Prices for accommodation in hostels, hotels or guesthouses are quite expensive in Iceland compared to other countries.
That’s why many people try to find ways to travel Iceland on a lower budget and save on it. Perhaps one of the most convenient (but often not the most comfortable) methods is sleeping in a car.
In the past, it was possible to sleep in a car in Iceland almost anywhere, but a few years ago the laws changed and now you can camp and sleep in a car only in reserved places – campsites.
There are enough of them in Iceland, so it is possible to camp in almost every town in Iceland and stay just in camps. Despite the fact that the prices for campsites are slightly higher than you would expect, you can still save a considerable part of your holiday expenses in Iceland.
What car to sleep in the car?
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When choosing a car for camping, there are several factors to consider. If you are looking for the cheapest option, then you can do with some used car in the estate version, which is not 4×4.
This will probably get you the lowest prices, but you will be limited to driving on certain roads. Some roads in Iceland are only suitable for 4×4 cars, and with an ordinary estate, traveling on such roads can be very risky.
Car rental and camping from the locals at the lowest prices
The cheapest car rental can be found on the Carrenters.is website. It is a catalog of local cars who offer their unused cars (mostly over the season) to tourists.
On the Carrenters.is website as well as on the classic car and caravan sites you can of course choose other types of vehicles.
Often, pickup cars such as the Volkswagon Caddy, SUVs and vans are provided to sleep.
Rental prices for these vehicles can be slightly higher, and you should also expect to increase your fuel consumption, which can increase your transportation costs in Iceland by a few thousand crowns (see diesel and petrol prices).
There are several car rental companies in Iceland that are primarily focused on car rental for camping. You will find vans or smaller cars, which are adapted to sleep and usually have the necessary equipment. Such rentals include:
Where to camp in Iceland?
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there are many campsites in Iceland. Some of them are open only during the season, so be sure to check if the campsite is open just when you are going to stay there.
Don’t forget: What are the rules for car sleeping and camping in Iceland?
What temperatures should you expect?
Iceland is a country with very variable weather and it is difficult to predict what the weather may be in the given period.
However, you should definitely be prepared, even in season during summer. Cotton clothing and quality sleeping bags are recommended. If possible, prefer to rent a car with a heater that works with the engine off (Webasto).
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