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My trip starts and ends in Iceland, I'm considering the option of ferrying an Icelandic rental car across to the Faroe Islands (vs dropping off and renting another one on the Faroe Islands). Smyril lines allows you to take a car across, I've asked them if they allow Icelandic rental cars, no answer yet.

If anyone has done this, is there a more practical and/or less expensive way of doing this ? Anything related to taking a rental car to another country in Europe I should know about ?

Update

I got answers from both Smyril and Hertz in Iceland. Smyril says it's fine, Hertz says cars are supposed to stay on the island. I guess I could ask another rental company but I feel the answer might be the same.

Trip details: These are now likely to change, but the initial plan was to land in KEF, drive around counter clockwise for a week, hit the ferry, spend a week in the Faroe Islands, come back and complete the loop, all with the same car.

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This is usually more the contract of the car rental company that you should check. –  Vince Mar 26 at 13:40
    
There are far too many unknown variables here, making it difficult or impossible to give you an advice. When are you going? How long are you staying in Iceland before and after the trip to the Faroe Islands? How long are you staying on the Faroe Islands? What kind of car (length and height is relevant for the cost of the ferry ticket)? –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Mar 26 at 15:40
    
I can't imagine that taking a car on a ferry (especially such a long distance one) is ever going to be cheaper than simply renting a car more than once. Have you compared the costs? –  Greg Hewgill Mar 26 at 20:02
    
@Greg: I would not bet on that. Rental cars are very expensive on the Faroe Islands. The ferry ticket price will probably just give you a couple of days worth of a cheap-class rental car. Combined with the probable loss of better long-term rates on Iceland and that heavy one-way surcharges may occur if he's not originally renting the car in Seyðisfjörður (where the ferry departs Iceland), it may very well come cheaper to bring the car on the ferry. –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Mar 26 at 20:26
    
@Vince you were quite right, I updated the post –  Blackbird57 Mar 27 at 13:02

2 Answers 2

I know from my trip to New Zealand that it is a potential issue to put a rental car on a ferry.

I rented a car via internet and gave as a pickup the south island and as a drop off the northern one. When finally in NZ and trying to pick up the car, they told me that is not possible despite me having a confirmed booking. They claimed that the insurance company does now allow them to do that.

Since it was an international car rental company and they most likely have global insurance contracts, I would assume that you might face the same issue. So better call them first and confirm.

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The Cook Strait ferry crossing is kind of expensive for vehicles (couple hundred NZD for a small car, and up from there) so all the rental companies have cars available on both sides so you don't have to take their car on the ferry. Having said that, it sounds like their insurance didn't allow you to take their car, but that's not true for everybody. See transfercar.co.nz for example. –  Greg Hewgill Mar 26 at 19:55
    
Does it say on that website that they allow ferry travel for all cars? I could not find that. –  uncovery Mar 26 at 21:55
    
Transfercar is a way for rental companies to relocate their cars by offering them with conditions to people to drive for no cost. I don't know whether the ferry crossing is included but it might be on a case by case basis. –  Greg Hewgill Mar 26 at 21:59
    
@GregHewgill I am confused. Your comment sounded like you explicitly knew that transfercar allows cars to be placed on a ferry. –  uncovery Mar 26 at 22:04
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Thanks for the tip, I had to check with the rental company rather than the ferry. But my situation is different in that I'm taking the car to another country –  Blackbird57 Mar 27 at 15:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Although all comments were helpful it seems this question is a bit specific to the situation, so here's the answer I found with research.

After contacting a few rental companies in Iceland and talking to the Smyril ferry lines, only one rental company will allow the car to go off the island, whereas Smyril said it was ok on their side. Even within Europe, it still counts as taking the car to a different country so it's not without complications. (For comparison, rental agreements here in Canada allow you to drive the car across the border to a contiguous US state)

The Smyril fare for a car is the same for any model as long as the car fits their maximum dimensions. It's about 828 euros return with a car vs 370 without one. A quick search for a week's rent on the Faroes comes down to about 460 euros, it's actually about the same in expense but probably more practical to go on with the same car.

Flying return from KEF is about 1000$ when I checked. Keep in mind these prices are all for high season, June-July.

So the answer:

Cheapest seems to be flying actually, although rental fees are lower there is still gas to take into account. Most practical would be to ferry the Icelandic rental car across. And for anyone looking to ferry any rental car between countries, I'd recommend checking first with rental companies before the ferry lines.

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I'll keep this open for a while for comments/edits/corrections –  Blackbird57 Mar 28 at 14:08

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