Driving In Iceland

Some General Laws

  • Headlamps are required to be switched on while the vehicle is in operation. This is regardless of time or season.
  • The use of front and back seat belts is compulsory.
  • Driving while intoxicated from drug or alcohol use (regardless of amount) is prohibited.
  • The use of a hands-free kit is compulsory for mobile phone use whilst driving.

Speed Limits

For cars, the maximum speed limit in an urban area is normally 50 km per hour.
Outside towns, it is 90 km per hour on paved roads and 80 km per hour on gravel roads.
Remember that these are the maximum speed limits, always adjust your speed to suit the driving conditions.

Unusual Road Signs

Although most of the road signs you will see in Iceland will be familiar to you, there are a number of signs which may not be so obvious to a non-Icelander. Please find below details of some of the less obvious signs...

End of tarred road surface (Road Sign)  

End of tarred road surface

Where the road changes from a paved road to a gravel road, you need to slow down considerably. Many serious accidents occur every year at such places, especially among drivers who are unfamiliar with such road conditions, lose control of their vehicle and drive off the road.

Unbridged River (Road Sign)  

Unbridged River

Please note that many car rental agreements state that you are not covered if you ford streams and rivers - check the small print of your agreement. Only proceed if you know how to deal with the situation safely and you have appropriate insurance cover.

Many people have died because they didn't know what they were doing!
Icelet.com does not suggest anyone attempts to cross an unbridged river - even if they have hired a 4-wheel drive vehicle and have the appropriate equipment - there is almost always a safer route available.

Blind Summit (Road Sign)  

Blind Summit

Blind summits are common in Iceland.
Slow down and keep to the right-hand edge of the road.

Difficult Road (Road Sign)  

Difficult road

Negotiable only by jeeps, i.e. vehicles which are higher than ordinary private cars and have 4-wheel drive.

Single Width Bridge (Road Sign)  

Single-width bridge

There are many one-lane bridges in Iceland.
Slow down and use caution when driving across them.

Place of Interest (Road Sign)  

Place of Interest

Once you are on the roads outside of Reykjavik you will find it hard not to spot this sign turning up every few hundred yards! If you stopped at every place of interest on your way to your destination, you would be running significantly late. The key is to cherry pick the best and, depending on time, add in as required! Some of the best places of interest are listed in the Icelet itineraries.

Car Hire

Car Insurance