Are you preparing to embark on an Icelandic adventure in a motorhome? Before you hop on a plane or sign any paperwork, there are a few things to know before you rent!
- How Much Your Budget Allows You to Spend
- Your Airport Location
- Driving a Motorhome in Iceland
- Who Will Travel With You
- What Each Company Has to Offer You
- Motorhome Insurance Policies
- Campground Fees
Now that you have a basic idea of what to know before you rent a motorhome in Iceland, we can dive a little deeper into each tip. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be an expert on renting motorhomes not only in Iceland but around the world as well! So let’s get started!
1. How Much Your Budget Allows You to Spend
Before you can even begin planning your Icelandic adventure and renting the motorhome, there is one important (and obvious) thing you need to know about your trip.
You need to know how much money you are able to spend!
This budget should include the cost of renting the motorhome, money to be spent on meals, activities you will pay for, the cost of plane tickets (there and back), and the total fees for using the campgrounds. When you are creating your budget, be sure to leave some extra room for buying souvenirs as well!
To ensure you can have the ultimate Icelandic adventure, I suggest that you begin planning and saving for this trip several months in advance. However, if you are making the spontaneous decision to take a trip across Iceland in a motorhome, be sure to look at your current budget and determine exactly how much wiggle room is available.
To help you create a basic budget for your adventure, here are a few average prices to base your costs off of. After you have created a basic budget, you can begin to book plane tickets, rent a motorhome, and book any tours if necessary.
As you begin to solidify your purchases, feel free to move any money saved in one section of your budget (say the plane tickets were cheaper than expected) to another section!
The numbers I use below are the average costs of motorhomes, meals, and campground fees based off of a week-long motorhome trip in Iceland for 3 people over the age of 18. The numbers will vary slightly for any trip that is longer or with more people.
|Budget Item||Average Cost|
|Motorhome||Class C: € 2400|
Class B: € 2000
|Campground Fees||12.446 Kr|
Now, in case you aren’t familiar with the current exchange rate between the Euro, the Icelandic Kroner, and the US Dollar (which come on, who is?), let’s convert those prices to US Dollars.
|Budget Item||Average Cost|
|Motorhome||Class C: $ 2694|
Class B: $ 2245
|Campground Fees||$ 100|
Before you embark on an Icelandic adventure in your motorhome, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Icelandic Kroner. Be sure to bring some kroners and euros with you on your trip.
You can obtain foreign currency by visiting your personal bank and asking which currencies they carry. In the event your bank does not carry kroners or euros, you can exchange your currency online.
Want to order your currency online? Visit OFX.com to order yours today!
When creating your budget, look at some of the restaurants or campgrounds you will be attending in order to get a price range more accurate for your specific trip.
2. Your Airport Location
Choosing which Iceland airport you will be flying into will not only determine the price of plane tickets, but it will also influence what companies you can rent a motorhome from and what sights you will be able to see (depending on the length of your trip).
Many people choose to fly into Iceland’s Keflavík Airport. Keflavík is Iceland’s largest international airport and has several motorhome companies nearby for you to choose from. Two of the nearby motorhome companies available to you from Keflavík Airport are Motorhome Republic and NorthBound.is.
Another popular airport for travelers who plan on renting a motorhome is the Reykjavík Domestic Airport. If you are planning on flying into the Reykjavík Domestic Airport look for the perfect motorhome and rate for your trip with either Motorhome Bookers or NorthBound.is.
One of the final airports to begin looking for a motorhome at is the Akureyri Airport. To find a motorhome rental from this airport, check out NorthBound.is!
When booking which airport you will fly into and out of on your Icelandic adventure, double check on the website if the company will allow you to pick-up and drop-off the rented motorhome at a different location. If the company will allow you to pick up the motorhome at one airport and to return it to another airport, you will be able to see more of the beautiful landscapes Iceland has to offer during your time there!
3. Driving a Motorhome in Iceland
Planning on driving in a country that is not your own, may raise a few daunting- and very important- questions for you.
“What kind of driver’s license will I need?”
If you are a from country that is a member of the European Union, then your driver’s license will be valid for use in Iceland so long as it is at least a B License. While Iceland is not an official member of the European Union, they still follow many of the same rules and regulations.
However, if you do not have a European License, then you simply need to have a valid driver’s license for the country in which you live that is printed in English.
The age at which people may begin driving in Iceland is 18 years old. However, to accommodate foreign drivers, Iceland implements the “novice rule.” In order to drive a motorhome through Iceland, you are required to have at least one year of driving experience, or in other words, to not be a “novice.”
When you rent your motorhome, the rental company will ask what country you are from and will often not allow anyone under the age of 20 or 21 to rent a vehicle.
If you are looking for a simple fix to driving in a foreign country or your license isn’t printed in English, you are able to apply for an International Driver’s Permit. This permit is recognized almost everywhere as a valid identification card and as a driver’s permit.
You are able to obtain an International Driver’s Permit so long as you hold a current driver’s license for your country or state. You will need to have had the license for at least 6 months before you can qualify for an International Driver’s Permit.
Check out the American Automobile Association to fill out the paper work necessary for obtaining an International Driver’s Permit!
“How is driving in Iceland differ from driving in the United States?”
When you start driving your motorhome in Iceland, there is no need to fear adjusting to driving on the correct side of the road. Luckily, Iceland vehicles also drive on the right side of the road as well!
Typical speeds on Iceland roads that pass through towns or other heavily populated areas are 30 – 40 kilometers per hour. Further away from towns speed limits will most likely be between 70 – 90 kilometers per hour. Now, I am going to go out on a limb, and assume that like me most Americans do not know the difference between a kilometer and a mile.
While driving in Iceland expect to be going a little slower than what you are used to in the United States. Roads passing through towns tend to have a speed limit between 19 and 31 miles per hour. Once out of town, speeds increase anywhere from 44 to 56 miles per hour.
NOTE: In the United States, we often get away with driving a few miles per hour over the speed limit; however, doing so in Iceland is likely to result in a speeding ticket! So be sure to keep your motorhome within the posted speed limits!
4. Who Will Travel With You
The next thing to consider is who will all be traveling with you in the motorhome.
Not only is this important so that you can rent a motorhome big enough for everyone, but this factor is also important because some of Iceland’s campgrounds charge depending on who is staying there and for how long (as well as the motorhome fee).
For example, when staying in Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður National Park, the fees vary based on a few different factors.
|Site fee (per night)||ISK 500 ($4.01)|
|Adults 18 – 66 years||First Night: ISK 1.500 ($12.03)|
Extra Nights: ISK 1.200 ($9.62)
|Senior Citizens 67+ years||First Night: ISK 1.250 ($10.03)|
Extra Nights: ISK 950 ($7.62)
|Disabled People||First Night: ISK 1.250 ($10.03)|
Extra Nights: ISK 950 ($7.62)
|Children 13 – 17 years||First Night: ISK 1.000 ($8.02)|
Extra Nights: kr. 700 ($5.61)
|Children 12 years and younger||Free of Charge|
(Remember: the Icelandic Kroner [ISK] and the Krona [kr] are the same currency)
When planning your trip to Iceland be sure to look at each of the campsites and know exactly how much your fee will be each night based off of who will be staying with you!
5. What Each Company Has to Offer You
Before simply picking a motorhome rental company, you need to look at a few different aspects of each company.
Since you are traveling to a foreign country, it would be especially wise to know what languages each motorhome rental company speaks.
For example, Motorhome Republic has representatives who speak English, Mandarin, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch.
Not to mention that each of their representatives is a motorhome “expert” and can help you find exactly what you need!
Some other qualities to look for in your Iceland Motorhome Rental company are customer service, average cost, quality of motorhome, and possibly the most important quality, INSURANCE POLICIES!
Do not sign on the dotted line without asking about the companies insurance policy!
Some questions to ask might include: Will I need my own independent insurance policy? How much will your insurance policy cost? What damages or incidents will your insurance policy cover?
Read a few of the reviews for each of the rental companies and feel free to call and ask them in person any of your questions!
6. Motorhome Insurance Policies
Possibly one of the most important questions to ask yourself (and your rental company) is whether or not you will need insurance. And if so, what kind of insurance you should purchase.
When you search for motorhomes on the booking websites, be sure to look in the features included in price section. For most motorhomes, the price of insurance is included in the standard fee; however, what this insurance covers may vary.
For example, when booking a motorhome out of Keflavik for a week the motorhome I selected had the following the information.
First of all, the motorhome had 3 seats, 3 beds, and cost €1578.00 for a rental period of 6 days. Looking into the description of the vehicle, I found that my standard rate included the cost of bedding, kitchen cutlery, mileage, and insurance!
However, this was not enough information to quite satisfy my concerns. So I dove a little deeper and found that the insurance included with the rental of the motorhome only covered 24 hour roadside assistance.
For €26.61 per day, I would be able to purchase an insurance that covered Single Vehicle Accidents, Tire, Windscreen, any damage to the undercarriage or the roof, as well as any Third Party Damage.
Be sure to read the fine print on what the included insurance covers and consider purchasing another policy to protect you from any damages that may occur during your Icelandic excursion.
Another thing to keep in mind when renting your motorhome is that many companies may require you to pay a “Bond” that amounts to the cost of the vehicle’s deductible.
This money is taken at the beginning of the trip and returned at the conclusion if the vehicle is returned in proper condition.
To learn more about what kind of insurance policies rental companies offer by visiting Motorhome Iceland.
7. Campground Fees
Finally, we have arrived at the best part of planning a trip to Iceland. Choosing what gorgeous sights you will stop and see and where you will be staying between stops!
Many of the most popular sights to visit in Iceland are located in Vatnajökull National Park. For renting a campsite in the National Park, it is wise to call ahead and make a reservation before hand. Luckily, almost all of the campsites in Vatnajökull National Park are charged the same rates!
|Site Fee per Night||ISK 500 ($4.01)|
|Adults 18 – 66 years old||First Night: ISK 1.500 ($12.03)|
Extra Nights: ISK 1.200 ($9.62)
|Senior Citizens +67 years old||First Night: ISK 1.250 ($10.03)|
Extra Nights: ISK 950 ($7.62)
|Children 13 – 17 years old (with adults)||First Night: ISK 800 ($6.42)|
Extra Nights: ISK 500 ($4.01)
|Children 12 years old and younger (with adults)||Free of Charge|
Content Courtesy of Vatnajokulsthjodgardur.is.
However, if you are not going to be staying in the National Park you can expect the site fee per night to be a little higher with many more amenities offered!
For example, the Höfn campground located on the southeastern side of Iceland charges ISK 3750 ($30.08) per night and permits two people. Amenities include waste water discharge, chemical toilet discharge, and water hook-ups.
Remember, the amenities provided in Iceland will be slightly different from the amenities we are used to here in the United States and rates will vary drastically depending on the area you are staying.