Driving in Iceland, Tips and Rules

Mountain roads

Most mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a gravel surface. The surface on gravel roads is often loose, especially on the shoulder and centre of the road, so slowing down whenever approaching an oncoming car is a good practice. Mountain roads marked (F) on public maps are often narrow, pacing a vehicle can be tricky and care should be taken to pick a suitable spot. Many bridges in Iceland are also narrow and are only wide enough for one car at a time.

For information on road conditions, tel.: +354-1777, daily 8:00–16:00, or visit: www.road.is. The general speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads, and 90 km/h on asphalt roads.

Speeding

Fines for speeding in Iceland are substantial, follow the speed limit but always adjust your speed and driving according to conditions.

Off Road Driving

Generally driving outside marked trails is prohibited and is subject to nature conservation law. Driving rental cars on roads or tracks that do not have a road-number is forbidden. Passenger cars and 2wd vehicles are strictly forbidden on roads that are marked with an F on public maps. This also applies to Kjölur (road 35) and Kaldidalur (road 550), however our cars can be driven on roads marked with F along with road 35 and 550.

River crossing

Please Note! Insurance does not cover damages to the chassis of the vehicle nor damages caused by driving in or across rivers or any kind of waterways.

Few points regarding rivers and streams in Iceland:

Rivers often have less water volume in the morning than evenings, this is especially so for glacial rivers

Fords over rivers change over time, fords over glacial rivers can change in minutes!

Rain causes most rivers and streams to swell and often making them impassable! Seek advice from experienced native travelers or rangers before attempting river crossing and ensure that the four-wheel drive has been engaged before attempting river crossing.

The general rule is “if you are unwilling or able to wade across, do not attempt to drive across”

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