Driving in Iceland

Are you planning a road trip to Iceland? Self-drive tours are a fantastic way to experience Iceland but driving in a foreign country can be vastly different to what you're used to from back home.

Useful video on how to drive in Iceland



Tips on driving in Iceland

  • Slow down when you meet other vehicles, especially when driving on gravel roads.
  • 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, losing control of their vehicle and driving off the road.
  • Blind summits are common in Iceland. Slow down and keep to the right-hand edge of the road.
  • There are many one-lane bridges in Iceland. Slow down and use caution when driving across them.
  • Many Icelandic roads are raised on embankments against winter snows. Therefore, roll-over accidents often occur when drivers lose control of their vehicles and drive off the road. Such accidents can be very serious, especially when seat belts are not used.
  • In the summertime, there is sunlight 24 hours a day. Drivers need to be aware of this and not drive for too long, as they might otherwise fall asleep behind the wheel.
  • The speed limit in urban areas is normally 50 km per hour. Outside towns, it is 90 km on paved roads and 80 km on gravel roads. Always adjust your speed to the driving conditions.
  • Domestic animals are often close to, or even on, country roads. Drivers who hit animals may be required to pay for the damage.
  • The use of hands-free kits is compulsory for mobile phone use whilst driving.
  • Driving while intoxicated from drug or alcohol use is prohibited.
  • Headlamps are required to be lit 24 hours a day while the vehicle is in operation.
  • The use of front and back seat belts is compulsory - they save lives.
  • For more information about road conditions, please see this website: www.road.is.

Useful websites

  • Safetravel.is  - The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue.
  • Vedur.is  - Weather forecasts from The Icelandic Meteorological Office.
  • Road.is - Road conditions from the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA).
  • The 112 app - The Icelandic emergency number app with location based services.
  • How to drive in Iceland - Instructional video from IRCA.