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Faroe Islands Car Hire: Essential Tips for a Smooth Adventure



By Poul / 22 Mar, 2024 / Share This Post

Master car hire in the Faroe Islands with ease! From airport pickup to navigating wild terrain, let us guide you on an unforgettable journey.

Imagine rugged cliffs, emerald valleys, maybe even a puffin or two, the Buttercup Routes, more sheep than you've seen in your life, and some incredible rural and urban destinations to discover; the Faroe Islands is an adventurer's dream.

But what's the best way to see it all? Your own set of wheels, of course!

There's no better way to explore the islands than at your own pace, coming and going as you please, stopping off where you want, and being in the comfort of a car with just you and your loved ones.

It's how the Faroe Islands were meant to be explored, and to make that happen, you'll need to think about renting a car.

This is your Faroe Islands car hire cheat sheet.  

Whether you're going solo or bringing the whole crew, we'll cover everything from picking up your rental to handling those twisty roads (and maybe even some curious sheep).

Adventure awaits, so buckle up because we're about to make your Faroese road trip absolutely unforgettable.

From Airplane to Asphalt: Mastering Airport Car Pickup

First things first, getting the car.

The most common place to pick up a rental car is at the airport, and that's quickly done since there's only one airport in the Faroe Islands, and that's Vágar Airport.

All the major car hire companies are situated in the nearby area (see map above), so you can quickly pick up your car and go. Here are some tips to have a smooth experience.

  • Beat the Crowd: The sooner you get through security, the shorter those car rental lines will be. Think of every minute saved as more time exploring those waterfalls! Or book in advance and skip the lines altogether.
  • Find Your Ride: Most car rental places are just a short walk from baggage claim. At Vágar Airport, look for signs or ask an airport employee for directions.
  • Don't Forget the Extras: Need a paper map for backup? A portable Wi-Fi hotspot to stay connected? Sort that out at the rental desk.

However, renting a car from the airport by showing up on the day is usually about 20% more expensive. Therefore, it can pay to shop around and see your options.

For example, if you hire a car with us here at PHD Car Rental, we can drop off and meet you to collect your car at any of these locations:

  • Our Main Office at Vagar Airport
  • Poul's Airport Guesthouse
  • Mykines Ferry in Sørvágur
  • Miðvágur
  • Sandavágur
  • Tórshavn

And the savings are simple maths. 

Say you get the bus from Vagar Airport to Tórshavn at 89DKK (€12), with the average car rental cost at 600DKK, plus 20% (which is something you'll pay every day), you're saving about €50 (370DKK) a week, by getting the bus into town and picking your car up at the bus station.

€50 is another meal out, another experience, or simply savings for your next trip!

Long story short, shop around and see what options work best. When it comes to car rental companies, pick one that's flexible and has your needs and budget in mind.

What Kind of Car Do I Need?

Faroese roads are surprisingly well-paved when you consider how outdoorsy it is.  

Unless you're planning major off-road adventures, a basic rental will get you to those epic views in comfort (and save you a few Kroner).

Let's move on to the good stuff – those twisty Faroese roads!

Faroese Roads: The Rules & The Romance

Okay, the Faroes aren't about speed – it's about soaking in those views. Therefore, there are a few things to know to keep your adventure stress-free:

  • Speed limits are usually 50km/h in towns and 80km/h on the open road. But honestly, you'll want to go slower to enjoy the scenery anyway and to ensure you don't hit any free-roaming sheep or other wildlife.
  • Lights On, Always On: Faroese law says headlights must be on day and night. Weather here changes fast, so this one's about safety.
  • No Drink Driving: The drink and drink alcohol limits in the Faroe Islands are exceptionally low, clocking in at only 0.05% to be over the legal limit. Basically, just never drink and drive. Not even one, and you’ll be safe!
  • Tunnel Time: Some tunnels passing through mountains are single-lane, so watch for those widened passing areas and make sure you read the signage in the area. There are 17 land tunnels across the islands, and the chances are you'll be using them. Always give way to any car closer to the wider spot, and stick to the white line in longer tunnels to stay centred.
  • Tolls Made Easy: Four underwater tunnels connect the main Faroe Islands, and these are the only toll roads. You'll either need to pay-per-use or use a car hire like PHD Car Rental that includes all your toll fees in the rental price, no matter how many times you use them. Phew, one less thing to worry about!
  • Parking Perks: Most towns have free, marked parking. Look out for "no parking" signs, but otherwise, you're good to go!
  • Turnouts – Your New Friend: These little roadside pull-offs are for letting faster cars pass. Don't mistake them for parking spots unless there's a sign.

There's no doubt that Faroese driving has its quirks, but it's part of the adventure. Be alert, go slow, and those stunning views are yours!

Sheep, Ferries & Scenic Detours: The Faroese Driving Experience

Okay, let's talk about the locals you'll be sharing those twisty roads with...sheep! The Faroe Islands are home to over 70,000 sheep, outnumbering the human population by about 20,000. They are adorable but have no concept of traffic rules. Here's the deal:

  • Slow & Steady: Sheep = slow driving, especially around corners. You never know what's waiting ahead.
  • No Honking Zone: Loud noises spook them. If sheep are blocking the road, be patient – they'll move eventually. This is a great mindfulness exercise and a chance to check the surroundings.
  • Bonus Wildlife Tip: Keep an eye out for birds too! Low-flying puffins sometimes cross the road unexpectedly.

All Aboard! Mastering Faroese Ferries

If you're planning to island hop, which you absolutely should be if you're looking to fully immerse yourself in Faroe culture, the ferries are your lifeline! Here's how to make it smooth sailing (pun intended):

  • Plan Ahead: The SSL website (https://www.ssl.fo/en) has real-time schedules and prices, so you're never caught out. Always book in advance for the best deals (it's more expensive if you just show up), especially in summer! Places are limited!
  • Early Bird Gets the Spot: Show up a bit before departure time, especially if you're bringing your rental car on board. If you show up at the last minute, you'll end up in a rough spot. Again, there is only limited space to get everyone onboard!
  • Cash is Handy: Cards usually work, but having some Faroese Kroner on hand is a good backup for onboard services.

And finally, Faroese cell coverage can be spotty in remote areas. Don't panic, prepare:

  • Offline Maps Are Key: Download the Faroe Islands map on Google Maps BEFORE you go so you can use it even without a signal.
  • Power Up: Navigation apps drain your battery. Bring a portable charger to avoid getting stranded with a dead phone.

The Faroes are about embracing the unexpected. A little planning + a sense of adventure = an unforgettable road trip!

Conclusion

And there we have it.

You've done the research; now it's time for action! Your Faroese road trip is calling. 

Don't forget, for the best rental experience, get in touch with our team here at PHD Car Rental to make it easy to hit the road and explore on your own terms. Think zero stress, maximum adventure. 

Picture those waterfalls, those charming villages... they're waiting to be discovered.

Stop dreaming, start driving. The Faroes awaits!


Related Blogs


What to know about car rentals in the Faroe Islands

1: Book Early

The first big thing to know about renting a car here is that there is a relative scarcity of rental cars (around 1,400 rental cars only across all the islands!), which means that prices will get steep, especially during the peak of summer holidays. If you’re planning your visit to the Faroe Islands sometime within the year, do your best to always book in advance. Winter is a good time to snatch up deals—and if you’re smart about which car rental company you choose, you can do so without any worry about cancellation fees.

2: Not just from big companies

Google “car rentals in Faroe Islands” and you'll likely find listings for the big car rental companies (Sixt, Kayak, etc). But that’s not all there is. With some locals being too aware of how high car rental prices put off some travelers from visiting their homeland, they’ve set up shop to offer more affordable prices (i.e. our mission in a nutshell!). But it’s not just a matter of pricing. With a local, small team you can expect much more personal support and all the attention that small businesses are known for: ensuring you’re satisfied and sharing with you recommendations.

3: Find out *all* fees

If you haven’t been lucky enough to nab a car rental winter deal, this is a must-do. Because for many car rental companies (especially the big ones), apart from the rental price of your vehicle, other costs can include cancellation fees and security deposits. The latter can be especially annoying when they charge your credit card immediately for a high deposit, before releasing it with the cost of your bank’s currency exchange fee. Our favorite alternative? Go with a car rental company that doesn’t charge you for cancellations & security deposits.

4: Confirm *all* logistics

Thought the rocky Faroe Islands would require 4-wheel drives? Not all. Off-road driving is actually banned from the islands, and thanks to a fantastic road network, just a standard car type would do you well for your adventures (even in winter!)

5: No need for a special car type

If you haven’t been lucky enough to nab a car rental winter deal, this is a must-do. Because for many car rental companies (especially the big ones), apart from the rental price of your vehicle, other costs can include cancellation fees and security deposits. The latter can be especially annoying when they charge your credit card immediately for a high deposit, before releasing it with the cost of your bank’s currency exchange fee. Our favorite alternative? Go with a car rental company that doesn’t charge you for cancellations & security deposits.

What to know about car rentals in the Faroe Islands

1. Sea Tunnels

One of the unique things you’ll quickly find out about the Faroe Islands is its many tunnels connecting you all across the archipelago. There are around 20 of them—and they can go either under the seabed itself (sub-sea tunnels) or right through a mighty mountain.

2. Parking fees

Whether it’s because of the sparsity of the population or the immensity of space around, the Faroe Islands have no parking fees whatsoever…with one exception. If you’re planning to park at the airport, you can expect to pay a fee there—otherwise, park as long as you want, free of charge.

3. No off-road driving

Perhaps a little disappointing to the 4-wheeler adventurers: the Faroe Islands doesn’t permit any off-road driving (officially: it’s prohibited by law). This is to protect the pristine nature all around, much of which is actually private property. So do enjoy your road trips—but on the ample roads, bridges, and tunnels.

5. Sheep on the road

Quintessentially Faroese, when you’re driving around here you’ll very soon be greeted with our most common habitant: wooly sheep. You’ll see them across fields and by roadsides, but just be mindful that some can galavant across the roads (often when in a panic). So when sheep are around, do slow down.

Speed limits (and other rules)

For a quick runthrough of local driving rules: if you’re in town areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph)—otherwise, it’s 80 km/h (50 mph). You drive on the right-hand side. It’s illegal to hold a mobile device (or drink alcohol) while driving. And while the legal driving age in the Faroe Islands is 18, most car rental companies will require you to be at least 20-21 years of age.

What Car Rental options do you have?

We’re keeping this part short—only because we’ll be breaking things down for you fully in a separate blog. But the quick sum of it is: if you’re looking to rent a car for your adventures in the Faroe Islands, you can either rent from the regular big companies or opt for a local car rental company.

Why we’re biased for the latter? Because, well, that’s what we do—but in our PHD Car Rent way. We make reservations a breeze, never tie up your money in security deposits, don’t charge cancellation fees (unless you cancel 24 hours before your pick-up time), and make sure your money goes the furthest for you.

Our mission has always been to provide the best value car rentals that you can rely on for quality and friendly, local service. But don’t take our word for it—check out our 134, 5-star Google reviews!