An easy way to travel to Iceland and get to know the beauties of the country is by renting and driving a car, either by trying explore Golden Circle or go around the island on the Ring RoadTrip. But what should someone who wants to drive in Iceland know?
Driving in Iceland
- The road network is in a good condition throughout the country.
- The driving is done from the right side of the road and at the roundabouts priority has the one that moves within the node.
- The streets near Reykjavik are usually with more than one lane per direction, while in the rest network it is mostly with one, without an emergency lane.
- Gas stations can be found in residential areas, so pay attention to secluded areas when traveling to north.
- The gas filling in the car is automatic and the payment is made mainly by credit-debit card.
- The outside cities speed limit is 90 miles an hour.
1. Do not stop outside demarcated parking!
During the journey you will come across beautiful landscapes that will make you wanna stop for short stops and take photographs. This needs special attention!! It has been common that tourists stop on the side of the road for photographing by putting themselves at risk from the passing cars and trucks. There are parking areas that can comfortably let you admire the scenery and rest safely simultaneously.
2. Night driving – weather condition
In most parts of the network there is no night lighting so you need to pay attention if you plan to drive during night or dark hours. Also because of the difficult weather conditions which are constantly changing it would be good to check the condition of the road network you are going to use. An easy way is by clicking here.
3. Is it necessary to rent a 4X4?
It is common for tourists to rent SUV-type vehicles with 2 or 4 wheel driving system. In addition to the comfort that they probably offer in terms of space and convenience, it is not necessary to rent one, since all known points of interest are accessible to all types of cars (Roads category F). Off road driving that is advantageous to an SUV-type car is prohibited anyway so… Also the car rentals ensure that they wear suitable tires on all vehicles so that they can move in snow weather as well.
4. Beware the doors of the car!
In Iceland there are strong winds, so beware when you park. Be sure to park the vehicle against the wind, it may be difficult to open the door, but you will avoid injuries to you and damages to the car.
5. Do I need to pay tolls?
In the road network you will not find any toll points except one. It is the Vadlaheidi tunnel located near the northern town of Akureyri, where if the weather is not good enoigh, we definitely advise you to pass through. In case you decide to pass the tunnel, see the instructions here, so that you can get a code and be charged during your transit with a smaller amount. We paid 1,500 ISK, while if it was paid by the rental office we would be charged 4,500 ISK.
6. How do I pass bridges?
Usually bridges are with one strip for both directions, so need to pay attention here too. Reduce speed when approaching them and if you see a car coming from the opposite side, stop and arrange who will pass first. Icelanders are a very polite people and usually provide the tourists priority.
Driving in Iceland is relatively safe and enjoyable, as long as you pay attention to the points we analyzed above. By driving you will discover beautiful destinations and taste a different travel experience. Beware, drive responsibly and enjoy!