car Rental has now set the bar high.
Since Iceland was the first country I drove in outside of the U.S. and I was going to be on the road for 10 days, I did extensive research to find a car rental company that would make my road trip experience feel safe, supported, and effortless.
On every front, Blue Car Rental exceeded my expectations. Not only was I impressed by their selection and quality of vehicles, competitive prices, and outstanding customer service, but I also loved that I was supporting a local family-owned business.
In this review, I’ll provide all the details of my experience with Blue Car Rental, along with my best tips for renting a car in Iceland!
This post may contain affiliate links for highly recommended products or services that I want to share with you!
#1 Best Car Rental Company in Iceland
Blue Car Rental
Blue Car Rental is the top choice for those planning to rent a car in Iceland.
With more new cars than any other company, a seamless rental process, and online check-in, you’ll be hitting the road in no time. They also provide transparent pricing that includes insurance and are conveniently located at Keflavik Airport, making the start to your journey around the Ring Road hassle-free and super convenient.
About Blue Car Rental
Blue Car Rental is a local family-owned business established in 2010.
Since then, it has grown to become one of Iceland’s leading car rental companies. With a commitment to providing top-notch vehicles and exceptional customer service, they’ve consistently delivered quality experiences for road trippers in Iceland.
Their deep-rooted values as a family business, combined with a modern fleet and digitized services, showcase their dedication to ensuring a smooth and memorable journey for their customers – including me!
My Blue Car Rental Experience
I’m someone who usually chooses the cheapest option because I truly believe it doesn’t really matter if all you’re trying to do is get from point A to point B.
However, given that my friend and I were planning on doing the whole Ring Road including the Westfjords, we wanted peace of mind that we would not get charged for extra damages. That’s why we chose to rent our car with Blue Car Rental after reading numerous positive reviews about the company on social media.
Blue Car Rental is a local Icelandic company that is super affordable and trusted by travelers. Their website is easy to use and they had a great selection of cars in our price range. Even though you pay a little extra for the insurance, we had no problems paying it because the insurance covers most common forms of damage (click here to learn more about their insurance coverage).
All of their processes are super efficient. The check-in process and initial car inspection took less than 20 minutes so we were able to be on the road less than an hour after arriving at Keflavik Airport. When we dropped off the car, our brand new Rav4 (I mean, brand new – it had 0 miles on it!) looked totally different compared to when we picked it up but we weren’t charged a single penny for the dirty floor mats and mud-caked windows.
They were also super helpful when we got a flat tire in the Westfjords. Because it was a Sunday and the Westfjords is remote, there were no auto shops that could help us with our car. To get some advice on what to do, we called their helpline and their customer support team helped coordinate a time for us to get the tire replaced at one of their partner shops on our last day.
Based on my own experience, I can’t recommend Blue Car Rental enough for providing a seamless rental process (from booking to drop-off) and unparalleled customer service.
What to Expect
If you’ve booked your flights already, then you can input your desired dates, time, and pickup location right from the homepage.
For pick-up and drop-off, I’d recommend selecting Keflavik International Airport as your preferred location since it’s pretty easy to get from the airport to the car rental area. However, if you already have another way of getting into Reykjavik, then you can opt to pick up the car from the Blue Car Rental Reykjavik City Office.
Once you’ve entered your travel details, you can then select the vehicle that meets your preferences and is available for your desired dates.
Blue Car Rental has a wide variety of rental car options, ranging from compact models to larger SUVs (see fleet guide). The website also clearly outlines the relevant information about each vehicle, including its size and total price with insurance and any add-ons included.
You can also filter your vehicle options by:
- Groups (size of cars)
- Transmission (automatic or manual)
- Allowed on F-roads (f-roads are unpaved, gravel roads that are typically only open accessible by 4×4 SUVs in the summer)
- Number of luggage
- Number of passengers
💡Don’t cheap out on your car. Your car is going to be your most important road trip companion so you want to make sure you strike the right balance between cost, comfort, and safety. We picked the Toyota Rav4, which was perfect for us because:
- It has automatic transmission. This was essential since I never learned how to drive a stick.
- It has 4WD, which was another essential since we planned to drive to the Westfjords. Even if you don’t plan to go to the Westfjords, I’d still recommend renting a car with 4WD for the greatest flexibility while traveling on the Ring Road. For example, we saw a small car really struggle to drive on the gravel roads to Dettifoss – and this was in July.
- GPS was included. While this wasn’t initially a must-have feature for us, it quickly turned out to be and now I won’t ever rent a car without CarPlay.
- The heated seats were a nice touch on the unexpectedly chilly summer days.
- It is SO spacious. This car definitely fits 4 and is pure luxury for 2.
- It was a brand new rental car. We were delightfully surprised to be the first people to put miles on the car.
The only downside (as someone who drives a hybrid at home) is that we had to refuel the car more often than I’m used to – and gas in Iceland isn’t exactly cheap. But otherwise, I loved this car and would pick it again and again.
The cost of renting a car will vary greatly depending on the type car, length of rental, and time of year. On average, you can expect to pay around $100-$150 per day for a mid-size car in peak season (summer) and around <$100 per day during low season (winter).
Luckily, the pricing for renting a vehicle from Blue Car Rental is straightforward and comprehensive. All bookings cover Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), Theft Protection (TP), Gravel Protection (GP), and unlimited mileage. For extra insurance, you have the option to include the Liability Waiver, which provides Sand and Ash Protection. However, we decided not to choose this option as we believed we already had sufficient coverage.
Ultimately, it was Blue Car Rental’s all-inclusive approach to pricing that made us choose them so we could enjoy our travels without worrying about hidden fees.
💸 Our total cost came out to $1,369.12 for 10 days. Split between 2 people, it comes out to $68.46 per person per day. This includes the add-on for an extra driver, which is 950 ISK per day (<$10).
When we returned the car, we incurred no additional charges for damages and the amount we paid was consistent with the initial booking fee.
Pick-Up at Keflavik Airport
Most of the popular car rental options are located very close to the airport and there’s even a free airport shuttle service that runs every 15-20 minutes, which will take you to each of the dealerships. We missed the shuttle so we chose to walk for ~10 minutes to Blue Car Rental instead of waiting for the shuttle to come back around.
Once we arrived at their main office, we were able to complete the check-in process and initial car inspection in less than 20 minutes. In total, we were on the road less than an hour after we arrived.
The drop-off process was as easy and hassle-free as check-in. While there were more people so we had to wait a little bit longer, the process was still quick and efficient – we simply handed over the keys to a friendly staff member who did a final inspection of the car for any damages.
Once the inspection was complete, we were free to head to our departure gate without any worries and no extra charges!
Blue Car Rental is right for you if…
- you want a reliable and well-maintained car for exploring Iceland.
- you value excellent customer service and support in case of any issues or emergencies.
- you prefer transparent pricing with no hidden fees or surprises.
- you are looking for a hassle-free check-in and drop-off process.
- you plan to pick up from Keflavík airport.
🌟 Positive Review that was representative of our experience: “Rental cars are a dime a dozen. Blue’s car was clean, in good condition but the difference was the quality of service. The booking process was clear and easy, the pick up and drop off fast and friendly and the service via email every time I had a question or wanted to make a change was quick, clear and made the process easy.”
Blue Car Rental might not be for you if…
- you require hotel pick-up. I’m not sure where reviewers are getting the impression that Blue Car Rental provides hotel drop-off because their website only lists Keflavik Airport or their Reykjavik City Office as pick-up/drop-off locations.
- you plan to drive in winter. To be clear, I’d expect Blue Car Rental to be great all year round but a lot of the negative reviews are from people who had specific expectations about the equipment and services that would be provided during this time of year.
👎Lowest Rated Review:
“- Refused drop-off at hotel, despite stating this was permitted in emailed literature
– Did not include ice scraper in middle of winter
– Refused to assist pairing phone with Bluetooth, a feature included in rental
– Notified midtrip (by text message) that emergency roadside service not available for second half of rental period
– Charged 4.500 ISK for “thorough research” to identify I was the person renting the car, when I received a ticket for going 11 km over 90 km limit (due to lack of cruise control); then refused to even tell me how to pay ticket”
5 Tips for Renting a Car in Iceland
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when renting a car in Iceland:
- 🗓️ Book in Advance: Iceland is a popular destination, and vehicles can get booked up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. Booking early can also be cheaper.
- 🚙 Choose the Right Vehicle: Depending on your itinerary, you might need a 4×4, especially when planning to drive on mountain roads or during winter. It also helps to pick a car that comes with GPT to help navigate remote areas, especially where cell service is unreliable.
- 🔎 Examine Your Rental Carefully: Before you leave the parking lot, make sure to inspect your rental car for any existing damages. Document any existing damage with photos to avoid disputes when you return the vehicle.
- 📃 Understand Your Rental & Insurance Policies: Read the rental agreement carefully, paying close attention to the terms about mileage, fuel policy, and drop-off times. This includes knowing what’s included in your rental insurance and what’s not. At the minimum, gravel protection is often recommended due to Iceland’s many gravel roads.
- ☀️ Summer vs. Winter Driving: If you plan to visit in winter, make sure your rental is equipped with studded tires (included for Blue Car Rental!).
Alternatives Car Rental Companies in Iceland
- Lotus Car Rental – another family-owned rental car company that’s as highly recommended as Blue Car Rental
- Lava Car Rental – a newer local company whose base price is often cheaper than Blue Car
- You can also rent from well-known international companies such as Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise.
Final Thoughts: Is Blue Car Rental the Best Car Rental Company in Iceland?
For us, Blue Car Rental was the best option. Their customer service, prices, and quality of vehicles was everything we needed.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other options. Make sure you research other rental car companies to find the best fit for your needs and budget. No matter what, remember to plan ahead, review the rental agreement and insurance policies carefully, and keep the season you’re traveling in mind to ensure you have an amazing Iceland road trip!