Renting a car in Iceland has become outrageously expensive

Icelandic rental car companies appear to have been unable to anticipate the recent uptick in tourism causing the demand for rental cars to exceed supply and pushing prices sky-high.

Icelandic tabloid DV today pointed out that according to search engine results renting a compact car for three weeks in July and August can cost over 1.36 million krona or the equivalent of almost $11,000. Renting a small SUV for the same period would cost more than 2.31 million krona, or about $18,700. DV compares these prices to the cost of outright buying a used car and finds that some five year old cars would cost about the same as a three-week rental of a similar-sized car.

Iceland Monitor verified these findings by using the popular search engine Skyscanner as well as the Icelandic travel search engine Dohop to find the price of renting a car at Keflavik Airport from Friday July 16th, to Friday next week. The prices turned out to be similar to what DV found, with Skyscanner (via Wisecars) showing a “Toyota RAV4 or similar” from Icerental as the cheapest option at $2.019 for the seven days or $289 per day. Dohop retuned even worse prices with the cheapest option being a “Toyota Corolla Estate or similar” from Sixt for $3,865 or over $552 per day.

For comparison renting a car from Los Angeles International airport for the same dates costs as little as $375 for the whole week according to Skyscanner (Hyundai Accent or similar), or just under $54 per day.

Rental car prices in Iceland have usually been quite high when compared to the US and Europe, in part due to mandatory insurance requirements and high taxes. However the current prices are highly unusual.

For those who have already bought their tickets to Iceland but haven‘t yet rented a car there is always the option of taking the Flybus from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik for $28,63 per adult. Excursions by bus are available to visit most of Iceland‘s highlights and the Reykjavik area bus network has routes spanning the height and width of the country, to towns such as Akureyri in the North and Egilsstaðir in the East. ai@mbl.is

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