So today I’m here to clear up a very common question that I hear every day. And that is whether or not you should rent a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive in Iceland. We’re going to clear it up, once and for all.
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Today we are talking about whether or not you’re going to need a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive, during your time in Iceland.
Let’s get into it.
Okay, so whether or not you need a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive, is going to depend on two major things:
- what time of year are you coming to Iceland? Winter or not winter?
- where are you traveling? Are you traveling just the main roads or some of the harder places to get to? So we will discuss the differences between those two options.
2WD in Iceland
General rule of thumb is that if you’re coming during the summer months a two wheel drive will be just fine. That’s the general rule of thumb. Of course, again, it depends on where you’re going, but if you’re going to places like Reykjavik, The Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes, South Iceland, The Ring Road, or all of the above, then you will be just fine with a two wheel drive vehicle. And the reason for that is because the roads are really easy to drive on. They’re paved for the most part. You don’t need to worry about snow or ice. Of course the advantage of renting a two wheel drive vehicle is that you save a lot of money, because it’s a lot cheaper to rent a two wheel drive vehicle.
The only disadvantage is if you want to go to some places that are a little off the beaten path, or into any of the Highland areas, or the interior roads. Which, brings me to my second point, when do you need a four wheel drive?
4WD in Iceland
So you are going to absolutely need a four wheel drive if you’re planning on entering the interior roads of the Highlands at all. This means the roads that go into the interior part of the country. These roads are called F Roads. So, if you come across a road and it says, F 232 and you have a two wheel drive, you absolutely cannot go on that road with your two wheel drive car. The reason for that is because these F Roads or these interior roads are so poorly maintained. They’re gravel roads, they have huge potholes, and not only that but a lot of them have rivers that kind of run right through them. Which, means that you have to traverse a river with your four wheel drive vehicle if you want to keep going on that road. So, you always have to be careful in Iceland, but even more so on those interior roads, because they can get really, really dangerous. Most of the car companies in Iceland will put a sticker on the dashboard of your car and it will say, “Do not drive on F Roads.” So, they’re reminding you where you can and cannot drive.
Now, the other time that I recommend having a four wheel drive vehicle is in the winter. And that is simply because Iceland does not maintain all of their roads, as well as you might expect. If you guys have been hanging around here for a while you’ve heard me tell the story about driving to Snaefellsnes Peninsula in February, by myself, when I thought everything was going to be just fine, and it wasn’t. Because I was in a small car, and it was icy, and I just thought that I would be fine. So, even if you’re an experienced driver, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry, and just have the four wheel drive vehicle, so that you feel really confident driving around Iceland.
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I really hope that this video helped you make the decision whether or not you need a two wheel drive or a four wheel drive vehicle, during your road trip in Iceland.
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