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Do I need a 2wd or 4wd in Iceland?

So today I’m here to clear up a very common question that I hear everyday. 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.

All right. So, before we get started I have to talk about something that someone brought to my attention last week. I put out my first Two Minute Tip Thursday video. And I was so excited, I mean I love alliterations so I’m always like Motivation Monday, Waterfall Wednesday. And someone literally messaged me on Instagram and said, “Um hey Jeanie, it would make a lot more sense if you did either Three Minute Tip Thursday, or Two Minute Tip Tuesday.”

And I was like, “Oh damn. You’re right.” Ever since then I cannot stop thinking about it. So, the OCD in me and all of you are going to be okay, because I have decided to switch it to Three Minute Tip Thursday, because that really makes sense in the world of alliterations.

Couldn’t sleep you guys for many nights thinking about this.

So, before we get too deep into this quick tip thing, the videos will be on Thursdays and they will be three minutes. And they will still be a quick and easy tip for your Iceland planning.

I feel so much better that we got that out of the way. Let’s begin.

Hey, team Iceland my name is Jeannie and I am your tour guide for all things Iceland planing. If you are new around here, please go ahead and hit the subscribe button, because every week I am putting out a brand new video about Iceland and planning, and helping to make your trip easy. And who doesn’t want that? I don’t know, I want that. You want that. So, hit subscribe.

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.

Three Minute Tip Thursday, 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:

  1. what time of year are you coming to Iceland? Winter or not winter?
  2. 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

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

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  Synfuels Nest 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.

Don’t forget if you’re planning your road trip, and you want to save some money on your car rental then you can save seven percent exclusively by using my discount, which is #BlueView at bluecarrental.is. That is an awesome way to save money…and we love saving money!

 

READ MORE:   Iceland Planning - The COURSE!

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.

If you found this video helpful please give it a thumbs up, and also don’t forget to subscribe to my channel because you have new videos coming to you every week with helpful Iceland planning tips.

Happy planning,

 

 

 

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Road Tripping in Iceland?

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  • Driving in a new country can be scary and you want to be able to read the signs! Don't worry, I got you covered with this detailed guide. Drive in peace, my friends!
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  • Melanie
    February 14, 2018 at 2:46 am

    Hello!
    I’ve been enjoying reading all of your materials, thank you! I am planning to be in Iceland Oct 28-Nov 11. The first week I’ll be in Reykjavik with family and then my boyfriend will join me and we want to rent a camper van and drive the ring road. Should we be prepared for full-on winter with a 4×4 van and tire chains? Should we bring our heavy winter coats/boots and Stabilicers? I read the F-roads are all closed beginning in September so the 4×4 vehicles wouldn’t be needed specifically for that. Is that true? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeannie
      February 16, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Hey Melanie!

      So glad you have been finding all the info helpful 🙂
      That totally depends on the kind of year it is – the weather is different all the time. I would say in GENERAL at that time of year the snow isn’t as bad, but your rental company will be prepared with the right tires for you. Yes heavy coats and crampons are a must at that time! Watch my winter packing video for full details 😉

  • Agness of Etramping
    February 25, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Wow! This was the most comprehensive and enlightening video and post about a topic I’ve been searching for a while, Jeannie! I guess I would choose a 4wd when in Iceland. What time of the year would you recommend exploring it?