Last update: January 2023
Before we decided to recommend Blue Car Rental as the best option in Iceland, we asked ourselves some questions to compare them with other options:
- Will the rental car company in Iceland guarantee you a new rental car?
- How much insurance is included on your Iceland rental car?
- How much do child car seats cost in Iceland?
- How is the customer service of a rental car company in Iceland?
- How long will it take to pick up your rental car in Iceland?
- The not-so-perfect with Blue Car Rental in Iceland
- Blue car rental in Iceland discount coupon code
We’ll tell you why Blue stacks up well in many of these categories.
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Will the rental car company in Iceland guarantee you a new rental car?
When I rent a car in the United States, this isn’t really a consideration- I just assume I’ll be getting a car that’s less than 3 years old. But in Iceland, you could be getting a 10-year-old car; the slightly cheaper price may not be worth it. Some companies even embrace older cars as part of their brand: You’d never see companies called Sadcars or Cheapjeep in the United States. But these are actual options in Iceland. Blue’s cars are almost all from the most recent 2 model years.
How much insurance is included on your Iceland rental car?
Almost all rental car companies in Iceland include basic CDW insurance. That stands for Collision Damage Waiver. This is a limit to how much money you would have to pay out of pocket for damage to your rental car.
Some companies may limit your liability to $1,000; others may limit your liability to $2,800. If you have to pay either of those, you’re going to be sad. But I think this is a nice, though not critical way to see if the car rental company is trying to do right by their customers. (Note that this included insurance may void your credit card insurance; see page for all of the details.) Blue includes a damage maximum of around $750 for 2 wheel drive cars and about $1,000 for 4 wheel drive cars. That’s lower than most other companies.
How much do child car seats cost in Iceland?
In order to advertise the lowest base car rental price, companies may charge high rates for car seat rentals. You may find a company that charges $16 a day per child seat for short rentals; that can end up increasing your rental cost dramatically.
Blue provides booster seats for kids free of charge. (These will be high back boosters unless you ask for a backless one.) And safety car seats for younger kids cost a fixed fee of 4000 krona, or around $35. For a short rental, that car seat cost could be expensive. But for a longer rental, which I think is more common, this can end up less expensive.
Even if you don’t need child car seats, this is still one small indicator of a company with customer-focused policies.
How is the customer service of a rental car company in Iceland?
I recommend sending an e-mail to a company you plan to rent from, just to make sure you hear back. For a week-long trip in the summer, you could be spending $1,000 or more for a full-sized automatic transmission car. It’s worth making sure you’ll hear back from the company if there are any issues.
Blue has been responsive to all of my e-mails, and handled a problem well. I ended up with a car that didn’t have enough luggage space for our family of 7. (Now I know better!) Blue found me a car that worked for us- – and it’s not an easy feat to change the vehicle type for a 45 day rental on the spot.
How long will it take to pick up your rental car in Iceland?
In 2020, Blue introduced a zero wait time pickup process. As long as you fill out the digital paperwork they send you before your rental, you can just walk (or take the bus) to their office, pick up your keys, and head out! See the details on the Blue Car Rental website.
The not-so-perfect with Blue Car Rental in Iceland
To be complete in our discussion of Blue, here are a few things that could be improved, or really just things to know:
You will have to do about a 4 minute walk to their office from Keflavik airport. (They say 3, but I’m adding a minute to walk over with kids and luggage.) To their credit, Blue has a nice video that shows you how to walk to their office from the airport. (Search for “Blue Car Rental – Airport walk to office“ on YouTube.) There is also a free shuttle service, but the walk is usually faster.
You are still responsible for damage, unless you pay for zero liability insurance. This is specific to Iceland, not to Blue at all. But you may be used to rental car returns where they don’t really even look for damage. Damage to the car is much more likely in Iceland, and they will do a thorough inspection when you return the car. Make sure you note any damage when you pick up the car; it seems prudent to take some photos or a video. Like any other car rental company in Iceland, Blue will charge you for damage not covered by the insurance.
But those are minor quibbles. Overall, Blue will rent you a newer model car at a reasonable price. It may not be the cheapest option in Iceland, but it’s not that far off. And you’ll have extra insurance built in, a new car, minimal wait time, and a very high likelihood of a pleasant experience.
Of course, there are other options out there that will provide you a good experience. Ask yourself the questions above and see how your options stack up.