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Which Car Rental Agency Do you trust and how much insurance is enough

Looking for guidance on a car rental agency that is upfront on costs and reasonable on price. I noticed that there are lots of different insurance add-ons. My credit car covers auto insurance, but what I'm seeing on Guide To Iceland - a consolidator - that there are all types of insurance for gravel, windshield, theft, comprehensive, etc. insurance. And if you don't choose one of these you'll have a $3000 charge on your credit card until you return the car to the agency.

The best rate on Guide To Iceland was for Ice Rental Cars, but there are a number of comments on the staff being unreliable and unresponsive.

Just looking for a company that you've had a good experience with and felt you were treated fairly.

Posted by va from va
Alexandria, VA USA
365 posts

Auto Europe is a consolidator based in the US (Maine) which is often recommended on the RS forum. www.autoeurope.com. We have used them twice in Europe with no problems. They have helped others out when there has been a problem. You can call them and they will make recommendations if you ae looking for guidance. In his Iceland book, RS recommends getting full coverage because of the many gravel roads and because of the strong winds on the South Coast carrying sand that can ruin the finish on a car. You are responsible for the damage.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
2800 posts

I just returned from Iceland yesterday. We rented a car through Fox and it was a good experience.
Regarding insurance, you should make sure you are thoroughly covered. There is a lot of potential for damage. There are quite a few wrecked cars you will pass on the main road that have been tossed off that road by wind. Trucks and buses are constantly throwing up gravel into the air that hits your paint and windshield. Most all of the side roads are crushed lava rock and some of the pieces are big enough to pop a tire if you hit it just right. Depending on the time of year there can be ice and/or snow on the road. If you hit significant wind and you are near a lava field or a beach, your paint can be completely taken off by sandblasting - google pictures of this...it's amazing! I wouldn't worry too much about theft...Iceland is one of the safest countries in Europe and the potential for theft is extremely small.
I have a credit card that offers full insurance for almost any eventuality. The only thing I needed to buy was gravel, tire, and wind damage coverage. We were lucky that we didn't need it but saw a number of others who weren't as lucky.
Iceland is the only place I've every purchased the extra insurance but it was money well-spent just for our peace of mind.

Posted by andysjunkmale
1 posts

I was hoping there would be more answers related to this question :( It's a mixed bag on TripAdvisor. It seems like a crapshoot. The only one I saw mentioned consistently (with decent comments) was a rental company named Blue Car. We're still poking around for reviews. I'll give autoeurope.com a call and see what they have to day. Hopefully more people will post here. We're heading there late July.

Andy

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
3177 posts

You might want to make sure that your credit card insurance is "primary". That's especially if you have any accidents on your record, or live in a state where the insurance companies have too much power over their customers. It has to be harder to handle two insurances, both connected with an event in a foreign country. And some agencies (Italy is particularly mentioned here) demand proof of the credit card insurance's effectiveness before you can have the car IF you don't buy THEIR profitable coverages. (For me, that brings into question their contract with the credit card processor to take all their customers ... but you are not "in the driver's seat.")

Posted by mp125
56 posts

I had a great experience with Blue Car Rentals and would definitely use them again. Expensive, but I think most car rentals there are! I strongly recommend the insurance add-ons. I thought it was unnecessary, but if you're driving the Ring Road, you'll definitely want the protection against weather-related damage, gravel protection, etc.

Side note that we got into a fender bender in Reykjavik, and it was no problem getting it settled with the company probably because we had that extra insurance. The company was super easy to deal with.

Posted by Joy
U.S.
23 posts

We traveled at the end of May and experienced thick fog, animals on the roads, a lot of gravel roads, a lot of potholes (some deep), narrow roads with no shoulder , and over the top winds, which had buckled a lot doors into the front wheel wells. At one of the cliffs at Vik, we almost had the same happen. Had we traveled a little earlier or a little later, there were snowstorms. We rented from Thrifty and took full coverage. Had no issues with Thrifty. They were patient, kind and helpful. Thrifty let us talk through all the scenarios and where cost would fall. We felt comfortable with our decision. Were glad we had full coverage. There's a lot that can happen to a car. Don't let this freak you out, though. It a fabulous vacation destination. Enjoy!