Renting a car and driving in the Faroe Islands is one of the best ways to see the beautiful country. Roadtripping is one of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands. With every twist and turn in the road comes a new breathtaking view. Enjoy any chance you have to be in the car because the views out the window will be priceless.
If you want to see the most amazing spots in the Faroe Islands on your terms, it means renting a car. Renting a car is easy to do right from the Vágar Airport as soon as you land. Here, we list our tips for renting a car in the Faroe Islands, making the process easier for you!
Car Rental Faroe Islands Tips
Planning your trip to the Faroe Islands
Having a rough idea of where and when you want to go to the Faroe Islands before leaving home will make renting a vehicle a lot simpler when you get there. You don’t need to have an hour-by-hour breakdown at this stage, but knowing the significant destinations you’re desperate to visit is a huge plus.
That way, you can map out your itinerary and all the different places you want to see. Driving around the Faroe Islands, although they are small, can be time consuming. You’ll want to map out your itinerary so that you hit sights that are close together so you aren’t driving all over this.
In planning out your destinations beforehand, you can correctly choose what kind of rental car you want and how long you need it for.
Is it safe to drive in the Faroe Islands?
The Faroe Islands are one of the safest destinations in the world! You can venture out day or night without worrying about much of any crime. This makes it an ideal place to travel to for solo female travelers.
However, do not be lulled in by low crime rates because Mother Nature could easily be your number one enemy. Clueless tourists find themselves in life-threatening situations when they go hiking or are unprepared in inclement weather. The Faroe Islands’ weather is notoriously unpredictable and life-threatening, especially if you traveling in the winter.
The roads in the Faroes are well maintained, paved, and generally fun to drive. However, if road conditions are bad, it’s best to drive extra cautiously.
Arriving in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are not a big place. There are only two places to pick up and drop off your rental car. One is the Vágar Airport and the other in the capital, Tórshavn.
It’s best to book your Faroe Islands rental car for pick up at the airport. That way, as soon as you land, you can grab your vehicle and be on your way. Vágar Airport is NOT near Tórshavn.
There’s not much near Vágar Airport or the town of Sörvagur, like most of the Faroe Islands. So when you arrive, you’ll probably want to get to your accommodation right away. You’ll need a car or have to rely on public transport.
The Faroe Islands have public buses and there are several opportunities to shuttle to Tórshavn by bus. Check the bus schedule here. However, you’ll need a car if you did not book your accommodation in Tórshavn.
If you choose to pick up your rental car in downtown Tórshavn, you can either take the public bus from the airport, book a shared taxi, or arrange a private airport transfer with your accommodation provider.
Booking your rental vehicle
It’s advisable to pre-book your rental vehicle in the Faroe Islands. It’s straightforward to do online before landing. If you wait to book a rental car until you arrive, you’ll likely face higher charges and risk having the rental vehicles sold out, especially in summer season.
If you’re traveling as a group, it’s worth considering whether to name more than one driver. You can divide up the driving time by doing this, but most rental agencies will charge you more for the privilege.
So, if you have specific requirements (see choosing your rental vehicle below) or want to keep costs to a minimum (and who doesn’t?), it’s doubly essential to pre-book!
There aren’t as many rental car options in the Faroe Islands as you might be used to. 62°N is the main car rental Faroe Islands company and the best car rental company to go with. 62°N overlooks SIXT, Hertz, and Europcar. You can also search and check out Avis, Vest Car Rent, Arctic Rental Cars, and Reyni Service.
You can drive in the Faroe Islands with a Latin license
All you need to rent a car and drive in the Faroe Islands is a valid driver’s license. You do not need an exclusive International driver’s license, but your license does need to use the Latin alphabet.
Choosing your rental vehicle
Drivers in the Faroe Islands drive on the right-hand side of the road, the same as in North America, with the steering wheel on the left-hand side of the vehicle.
Most vehicles in the Faroes – including rental cars – are manual transmissions with a gear shift. Automatics are typically available for a higher price if you don’t think you’ll be happy driving a manual car. Make sure you make this desire clear when booking.
Faroe Islands Car Rental Tips
Manual vs. Automatic
You should be prepared to drive a manual car and van in the Faroe Islands. As with the rest of the world (besides the US), most of the cars in the Faroe Islands are manual, but there are a few automatic vehicles. If you require an automatic car, make sure to book well in advance and expect to pay a premium.
Consider the size of your car before you book. With a larger car comes reduced fuel economy, so you’ll be paying more for that larger vehicle in more ways than one. Gas is costly in the Faroe Islands so think carefully about the model of the car you choose.
A 4×4 car rental is not necessary for driving around the Faroe Islands
The network of roads in the Faroe Islands is in really great shape. Most of the islands are connected by modern tunnels with two lanes. Roads are well paved and clearly marked. There’s no need for a 4×4 in the Faroe Islands.
Upfront costs with renting a car in the Faroe Islands
Arriving without a booking will almost certainly cost you more. Understandably, the larger the vehicle, the higher the price will be.
Making life a little more complicated, most online prices will be a ‘from’ price. In other words, the lowest possible price for your rental could be theoretical. You’ll only find the actual cost (generally somewhere close to the ‘from’ price) when going through the booking process to the end where taxes and such will be added on.
As is the case when renting a car almost anywhere in the world, you are responsible for fuel costs when renting in the Faroe Islands, which means returning your rental car to the agency with a full fuel tank or at least what they gave you the vehicle at.
Car rental Faroe Islands insurance
Without collision damage waiver insurance, you should not drive a rental car in the Faroe Islands. This means that those renting a car in the Faroes have the additional cost of CDW insurance added to any rental car check. The upside is that if you have any sort of accident, you’re covered and will not have to shell out any more than an excess of a couple of hundred dollars.
If you have a US credit card, you may already have CDW insurance and don’t know it! It’s worth checking your documentation and calling your credit card to find out. It’s even worth considering signing up for a new credit card that does offer this. It’s up to you to check with your credit card about your rental car insurance privileges.
If you’re already covered, take a copy of the paperwork as proof.
Get the right credit card
Bringing me to my next point – credit cards with primary rental insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite travel credit card for many reasons, but the primary rental insurance is one of its best perks (including Priority Pass membership).
When you put your rental car on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you get primary coverage worldwide for up to $75,000. That works out great for us since we are nomadic and don’t have a car or home. Call your credit card company and always find out before you get to the Faroe Islands.
Make sure you don’t have mileage limits
It can be common for car rentals around Europe to have mileage limits. Usually, this is something like 200 km/day that can be driven. Of course, they can’t know which day you are driving 200km/day and what days you are not, so it all totals up to the end.
Say you rent a car for six days, with a mileage limit of 200 km/day. That means your total rental. You have 1200 km of free driving. If you return the car having driven 1300 km, you will be charged for the overage of 100 km.
If you want complete freedom when driving around the Faroe Islands, make sure you choose a rental with unlimited mileage. Having unlimited mileage is pretty common in the Faroes, and it’s unlikely you’ll drive over 100 km a day in a small place like the Faroes anyway though.
It still always helps to be certain though.
Expect a hold charge for your Faroe Islands rental car
Every single one of our forty or so rental cars has put a hold on our credit card for the rental period. Holds can range anywhere from a few hundred bucks to $1000+ in some countries. The “excess charge,” as it is called, is typically stated in your reservation details, but it is easy to miss.
We know that they must put this hold on our card, but it can be a massive shocker if you are unsuspecting and end up exceeding your credit card credit limit. These excess charges are for scenarios where you disappear with the car and are never seen again or get in a crash and refuse to pay.
Navigation in the Faroe Islands
It’s worth mentioning that distances and speeds in the Faroe Islands are recorded in kilometers. This can make sights seem further away than they actually are, although the winding country roads you’re likely to encounter mean travel times are a little longer than those in the US.
Newer vehicles may have a built-in GPS navigation system, but older cheaper cars may not. The good news is that the Faroe Islands don’t have a ton of roads to get lost on.
Still – whether you are traveling alone or as a group- we think navigation is a must. It takes much of the stress out of driving on roads you aren’t used to and relying on road signage.
You might be happy using paper maps, but it’s not normal for them to be supplied with a rental car, which means you may as well opt for the GPS instead.
Smartphone apps such as Google Maps are a brilliant free alternative, giving you the advantage of knowing up-to-the-minute traffic and road conditions. You should download a map of the Faroe Islands to your phone from Google Maps while on good WiFi. If you forget to do this, Vagar Airpot has free WiFi where you can download Google Maps to your phone before you hit the road.
Car rental Faroe Islands pick up and drop off
After all the paperwork is sorted with the rental company, you’ll be asked if you want to be shown around the vehicle. When the agent shows you around, make sure you ask them to show you how all the essential systems function.
You should be completely happy with using the vehicle when you depart – remember, you are legally responsible for it. So, ensure you know how to operate the headlights, indicator lights, hazard lights, and windscreen wipers. Also, be sure to understand how to engage reverse gear.
Inspect and take photos
You will be charged for damages if you run into a guardrail with your rental. If someone else ran into a guardrail before you and you don’t note it when you pick up the rental car, you could also be charged for damages. Always, always, always, inspect every single rental car you get with great detail – inside and out.
Note any damages with the company and take photos just in case. Cam and I are meticulous with rental car dings, scratches, windshield cracks, and cigarette burns. Never assume that a scratch or ding is unimportant or big enough to note. When you return your rental, make sure you get a slip signing off that all was okay on the car so they don’t come back and try to charge you later.
If no one is available to do this (they weren’t for us because our flight left at 6 am) make sure to take more photos upon return, just in case.
Drinking and driving in the Faroes
This should go without saying, but drinking and driving is a grave offense in the Faroe Islands. The threshold blood alcohol test (BAT) level is extremely low. Drivers can be charged with DUI with a BAT as low as .05%, and foreigners can be charged too.
The Faroese people take this very seriously, and most do not drive if they plan on drinking.
Seatbelts and safety in the Faroes
It’s a legal requirement for all passengers to wear a seat belt/safety belt at all times when the engine is running. Likewise, using a cell phone when driving in the Faroe Islands is not permitted to make calls or send/receive SMS text messages.
You can use your smartphone for navigation purposes, but it must be hands-free only (such as safely stowed on the windscreen), and you must not program navigation while the vehicle’s engine is running. I recommend getting a phone holder for your car dashboard for your travels.
The Tunnels in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are made up of almost 800 islands, islets, and skerries. There are 18 major islands. The islands are connected mainly by bridges and sea tunnels (and a few ferries!) There are over 20 tunnels in the Faroe Islands. Most of the tunnels are free of charge, except the two sub-sea tunnels. Fees are DKK 130 per tunnel, and can typically be paid with your car rental company as they have a chip on the car for the tunnels.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to pay attention to how many times you cross these tunnels. The subsea tunnels are Vágatunnilin which connects Vágar island, and Streymoy island while Norðoyatunnilin connects Eysturoy island and Borðoy island. The new modern tunnels have two lanes and are well lit.
The old tunnels only have one lane, and they can be scary to drive through. On the northern islands of Kalsoy, Bordoy, and Vidoy is where you’ll find these tunnels. As an unsuspecting tourist, they are dark and can really frighten you. Always keep those headlights on!
There are turnouts in the old tunnels every 100 meters. Turnouts are on the right-hand side of the tunnels, and a driver who is on the right has to give way to oncoming traffic. When meeting a truck in a one-lane tunnel, a car must drive into the turnout, whether on your right or left.
Paying for the Tunnels
All rental cars will offer to include a sub-sea tunnel add-on to your car rental booking. This is typically a one-off fee of 300 DK ($45) added to your rental agreement that gives you unlimited entries for the duration of your rental vehicle. It’s a great option if you’re doing a lot of driving around the Faroe Islands.
The other option is to have your rental car company activate the “toll chip,” which automatically registers your trips through the tunnels. They will automatically bill you after you return your rental car. This is another fantastic option for those renting a car in the Faroe Islands.
Lastly, the most complicated way to pay for your tunnel trip is at a petrol station within three days of your trip. I do not recommend this option as if you don’t pay it in time, or forget, the ticket price goes up.
Roads in the Faroe Islands
Besides navigating the tunnels, the roads in the Faroe Islands are fantastic and well signposted. The speed limits are 50 kph in cities and towns and 80 kph on main roads.
Pay attention to the “Buttercup Routes” in the Faroe Islands. These are marked scenic roads that are particularly beautiful. If you see a green sign with a yellow flower, buckle up cause you’re in for a real treat.
How Much will a Rental Car in the Faroe Islands Cost?
It depends on the season! Your rental car will likely be higher in the summer than in October and March. I found renting a car in the Faroe Islands to be extremely expensive (we were there in September).
We paid about $100/day for a basic car rental, which is far higher than many other places in Europe. To save money, book early (you can always cancel) and do multiple comparison searches on sites like Discover Car, AutoEurope, Skyscanner Car Rentals, Kayak, and Momondo and see the best deals.
Mind the sheep
There are plenty of sheep to keep you entertained in the Faroe Islands. Most of them are pretty friendly and will let you take photos of them. If you see a sheep that you want to take a photo of, remember to pull over safely and to the side to do it. Don’t stop traffic for a photo – there is nothing more annoying or dangerous!
Also – sometimes these fluffy creatures may make their way into the road. Give them their space and respect and wait patiently for them to cross. This also means driving in the Faroe Islands at night can become dangerous with animals on the road. So try to get an early start and plan your journey to avoid driving at night.
Also, look for sheep in the sea tunnels when the weather is terrible. They hide there, which can cause accidents.
If you accidentally hit a sheep, the police (112) must be informed as the sheep owner has to claim it on his insurance.
Don’t Speed in the Faroe Islands!
Pay attention to the speed limits in the Faroe Islands. We met someone who received a speeding ticket, and apparently it was a whopping $400!
Drive Through The Eysturoy Tunnel
There are many tunnels connecting the Faroe islands, but one stands out from the rest for several reasons. Eysturoy Tunnel, which connects the islands of Streymoy and Eysturoy, is seven miles long but that’s not the only thing that makes this tunnel an extraordinary architectural feat.
The tunnel features the only undersea roundabout in the world! You’ll know you have reached it when you see the structure that looks like a giant jellyfish with plenty of neon bright lights. The artwork and light effects make it all that more fun to drive round and round.
Do You Need to Drive to the Faroe Islands to Have a Good Time?
I’m not going to sugarcoat this one. Not having a rental car in the Faroe Islands is like not having hiking shoes on a hiking trip. It’s possible but not at all comfortable or convenient.
There is a bus system to take you around the islands; however, it runs on a schedule, and you will pretty much need to base yourself out of the capital to utilize it.
Buses are recognizable by their blue color. With some planning, getting around the Faroes on public transport is doable. For seven days, you can buy a Travel Pass at the airport for $109 USD.
This Travel Card can be used for all public buses and ferries and is unlimited (except for the Mykines ferry). I think a rental car is essential for the ultimate road trip around the Faroe Islands, especially if you are a group of two or more and can split the cost.
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Scotts Cheap Flights to get notified when prices get ultra low.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.