Image: Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson | Iceland Review

How can I buy a cheap second-hand car in Iceland?

 In Ask IR

Q: Does buying a car require much in the way of paperwork/getting it registered/examined by a mechanic?

I plan on buying one and selling it when I leave (a month or so later), as that’ll be way cheaper than hiring one.

But will this require a huge amount of time and money? Also, is there a good site for browsing for used cars?

Caspian, Western Australia

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A: At the Hekla dealership in Reykjavík, I was told that it will hardly be worth the time and money to buy a used car for such a short period of time. Very few of the used cars they sell cost less than ISK 1 million (USD 7,800, EUR 5,800).

In addition to the price of the car, you have to pay insurances and an automobile tax. It is also questionable that you would be able to sell it again before you leave. With all the used cars currently on the market, that could take time.

If you buy a car in Iceland to use it here, but not just take it out of the country, you have to have a kennitala, an Icelandic ID number, which I believe is only issued to those who live in the country. You can contact the National Registry if you want to check whether there are any exceptions.

If you want to take a look at the used cars currently available at Hekla, they are listed on this website. It is in Icelandic but the information is pretty standard: tegund means “make,” ár refers to the year the car was made, ekinn states how far the car has been driven in kilometers, verð means “price” and tilbodsverð “discount price.” If you click on the make of the car you can see a picture of it.

But the website bilasolur.is is probably the best place to look. It has information about sales agencies and available cars in English. You should contact difference agencies and compare terms and prices.

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