SadCars Iceland Review

SadCars Iceland Review

SadCars Iceland Review

In February 2017 we travelled to Iceland and rented a car through the rental company SadCars. Friends of ours had rented a car from them in 2016 and recommended them as a cheap rental car company. This is our SadCars Iceland review.

There were a few main reasons as to why we decided to use SadCars for our rental car in Iceland:

1) As we mentioned earlier, friends of ours rented a car from them and had a positive experience.
2) SadCars were easily the cheapest rental car company in Iceland for 4×4 vehicles – all of which came with studded tires. Their regular rates were lower than everyone else, plus they offered a 15% discount for a winter off-season booking.
3) Because their cars are old, they aren’t overly concerned about cosmetic damage to the cars paint job. This was nice because we read a lot about the wind/sand/snow storms that could cause significant damage to cars.
4) They offered free pickup and drop off at the airport. Their rental location isn’t directly at the airport – its about a 5 minute drive away, but their transport guys were there shortly after we landed and made the process smooth for us.
5) The vehicle we rented was able to drive on F-Roads.

The vehicle we were given was a blue Toyota Rav 4 that had around 360,000kms on it.

us with our rental car - read on for our sadcars icleand review

Because it was an older car and not in the best of shape we did have some minor issues with it. :

    • The CD player did not work very well – it skipped a lot. We brought our own CDs with us because we road trip a lot at home and still use CDs.  Unfortunate we ended up just turning our iPad on in the car. There was no AUX hook up so we could not play it through the car speakers. Not really a big deal, more a minor annoyance.
    • The headlights were very poor compared to what we were used to back home, but we got used to them eventually. If you are renting in the summer this will be less of an issue because there is so much daylight. During the winter this could be an issue, especially in really poor conditions. Luckily for us, we planned most of our driving during daylight hours only.
    • It rattled and hummed like most old cars. It was very loud. If we had been travelling with friends it would have been very annoying because you would have to speak unusually loud to be heard in the back. With just the two of us it was not too bad, but definitely noticeable.
    • We could not for the life of us figure out how to open the fuel tank. There was no knob, button or lever that we could see to open it. We spent about 10 minutes at the gas station trying to figure it out. Eventually a local pulled up behind us and he happened to be driving a Toyota as well. We asked him if he knew how to open and after a little poking around he found it. There was a small level under the drivers seat that was broken, but still usable.
      SadCars Iceland Review

      SadCars Iceland Review – Toyota Rav4


    • We asked for a car with studded tires because we did not know what the winter road conditions in Iceland would be. We were told all of SadCars winter rentals came with studded tires.  While we only had snow for the first two days of our trip, we had lots of rain and were glad we had the studded tires when we went on the side roads and the one F-Road.
      SadCars iceland Review rental cars


Our Review

We knew we wanted a car that could take a beating as we were travelling in the winter, wanted to drive some F-Roads, and wanted to drive some of the gravel roads. We were happy with the vehicle SadCars provided us. It was the cheapest option by far, and although there were minor issues with the vehicle, it was not like we were expecting a brand new perfect vehicle.

We drove through some very strong winds and blowing sand. Had we been in a brand new vehicle we would have been extremely worried about paint damage.  Even though we have excellent insurance coverage through our credit card, it still would have been a pain in the butt to deal with damage issues resulting from weather.

SadCars responded to all of our e-mail inquiries very promptly. They picked us up from the airport promptly and dropped us off immediately after we returned our vehicle.

Their rates were very fair and easily laid out for us to understand.

The car was not in good condition, but it was in good enough condition for what we needed it for. I do not know if we will use them when we plan to do our third trip into the interior. We may pay for something a newer – just incase of any major problems.

We would recommend SadCars Iceland to people who want to drive a lot – there was no limit on the number of KMs driven.
We would recommend SadCars Iceland to people who are on a budget. You can’t beat their prices – keep an eye out for deals on their website.
We would recommend SadCars Iceland to people who want to drive on gravel roads and some F-Roads.
We would recommend SadCars Iceland to people who are worried about insurance issues. Because their vehicles are so old, the replacement cost on them will likely be exponentially lower than rental car agencies with new cars.
We would recommend SadCars Iceland to people who do not care too much about comfort while driving. We knew we would be doing lots of driving, but also making lots of stops. We did not need a luxury vehicle with heated leather seats.


Iceland rental car reviews

SadCars Iceland Review – Iceland Car Rental Companies


To learn more about Iceland, view our other posts here:

Renting A Car In Iceland

What to pack for Iceland

What To Wear In Iceland During Winter

Northern Lights & Thingvellir National Park – Euro-Trip Days 11 & 12

Southern Iceland Waterfalls – Euro-Trip Day 13

 Exploring The South Coast Of Iceland – Euro-Trip Day 14

Exploring Eastern Iceland – Euro-Trip Day 15

Glaciers In Iceland – Euro-Trip Day 16

Blue Lagoon Iceland – Euro-Trip Day 17


  • justine b says:

    Firstly of all, this company promised that I would have a 4×4 vehicle, as the 4×4 option allows for a higher level of capability in winter conditions in Iceland. Although I paid for this “extra” feature, I did not receive it. They instead gave me an all wheel drive vehicle (for those of you who know what that is, it’s not the same as a 4×4). Second, the confirmation email that I received listed a number of services included in my booking, one of which was basic insurance. There was a section that suggested that I add additional insurance, but it was made clear that adding more insurance was optional and not required. It wasn’t until I arrived that I was told insurance is not included for Sadcars bookings, and that I had the option of adding my own from home. The disclaimer for Sadcars was not made available in the confirmation email, and instead it was shared with me at the time of pick up. There was literally a laminated paper on the desk top that listed ”included features” that looked exactly the same as what I was sent in my email, only the fine print regarding insurance was only displayed in the office…super shady and misleading. I then asked if I could add my own insurance instead of paying for their (overpriced) insurance, and they said that if I wanted to add my own that I would have had to do it during the booking. So I added their insurance because I had to. After getting home I emailed the company to notify them of my
    Problems with service, the car, and the insurance. They told me that they gave me an upgrade without even notifying me. Basically, they weren’t willing to do anything about it and wanted me to know I received some kind of perk. I persisted, and they let me know that there was a chip in the window when I returned the vehicle (which is untrue, as confirmed by the car return clerk and my group of friends). Again, they were passively letting me know that they were unwilling to make things right. Moral of the story here? This company is untrustworthy. They will mislead you with the “no hidden fees” claim that’s stamped all over their booking website, and if something goes wrong, they will not be willing to help you out. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER.

  • Shannon Webb says:

    I booked a car rental the night before my arrival that was highly recommended from a blog that had provided great info on Iceland, better than most. It was a local company and I have had good experiences with local rental cars. I chose a Toyota SUV 🚙 knowing the terrain was going to be interesting. They were to pick me up at the airport and drive me to their location, not unusual. They arrived an hour late to pick me up in what I can only describe as a rusted out scooby doo mobile. Still fine. When we roll up to the site 15 minutes away, I should have known SAD Car Rentals was not for me (truth be told I should have known by the name but I thought different cultures so could mean something different).
    I prepaid 365 euros, so he escorted me to the car 🚗 and as we approached it, I exclaimed “that is not for me, surely another car is available” as I panned the lot of 100 cars that truthfully looked similar. In short, rusted everywhere, dirty inside and out, missing parts on the exterior, dents, etc…. though I kept thinking yes this terrain is rough on cars. I still asked for another car and I was told this was the only one I would be given and no refunds. Hmmm, I am in the middle of nowhere….I get in and start the car as he walks away says “good luck I hope you get where you want to go” (what⁉️) and find the check engine light on, 390,000 miles (km) and the gas ⛽️ tank empty. So I roll up to the entrance and say the gas tank is empty to which he replies their policy is “empty to empty” to which I replied “that is not a thing”. He points to the gas station. As I head there the wind blew THROUGH the car and as I look back I see a brand spanking new rental company next to SAD Cars and proceed to drive there with great speed.
    I roll in and ask if I can have a car that is not a piece of shit to which they all laughed when they saw the car I drove in. They got me a brand new Honda CRV with 3500 miles on it, seat warmer, threw in the GPS for free and the car was a similar price with a full tank of gas. They had the staff move my belongings from the sad car to my new ride and got in and showed me all the bells and whistles, then hugged me and asked where I was staying that night. I replied I hadn’t figured it out yet but would soon and then they proceeded to book me in an awesome hotel, plan my trip and recommend the BEST restaurants for my journey – hugs all around! I mentioned they must get a lot of business being next door to Sad, nope I was their first one as they had only just built the building and moved in 10 days ago. Wow! So lucky to find Ice Rentals!
    Now to return sad car, I roll up and the guy sees me and runs into the “office” which I should state barely had walls and is certainly a stretch in the description as there wasn’t heat either. I tell him the car is unsafe to drive and unfit to give to anyone and he says cool I can give you another car. Nope, this relationship is broken I exclaim. Where was that car an hour ago? He points to the “manager” who ignores me for 10 minutes talking to another staff repair man. I wait. He finally asks how he can help and when I tell him the details of the transaction, his reply “all our cars have the check engine light on”…..I stated “said no rental car company EVER!” He offers another car or nothing. Nope, I ask him to be his “highest and best self and acknowledge how unethical it is to give someone a car and send them off knowing it will not last”. He maintains they are great cars. Ugh 😑. We go back and forth, he offers to refund me 75% which I pretty much think is their racket. Nope. Each time I ask he be his highest and best self and I keep my cool 😎 the entire time saying I have documented the car to contest the charge with credit card 💳 company if he cannot be his best self. Then it turns interesting and he stands up in a huff and says, “I don’t like how you are calling us unethical, this conversation is OVER!” and he walked out leaving me alone in the heatless shell of a room. Such drama, so I stood there deciding what stake I was going to make….call bank and challenge charge immediately or wait for next renters and the ones after that and inform them of the risk. 10 minutes later he walks back in and says, “if I give you a full refund will you leave?” Yep 👍! He won’t look at me as he processes the refund, says something about being overworked and under staffed, blah blah…and I lean down to meet his eyes and say “thank you very much for being your best self, I really appreciate it.” Then walked back to my beautiful car and drove away to an awesome hotel where I sat in volcanic waters all by myself and watched the northern lights dance for hours above me.

    • Deepblue Photography says:

      It is too bad you had a poor experience with SadCars, although they do explicitly provide a lot of the information you seemed unhappy about on their website – including the fuel policy and the condition of their cars.

      The second time we went to Iceland we did go with a different company because we wanted a more enjoyable driving experience – but SadCars do offer one of the cheapest rates in Iceland – and its for a reason – their cars are old and often well worn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *