Iceland driving can be different than you are used to in your home country. When driving a rent a car in Iceland it is important for you to familiarize with the road conditions, the weather and the different nature. Road signs and traffic laws can also be different from your home country. We have gathered the most significant information for your safety and we encourage you to read through it below. If you plan to visit Iceland during winter then please read about Iceland winter driving.
Wear seat belts ALWAYS
Icelandic law states that seat belts must be worn at all times by everyone in the car. Both the driver and passenger when driving in Iceland.
This is for your own safety. Fatal accidents and serious injuries are on the rise due to tourists not wearing seat belts.
Seat belts must be worn at all times by everyone in the car.
Headlights on ALWAYS
It is important that you keep the headlamps on your rental car lit 24 hours a day while driving in Iceland. You also have to make sure to have lights in the rear of the vehicle so you are visible from all angles. In most modern vehicles there is an automatic daylight setting with minimum lighting and often no lights on the rear side of the vehicle.
For your own safety we advice you to turn on the lights.
Keep headlamps lit 24 hours a day.
Don’t stop on the roadside
There are increasing problems and accidents in Iceland due to drivers who stop on the roadside to take photos to take photos. this is unsafe, illegal and dangerous for you and for passengers in other cars driving by.
ALWAYS find a safe place to park by using designated parking lots to take photos.
Don't stop on the roadside. Use designated parking lots.
Don't drive tired. Make sure to rest on long drives.
Don’t drive tired
In Iceland in the summertime sun is almost up for 24 hours a day. Make sure you stop regularly and rest during long trips. It is also a good idea to take turns driving. Additional driver is available for low cost so you can add an extra driver and enjoy the trip to the fullest. If you are travelling alone, find a parking lot and rest.
It is very dangerous to drive tired and can cause serious accidents if you fall asleep.
Driving in Iceland you will encounter roundabouts.
Remember, the car on the inner lane has the right of way to exit the roundabout so the car on the outer lane has to stop if a car on the inner lane is exiting the roundabout.
The car on the inner lane has the right of way to exit. The car on the outer lane has to stop.
Placing luggage in the back seat of the car can be dangerous in case of a collision or an emergency stop since heavy items WILL be thrown around the car.
Make sure to place your luggage in the luggage compartment.
Don't place luggage in the back seat.
Roads can be temporarily blocked due to extreme weather or because of bad road conditions.
You should NEVER enter a blocked road. It can be dangerous and can cause severe delays on your trip if you get stuck in snow etc. and require rescue.
Please note that closed roads are not always blocked with signs so it's important that you check road conditions on www.road.is
Roads can be temporarily blocked due to extreme weather or road conditions. DO NOT enter a blocked road.
Blind hills are common on Icelandic roads - especially on narrow roads.
When facing a blind hill slow down and keep to the right side off the road. You should never stop on a blind hill.
Blind hills are not always marked with signs.
Blind hills are hills where you can't see if anyone is comming from the opposite direction.
Icelandic nature is very unique and fragile. Damages caused to the nature can be irreversible or be visible for many years. Beaches and black sand also count as off-road.
Stay on roads and recognised tracks. Off road driving is illegal no matter the car type.
Respect the nature so others can enjoy it as well.
Off-road driving is illegal, subject to fines and ruins the nature.
For your safety, respect the indicated speed limits.
Driving in poor weather conditions or on rough roads we advice that you drive slower than the speed limits.
Speeding cameras are located on many roads in Iceland and they are also always in road tunnels. Speeding fines are costly.
Respect the indicated speed limits. In poor weather we advice you to drive slower.
One Lane Bridge
Many bridges in Iceland are only one lane and allow only one car to cross at a time. The car arriving to the bridge first has the right of way and the other car has to stop.
Before entering a one lane bridge, please slow down and make sure that no one is entering the bridge from the other side.
One lane bridges only allow one car to pass at a time.
Animals on the road
Sheep and other animals can be grazing by the roadside, especially during summer. If you encounter animals on the roads, slow down.
Drivers who cause injury or death to animals can be liable to claims for compensation.
Animals can be grazing by the roadside.
Please make sure to SLOW DOWN when entering a gravel road to avoid skidding. Driving on gravel roads requires your full attention and the roads are not suited for fast driving.
Please slow down when a car comes from the opposite direction and pull to the right. Doing this can reduce the risk of damages to windshields or paint from flying stones.
Make sure to slow down when entering a gravel road to avoid skidding.
The most common damage customers experience in Iceland is windshield damage. This can happen both on paved roads as well as gravel roads and is very costly.
Often the flying stones are caused by passing cars. Nonetheless, you are responsible.
See our excellent protection package option to protect windshield damages.
Windshield damage is the most common damage in Iceland. Make sure you are covered.