How to Keep a Car Clean When Driving in Iceland

Driving a vehicle in Iceland in general is not difficult in and of itself; but it does have its pitfalls — and one of them is driving on the many unpaved roads which permeate much of the small island country.

How to Keep a Car Clean When Driving in Iceland

Iceland car

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Keeping a rental car clean is very important — if only to ensure that no damage lurks underneath the thick layer of dirt and grime which eventually coats much of the car after driving on rutted roads pocked with depressions and comprised of nothing but gravel, dirt and rocks…

Iceland dirt road

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…and in order to see much of the incredible natural beauty which Iceland has to offer its visitors — including but not limited to majestic waterfalls, vistas with endless views, and deep craters at the tops of hills and small mountains — using an unpaved road is a requirement.

Iceland road highway car

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Even when you are traveling on a paved road…

Gravel road warning sign Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…you never know when it may simply end and become an unpaved road — unless you study an accurately detailed map, of course.

Iceland unpaved road

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Until more roads in Iceland are paved, keeping a car from being covered in mud and dirt is virtually impossible…

Iceland wash fuel station

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but a resident of Iceland informed me that some fuel stations are equipped with cleaning stations with which you can wash your car — and some of them have more than one station available if someone else is already washing his or her car.

Iceland wash fuel station

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This particular cleaning station is equipped with a large brush which is attached to a pole, which is attached to a long hose, which is attached to a spigot which delivers water. Simply turn on the spigot for water to shoot out of the middle of the brush; and then clean your car in minutes as the mud and dirt are removed with relative ease.

The best part is that use of the equipment is free of charge. No purchase of gasoline — or any other item or service at the fuel station — is required or necessary. Just clean your car and go.

Summary

Iceland car

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Cleaning the vehicle which you are driving is strongly recommended before you return it to the location from which you rented it. Doing so shows the employees of the facility that you have taken reasonable measures of caring for the vehicle during your rental; and all parties will be able to clearly see whether or not whether the vehicle has suffered from additional damage.

Visitors who rent cars in Iceland likely will do so either near Keflavik International Airport or in Reykjavik — and those are the areas of Iceland at which you will most likely find fuel stations with cleaning equipment.

As for actually cleaning your car at a fuel station, exercise the same etiquette as when filling a tire with air: always ensure that you return the equipment properly and as neatly as possible for the next person to use it.

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “How to Keep a Car Clean When Driving in Iceland”

  1. derek says:

    Air for tires in Sweden is different. You take a canister, which looks like a propane tank and fill 1-2 tires. You then refill the canister with air again. If you’re a good sport, you’ll refill the canister before you leave.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have been to Sweden, derek; but as I have not driven a vehicle there, I did not know that.

      Thank you for sharing that information.

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