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Hire car in Keflavik International Airport Iceland

Car hire Keflavik Airport - Compare prices online

Handling approximately 2 million travellers annually, Keflavik International Airport (KEF) is by far Iceland’s largest Airport where the majority of international passenger and cargo flights are destined. Keflavik Airport is also known as”Leifur Eiríksson International Airport” and in some cases also referred to as ”Reykjavik Airport” which is slightly misleading.

Keflavik which is Iceland’s 3rd largest town, is situated in the Suðurnes region of the country, whereas the capital Reykjavik is in the Höfuðborgarsvæði region, which takes about an hour to reach by hire car from Keflavik Airport.

VW Up cheap rental car Iceland
VW Up amongst the cheapest rental cars avaialble at Keflavik Airport

It is important to note that Reykjavik has its own airport “Reykjavik Airport” (RKV), which is situated within a mile of the city centre. Reykjavik Airport handles mostly domestic flights and a few limited services to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Keflavik as a town is not much of a tourist attraction in itself, as it is completely surrounded by a vast lava desert, by the nearby industrial harbour and by the airport itself. However, midway between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik, you will find the famous Blue Lagoon Iceland, which attracts more than 400.000 annual visitors. It is therefore a very conveniently located attraction to visit just before you return your hire car in Keflavik airport, not least because of the Blue Lagoon’s long opening hours all year round.

The drive from Keflavik to Reykjavik city centre is approximately 50 km / 31 miles and it’s exceptionally easy to find your way out of the hire car pickup area to route 43 dual carriageway, which will take you straight into the heart of Reykjavik.

Iceland car hire guide
As approximately 65 per cent of the Icelandic population reside in the Reykjavik metropolitan area, public transportation facilities are almost none existing outside the capital area. Vast rural areas only sporadically populated, combined with unforeseeable local weather conditions, make frequent public transportation as you may know from the UK and main land Europe unviable to say the least.

There are no trains or railways in Iceland and no tram systems in the capital either. There is a scheduled public rural bus service departing once every day from Reykjavik. This service is however not adequate for tourist attractions as its main purpose is to connect fishing and farming villages with the capital, simply by circling the island’s main ring road “1”. Say for example you wish to visit Aukureyri and some of its breath taking surrounding attractions it would take 2 days getting back and forth, whereas you could make a return journey from Reykjavik the same day by car.

Iceland’s nature is spectacular and if you have chosen hire car as your preferred means of transportation, you will be able to enjoy the attractions and scenery at your own pace. Through the Cartrawler search engine for cheap car hire in Iceland you will be able to find reduced rate car hire from around £40 per day depending on season. A typical tourist excursion in Iceland by bus will easily set you back £40 to £150 per person based upon desired attractions. Transportation by bus to and from Keflavik airport will also cost you approximately £14 per person each way. So purely from financial viewpoint hire car in Iceland makes perfect sense if you travel just two people or more.

Furthermore it is very easy to navigate your way around in Iceland as long as you keep to the main roads marked on road maps. The majority of well known Icelandic attractions are situated approximately within an hours drive of Reykjavik or Keflavik Airport.

Car hire companies Keflavik Airport
It is easy to find your way around Keflavik Airport and the car hire desks are situated immediately to the left of arrivals. Keflavik Car hire is available from: Avis Rent a Car, Hertz Car Rental, Budget Car & Van Rental and Europcar. 

When using internet search engines of car hire, such as Cartrawler, to compare prices from many providers, you will also be presented with offers from off-site car rental companies operating at Keflavik Airport, for example: FairCar, Geysir or Flizzr. Those often offer the best rates.

It is important to be aware that certain car hire companies and specific hire cars in Iceland does not have free mileage included, and it is therefore very important to read “price-details” section closely if you anticipate to do long distance travelling during your stay in Iceland. However, free/unlimited mileage is mostly included in the price.

Hire car insurance Iceland
All hire cars in Iceland are subject to compulsory insurance by law. However damage excess is usually quite high. It is therefore recommendable to consider the excess waiver, which will cover damage up to €3,000. The excess waiver is approximately £5 extra per day. Even though the weather conditions in the southern part of Iceland are relatively mild, it sometimes proves to be rapidly changing and unpredictable during the winter season compared to the UK. The combination of arctic winter darkness, different terrain, occasional snow drift and a different car to what the driver might be used to, will in some cases challenge even experienced motorists. Hence the excess damage protection is a sensible choice if you opt for hiring a car in Iceland.

Fly to Iceland from the UK
From the UK there are direct services to Keflavik, Iceland with both regular and low-cost carriers:

  • British Aiways - departures from London-Heathrow
  • Icelandair - departures from: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, Manchester
  • Easyjet - departures from: Bristol, Edinburgh, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester
  • WOW Air - departures from: Bristol, London-Gatwick 

About Keflavik Airport

Keflavik’s Airport History
Keflavik’s landing strips were put into use for the first time in the summer of 1942 during 2nd world war, at which time the airport was called Patterson Field. The US Air Force built the airport not only to accommodate transatlantic bomb planes which needed refuelling, but also as an outpost for fighter planes. In 1947 the airport was handed over to the Icelandic government at which point it was renamed Keflavik Airport. However, US military presence remained at Keflavik for almost 60 years hereafter. Due to Iceland’s proximity to Russia, the US military base adjacent to airport was utilised for military intelligence. During the cold war the US air force used the airstrip for sending up surveillance and patrol airplanes. Not before 30th September 2006 the American army air force left the base in Keflavik entirely. There are departures to Keflavik available from London Gatwick and Edinburgh.

Keflavik Airport today
Today Keflavik airport is a thriving commercial airport, which annually services the equivalent to six times the Icelandic population and traffic has almost doubled the past 15 years. Hence expansion work commenced in 2001 and significant refurbishment of the airport finished in 2007. As a result Keflavik Airport has been awarded best European airport 2009 by Airports Council International.
Get overview of Keflavik Airport
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Rent a cheap car in Keflavik


Hire car in Keflavik International Airport Iceland
Article: Hire car in Keflavik International Airport Iceland
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Published: Wednesday, June 22 2011
Latest revision: Tuesday, February 09 2016

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