Rental Cars VS. Tour Buses

  • by Irena
  • Good to Know
  • 29 Jul 2017

Take in the history and knowledge from locals or read it in a guide book or google search. Well here we are at the decision. Take a bus tour or rent a car. Let me guide you with the pros and cons for each option...

Rental Cars VS. Tour Buses

Travelling abroad is always a bundle of emotions. Whether you’re a travelling pro or a first timer, the process from booking your ticket to decided what to pack, to the beehive operations that is commonly known as the airport. A lot is to be carefully planned out and thought through. The most common concern when travelling abroad is transportation. Now this is like coming to a fork in the road of your decision making. What kind of abroad trip are you wanting to do when going to a new country. Are you wanting to see all you possibly can in a tight timeline? Go with the flow and enjoy what you discover along the way. Take in the history and knowledge from locals or read it in a guide book or google search. Well here we are at the decision. Take a bus tour or rent a car. Let me guide you with the pros and cons for each option. Hopefully by the end you will be able to make the decision that is best for you and the kind of adventure you are wanting.

COST– (based on top 5 tours / cheapest 5 rental prices)

Car–  Average: 61,939 ISK- 603,95 Dollar – 529 Euro / 1 Adult

Pros: This could be split between a group for a cheaper price.

Con: This price does not include the difference for insurance. Also, the age restrictions must be considered when renting a car.

Bus– Average: 13,072 ISK-  127 Dollar- 111 Euro / 1 Adult

Pros: The final payment made is the one and only payment needed.

Con: Refunds are within a 24 hour notice to be applied.


Car– FREEDOM! The freedom is one of the biggest values of renting a car and being in charge behind the wheel. Some of those values of having this freedom include the following; Time- You have no schedule or time limit at each location you planned to see. Comfort- Kick off your shoes, drive in your underwear, nobody really cares when it is just you and whoever is ‘lucky’ enough to be in the car with you. Convenience- This would be one of those moments on your way out of Reykjavik that you smell something funky. And that funk is you forgetting to put on deodorant. With your rental you can make a quick convenient stop at the store to pick some up.

Bus– INFORMATION! The information that you receive on the guided tours is the biggest value. As a passenger you can relax sit back and take in every beautiful sight the passes by. As the guides tell you some first hand knowledge as a local some fun facts and stories that you can’t find on Google or in any Iceland books you may have read. However, with our company our guides engage with you and we have some of the most talented singers on our team. They will sing Icelandic lullabies, or popular songs that you would really never think or care to hear in your lifetime. Entertainment is part of what the guided tours provide. Now as you sit back with your family and enjoy all the knowledge that is coming at you, take a minute and enjoy the fact that you do not have to pull over to take care of you family. You are all there together focusing on the moments. The tour bus is family oriented and we value those moments.


Car– Surprise! You’re in Iceland! The road conditions, systems and hazards are not for the amateur drivers. Winter time is no joke here. Winds reaching on an average of 8.7 mph. Ice caked and snow packed roads. The car rentals are in most demand of smaller sized vehicles. This is due to the cost and convenience. However, during winter months you will need something a little bigger then the snow bank on the side of the road. Now for those professional drivers where the snow does not scare you away from driver a rental, please take a note to factor in the driving in Iceland is very aggressive. So be prepared.

Bus- Treat yourself like royalty. Enter the bus and let the expert driver worry about the road conditions. The bus inside stays warm during winter months for you and stays cool during summer, during your exploration at each location. Parking is never a thought you need to worry about. In those rare (knock on wood) cases your bus were to break down. Companies retrieving you are very quick. No fees or extra payments that you need to worry about.

So you may be thinking to yourself still what kind of trip have you decided on. I hope regardless of posting this from a tour bus company myself. You can take in account these factors and decide more clearly for yourself. No one ever said there was a right way to travel. This is your trip to Iceland. Make the best it can possibly be and take home as many memories as you can.


About the author
In 2010, Irena moved to Iceland, instantly enchanted by its breathtaking beauty. Her deep love for Icelandic culture and the natural surroundings fills her with excitement as she endeavors to convey these wonders to others through her photography and writing.

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