Car Hire in Reykjavik
This information is correct as of July 2015.
A rental car is recommended for travellers who plan to travel outside of Reykjavik and its suburbs. Driving in Iceland is a nice experience; drivers are considerate to others on the road, there is little congestion, and the traffic is not heavy. The only thing that puts some travellers off with car rental in Iceland is the cost: depending on the company, it is possible that VAT will be charged at 24.5%, in addition to mandatory charges for insurance and petrol. However, driving in Reykjavik and the surrounding areas is still an experience not to be missed: the trick is to book reservations early to take advantage of the best rates.
Where to hire a car in Reykjavik
Several car rental companies operate in Reykjavik, among them including major companies like Avis, Sixt, Budget, Europcar, and Hertz. There are other car rental providers throughout the city, like Iceland Car Rental at Hlíðasmári 13, Saga Car Rental at Bíldshöfði, SADcars at Skógarhlíð, Carrentals.is at Lækjargata, Atak Car Rental at Smiðjuvegur 1, and Viking Car Rental at Vatnagarðar.
What to expect when hiring a car from Reykjavik
Many of the streets in central Reykjavik are one-way. The main roads that serve as entry points into the city are Reykjanesbraut (Road 40), which enters the city from the west and connects it to Southwest Iceland, and the Ring Road (Road 1), which enters Reykjavik from both the north and east. While there is no abundance in parking spaces, there are a reasonable number of spots available. Parking in the centre is easy, as there are metered parking spots charging a fixed amount per hour. Payment can be made with coins or by card. Sometimes you won't be able to find parking in the centre, so opt for the large parking lots by the harbour instead. There is also a parking lot in front of the flea market Kolaportið.
Getting to your destination
Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park, or Thingvellir National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park in South Iceland. Founded in 1930, it is a popular tourist destination in Iceland and is of historical, cultural, and geological importance. There is a visitor centre providing interpretation of the history of and the nature in Þingvellir. There are hiking trails and camping grounds. Scuba diving in the Silfra Lake is also possible.
The park is only about an hour's drive away from Reykjavik via Þingvallavegur.
Hafnarfjörður is a port town 10 kilometres south of Reykjavik. The town hosts a few festivals, such as the annual Viking festival, the arts and culture festival Bjartir dagar (Bright Days), and Seaman's Day Festival. Hafnarfjörður also has two outdoor and one indoor swimming pool.
From Reykjavik, Hafnarfjörður is accessible via Route 40 or via Route 49 and Reykjanesbraut/Route 41.
The Blue Lagoon between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik in Southwest Iceland is a Geothermal Spa. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The Blue Lagoon is man-made, fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi. The superheated water is renewed every two days to keep it hygienic, in addition to guests being required to shower before bathing.
The Blue Lagoon spa is accessible via Route 49, Route 49 and Suðurlandsbraut, or Bústaðavegur and Grensásvegur.