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Renting a Car in Faroe Islands: What You MUST Know



By Poul / 29 Mar, 2024 / Share This Post

Master driving etiquette in the Faroe Islands! Navigate scenic routes and tunnels and adapt to customs. Start your unforgettable journey with PHD Car Rent!

The Faroes weren't made for bus tours. 

To truly experience these islands – the wind whipping through your hair, the salty spray in the air – you need to be behind the wheel.  

Luckily, the Faroe Islands have incredible roads, winding along cliffs and carving through mountains. And those tunnels? Think epic journeys under the sea and through mountainsides alike! 

Imagine the freedom – pulling over whenever a waterfall catches your eye, discovering hidden villages tucked away in emerald valleys...this is what a Faroese road trip is all about.

Here's a tip: This kind of adventure takes a little planning. We'll walk you through everything you need to know about renting the perfect car to make your Faroese road trip truly unforgettable.

But this isn't just a guide; it's your backstage pass to the Faroes. We'll cover everything you need to hit the road with confidence.

Ready to explore the Faroe Islands at your own pace? Let's get started!

Getting Your Wheels: Pick-up Points & Smooth Starts

Your Faroe Islands road trip officially starts when you pick up that rental car. Most of the time, this will be from one of two locations. 

  • Vágar Airport: The gateway experience. Most visitors fly into this airport, and guess what? Car rental companies are right there waiting for you. Super convenient for hitting the road right away.
  • Tórshavn: City start for urban explorers. Maybe you're spending a few days in the capital first? You can easily pick up your rental there and head out when you're ready for those epic landscapes.

Now, your pick-up spot will depend on your itinerary. For example, if your flights include transfers, then it's worth using a car rental company like PHD Car Rental, which can drop your car off at your hotel, ready and waiting for you.

Bear in mind that the average car rental costs about 20% more if you get it from the airport, especially if you just show up on the day to see what they've got. Therefore, always check prices and book in advance for the best deals.

Either way, you'll be off on your adventure before you know it!

Choosing Your Faroese Adventure Ride

Next up are top tips for actually choosing your ride. 

Perhaps surprisingly, you'll be happy to know that the Faroe Islands have a fantastic, well-maintained road network, so even a little hatchback cruiser will do well getting around the islands and even up mountains. 

However, there are opportunities for a more off-road experience in places (we're talking dirt tracks; actual offroading is very much against the rules), depending on what you're after, so a 4X4 may be better suited to your trip. It's up to you and your plans. 

Therefore, you should always be planning ahead as to what you want to do and seeing how to make it happen. You can do this by searching online or by contacting our friendly team, who can talk you through your options and find the best fit. 

Here are some other tips to remember to ensure a smooth journey from start to finish:

  • Book early, especially in summer! These islands are a hot spot (well, figuratively speaking), and with a limited number of rental cars, the good ones go fast. Get ahead of the crowd for the best options and prices.
  • Compact or comfy? Small cars like the Ford Focus or VW Polo are ideal for navigating those scenic roads and saving on fuel. But if you've got a bigger group or lots of gear, consider a roomier option for maximum comfort.
  • The early bird gets the deal: Booking in advance is essential, especially during peak season (mid-May to mid-August). You'll avoid last-minute stress and likely snag a better price, too.

Remember, your rental car isn't just about getting around. It's your chariot for exploring these incredible islands. Choose wisely, and let the adventure begin!

Insurance: Your Road Trip Safety Net

Okay, insurance might not be the most thrilling topic, but let's face it: no one wants their epic Faroe Islands road trip derailed by unexpected mishaps.

Most car rental companies will offer standard insurance policies that cover you enough to drive on the roads with ease, but you must ask your representative or check the policy documentation to ensure that it's clear.

Any reputable rental company will happily display this information front and centre, so look out for it. On top of this, here's how to make sure you're covered:

  • Know what you've got: Does your regular car insurance extend to other countries? Check your policy before you leave home so you know where you stand.
  • The rental company backup: Faroese rental companies offer insurance options like collision damage waivers (CDW) and theft protection. This is your safety net if your usual insurance doesn't cover you on the islands.
  • Don't skimp on peace of mind: Consider insurance as your adventure sidekick. Your safety net. When you know you're protected, you can relax and truly soak up those stunning views without a worry in the world.

Think of it this way: the right insurance is like having a fluffy Faroese sheepdog watching over your car. You can focus on the adventure, not the "what ifs".

Sheep Spotting 101: Sharing the Road with the Locals

Get ready because driving in the Faroe Islands means sharing the road with some fluffy, four-legged friends. That's right, sheep are everywhere in the Faroe Islands, with 70,000 in total outnumbering the human population by about 20,000.

While they're great, and you'll see them all over, they can pose a bit of a challenge for drivers, and you need to be aware of this. Many of them free-roam and will be on the roads; you'll need to know how to deal with them.

 Here's how to navigate those woolly encounters like a pro:

  • Eyes on the road (and the fields!): Keep a lookout for sheep, especially on those twisty mountain roads. They love to hang out near the edges...sometimes a little too close!
  • Slow your roll: Those speed limits are there for a reason. Driving safely means you're less likely to surprise a sheep (and yourself!).
  • The gentle honk: If a few sheep are blocking the way, a short, friendly beep is usually all it takes to get them moving. No need to lay on the horn, though – you don't want to scare them. This is a big no-no in the Faroe Islands.
  • It happens, so be prepared: Accidents with sheep are rare, but they can happen. Know that you need to report any incident to the police and check with your rental car company to see how it affects your insurance.
  • Embrace the island pace: Sheep encounters may cause little delays. Leave some extra time in your schedule and enjoy the ride – it's all part of the Faroe Islands charm!

Bonus Tip: Be especially careful at night! Sheep are more challenging to see in the dark, and your headlights might startle them.

Think of the sheep as your personal welcome committee. Driving safely and respectfully shows you're an actual Faroe Islands visitor!

Fueling Your Adventure: Finding Gas in the Faroes

Don't worry; you won't be running on empty in the Faroe Islands, regardless of how remote some areas may seem. There's a good network of gas stations to keep you moving. 

You can find the complete map with all gas stations listed here.

Here's the lowdown:

  • Your friendly gas station brands: Esso and Magn, are the main players here. You'll see their signs all across the islands. Prices average around 12.85DKK per litre, or €1.59, which is ridiculously cheap compared with most of Europe. However, note that prices are higher on other things, like coffee, which averages 25DKK a cup.
  • Snacks included: Most gas stations are more like mini convenience stores. Great for grabbing a drink or a quick bite on the go. Therefore, don't worry if you forget your packed lunch.
  • Never too far away: You'll find stations in towns and along the bigger roads. The Faroe Islands might be remote, but you're never too far from a fill-up.

The key takeaway: You won't need to stress about finding gas. This means more time for enjoying those epic landscapes, not worrying about your fuel gauge!

Pro tip: While you won't be entirely out of luck anywhere, it's still smart to top up your tank whenever you see a station, especially if you're headed to the more remote corners of the islands. It's just a good habit.

Driving Like a Faroese Pro: Rules & Good Manners

The Faroe Islands are all about stunning scenery and a relaxed pace of life. To fit right in, here's how to be a responsible and respectful driver:

  • Leave no trace (of tyre tracks, that is): Offroading is a big no-no. It harms the delicate landscape. Stick to the roads, and those amazing views will be there for everyone to enjoy.
  • Picture-perfect stops: We know you'll want to take a million photos! But don't just slam on the brakes in the middle of the road. Use the pull-offs and parking areas for a safe (and scenic) photo op.
  • You're old enough (and chill enough): You need to be at least 18 to rent a car, with at least one year of driving experience. The Faroese drive calmly and patiently – take a page from their book, and your road trip will be smooth sailing.
  • Forget the horn: Faroese drivers rarely honk. Keep your cool, and save the horn for true emergencies.

Bottom line: Being an excellent driving citizen is about safety, respecting the islands, and keeping traffic flowing nicely. Do your part, and you'll fit right in with the locals!

Faroese Roads: Your Guide to Smooth Cruising

Ready to hit the road? Here's what you need to know about navigating the Faroe Islands like a local:

  • Right side, right mindset: Like many places in Europe, driving in the Faroes is on the right. If you're used to driving on the left, keep focused – you'll get the hang of it quickly!
  • The roads are your friends: Most roads are well-paved and easy to navigate. You won't need a hardcore SUV just to get around.
  • Sharing is caring: Some of the more remote roads are single-lane. You'll see little pull-off areas – use those to let oncoming traffic pass.
  • A moment of respect: You may encounter a funeral procession on foot. The custom is simple: stop your car and step outside until the procession passes. It's a small gesture that shows your respect for the local community.

Insider tip: The Faroe Islands are known for their unpredictable weather! Rain, wind, and even a bit of fog can pop up suddenly, so be prepared to adjust your driving. Slow down, be extra cautious, and you'll be just fine.

With a little awareness about the local customs, you're ready to explore the Faroes with ease!

Tunnels: Your Shortcut Through Mountains (and Under the Sea!)

When you rent a car in the Faroe Islands, get ready to do some serious tunnelling! Think of it as an excellent underground shortcut to even more incredible scenery. Here's the fun part:

  • A whole network below the surface: The Faroes have 21 tunnels, connecting islands both on land (17 tunnels) and underwater (4). It's like a secret road system just waiting to be explored.
  • That famous underwater roundabout: Yep, it's a real thing - the first one in the world. Driving through this unique feature in the Eysturoyartunnilin is an experience you won't forget.
  • Not your average tunnel: Driving through a Faroese tunnel isn't just about getting from point A to point B. They're well-lit, smooth, and sometimes even have cool artwork inside.
  • Exploring made easy: The tunnels are all about making it simple to get around these islands. Less time navigating, more time for those amazing views!

Now, the mountain tunnels are free and usually open 24/7. However, the underwater tunnels do have tools with an average of 100DKK a trip, which is made payable through the Faroe Island's tunnel website

However, if you book a rental car with PHD Car Rental, we cover all your tunnel fees in the daily cost as standard, no matter how many times you plan on using them. You pass through and will get the bill instantly, covering it so you don't even have to think about it. 

That's a nice weight to lift off your trip.

And with that, the Faroe Islands tunnels will surprise you – they're not just a way to get around; they're part of the adventure!

Conclusion

Renting a car in the Faroe Islands is about way more than just getting around. It's your key to unlocking the hidden gems, cruising those scenic roads with the wind in your hair, and making memories that will last a lifetime. Every mile is part of the story, from friendly locals to underwater roundabouts.

Ready to write your own chapter?  

PHD Car Rental is here to help. No fuss, no hidden fees, and full five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, we have just the right car to get you on your way.

Book today, and let's make your Faroe Islands road trip dreams a reality


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.

4. 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.

5. 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!