One of the best ways to explore Iceland is via self-drive. But with ever-increasing prices globally, is this still possible? We discuss how you can get the most out of your journey whilst taking things such as Iceland gas prices into account.
From pandemics to recessions, everyone is feeling it in their pockets. And it is, of course, impacting everything from our travel destinations to how we travel. So, how do you still manage to have a good self-drive experience without the constant worry about things such as Iceland gas prices? Read on to find out.
How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Iceland?
How long it takes to drive around Iceland depends on a few things. That, along the gas prices, obviously have an impact on how you calculate the coast of your road trip.
The routes you take
There are plenty of self-drive routes around Iceland, such as the Ring Road. Technically, it’s possible to drive the entire route in less than 13 hours, but then you won’t be able to stop at all the wonderful sights and attractions along the way. It is recommended that you take at least 1-2 weeks to properly discover the island via this route. Your route can have an impact on gas prices since:
a.) the longer the route, the more gas you will need
b.) certain routes such as the Westfjords are incredibly remote and your choices of gas stations extremely limited. That means that you won’t really have the luxury to shop around and are almost at the mercy of whatever the owner wants to charge.
It’s fair to say that the person attempting to drive with the little Toyota is probably going to take a little longer to do so than the one with the Land Rover. And we are not talking about the roads that are clearly 4x4 drive only – these should not be attempted with any other vehicles. Plus, you should always do your research as to which vehicles are the most fuel-efficient to use. For example, Diesel might be more expensive at the pumps. But consider that, with these vehicles generally being more fuel-efficient than petrol-driven cars, you might end up saving on gas prices in the long run.
The seasons have massive effects on the road conditions in Iceland. To such an extent, in fact, that many roads are closed during the winter months. Snowfall, icy conditions and the infamous Icelandic winds can make road conditions range from challenging and time-consuming to outright treacherous. Except for general safety concerns, the weather and road conditions will also have an impact on gas prices. For example, you will get more mileage on a tank with a tailwind, but once you drive against the wind it will drastically increase your fuel consumption.
Whether you’re road tripping or making day outings
Many visitors choose to make the capital their base and simply make day trips from Reykjavík. This will obviously also impact the time it takes to explore the island. That's because every outing needs to be calculated as a “return trip” and you might not be able to see and do as many things in a day as someone road tripping would. Day outings from the capital will leave room for choice when it comes to where you fill up. However, you’ll need to decide whether the fuel consumption with all the back and forth is worth it.
What’s in your pocket is a major factor when it comes to how long it takes to drive around Iceland. And as one of the most expensive countries to visit (which includes Iceland gas), you can expect to pay a pretty penny if you’re planning on constantly driving around for a week or two.
Many visitors are shocked to find that their total price of gasoline in Iceland ends up overshadowing even the amount they pay for their rental car! That’s also why many rent a campervan since it enables them to discover the island via self-drive, a campervan takes care of their accommodation, and they don’t need to be restricted by pre-bookings where they have to be at a certain place at a specific time.
Cost of Gas in Iceland
At the time of writing this article, the average gasoline price in Iceland is 337.50 Icelandic Krona per liter. That’s about $2.45 or €2.43. The current gas prices in Iceland range from lows such as 311.1 ISK (petrol) and 313.4 ISK (diesel) to highs such as 348.1 ISK (petrol) and 342.8 ISK (diesel).
Tips on How to Cut Down on the Cost of Gas in Iceland
There’s not much one can do about the Iceland gas prices, but there certainly are a few tricks to soften the punch to your pocket:
Lean towards diesel
As is usually the case around the world, diesel tends to be slightly cheaper than petrol. But the clincher here is that diesel-powered vehicle engines can be up to 20% more fuel-efficient.
Use self-service stations
Because these stations don’t have any employee overheads, gas tends to be cheaper than the general price of gasoline in Iceland. However, since it’s self-service, you’ll need to pay with a chip and pin card, so ensure that you’re not left stranded with cash or a useless card in hand.
Make use of the discount chips and other special offers
Most vehicle rental agencies will give you a discount chip along with your rental car keys. This chip will enable you to get a discount of up to 3 ISK/liter at certain gas stations. Many rental agencies will also give you discounts on certain activities, attractions and events. This will also help towards extending your budget to accommodate the Iceland gas prices.
Certain gas stations are simply cheaper to fill up at, so be picky as to where you go. Many swear that Costco in Iceland’s gas prices are some of the cheapest, but you need to have a membership card to fuel up. So, if you’re one of those who find yourself membershipless, these are the go-to stops for your Iceland gas:
- N1 at ĺsafjördur and Borgarnes
Many people don’t know that the way you drive actually has an impact on the amount of gas you drive out. Even though it might not do anything to the steep Icelandic gas prices, it will definitely make you have to fill up less (up to 25% less, in fact!) if you do some of the following:
- Drive slower (preferably under 50)
- Don’t step down on the gas pedal too hard
- Try to keep a steady pace (in other words, don’t stop-n-go and fluctuate between fast and slow too much)
- Save on the brakes. By simply removing your foot off the gas pedal, the car will slow down. (This tip is obviously to be used whilst coasting and not hurtling towards a truck at 100 km/hour.)
Still confused about Iceland gas prices and where to find the best gasoline price in Iceland? Don’t worry, contact us, and we’ll be happy to give you a helping hand.