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What Vehicle Should I Rent to Drive Iceland's Ring Road?

Illustration for article titled What Vehicle Should I Rent to Drive Icelands Ring Road?
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Iceland has turned into one of those really hip tourist destinations for those quirky people you see on Instagram who are constantly traveling to out-of-the-way places. The airfare is cheap, it’s a relatively small country, and it’s a great jumping-off point for other European destinations.


I’ve been drooling over Iceland for, essentially, ever. I was the singular kid in my first grade class who chose to study Norse mythology for a semester-long mythology project, and I fell in love with Iceland’s dark, brooding landscapes and the ability for life to thrive on this isolated island. I flew through the Keflavík International Airport on my way to Munich in 2015 and I haven’t been able to get those black sand beaches out of my brain.

I have a graduate school residency in Edinburgh this summer, and exactly ten minutes ago I decided that I am going to tack on a four-day adventure in Iceland where I will drive the entire Ring Road solo, camping out of the back of my vehicle the entire way.


I have a problem, though, Jalops. I’ve made long treks across America, I’ve camped out of a car at races, but I haven’t done both of these things simultaneously while also alone in a foreign country.

What should I drive? What’s the best kind of vehicle to both drive around the entirety of a country while also living out of it? What’s something half-ass fuel efficient so I don’t blow my entire three-week budget on four days of driving?

And if you’ve ever knocked out this drive yourself, what did you do, what did you rent, and what are your best tips for eking maximum enjoyment out of a long-ass driving trip?

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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We rented a Dacia Duster 4x4 diesel with a stick shift! Kinda pokey but I enjoyed driving it. Iceland is so beautiful, we never left the main roads but some of the smaller roads in Iceland are not paved. Having said that I am sure we could have gotten all the places we went with any common rental car in Iceland. That place is absolutely breathtaking.

Edit: We didn’t stay in our car, we stayed in hotels (my wife was pregnant). They rent ford Transit connect campers that might be cost effective EZ button for 4 days. It’s going to be a lot of driving to get around the ring in 4 days, we were there for 9 days, and we did a little more than just the ring, but it still was a lot of driving every day, but the cool thing is, you see a lot from the car in iceland and there is no traffic or crazy drivers to speak of, so it’s not as bad. Still I would try to extend it to a proper week if you can...