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Car rental rip offs are real in Iceland, $400 for a chip

Reykjanesbær, Iceland
33 Kudos
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It is hard to do much in Iceland, outside of Reykjavik, without renting a car. We went in April and wanted a vehicle that could handle snow and rougher terrain, so we chose a Subaru Forrester. It was raining when we arrived and the car lot was not covered, so it was hard to do a quality vehicle inspection before signing a paper saying that the car looked ok. I had noticed two small chips in the window later on in our trip, which I am still not entirely certain were not there when we picked the car up, and the rental car company gave us a bill for nearly $400 dollars for repairs. There is not much opportunity to investigate when you need to catch a flight and I think they know this. Luckily, the credit card we used to book the car had a good insurance policy but it took a lot of back and forth to get the required paperwork for reimbursement. The funny thing is, the rental car company sent me a picture of the car as I supposedly turned it in with a crack running the length of the window. It was a good thing I took pictures to prove my innocence.
Story Details

Transportation

Keflavík International Airport
There are several rental car agencies to choose from but the reviews all seemed pretty bad

On The Map

7 Comments

by srdshelly2

08-13-2019

Would you mind identifying the agency you used? I'm going to Iceland next spring and would prefer to avoid them.

by webbie20bb

08-13-2019

I used Europcar. I loved everything else about the country and this was the only negative experience of the trip. Good luck!

by Lenin1991

08-13-2019

FWIW, I rented there from Hertz. I was also somewhat nervous with all the complaints I had read of every agency, but everything went great for me.

by tnguyen2005

08-13-2019

wow...good tips. Thanks for the heads up!

by gabrielvh7

09-07-2019

I can attest to Happy Camper not ha omg these problems! They were nice and understanding.

by webbie20bb

09-08-2019

I was not familiar with Happy Camper. That would be a fun way to visit the country!

by kozman

09-11-2019

I will add too that this is a known scam that some car companies do there to unsuspecting tourists. I rented with Truecar or Surecar (something like that) and got the supplemental insurance insurance ($40). But already knowing that many cheaper price car rental places magically find damage when you return the car or even long after you've left, I took a 360 degree inspection with my phone camera, video, top, bottom, in the engine area and underneath to note everything and make sure it jives with their damage / scratch report. I did not accept the keys until I noted everything wrong and I mean *everything*. I did not do the idiot tourist thing and rent a car not fit for gravel roads or 4x4 rated paths and go on either of those. I stuck to the main paved roads. Yes, the roads in Iceland are not at all like back home so just use common sense. It's very easy to get a rock chip from pebbles as there are tons of those about as you drive. Stay back far enough from other drivers so you don't get a pebble flung at your windshield or front hood.