Travel . Lifestyle . Dining


8 Tips for Self-drive in Iceland during Winter

1. Get your Sim card 

After we got off from the airplane, the first thing we got from the airport is Sim card. Instead of renting a GPS, we bought a 1Gb Nova phone sim card for 1990 isk from the airport for navigation. It works well for us throughout our 6D5N trip. Staying connected on road helps you to keep connected with the latest traffic news. Other company includes Siminn and voda

2. Collection of Car
There are many car rental companies in Iceland. We manage to score one super good deal after comparing from different website and waiting for sale. Unfortunately, these deals often require more "work". We have to take a yellow shuttle bus to the car rental company. So we were quite lost when we arrive the airport. Here's what you should do if you have to take a shuttle bus to collect your car

After immigration, exit the airport and follow the sign (about 2-3 mins) walk and you should see something similar to the photos above. Wait at the bus stop and a bus will come every 15 minutes. Just kidding . They are usually late. So be patient, a yellow bus will come. Hop on the bus and find the stop that you plan to alight. The rental companies are   located near each other. So it shouldn't be a problem if you missed your stop. Journey is about 2-3 min.

However do note that when you return the car, the same thing is going to happen. You have to wait for the shuttle bus to come. Our flight was at 6am. So when we arrive at 330 am to return the car, we were told that the shuttle bus might come once an hour, or every 30 minutes. It is advisable to walk (10-15 mins) there. The walk is not difficult to complete but not fun to walk during winter and at 330am. Nonetheless i count ourselves lucky because after we started walking 2 mins, the shuttle came. 

3. Send your last night in Reykjavik
Snowstorm is real. I know this may sound silly to some but coming from a tropical country, I have only read and saw it on news. On our last second last day in Iceland, we were caught in a snowstorm. We had to detour and only made it to the airport after 5 hours of drive instead of the 2 hours. Thankfully, our flight is on the next morning and we were already on our last lap. 

Tip: Be sure to plan and allocate buffer time for your travel. We were lucky that we are already on the last lap of our journey. Missing your flight is no fun.

4. Bookmark these website for traffic and weather updates
A tip from one of the host in Iceland - Check this website before setting off to your next destination. Especially during days when the snow game is going strong. Be flexible with your plans. Stay safe! 


Weather: http:///

5. Not all Petrol Kiosk accepts credit card & cash
We didn’t activate our credit card pin so we pretty much had a hard time finding a kiosk that is not self-service. So be sure to activate your credit card pin. Otherwise you can purchase the prepaid card at the counter or find one that is not self-service. 

6. Top up your petrol whenever you see one 
Distance between petrol station is far. During one of the night, we had to drive up to Hof to get our petrol filled up. Thankfully, we get to eat the best lobster meal we ever had! It was even better than the Lobster Thermidor we had in our suite class experience from Singapore to Switzerland.

7. Use the discount card given by your rental car
We found out that there is discount if we had use the keychain token at Olis petrol station on our second last day. About 10% off. However, definitely not worth the time/effort to find specific petrol station especially out on a road trip.

8. Stay on the Main road

“Not all wanders are lost”
However, if you wander and get stuck in snow, I wish you good luck. We have read and hear stories of tourist or traveller wanting to go to off beaten road and the car got stuck even at the start. Thus, it is advisable to stay on the road even if you are driving a 4WD during winter. 

We didn’t rent a 4WD and only rented a Toyota Yaris. Although we can still feel the car swaying during the storm, we feel that it still works well for us!  Use Discover Hire to compare rental car prices between car rental companies! 

Hope it helps!

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Read our full Iceland trip report here 
Read Things you should know before visiting the blue lagoon here 


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