Europe, Photography, Travel

Takin’ the Long Way – Road Trippin’ with SAD Cars

Don’t be fooled by the name of SAD cars. While these babies are over 10 years old, they pack a punch in personality. Sure, they may not be the most attractive car on the road there were a few strips of – but seriously, do you want that pressure while driving down dirt/rocky roads?

I sure don’t – and we didn’t.

They also have repair shops all over the country just in case you do need a bit of help. We didn’t have to use them- we managed to go up crazy 15% inclines, drive through a crazy freak snow storm, and meander our way through sheep filled streets.

Meet SAD Cars: The cheapest car rentals in Reykjavik, Iceland. Not only are you able to return the car with a few scratches (but no dents!), but their policy regarding gas is awesome. You get what you get when you pick it up and you give them the car back with what is left.

Believe me. We cut it real close.

Our little SAD Car brought us so many adventures. We took it 1362 kilometers, spent $453 in gas, was a home, a kitchen, a furnace, and a laundry dryer over the course of our 7 day jaunt around Iceland. We didn’t manage to kill anything OR get into any bodily harm (I’m looking at YOU M, who had to climb out a previous car rental and strip down to your skivvies to push it out of rapid glacial waters).

We had a freaking blast. Like, this was the best idea we have ever had for traveling. Sure it was a bit hard on our budget but if you don’t see the rest of Iceland you are really missing out.

While we have quite a few other posts about our adventures, enjoy a few pictures from the EXTREMELY varied landscapes around this stunning country.


















Disclosure: While we did receive a complimentary car, all opinions are our own. Go SAD cars!

37 thoughts on “Takin’ the Long Way – Road Trippin’ with SAD Cars”

  1. Spectacular photos! This is probably the one thing we didn’t do when we were in Iceland – take a self-drive tour (that and see the Northern Lights!)… ahh well, any excuse to go back, right? 😉

  2. Hahaha, “…was a home, a kitchen, a furnace, and a laundry dryer…” Multitasking at its best – You put that car to the test!

    Great shots, really feel the size and freshness – from the open road shots to the little houses nestled at the base of the mountains. Gorgeous!

    1. There were sheep EVERYWHERE. Actually, we were a little concerned because a few of them came really close to the car and if you hit one you have to pay the farmer their worth.

  3. I LOVE ICELAND SO HARD. Glad you loved it, too–those landscapes are killer! Also, good to know about cheap rentals + gas. We just got back from Ireland where the cheapest car we could find for six day was 800…EURO.

    1. The landscapes are just some of the most amazing I have ever seen!!!!! The rental itself wasn’t bad but filling up was KILLER. I wanted to cry every time we put $80+ in.

  4. Loved the sheep shot! And wow, that gas thing is a great deal. Definitely planning to return to Iceland someday to do the entire ring road — I’ll keep SAD cars in mind!

  5. Renting a car for a drive is my new fave thing. If you’ve got a view like that!! We did it in New Zealand and it was the best decision. We got to see so much that we wouldn’t otherwise on a bus tour. Iceland is high on my list. Love the natural landscapes..

    1. I would LOVE to do that in New Zealand. I couldn’t imagine seeing it any other way – except next time we will be a bit more prepared with camping equipment.

  6. Erica,

    These pictures are just fabulous 🙂 We are planning on doing a similar road trip in Iceland in May this year and your post was very helpful in giving us some initial pointers about car hire.

    Was it a problem to go off the main road i.e. were the dirt tracks marked on GPS or was it easy to get lost (which has its own charm but in a deserted place like Iceland we’d rather be careful ;))

    Can’t wait 🙂

    1. Thank you! <3 We had a crude map with us and actually had no GPS in the car so I am not the person to ask for expertise on that area. That being said, we didn't get lost and we're alive? I wouldn't take that specific car out on anything worse than a dirt road and most of the off-the-beaten-path roads require a true 4 wheel drive car like a Range Rover or something.

  7. I wanted to leave our experience with Sad Cars for you: We arrived at the airport at 4:30am – I have confirmed with them prior to booking they would be able to pick us up at the airport at that time, they agreed- we even confirmed a second time via email a few days prior to the trip– they arrived at 6:15am, ONE HOUR AND 45 MINUTES LATE (!!!!!!!!!!) No apology, nothing. When we got to the desk I mentioned it to the person checking us and and he said oh well the girls were at the airport one time before, like it was our fault. We had been in the same spot the whole time, where we eventually met them, so there was no way someone came. Second, our car had 210,000 miles on it and looked like it was going to die. We asked if it would be OK to drive around and they said, no problem. Our second day, oil light comes on, 5 minutes later car smells like burning rubber and stops driving. Since it was 6am there was no mechanic until 8am so we waited on the side of the road for two hours. Finally someone came at 8:30am to out oil in and we began driving again. It was very apparent the car was dying again so a second time, we pulled off the road. Fast forward to 11am we get a car replacement BUT we were warned this one needed to be pushed to start. So, each time we stopped the car I had to push it (I cannot drive a stick shift) and my husband would start it up. It was one of the most ridiculous situations, ever. We were asked to drive one hour out of our route to go to yet another location to swap for a third car. It was now 3pm and basically our whole day was ruined. Also, we were not planning on using our phones and we racked up a $75 bill from making phone calls back and forth with mechanics, the owner of Sad cars and people to meet. I had read several positive reviews but our experience was so poor I truly feel it put a major damper on the trip. We only were here 3.5 days so losing a full day was a major blow to our plans.

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