It’s an easy decision to make your next holiday to Iceland a road trip. After all, the country’s incredible landscapes and sometimes empty roads make it an ideal country to get behind the wheel.
But once you’ve selected the vehicle you want for the dates you need, it can be hard to figure out which of the available extras are worth adding to your basket, as well as those you’d rather leave out.
That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to get those car rental extras explained with our suggestions for the top 10 extras you should book for your vehicle rental.
What car rental extras should you get?
When you pick up your rental at Keflavík airport or at the rental desk in town, they’ll ask you the inevitable question: would like to add on any extra?
While you may immediately think they are upselling you, in the case of Iceland, you do need some of these extras if you wish to have a more comfortable and smoother trip.
Among the most important options is extra insurance. No one wants to spend their vacation worrying about the damage to their rental car, right?
Although most of the vehicles at Reykjavík Cars come with CDW basic insurance included by default, a more comprehensive coverage never hurt anyone. Iceland is dramatically beautiful, but it is also filled with rocks and gravel so you want to be sure you protect the car you’re traveling in as much as possible.
We highly recommend you get the full suite of coverage. CDW, SCDW, GP, and SAAP insurance are meant to protect you and your pocketbook in Iceland, but more on this later. Now, let’s get into the most essential extras when renting a car in Iceland.
Car rental extras explained
Let's highlight the extras that can make your Iceland road trip way more enjoyable!
1. Extra driver
One of the best things about taking a road trip through Iceland is just how much there is to see. No matter how carefully you plan your itinerary, there’ll always be more options at your disposal. You can detour from the route you had planned and turn off for yet another incredible waterfall or cute little turf house.
In summer, the light evenings mean that you can spend hours traveling in the car, so having someone to share the driving makes it easier to cover more ground. Taking it in turns means that everyone gets a chance to enjoy Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes without experiencing driver fatigue.
No one likes to get lost on holiday! But as we become increasingly reliant on technology to find our way around, you might not want to leave the navigating to chance – or put your rusty map reading skills to the test.
Even if you have your own smartphone, roaming charges can get expensive if you’re using Google maps in Iceland constantly, which means that any data included with your regular package can quickly be gobbled up.
Instead of risking a shock when your next bill arrives, you might prefer to rent a GPS and stay in control of your holiday budget. That way, you can make sure you don’t get lost without breaking the bank.
3. 4G WiFi dongle
In our day-to-day lives, we’ve come to rely on the internet so much. Think about all the times you’ve reached for your phone or tablet to look up the phone number of a restaurant, check the opening times of a visitor attraction, or simply Google what something is when it’s piqued your curiosity.
Now imagine how much more inconvenient it would be if you couldn’t do just that– perhaps that restaurant might be full, or you’ve picked a day when the visitor attraction is closed. Adding a 4G WiFi dongle can fix all that, allowing you to get the best out of your days on the road wherever you can pick up a signal.
4. Roof box
Sometimes it’s not until you see all your luggage piled up that you realize how hard it is for a family or a group of friends to travel light. Before you consider renting multiple cars, consider a roof box instead.
Available only for certain categories of vehicles, the Thule roof boxes have a capacity of 320 litres and can be loaded up to a maximum weight of 75kg. Storing your gear above your heads frees up space within the vehicle to make your road trip far more comfortable.
Once you’ve traveled with a roof box on top, you’ll wonder why you ever put up with stashing your gear anywhere else.
5. Baby seat
Baby seats are bulky and one more thing to think about as you navigate the airport on your way to Iceland. Therefore, for many parents, having the option to leave your own car seat back home and pick one up when you arrive is a tempting proposition.
Safety’s paramount, and you won’t want to compromise. That’s why we’ll make sure that no matter what your baby’s age and weight is, you can be secure in the knowledge that you’re using the correct one to comply with Icelandic law.
6. Cushioned booster seat
Youngsters might have grown out of their baby seat, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be tall enough to see out of the window. Opting for a cushioned booster seat is the ideal way of ensuring that your little ones are happy.
Most important of all, the additional height that a cushion such as this provides means that the seatbelt will buckle up properly, keeping them safe during the journey.
7. Fuel discount key
Fuel can be one of the biggest expenses of any road trip, so if you're traveling on a budget we recommend you to consider renting a Hyundai i10 or another vehicle that guarantees good fuel efficiency. But renting with Reykjavik Cars will help you lower the cost of filling your gas tank even if you need a more powerful 4x4 vehicle, thanks to the fuel discount key we offer with all our rentals.
This extra won’t cost you a cent; in fact, you’ll enjoy a financial benefit as long as you fill up at the right petrol station. When you pick up the car you’ll be given a map which shows the location of participating petrol stations across the country.
When you pull up at the pump, simply hold the contactless keyring where you see the symbol and you’ll automatically receive money off the total price. With global fuel prices high, it’s good to know about this option beforehand.
When you’re considering questions like “what car rental extras should I get?”, the plethora of insurance options can be confusing.
CDW insurance, for instance, is essential under Icelandic law. There are several packages that bundle up a number of specific types of insurance, but here are three really important types of protection that you also need to consider:
Sand and ash protection
You’ll also find sand and ash protection (sometimes referred to as SAAP) on the extras list. This one’s pretty important.
Volcanic eruptions are just one of those things in a country like Iceland, and along with the unpredictable weather, this can create quite the mess. Combine fallen ash with strong winds, you'll get the classical Iceland sandstorms. You might find your rental car bears the brunt.
It’s particularly true of South Iceland, which just so happens to be a major tourist magnet. So put your mind at rest and opt for sand and ash protection.
Driving on Iceland’s gravel roads can be a bit of a worry, but the trouble is, they’re hard to avoid: some of the country’s most beautiful places can only be reached via gravel roads, and you will have to rent a 4x4 in Iceland if you plan to visit these more remote areas.
Listening to the sound of tiny stones bouncing up and hitting your rental vehicle can be stressful to say the least. Even if you’re super-careful not to drive recklessly, you can’t account for the driving skills of those who will try to overtake you or pass you from the opposite direction.
But to be careless about chipped paintwork or a damaged windshield is remarkably simple: all you need to do is take out gravel protection insurance.
Last but not least in our roundup is theft protection. Though theft is incredibly rare in a country as safe as Iceland, nothing would ruin a holiday faster than someone else helping themselves to your possessions.
It’s easy to overlook something as simple as locking your vehicle when you pop into a garage shop to pay for fuel, or if you’re distracted by an unexpected photo opportunity. Again, it comes down to peace of mind. If you’re not worrying about what might go wrong, you’re far more likely to enjoy your holiday.
Car rental extras to consider
So now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about rental extras, take a look at our easy-to-follow website and get your car rental in Iceland sorted.
With these car rental extras explained, you can pin down the best choices for you and/or your group. That leaves you free to concentrate on the important things, like finding great places to stay and planning which of Iceland’s myriad sights you’ll stop at along the way.