Global Travel Strategy Post – Choosing a Rental Car in Iceland


BE STRATEGIC… Don’t just be cheap, be smart to save. Bundle accommodation and transportation

Instead of having to pay both for room and board, we just paid for our rental van camper. Then we split it between 4 people. It ended up being way cheaper for us in the end and less of a hassle when it came to booking/organizing. Of course that would be great doing a rental car then an Air BnB, but our focus was being outside and witnessing the Northern Lights any chance we got.

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Oh yes Iceland – you drive around it then return to fly out of Reykjavik. So it’s all about clockwise or counterclockwise and then how you’ll hit the sites in the highlands. Typically just taking a road off of the ring road then returning.

Okay and an important thing to maybe think about prior to picking your locations and sites to visit, but what are you wanting to do for accommodation?! Are you going to stay in hotel, bed and breakfasts, another unique and high value option is AirBnB or are you going to camp and/or take a camper. That’s probably a good first step. While you’re planning where to go, keep this in mind.

What did we do? So doing my research and looking around and knowing the type of people I’m going with camping is the number one option. You can be way more flexible, pick wicked locations to shoot night photography (astro/aurora borealis) and sunrises, and also it will be cheaper!

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Well let’s not go too far here. We still need a rental car because there are no buses or complete tours where you can have a lower budget and do your own thing. So that lead me to doing research on rental cars.

What you will soon realize is that my brain is going at high speeds at all times and not in one direction. So as I write I go, “Oh yeah, then I did this, then I did that, then returned to this while planning that at the same time.” But I will make sure I recap these posts with proper steps. I think this will help those of you who struggle with planning because it isn’t just an easy streamlined process where things come together. The moving parts are all around you.

Boom back on track. So as I stated, we decided to go camping. With camping comes gear, with gear you need somewhere to put that. We need a big car to fit 4 people comfortably, can support our gear easily, and can go off-road or highland driving. So immediately I start researching SUV type vehicles.


Here’s the list I came up with:

  1. : CHEAP but SAD
    1. Highland Driving? Yes
    2. Pick Up From? Other Airport 45 Min Shuttle away
    3. Seats? 4
    4. Sleeping Arrangement? Just outside tenting available
    5. Luggage Room? Mid-size to small – potential roof rack
    6. Things to Consider? Cheap Gas, Additional options, bringing own camping gear on flights extra bags more expensive, no room for jerry cans, insurance extra
    7. Total Cost in CAD$: $2,352.00 or $588/person
    8. Total Cost in CAD$ with 15% off at that time: $1,764.00 or $441/person


    1. Highland Driving? Yes
    2. Pick Up From? KEF Airport
    3. Seats? 4
    4. Sleeping Arrangement? Sleeps 4 and/or tenting outside
    5. Luggage Room? Large
    6. Advantages? Extras available BBQ, Jerry cans, GPS, Power Inverters, camping chairs, table, insurance extra
    7. Total Cost in CAD$ with options: $4,737.78 or $1,150.10/person

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    1. Highland Driving? Yes
    2. Pick Up From? KEF Airport
    3. Seats? 7
    4. Sleeping Arrangement? Possibly 2 in vehicle and/or tenting outside
    5. Luggage Room? Large
    6. Advantages? Extras Available, GPS free, Collision, Theft, Gravel Third Party Insurance free
    7. Things to consider
    8. Total Cost in CAD$: $2,558.25 total and $639.56/person

Okay so looking at these options the Viking Car Rentals looks like a clear winner, however, because we are going March 28 to April 11 we are susceptible to major weather changes including high winds too strong to tent, as well as it doesn’t come with the essential camping, and cooking gear that we need which we would have to bring and increase our individual cost for our flights. So we went with KuKu Tours. (THANK GOD. The weather was horrific about 75% of the time at night)

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I have spoken with KuKu via email multiple times and they are extremely welcoming and helpful. For me that is worth a whole lot. Therefore all said and done we chose to have a nice backup option of the KuKu Camper Category E. All of their campers come with Cutlery, Dishes, Cups, Dishwashing brush, small stove, pots, and a Frisbee. When traveling in the Fall, Winter, or Spring do not worry about the BBQ, Camping Chair, GPS (only need a map, do not get an jerry gas cans unless you’re driving inland


Additional Extras:

  • Camping chair – 5 euro per rental (Summer)
  • Camping table 12 Euro per rental (Summer but probably not needed)
  • BBQ – 8 Euro per rental (No need if you have portable camp boiler)
  • Acoustic Guitar – 30 Euro per rental (This is perfect, so anyways here’s Wonderwall)
  • Surf Board – 30 Euros per day (Unless you’re a huge surfer and have the wet suit gear already)
  • Skate Board – 8 Euros per day (Bring your own)
  • Camera – 30 euros per rental (Bring your own)
  • Fishing gear – 18 Euros per rental (Do your research if you’re a fisherman)
  • Fishing license – 50 Euro per rental (Do your research if you’re a fisherman)
  • GPS Navigation system – 50 Euros per rental (Not needed unless you’re in summer going through interior)
  • Mobile Phone – 30 Euros per rental (Bring your own and check your rates with your company)
  • Sim Card – 10 Euros per rental (see previous note)
  • Sleeping Bag – 20 Euros Rental (bring your own)
  • Tent – 30 Euros per rental (bring your own one that is sturdy these winds don’t kid around!)
  • Power inverter – 20 Euros per rental (bring your own)
  • Cooler – 15 Euro per rental (Our van was equipped with a cooler so just check it out)

How Kuku Campers puts it:

  1. We offer the lowest possible cost of bed and transport in Iceland
  2. We´ll gain you access to anywhere. We can hook you up!

Our KúKú Campers are reliable, cozy and fuel efficient

  1. Our campers include a frisbee
  2. No hidden cost policy
  3. Accessible from the airport
  4. No compulsory insurance
  5. Multiple drivers at no extra cost
  6. Road side assistance throughout Iceland
  7. Personal service with local knowledge and tips to get your KúKúCamper off the beaten track


Seen here on their site

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