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$80 to freeze my butt off and look up at the night’s sky? Some of the “Northern Lights” tours through Iceland’s countryside promise guaranteed sightings or a free tour the next day, but who has time to plan that closely? I’m only in Iceland for five days. I want to make the most of every minute.
“Rent a car and do a self-guided tour,” the forums touted. Lots of attractions in Iceland are free because it’s all nature-based, so Lindsey and I decide to take the plunge. I find SADcars via BeersandBeans, whose experience with the company seems very pleasant. We want to see a lot of Iceland in a little bit of time; SADcars helped us achieve this goal.
“Do you have an automatic vehicle?” I ask the SADcar employee. He’s very obliging despite our drowsy demeanor, and at 7:00am we are introduced to a candy-apple red Toyota hatchback. It’s nothing gorgeous, but I’m happy about that. Driving in Iceland is not a clean business. I don’t worry about bringing back the car with normal wear and tear that comes with rural driving, since the car’s main purpose is to get me there and back – not make me look like a rockstar.
Siggy, an employee of the company, and I have several conversations about Iceland on Twitter via @SADcars. She’s extremely helpful and cool. It’s also comforting to know there are service stations all across Iceland so if we break down or something happens, help is on the way.
“You don’t need to fill up the gas tank before you return it,” the rental employee tells us before we drive off. Good news, because we spend almost half of our budget on petrol.
Put the keys in the car. Turn the windshield wipers on as it starts to drizzle. We are surprised how smooth the car runs and how bright the lights are. The seats are comfortable, broken in, as though I’ve been driving this vehicle my entire life.
Our SADcar stores our luggage after a grizzly hostel worker says we can’t check in until 2pm. It also becomes our pantry after we pick up snacks and drinks for our impeding road trips. I don’t worry about how long things will take or about being anywhere on time, since our car offers us ultimate flexibility (especially when we decide at 1am on a Monday night to go chase the Northern Lights). Plus, listening to Icelandic radio is super cool. The selection of Icelandic songs and hearing their unique language over the airwaves is an out of this world experience.
*All vendors reviews are based on purchases by the author. No promotional discounts were provided/solicited. Reviews are the sole opinion of the author as a way of saying “Thanks!” for great service.