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Why Rent a Car in Faroe Islands



By Poul Davidsen / 20 Dec, 2023 / Share This Post

For travelers seeking a destination that might be Europe’s best kept secret: the Faroe Islands are ready to deliver. Thanks to its excellent roads and sea tunnels.

For travelers seeking a destination that might be Europe’s best kept secret: the Faroe Islands are ready to deliver. Thanks to its excellent roads and sea tunnels, the islands are conveniently interconnected for any explorers with wheels.

In this article—created by a local, boots-on-the-ground team in Vagar—we'll dive into why to get a rental for your road trips to how to rent a car (without getting ripped off)...so you can plan for your adventures here, knowing you’ll be making most of it.

Why Rent a Car in the Faroe Islands?

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Landing in the rocky and majestic Faroe Islands, you’ll have two main ways to go about your adventures: 1) Public transportation via bus and ferry 2) Renting a car from a car rental company. Below is a sum up from our experiences as locals, plus what travelers have experienced themselves from coming here:

Avoid the pains of public transportation

If you’re on a tight budget & are happy with seeing only a few landmarks during your stay here: then public transportation could fit the bill for you. It’s low cost, and in some cities like Torshavn, free of charge, and the journey will be efficient—once you’re onboard.


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The reality is: unlike buses in dense cities which need a frequent schedule for their people, Faroe Islands’ sparse population of 53,270 means that regular buses don’t make sense—which can throw a spanner in the works for those used to regularity.

In sum, here are the common problems of public transportation for to glimpse:

  • Very infrequent buses
  • Poor reliability (i.e. buses not arriving as per Google Maps)
  • No local maps showing where bus stops are
  • No bus schedules at the stops (or some that are hard to read)
  • No service tool to show you which bus to take to where

Easily & conveniently get around the 18 islands 
Contrasting to what we explained above, having a car in the Faroe Islands makes your travel easy. You’ll have a GPS to be your guide—and barring the slow down from sheep—well-maintained roads, clear signage, and low traffic will make smooth road trips.

 

But at the crux of it is: a rental car gives you the freedom to move at your own pace. Which for somewhere like the archipelago of the Faroe Islands, with 18 islands that offers such a wide range of stunning sites, is key

While infrequent buses mean you’re down to exploring likely one site per day, a car lets you hop through landmarks, villages, and hikes—all in a day, and without worry about the impending Last Bus.

Enjoy your adventures here with spontaneity

When you look back at your best vacations, spontaneity was likely largely involved. It’s not in those carefully scheduled tours that we experience the most adventure on, but in those unplanned stops and deviations—those moments you decide to join newly-met adventures or spend more time in a village that simply holds you in awe.

The Faroe Islands has a spectacular beauty to it that can’t be summed up in its famous sites, because it’s often the journey there that can captivate you on its own.

A little example is Mulfossar Waterfall (a Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice for 2023!) It’s not just the final destination of its cascading water pouring into the ocean that will take your breath away, but the road trip there where sweeping mountain after mountain unfolds—scenery that you definitely will want the flexibility to stop for and take in.

Explore places you otherwise can’t access

If you’re looking to explore the main cities in the Faroe Islands, be it Vagar or Torshavn, taking public transportation there before walking or cycling around is perfectly easy to do. But if your main reason for visiting this archipelago is to roam far away from people, amidst dramatic coastlines and staggering mountains, then having your own means of transit will be the way.

Away from popular landmarks, there’s so much of the Faroe Islands that remains largely unexplored—and that’s a rare thing to say about most tourist destinations in the world today. But thanks to impressive sea tunnels and an excellent road network (including the only underwater roundabout in the world!), the horizons are yours.

How to Rent a Car in the Faroe Islands?

1. Choose your car rental company


When it comes to choosing a rental car, you’ll have two main options: A) Booking through a large company like Sixt, Alamo, or Budget B) Going with a small, locally-run car rental company.

A big thing to keep in mind when renting a car in the Faroe Islands is costs, which have a reputation for being high. While larger companies will be largely fixed in their prices, smaller companies that operate with a local team will have significantly lower operating costs, which translates into cheaper car rentals for you.

2. Consider all expenses, options, and requirements

When making your reservation, upfront costs will just be one of many factors to keep in mind. Other things to consider before booking:

  • Do they require deposits? 
  • If so, how much and when is it due?
  • How much is insurance?
  • What’s their mileage limit?
  • Which locations can you pick-up & drop-off?
  • What kind of documentation will you need?

When it comes to deciding on your car type—apart from making sure they’ll be enough for all the passengers traveling with you—it will largely be up to you which car model you prefer. Because of its smooth roads, Faroe Islands wouldn’t require four-wheel drives or anything of that sort. 

3. Book your reservation, in advance

Hopefully, you’ve found a rental car that fits your budget, doesn’t require a long list of paperwork, and is available for your dates. And now’s the time to book it early

The best time to pre-book is during Winter, because when Summer comes around, the demand will get crazy and the prices will reflect it. 

Another thing to be aware of is your pick-up and drop-off destinations—because not all car rental companies will have flexibility, and it can be a logistic hassle having to journey somewhere else by taxi/foot/bus just to pick-up your car rental. And adding to that: be sure to confirm times as well. 

Planning to come over to the Faroe Islands?

Whether you’re dropping by for a few days in this land of majesty or staying for a few weeks, we’re here to get you sorted with the best, local car rental you can find. 

As a very hands-on, small team, we’ve gotten rid of any kind of paperwork hassle and removed burdensome costs (no security deposits, no cancellation fees, no limits on mileage)—to simply offer the best value, quality car rentals you can find on the islands. 

Reserve a car for your adventures here



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!