Renting a 2WD in Iceland: Is It Worth It?

Looking to rent a 2WD in Iceland? Should you get a 4x4, or will a 2WD be enough for your trip? Having a 2WD can be perfectly fine for many planning to visit Iceland.

When you think about car rental in Iceland, the first thing that might come to your mind is a 4x4 vehicle. It is understandable to believe you must have a 4x4 when traveling around Iceland. However, driving a 2WD in Iceland can also be an excellent idea for many travelers. It will all depend on your plans, what you will do and where you will go while in Iceland. You can reach most tourist destinations on a 2WD without trouble. 

There are two questions you will want to ask yourself before choosing your type of vehicle in Iceland. 

  1. What time of the year will you be visiting?
  2. Where would you like to go in Iceland? Will you stay on the main roads, or do you want to explore the highlands? 

When you have a clear answer to these questions, you will find it easier to choose your rental car in Iceland. 

You can think of Icelandic roads in two ways, summer, and winter. During the summertime, the road condition is very good with clear roads. The ring road is paved on a majority of its part. So it is very convenient to drive a two-wheel drive in the summertime. During the winter, the ring road can be more limited for 2WD. Especially once you go further away from the Capital area, you can expect snow and icy roads during the winter. So if you plan on going around the island, a 4WD might be more suitable for your trip. 

Rent a 2WD in Iceland

Now let's go over the pros and cons of hiring a two-wheel drive car so you can better understand what vehicle will suit your trip to Iceland. 

2WD in Iceland

Knowing where you plan to go before renting a 2WD car in Iceland is essential. It is also good to consider what time of the year you plan to rent it. A two-wheel drive will be sufficient for most places if you are visiting during the summer months. However, suppose you are planning to visit Reykjavík, go to the Golden Circle, explore Snæfellsnes, stay on the ring road, enjoying Blue Lagoon. In that case, you will find a 2WD car perfectly fine for your trip. 

You can easily access these places, especially during the summertime, because all the roads are paved and clear. During winter, roads around Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, and Snæfellsnes are mostly clear of snow. During the wintertime, you must have good winter tires on the car. 

Advantages of 2WD in Iceland

The advantage of renting a 2WD in Iceland is that you will save a lot of money. It is cheaper to rent a two-wheel drive in Iceland, and you can find great deals for the smallest categories that, include the Hyundai i10, for example. Two-wheel drive cars are also very fuel efficient, so you can drive more lengths for less money since gas prices in Iceland can be expensive. 

Disadvantages of 2WD in Iceland 

Although booking a 2WD car in Iceland is cheaper, you can also find some disadvantages. The only drawback you can expect during the summer is that you cannot go on all roads. In Iceland, you will find unpaved roads in the highlands where 2WD cars are forbidden. If you want to visit places like Askja, Kjölur, or Landmannalaugar, you will need a 4x4 vehicle to get to these places. It is not only because the cars are too small for the roads. It is forbidden to go on these roads on a 2WD. In this case, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle for your trip. 

During the wintertime, you may experience difficulties driving some roads on a two-wheel drive. It mainly goes for the West fjords and the North/East side of Iceland. Since the roads can have much snow, you will feel more confident driving a 4x4 at these places. 

Road in Iceland with mountain views

What roads are 2WD not allowed on?

The general rule is that if the road has the letter F initially, it will not be allowed there. F stands for Fjallvegur or mountain road. When you see roads with F, it will tell you that a 4WD is required. Roads not including the letter F but still do not allow 2WD are roads 35 to Kjölur and 550 to Kaldidalur. 

What time of the year is best for 2WD in Iceland?

The best time to rent a two-wheel drive in Iceland is during the summer and Autumn. The main reason is that the weather is calm, and roads are clear and ideal for 2WD. 

Is it good to drive a 2WD during the wintertime in Iceland?

You can easily drive a 2WD during the winter months. If you plan to stay around the capital area, the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and Snæfellsnes, you will find it all good to drive a two-wheel drive. At these places, the roads are well prepared for the winter conditions. 

Can you drive a 2WD on the ring road in Iceland?

Yes, you can drive the ring road in Iceland on a two-wheel drive. In the summertime, this is convenient and budget-friendly. However, you may experience more difficulties during the wintertime. 

What type of 2WD do we offer?

We have a wide range of 2WD vehicles as well as 4x4s. Here is the list of our two-wheel drive cars: 

Rent a car in Iceland

When looking for your car rental in Iceland, keep in mind where you plan to go and what time of the year you will visit. At Icerental4x4, we are happy to help you plan your trip to Iceland and give our local advice for what car will suit your needs. You can contact us by phone, email, or social media. You can also read our blog and travel guides for inspiration for Iceland. 

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