Are you planning to visit Iceland soon? If you are, then there are some important considerations to keep to so that your trip can be perfect!
If you are visiting Iceland for the very first time, then you need to keep in mind that apart from your hotel accommodation and car rental in Iceland, you also need to budget for the fuel cost you will be using during the trip. Gas prices in Iceland could be very expensive and could create a big hole in your wallet; that is why you need to set aside some money for gas refills during your trip. In fact, you will discover that if you plan to stay for a few days doing photo stops and sightseeing, the money you will spend on gas will likely be more than you pay for car rental and your grocery put together.
Therefore, in this guide, you will learn how much you will have to pay for gas costs, what you need to know about gas stations in Iceland, and some other related issues concerning your credit card PIN, diesel prices in Iceland, and many more. So let’s get started…
How much is gas in Iceland?
On average, gas in Iceland costs around 337 ISK per liter (2.50 USD) this 2022. One gallon is approximately 3,78 liters. So the price for a gallon of gas in Iceland is $9.45 USD.
Cheapest Gas Station in Iceland
Currently, the cheapest gas station in Iceland is Orkan station in Bústaðavegur street, in the capital area. The current price is 314 ISK ($2.32) for Gas 95 and 317 ISK ($ 2.34 USD) for Diesel.
Costco Iceland also offers great prices, but at the moment, unleaded is 311.1 ISK, and Diesel is 314 ISK ( $2.32 USD). These prices are still good, however, you need to have a membership card to enjoy them. If you are around the area, just visit the Atlantsolia station at Kaplakriki, their price is very similar to Costco's. You can find further information later on in this same post.
We prepared a price comparison for the cheapest gas stations around Iceland, in every region:
Prices per liter as of August 2022
Why is gas so expensive in Iceland?
Fuel tax is probably one of the reasons why the gas price in Iceland is so high. Gas price in Iceland is one of the most expensive in Europe, although there is price variation from one gas station to the other, as you can easily see in the comparison above.
Keep a calculator at hand, if you will be driving around Iceland’s Ring Road you need to cover 828 miles (1332 km) stretch. To keep the total cost of your road trip at a minimum, we recommend you hire a low-consumption model like our Hyundai i10 or reach out to our customer service agents to check which model will fit your needs best.
Gas Stations in Iceland
Although there is price variation on gas here in Iceland, the majority of gas stations have more or less the same prices. Here is what you need to keep in mind when you are about setting off for your trip in Iceland – ‘Make sure you have a plan for your gas station stops in advance’ This is because you wouldn’t want to get into a panic mode when your car fuel signal turns red.
Gas stations on the Ring Road are far apart from each other especially when you are cruising through the less inhabited areas of Iceland. By far apart I mean like over 150 miles (243 km) apart. So, if you see any gas station while you are driving and your fuel tank is reading half full, make sure you drive in to refill to a full tank.
Another tip to take note of is having your PIN code handy when you drive into a gas station in Iceland. Although many credit cards don’t come with a PIN but zip codes, you will do well to know what your PIN number is if you want to use some of the self-service stations. You will learn more about this later on in this guide.
5 Things to Know About Gas Stations In Iceland
In Iceland, gas stations have their unique way of operation compared to gas stations from around the world. If you are planning to drive yourself in Iceland, you know you have to visit more than one gas station to make the trip to and fro the Ring Road. Although almost everyone knows how expensive gas is in Iceland, few only know about how gas stations operate in Iceland. Here are a couple of things to know about gas stations in Iceland.
The first, and indeed, the most important rule to keep when driving, to explore the wonders of nature here in Iceland is, to keep your fuel tank full. Do not risk your vehicle when you pass a gas station with half-empty fuel. Drive in to refill your gas. This is very important, as roadside emergency services in Iceland can be expensive.
An ugly incident happens sometime ago to a tourist we met on the road while taking some families on a tour on the Ring Road. He was standing by the roadside with a container waiting for someone to pick him up at the next gas station. When asked what happened, he narrated how he snubbed to fill up his tank even when it was half full and was hoping he will drive into the next filling station to fill up - but his vehicle did not make it to the next gas stop. Stranded he was for over 4 hours until our tour vehicle stopped for him. Some tourists are not that lucky to see a vehicle that soon or is not already filled up. This is an important message – Get your gas early and make a refill every time your tank is half full.
How do gas stations work in Iceland?
Important information about gas stations in Iceland:
#1. Gas Stations In Iceland Require a Card With A Pin To Pump Gas
If you don’t have a debit card or a bank card (these already have a PIN code) you might find it difficult to buy gas for your vehicle. In Iceland, most of the gas stations will require you to have a pin attached to your card. As it is, most credit cards don’t automatically come with pin numbers and if you use a credit card without the real pin number, (the gas pump machine), your card is likely to be rejected or declined. This is one mistake many tourists have encountered during their visit to Iceland.
The worst scenario is when you get to a gas station hoping to use the same credit card to shop at their convenience store but discovered the store is closed, and there is nobody to attend to you, you definitely won’t be able to get gas. The best way to buy your gas is when you come with a debit card or a bank card which already has a pin. This is the only way to save yourself some embarrassing moments in gas stations - as your debit card will work in any gas station. Although your credit card has a zip code/number, it is not the same as that of the debit or bank card. Sometimes, it is possible to call your credit card company when such an issue arises, and they get it resolved, but we highly recommend a debit/bank card for buying your gas in Iceland.
#2. Many Filling Stations In Iceland Are Self-Serve
Most gas stations here in Iceland don’t have an attendant. You might be used to driving into a gas station and having people come over to fill your gas (this is very common in almost every country) but here in Iceland, most of the gas stations are self-service especially when you are away from the city. So if you have not pumped gas by yourself before and you are planning to come down to Iceland, this might be your first time pumping gas all by yourself.
You can be lucky to get someone to attend to your gas need when you are still within Reykjavik metropolis, but away from this place into the Ring road, you can be sure to pump your gas all by yourself.
How to use a gas pump in Iceland
And if you are wondering how to self-service yourself in an Iceland gas station, it is quite simple – You simply insert the debit card into the machine slot and tell the machine which pump is yours. Open your fuel tank, pull the lever and start filling up your tank. You can also easily identify which pump is for diesel and which is for gasoline; In Iceland, the diesel pump always comes with a black handle while the gasoline pump has a green handle. It is very important that people coming to Iceland for a visit should know about pumping their gas by themselves unlike what they are used to in their home country.
#3. Different Foods And Groceries In Icelandic Gas Stations
If you are hoping to pick up some foodstuffs or you just need to grab a bite during your trip to Iceland, gas stations in Iceland are your best bet. The vast majority of gas stations in Iceland offer varieties of food and grocery options. In fact, some stations offer a full sit-down restaurant for tourists. Although, the main foods you will get are Icelandic soups, hot dogs, burgers, coffee as well as some loaves of bread.
If you also needed to get some groceries or you intend to pick some hardware for your road trip, the Iceland gas station has all these in stock. Please note that not all gas stations are stocked equally. While some gas stations here are fully stocked with outdoor gear such as fishing gears or some spare parts that your vehicle might need, others are only able to provide things like pasta sources, snacks, toilet papers, or noodles. But one thing is sure in all Icelandic gas stations and that is, you will always get to find grocery sections or fresh food sections in all gas stations you drive into.
#4. Choosing the Right Gas Company in Iceland
It's no doubt that gas prices in Iceland are on the high side. And there is nothing anybody can do about it. One thing visitors to Iceland need to understand is that Iceland is in the middle of nowhere and besides, the strength of the krona, Iceland's official currency, against world currency is a factor to consider.
The same also goes for diesel prices; you can get a liter of diesel from Atlantsolía at 193.9 ISK and the same liter can be bought from N1 gas stations at 227.9 ISK. Companies like N1 and Olís are among the most expensive options. Orkan, ÓB, Dælan, and Atlantsolía are among the cheapest.
If you are driving a 4x4 vehicle, you are likely to spend close to 12,000 Icelandic Krona for a full tank. This is why when you are planning to visit Iceland, you need to set aside a budget for the fuel you will be using to and fro during your trip. Although you don’t have a choice on this issue, we always suggest that visiting Iceland requires proper planning. In fact, you need to think ahead that the price might not be the same as the last time you visited. Therefore, to really enjoy your trip to Iceland, you don’t need to fret over the gas prices here. It's really unavoidable!
#5. Many Gas Stations In Iceland Offer Free Self-Service Car Wash Stations
Driving through the Ring Road will definitely make your car very dirty – this is quite understandable as the road in this route are not paved but mostly gravel roads, at times, you might be driving into dirty snows that will leave your vehicle covered with dirt. The good thing about most Icelandic gas stations is they all give a free car wash service. But you have to do this yourself – no attendant to help you wash the car, it’s mostly a self-service car wash station.
This gesture is quite different from what you have in other parts of the world. Nothing is free especially when it comes to washing your dirty car. But that is not so here, so when planning your visit to Iceland, you know you will likely have a free car wash but the only downside to this is that you have to wash the vehicle all by yourself.
When you consider the fact that everything in Iceland is expensive and you are offered a free service, take advantage of it, and give your car a thorough bath. Although, not all Iceland gas station has a car wash but there are many of such stations that offer free car wash and when you locate one when returning from your trip, drive in and quickly give your car a thorough washing before handing the car to the car rental agency.
Gas Station Brands In Iceland
In Iceland, there are many gas companies that are available to provide gas and diesel to tourists. When you embark on your trip, you will also discover that these gas stations come in different sizes, while some are bigger and popular others are a bit smaller and self-serving.
Here are some popular gas stations you might likely come across when driving in Iceland:
N1 Gas Stations
The N1 gas station is the most popular filling station in Iceland. If you are looking to fill your gasoline or diesel, they have it all and you can find them almost everywhere. From the city to the rural areas, they operate round the clock. Although you might find some of the station stores closed when you pass by, if your only need is to fill up your tank, just drive in and you will discover that the pumps are all working. And just like the typical Icelandic gas stations be prepared to pump the gas yourself. Also, make sure you have a debit card or a bank card with the right PIN if you don’t want to be disappointed while trying to pump gas.
Olis And OB Gas Stations
This is the second biggest gas station we have in Iceland. After touring the entire Ring Road and many parts of Westfjords, as a tourist guide, Olis is definitely in almost everywhere just like we have it with N1. The difference between the two gas companies (Olis and N1) is that while it seems N1 is more locally inclined or owned by our local folks and also run like a franchise; The Olis stations with its sister brand OB are more commercial and larger. More so, the good thing to enjoy when you drive into Olis is you get to enjoy free Wifi and a bit of discount with their card
Orkan Gas Stations
This is also one of the most popular gas stations we have here in Iceland. They have close to 60 autogas stations where you have to pump the gas yourself. Most of their filling stations do not have attendants to help when you drive in and the gas station is open 24 hours but their store is not always open round the clock. Also if you are using this gas station to fill up your tank, you will need to have your PIN to make a successful purchase. The good thing about Orkan Gas Company is that you can download their mobile app to see where their nearest gas station is wherever you are.
Costco Gas In Iceland
If you are looking for one of the cheapest gas stations in Iceland, Costco gas is the place to go. Although relatively new to the Iceland market, the only downside to enjoying their cheap gas is that you have to be a registered member of Costco to partake in their cheap offer. However, if you already have a member card from another country, you can still enjoy the promotions in Iceland!
Also, you can’t find them everywhere like most of the other gas stations in Iceland, they only operate in the Reykjavik metropolis. However, if you are hoping to get a cheap gas price in Iceland, register as a member and you surely will benefit and enjoy their cheap gas price.