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Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

Level Contributor
64 posts
4 reviews
Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

I've read through many car rental stories here, and had a not great experience myself in Feb/March this year. I'm going back in May, and am wondering if there is any consensus on the safest bet on a rental company in Iceland that seems honest, doesn't try to gouge with fees, and with damage claims after a rental? The problem is we hear most about the horror stories here, not all the good experiences.

6 replies to this topic
Sevenoaks District...
Level Contributor
319 posts
1. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

probably no consensus, as I´m sure all of them have had unfavourable reviews at some point, but personally I´ve always found Blue Car Rental to be good

Level Contributor
23,075 posts
729 reviews
2. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

1) Stay away from SAD cars and others with words like "CHEAP" in the name

2) THOROUGHLY document the condition of the car before you leave the parking lot and make sure the agency signs off on every ding and scratch, no matter how small. take pictures/video of every surface!

3) Pay for the insurances offered that give you peace of mind

4) Repeat step 2 when you drop off the car and have the agency sign off that the car was returned in the same condition it was rented

If you do the above you won't have any problems.

Gardabaer, Iceland
Level Contributor
10,781 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

Review the horror stories you read, read between the lines and try to check if people did their precautions correctly. Loads of reviews seem to be because people didn't check their car properly before accepting paperwork and signing a contract. Some even didn't bother to buy proper insurance, but each case is different and my comments are by no means against the customer. Sometimes when renting I get the feeling they're after me. Therefore I, and many others have come up with a near bulletproof personal "car renting" strategy.

What you can do, is to take every precaution you can not get billed for something not caused by you. When you pick up your rental car, make sure you have your camera (and sometimes a flashlight / torch) at hand. Once you are asked to sign a "car condition sheet", or some other similar paper indicating the current condition of the car, you have to take the sheet out to the car you are about to get (no matter the weather) and make sure every single scratch, dent and crack is labeled on the paper before signing it. Don't forget to examine the rooftop, interior, upholstery, dashboard, boot/trunk, wheels, rims, condensation inside lights and various other possible claim spots. When people write here that they actually did this, they almost always note that they had to add several markings to the paperwork for the rental staff to aggree to.

Before you initially sign for the car you can pull out your camera and you religiously photograph all the damages already on the sheet. Make sure the date/time stamp for the pictures are correct in the camera settings. Make sure you have the following pictures taken: a) A full frame view of the whole car and the surroundings where you are about to sign for it, to prove where you were when the pictures were taken (Airport, Hotel, Rental car parking lot). Make sure you do it orderly, clockwise is recommended. b) A full front, sides and rear view of the car. c) A close-up of all the damages that have been put onto the condition sheet, extra points for including a "reference point" of some sort (side trim, keyhole, handle bar or anything similar will do) d) interior and boot pictures. Open all the doors and photograph the inside. Start the car and take one last picture of the dashboard, showing the mileage indicator and fuel level clearly. Hand over the condition sheet with updated information on it and your comments and make sure the sheet is accepted as it is now by the staff member. Those who do this conscientiously often comment here about the sheets lacking a whole lot of damages when reviewed by themselves.

This is by far one of the cheapest ways to have evidence about the condition of ones rental car.

As always, when renting a vehicle anywhere in the world. Have the agencies condition report at hand while inspecting the car and bring with you your own digital camera. Cheapest false claim insurance is photographic evidence.

The icelandic consumers association has more details in this article here: https:/…car-rental-season

Level Contributor
1,375 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

We too are repeat customers of Blue Car; have had nothing but positive experiences with them.

Level Contributor
390 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

Honestly? I've been to Iceland five times now, rented with three different companies, had damage twice (stone chip to windshield both times, once major and once minor), never gotten gouged. I have never gotten the sense from a rental company employee that they're looking for a way to take advantage of me, either.

I knew what my insurance covered going in and bought appropriate supplemental coverage for the gaps in my credit card insurance on a couple of occasions. (The major chip was covered by supplemental coverage I bought from the car hire company; the minor chip was waved off.) The staff I've dealt with (variously at Geysir, Hertz, and Thrifty over the last 8 years) have always been pleasant, courteous, and helpful at both pickup and drop-off.

That said, I've *only* been to Iceland five times. The last time I visited, there were probably a hundred people ahead of me in line at the airport rental counter. If a few of them had problems, I'd never know; take any sort of anecdotal evidence reported here with a heavy grain of salt. Maybe I've been lucky. On the flip side, these companies will have had many thousands of customers; if only a handful go to kvetch on TripAdvisor, that's still a very large proportion who didn't have a bad experience.

It doesn't hurt to spend a couple of minutes with your cell phone camera (or your actual camera) so you have a record of the condition of the car (all exterior panels, windows, tires, roof, interior, overall location) at pickup and drop-off. It keeps things simple later on if there is a claim. Rikki's advice above is very thorough.

(Truth be told, the only time I ever got screwed by a car rental agency was while I was here in Canada, less than a kilometre from home. I'm pretty sure that the company's car wash guy scraped the car's fender in the parking garage after I dropped it off; my credit card insurance took care of the matter anyway. Perhaps that's the most important lesson--make sure your insurance coverage is appropriate even if someone gets a little...creative about assigning blame. In any case, I have thoroughly documented rental car condition at pickup and drop-off ever since.)

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
212 posts
32 reviews
6. Re: Any consensus on the least bad car rental company?

Geysir was straightforward and painless from pickup to return.

The best option, I think, is to rent an older model vehicle that’s weathered the elements and is less scrutinized.

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