Driving in Iceland – what you need to know

Driving overseas can at times be a little complicated, particularly if you’re travelling somewhere for the to start with time. But it needn’t be… triumph over that trepidation, and you will before long discover that the independence that will come with renting a vehicle (as opposed to travelling on excursions or by general public transportation) additional than can make up for any original fears you could have experienced.

And this couldn’t be far more legitimate in a place these kinds of as Iceland exactly where we think the capability to self-drive is an superb selection. If your journey designs contain the land of Fireplace and Ice, I’m sure you cannot hold out to check out the quite a few glaciers, geysers and waterfalls, as well as Iceland‘s numerous other normal miracles. But, just before you just take to the street, it’s most effective to be organized. Right here are our major strategies for driving in Iceland.

Driving laws in Iceland

In Iceland, you generate on the correct and overtake on the remaining. Motorists and all passengers are expected to don seat belts by regulation. Infants and more youthful little ones should be seated in car or truck security seats. For extra information on child basic safety in Iceland, see this hyperlink.

Your car or truck headlights ought to be switched on when driving, irrespective of regardless of whether it is working day or evening. And there is zero tolerance for driving less than the impact of alcohol or medicines. Do not do it even if the rules in your have place may well be slightly distinctive. The bare minimum penalty for drink driving is a great of 100,000 ISK and a four month ban. That’s all over 700 USD at latest trade charges.

Also, do not use a cell mobile phone when driving. The use of cellular phones when driving is in opposition to the legislation. If you must, it is necessary to use fingers-absolutely free gear while driving.

Make sure you preserve Iceland’s one of a kind ecosystem and untouched mother nature by staying on the streets! Off-road driving is also unlawful in Iceland and can also final result in substantial fines, and even imprisonment.

Pace restrictions in Iceland

You’ll want to be mindful of pace restrictions – for your individual protection (and that of other street end users) and to prevent hefty fines. In populated parts, pace limitations tend to be all-around 30-50 km/h. On gravel streets, the nationwide pace limit is 80km/h and on important paved roadways it’s 90km/h, but always check out the symptoms just to be certain as some circumstances may possibly command a unique limit.

And really don’t sense that the restrictions are a goal – if you come to feel far more cozy driving more little by little for the reason that of the prevailing circumstances, then don’t be reluctant to travel at a velocity where by you really feel much more in regulate. If there are other cars and trucks seeking to move you, the usual customized is to sign with your proper indicator when you see that it is secure for them to overtake.

Iceland’s Ring Street has a number of preset velocity traps, as effectively as patrolling law enforcement cars and trucks with mobile detectors.  But really do not worry… I have a leading tip for you to steer clear of getting caught!  It may possibly surprise you but the greatest way to steer clear of getting fined for dashing is not to split the velocity limit in the to start with place.  Ok, so speak about stating the obvious, I know… but a additional genuine idea is to use your cruise manage (if your automobile has it) to be certain you really do not unintentionally go in excess of the restrict.

If you pick to speed, then be well prepared to facial area the effects – at most effective, a rushing good or worse continue to, a serious incident.  You won’t necessarily know about it proper away (the wonderful, I mean… but the same could be correct of an incident!), but you could be in for a terrible shock when your rental company expenses your credit card weeks afterwards for your driving misdemeanour.

The roadways in Iceland

The roadways in and all-around Reykjavik are of a fantastic conventional and effectively managed.  Roads in the countryside, on the other hand, can be a lot more variable – likely rougher, narrower and a lot more harmful than you could be applied to.  With extra than 8,000 miles of road in Iceland, and a lot less than 3,000 of those people staying paved, there’s a substantial chance that you will occur throughout an unsealed highway area in the course of your travels.

Even on the Ring Highway, which tends to be a excellent surface most of the way, be mindful of more compact bridges which are commonly solitary lanes, usually with gravel surfaces, with pace limits.  Sluggish down as you method them, specially if you uncover on your own approaching one at the exact as one more auto. The typical etiquette in these sitations is that the car or truck closest to the bridge has correct of way, even though the other car waits for them to cross.

On gravel roadways, check out to keep your speed very low plenty of so that you never throw free stones on to the facet of your have car or truck. Equally, don’t generate way too near to cars and trucks in front of you and possibility currently being caught by any unfastened chippings that they toss up.

Only venture on to Iceland’s F-roads if you have a 4×4 and are assured with driving on mountain roadways.


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Parking in Iceland

Reykjavik is divided into parking zones, marked P1, P2, P3 and P4, with P1 (the pink zone) becoming closest to the centre and also the most high-priced.  Payment can be produced very easily applying the PARKA application, or you can shell out working with ticket dispensers in pay back-and-show zones. If you are outside these zones, then parking is absolutely free.  Street parking in Reykjavik is also totally free outdoors of the several hours of 9am-6pm, as properly as on Sundays. Distinct regulations could apply for multi-storey vehicle parks inside the metropolis.

I propose using the PARKA application for other places in Iceland wherever you need to shell out for parking, but you may well also like to set up the EasyPark application as an choice. (EasyPark acquired Leggia in 2017.)

Gasoline stations in Iceland

A very good rule of thumb is to fill up if the possibility occurs even if your tank is fifty percent full as you by no means know when the upcoming option may occur.

Just about all fuel stations in Iceland are self-serve, with payment built prior to you fill up. You will just need your debit or credit card and the related pin quantity. If you are filling for the to start with time and are not confident which aspect of the automobile your petrol cap is on, then you could find a compact arrow displayed upcoming to your petrol gauge, pointing to the remaining or ideal. This is an indicator of which aspect the fuel goes in.

Gasoline stations are typically open 24/7, which means you can fill up at any time of working day, but the kiosk where you can get help or acquire other products will generally shut all-around 8pm or a tiny later on.

It is often a great concept to examine in advance on where by the closest gas station is – your GPS or Google Maps can assist you with this, but really do not allow your fuel concentrations get gradual that you turn into reliant upon this data.

Driving dangers in Iceland

The weather conditions in Iceland is quite variable and alterations can happen at brief detect. Be geared up for whatsoever the circumstances may perhaps toss at you. What’s much more, Iceland is comprehensive of great distractions! Waterfalls, glaciers and a lot extra.  Be positive to retain your eyes on the highway.  Pull in excess of and park someplace properly if you’d like to end and admire the surroundings or take photos.

Whilst the greater part of drivers are courteous and accountable, there are some (in just about every country!) who are impatient and push irresponsibly, be it via dashing, tailgating or some other malpractice. Really do not be intimidated by their behaviour just keep to the driving regulations and appreciate your excursion, instead than permit them affect your personal secure driving.

Beware animals! Cut down velocity when you encounter livestock or other animals on the road. Sheep, horses, birds and other animals are not unusual.

On our vacation, we encountered some sheep that ended up standing in the center of the street and bringing visitors to a finish standstill. They appeared to be keen to lick the car tyres for some explanation (maybe it was the salt, I really don’t know) and we could only get earlier by coming to a finish standstill, in advance of crawling ever so slightly ahead, when it was protected to do so, to resume our journey.

We also encountered a amount of horses that had been staying excercised or re-located, I’m not certain which. A handful were being becoming ridden, but the vast bulk were riderless. There ought to have been all around 50 horses in full and all we could truly do was occur to a complete end and sit restricted right up until they’d all handed. It did not consider lengthy, and was attention-grabbing to see, so we were being in no hurry.

So, there you have it – a summary of my best tips for driving in Iceland. I hope you obtain this practical, but it ought to also be stressed that we had been driving duing the Summer months and I have not absent into any depth about Wintertime driving. This would probably warrant a post all of its own. If you have any thoughts, or recommendations of your possess, really feel free to insert them in the feedback underneath.

Planning a excursion to Iceland by yourself? You can enjoy a online video from our excursion to Iceland right here:

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=KNcJZYAzftk
Disclosure: This write-up is sponsored by Icerental 4×4. Our vacation to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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