To rent a 4x4 small car is about 740 € (2 weeks) vs a small compact that is just 260 €. I have some experience driving off-road and I know that a "normal" car cannot go through some f-roads I've seen in pictures. In the other hand, my budget is limited, so I'd like to know if a 4x4 car is really a "must" in end of April. This question talks about a similar topic in August, but I expect a very different weather in April/May. There, the accepted answer states:

You do not need a 4x4 on "normal" roads. If you plan to stay on the primary roads you can get by fine without one

It's still true in April?

Of course I want to have access to every tourist attraction (Geysir, Gullfoss, Vatnajokul, Landmannalaugar, Jokulsarlon...) and it could be very frustrating to not visit a sight because we cannot access to it. In case that only a couple of interesting sights were impossible to visit without a 4x4, if there is an alternative (public bus for instance) it will be ok for me and will rent the non 4x4 car.

  • I never have driven in snow, but does this thread (discussing F250 vs small car)help you ? mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/7033/3644 Dec 11, 2013 at 13:29
  • Thanks @happybuddha and I hope not have to drive in snow... wow! :)
    – Ivan
    Dec 11, 2013 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


It all depends on where you want to go. At any time of year, Landmannalaugar would call for something more substantial than a "small compact". Even a small 4x4 (i.e. a normal sedan with four wheel drive) could get into trouble, you'd really want something with extra ground clearance.

Most of the other destinations you mention are easily accessible most of the year (depends on weather in winter) by any car type. At the end of April, most main roads will be clear (barring unusual weather) especially in the southern part of the country. You should have no trouble visiting Gullfoss and Geysir in a small compact.

Vatnajökull is similarly accessible as long as you are OK with just driving to its edge. If you want to actually go on to the glacier, you need something far more powerful (and a knowledgeable guide).

Jökulsárlón is right on highway 1 as you pass Vatnajökull and should present no difficulties in any car at the end of April.

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