Top 7 Travel Tips for Cheaper Iceland with a Rental Car

Women standing by her rental car in Iceland.

What if I told you that the wonders of Iceland could be explored without the fear of an emptying bank account? Iceland, a land where fire meets ice, where the Northern Lights dance across the sky, and where volcanoes and glaciers create an otherworldly landscape, has long been a bucket-list destination for travelers around the globe. 

Embarking on an Icelandic adventure doesn't have to mean splurging on every aspect of your journey. With some insider knowledge and strategic planning, you can immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this Nordic island in a way that's both enriching and economical.

By leveraging a few well-thought-out travel tips, it's entirely possible to significantly lower your travel budget while maximizing your experience in Iceland. From the freedom of a rental car to the allure of hidden natural wonders, let's delve into how you can unlock the secrets of a more affordable Icelandic voyage.


  1.       Rent a Car in Iceland

The key to a cheaper trip to Iceland is having a rental car. I’m not just saying that because I’m writing for a car rental company. Let me explain.

To be able to save money you need options. When renting a car in Iceland you of course control your travel budget. This includes what kind of a rental car you want in Iceland. How fuel efficient it is and how many people you fit in it.

The more people paying or the smaller car you get, the lower the cost will be for individuals. That is the price per person.

It’s also worth noticing that public transport is both expensive and availability is lacking. So, not only do you save money when renting a car in Iceland, you also have the freedom to make your own travel plan and change it, if needed.


  1.       Make Self-guided Tours

Having a rental car in Iceland, opens the gate to cheaper Iceland. Part of that budget saving journey is doing a self-guided tour.

By doing a little research you can find information about Iceland’s best sites. Where they are and how to get there.

This includes both Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions and hidden gems, also found all over the country.

Rental car on a mountain road in iceland.

  1.       Find Iceland’s Free attractions

Iceland is best known for its natural wonders. As I have explained, both the best and cheapest way to explore Iceland is with a rental car. But, the rental car also offers you the opportunity to seek out and witness some of Iceland’s greatest scenery.

As much of Iceland’s most amazing natural wonders can be seen free of charge. This includes amazing waterfalls, hot springs, black sand beaches and more.

The greatest of all is the Northern lights in winter and the midnight sun in summer. With a rental car you can search for the perfect spot to witness the auroras or the eternal daylight in Iceland. Saving you both money and wildly increasing your chances.

It is worth noticing that some of Iceland’s most popular attractions do require parking fees, such as national parks like Thingvellir and Skaftafell. I recommend researching if there is a fee for parking there before going, so you don't end up paying more for a ticket.


  1.       Be your our own Chief

Eating at restaurants is expensive in Iceland. Even fast food is quite pricy here. You can really cut down your travel expenses in Iceland by cooking your own meals. By going to supermarkets and preparing your own food you will save a lot of money.

This means both cooking dinner and other meals or simply packing snacks for the road. Saving you both time and money when exploring Iceland.

However, you do not want to miss out on Iceland’s tasty cuisine. When eating out I recommend trying the traditional lamb soup and the Icelandic hot dog.

 Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland south coast.

  1.       Refill Water Bottles

Icelandic water is among the cleanest and best water in the world. You do not have to worry about drinking tap water in Iceland. You can buy water in bottles but it is the same quality water that comes from the faucet.

It's important to stay hydrated while driving in Iceland. But there is no need to buy water in Iceland when you can get it for free. So, bring a bottle, or buy one, and simply refill it. You can refill your bottles at any gas station, hotel or wherever you stop.


  1.       Seek out Discounts and Coupon Codes

Before you book your trip to Iceland you should always look for a deal. See if you can get a discount on your travel expenses. Car rentals in Iceland often offer customers coupon codes and other discounts and you should never be afraid to ask. The same goes for flights and hotels.

Again, a little research can save you a ton of money in Iceland, just by looking for discount deals. Hotels and car rentals in Iceland may also be in collaboration with other travel companies and offer discounts on exciting activities in Iceland. Such as boat trips, exhibits and hot spring lagoons.


  1.       Visit Iceland in off Season

Summer is the high season in tourism in Iceland. Stretching from June to the end of August. That is when most people visit the country and when the price for flights, rental cars and accommodation is the highest.

To lower your travel budget, you could simply come to Iceland during off season. Like, traveling in spring or autumn. Just because it’s not the most popular time to visit does it mean it will be any less amazing trip.

In fact, there are other benefits than just budget vice. Iceland’s natural wonders are here all year round and during high season they can get a little crowded. By arriving in the off season, you will have more exclusive experience. Like taking a winter trip to Iceland. Have you ever thought about witnessing the Northern Lights without the crowds? 

 Kirkjufell waterfall under the northern lights at snæfellsnes peninsula.


In Conclusion

There you have it. By using these 7 easy travel tips you can make a much cheaper trip to Iceland without compromising your experience. On the contrary, by traveling smart you will most certainly increase your travel experience.

The most important aspect being having a rental car which will allow you to travel freely and seek more opportunities and have a greater adventure in Iceland.

For more travel tip and useful information about Iceland, please visit our blog. There you’ll find both Practical Info as well as interesting articles about Driving in Iceland and Natural Wonders.








Whale watching

Whale watching

You´ll not only see the magnificent whales, but the rich bird life in the lava cliffs as well! We´ll take you along the coastline, and show you guillemots, arctic skua, gannets, and other species. The whales are glorious creatures and you´ll surely enjoy the ride.