Driving in Iceland

The Icelandic road system is extensive and easy to navigate and easily accessible by car. The Ring Road is the most traveled road, as it runs in a circle around the country and takes you to the most popular attractions and landmarks

You need to know about these six things regarding driving in Iceland.

Off-road driving is forbidden

ALL off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. There are no exceptions to this rule. Camping in camper vans or RVs is only allowed on designated camping spots. There is a zero tolerance policy on this law as several travelers have already experienced.

If you get caught driving off-road, you can experience a hefty fine.

Many bridges are one lane bridges

We have a lot of single lane bridges, that means lower speed and more careful driving. When approaching a single lane bridge, you will see the traffic sign you see here on your right, before you reach the bridge. Look ahead and see if you see any oncoming traffic. The bridge is wide enough for only one vehicle at a time. Make sure the bridge is clear of oncoming traffic before you cross.

The lights on the car are required to be ON at all times

Iceland has short and dark winter days with little daylight and long summer days which are not very bright. The general rule is that you always have the lights on the car turned on.

Everyone in the car needs to use seat belts

Not just the driver but all passengers and children need to be in a safety car seat. One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when your child is riding in a vehicle

Blidhæð – Blind rise

That’s where you drive up an incline with no clue what might be driving towards you at the top. You want to stay as much to the right as possible just in case you meet another vehicle on the apogee. We aware of the possibility that another driver has stopped his car on the other side and might be taking pictures. This happens to often.

Gravel roads

There are almost as many gravel roads in Iceland as there are paved and asphalt roads, so it is important to know what to expect and how to handle the bumpy road. You will see a sign telling you there is a gravel road ahead, you need to slow down before you enter the gravel road. Gravel roads in Iceland can vary from short stretches leading to car parks to long stretches up in highland roads, which you will come across on your journey.

Many accidents in Iceland occur on gravel roads because people are not used to them, not taking the necessary precaution when driving on the uneven surface. Many drivers underestimate the circumstances and overestimate their own driving ability, sometimes with bad results.

Winter driving

If you do not have winter driving experience do not try to drive in Iceland in Winter time. The road in Iceland are not a practice ground for you or anybody else. We have had to many accidents already.

But if you do have winter driving experience please drive carefully. The road condition changes rapidly like the weather. You can read more about the weather in Iceland here.

Choose a 4 wheel drive car with studded tiers, from a quality agency. Do not save money on the rental car. The better your rental car is the better and saver trip you will have.

Driving in Iceland is really dangerous. The wind is crazy and sometimes car windows are smashed out.

The weather can change very rapidly and so will the road condition do and it can be very unpredictable, check the weather forecast and if there is a warning, postpone your trip. If the road is closed do not go on. To many of our visitors ignore weather warnings and closed roads. Be prepared to change you plan.

If you car gets stuck do not leave the vihicle. Call 112 and wait for the rescue team to find you.

The roads are frequently plowed and sanded and if you drive slowly and carefully you will get to your destination. It not, your car can spin of the road. The speed limit is the maximum speed with the best condition.

Winter wind can be very strong. If you are driving close to a mountain the wind can be much stronger. If you are driving a camper you need to be extra careful, big cars take on much more wind.

Summer driving

Because of the 24-hour daylight during summer it is temptations to drive on into the night. But be careful, do not fall asleep. Too many accidents come from sleeping drivers.

There is a new adventure to be uncovered around every bend and endless adventures await. Driving past magnificent glaciers, steep mountains, and roaring waterfalls is nothing short of amazing.


If you want to be on the safe side you can submit a travel plan to savetravel.is and if something goes wrong your travel plan will help to rescue you.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Iceland and I hope this information helps you plan your visit.

I love to hear from you, so please leave your question of comment below.

Þórhallur / Thorhallur

Founder of FactsAboutIceland.com

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