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Car rental guidance needed

We are traveling to Iceland 9/18-9/23/24, 3 adults. We are staying in a cottage in Hvalfjarðarsveit area and plan to do day trips to the Golden Circle and other nearby points.

My question is about car rentals--choosing between international brands like Thrifty or going local with Blue. The Blue site is pretty great at explaining the insurance coverage and how it is included in the cost. In trying to get these details from the other companies, it's hazy. Does anyone have an idea of what adding gravel and ash/sand coverage comes to on a rental via one of the international brands? The site I'm using to potentially book only tells me the cost of the rental, I'd have to wait to get the car to know the insurance costs, which is not ideal.
My CC covers primary CDW, but I'd definitely want some of the other optional coverages. I also appreciate from Blue that I can pick up at KEF and drop off in city on return since we have our last day to roam Reykjavick and I'd prefer to not deal with paying to park. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by
721 posts

We have rented twice with Blue. Many others also highly recommend them. Great customer service and you know all your costs up front. Do not cheap out on insurance.

Posted by
24 posts

We went with Blue last year for our two week trip. And bought all of the insurance options. And paid a ton of money. But at the end of the trip, we just dropped it off and no one looked at it and that was extremely nice.

For 4 days, I'd do the easiest option and pay for all the insurance.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks, all, for the responses thus far. I always planned on paying for extra insurance. I had a fender bender in Germany once and found having the extra assurance FAR worth the cost since I dropped it off and paid nothing out of pocket. What I'm trying to determine here really is pricing--does anyone have a sense of how much additional insurance is going to cost at the counter if I go with any company other than Blue? That's the piece I have not been able to determine. I have a really good rate through one of my many memberships to get a car either through Dollar or Thrifty but if the insurance tips that total way high, I would like to know that now and just go with Blue instead.

Posted by
2253 posts

If this were me, I would just go with Blue. We have used them 4 times so far, with our 5th rental coming soon. They are local, reputable, and so easy to work with. We always opt for the full insurance through them vs our Amex Platinum. We used the Amex in the US, but I am not one to take chances overseas, especially in Iceland. We too have done the pickup/dropoff at different locations with Blue and it is seamless.

Posted by
721 posts

Well, it looks like you aren't going to get a specific answer to your question since we all recommend Blue. Is it possible for you to do a dummy booking through one of the other car rental agencies to see what they offer for insurance?

BTW, you mentioned dropping off the car in Reykjavik before your return flight home. The cost to take the bus to the airport will be about $38 USD (not sure of exact price) each person. You could also take a taxi to the airport for around $150 for the three of you.

Posted by
27 posts

I've noticed that people often say to get the full insurance or all the insurance when renting a car in Iceland. For Blue, does this refer to the Liability Waiver that takes the renter's liability down to zero? Is there other insurance that can be added later or that they try to talk you into, such as liability protection? I'm finding this all very confusing. Thanks!

Posted by
23 posts

I used Blue a couple of weeks ago and agree that the service was excellent and the vehicles were fine. I did not get the extra insurance and decided to rely on what's bundled in with my Amex Platinum. My car - a Toyota Yaris with about 55K kilometers on it (!) - had a tiny windshield nick, a scratch on the driver's side door, and some chips (probably from gravel) on the front bumper. The interior was spotless. All of these were thoroughly documented by Blue in my rental contract and I was charged nothing extra upon return.

Their vehicles come with a discount fob for Olis fuel but I couldn't figure out how to use it. Oops. And, as a reminder, no right on red and the green petrol isn't diesel. Have fun!

Posted by
4 posts

We just got back yesterday after four days, mostly driving the south coast. Wonderful!! We rented with blue based on tips on this site. Super easy pickup, great service. I had priced a couple other companies where I have discounts in the states, and their insurance add ons were huge.
We had heard to get full insurance in Iceland, which we did, including the sand and ash protection. It wasn’t that much more.(other countries we use credit card insurance). We had strong winds 45 mph constant the first day, some blowing gravel, doors swinging in crowded parking areas - glad we had the coverage.
Also, our last night in Reykjavík we parked the car, about $25, and drove to airport. Cheaper than bus or taxi
Have a great trip. Take warm clothes!!

Posted by
1 posts

We got back two weeks ago. We did Blue and took the full coverage. A lot of construction and loose gravel on Ring Road. We picked up a windshield chip on Day 2 - no problem.

Another interesting thing: we were the first rental of our car, a new Kia Sportage. We were driving the Ring Road between Keflavik and Selfoss, an apparently new section of road. The included GPS kept trying to lead us off Ring Road because it didn't recognize this new section. Then we got a message on the screen that the GPS needed to be updated (from its original loading), which we could not do. Good thing we also had our phone and Google Maps which was on top of it. I did pass along the suggestion to Blue that they should do a GPS update when putting a new car in service.

Otherwise, we were delighted with Blue and would definitely use them again.