Iceland is a land of breathtaking natural beauty, and driving is one of the best ways to explore the country’s stunning landscapes. However, before you hit the road, it’s important to be aware of the unique driving conditions in Iceland, especially when it comes to dealing with tolls. In this guide, we’ll provide you with some essential tips for driving in Iceland mainland and dealing with tolls, so you can make the most of your Icelandic adventure while staying safe and informed.
What Do You Need to Drive in Iceland?
If you are coming from abroad, you will need a valid driving license from your country of origin.
The license requirements mandate that individuals must have a license written in the Latin alphabet (or an English translation) and that all additional drivers in the car must also carry their license.
You will also need a valid credit or debit card to rent a car in Iceland. If you have done it through a travel agency, you will have to show the receipt.
Finally, Iceland only allows car rentals for drivers over a certain age. Normally, only drivers aged 20 and over who have held their driving license for at least one year can rent vehicles.
At Lava Car Rental, drivers must be at least 20 years old to rent any of our vehicles.
What Are the Driving Rules in Iceland?
In Iceland, there are some traffic rules that you should know to drive safely.
They may differ from those in your country, so studying them carefully and memorizing them before your trip to Iceland is important.
In Iceland, you drive on the right side of the road and overtake slower traffic on the left.
At roundabouts with two lanes, traffic in the inside lane has the right-of-way over traffic in the outside lane (which can be a big change for some international travelers).
In some cases, especially on the bridges in the more rural parts of Iceland, you will find that the two-lane road narrows, leaving only enough space for one car at a time.
In these cases, the vehicle closest to the bridge has the right of way.
The law requires that all passengers wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
Furthermore, the authorities require that younger children and babies sit in child safety seats, which can be added to the rental car reservation upon request. Additionally, children under 12 are not permitted to travel in the car’s front seat.
You must always keep your vehicle’s headlights on while driving in Iceland, regardless of the time of day or weather.
There is a zero-tolerance policy for using mobile phones while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
However, you can enjoy media playing while driving. During my last vacation there, I streamed tubidy mp4 music download on my car media player.
Speed limits in Iceland are 30-50 km/h in populated areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads in rural areas, and 90 km/h on paved roads.
Even if you think it’s safe if you don’t see the police, think again: Iceland uses speed cameras along the roads to track the speed of passing vehicles and issue tickets when necessary.
Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland – however, don’t confuse off-road driving with using some of the F-roads you’ll find in the Highlands.
These roads are dirt and are usually quite simple, but they are signposted. So, you can distinguish the use of an F road from driving off-road.
To be safe, if you don’t see any signs in a certain area, don’t drive through it.
Tolls in Iceland
How do tolls work in Iceland?
To recap, there is no fee or toll for driving on Iceland’s roads, whether the Ring Road (Route 1) or the Highland F-mountain roads.
However, Iceland is not 100% free of tolls, and although there is no charge for driving on the roads, there is a tunnel in which a toll must be paid.
Parking and Fees
Parking fees, entrance fees, and tolls differ depending on where you are in Iceland.
For instance, the authorities divide Reykjavik into four parking zones. The signage indicates these areas with a “P” and provides additional payment details.
- Zone P1 is the most expensive in Reykjavik, with rates of ISK 250/EUR 1.8/USD 2.17 per hour.
- Zone P2 is slightly more affordable, with hourly rates of 125 ISK/0.9 EUR/1.08 USD.
- Zone P3 has an hourly rate of ISK 90/EUR 0.6/USD 0.72, and zone P4 has an hourly rate on weekdays of ISK 125/EUR 0.9/USD 1.08. However, parking throughout Reykjavik is free after 6pm and all day on Sundays.
When you drive through Iceland, you will come across entrance fees and tolls in the tunnels.
You will incur parking fees if you visit the small towns and some of the more popular attractions like Thingvellir National Park or Skaftafell.
Similarly, if you’re traveling on the Ring Road, you’ll pass through Vadlaheidargong, a toll tunnel in northern Iceland.
Travelers can pay the toll online, at www.veggjald.is, within three hours before or after going through the tunnel.
Keep a close eye on all signage on the roads and parking areas to avoid any fines or fees you may receive for not paying correctly for parking or tolls.
The authorities in Iceland will send any ticket issued to drivers of rental cars directly to their rental company.
From there, the car rental company will charge you an invoice plus an additional service fee when you hand over the car at the end of your trip.