Driving in Iceland

How to drive in Iceland

Icelandic driving conditions are in many ways very unusual and unlike other countries.  It is therefore very important to be aware of how to drive in Iceland. 

Adjust your speed according to driving conditions. The speed limit in populated areas is usually 50 km/h, 60 km/h on thruways. However in residential areas it is usually only 30 km/h. In rural areas the gravel roads have a speed limit of 80 km/h, and paved roads 90 km/h.

Most mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a surface of loose gravel. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the sides of the roads, so one should drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car.

Icelandic landscapes are beautiful and easily draws the driver’s attention away from the road.  But in order to reach your destination safely, you must keep your full attention on driving. We care for our customers and hope you have a wonderful journey when driving in Iceland.


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Driving in Iceland with Elfis

Driving rules and obligations in Iceland

Iceland is a beautiful country but the travelling conditions can be challenging.

Please note that Icelandic weather is very volatile. Fair weather can change into a raging storm at a moment’s notice. You never know how to be dressed so it´s best to have everything with you, from a pair of shorts to a snowsuit in case of extreme weather.

As conditions in Iceland are so unpredictable, we recommend to visit this website: http://www.safetravel.is/, where you can find information about how to drive in Iceland, how to prepare yourself for the Highlands, etc.

Because of the changing weather we need to keep a good eye on the roads. That is why the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) updates their website with information on the conditions on roads frequently. Visit http://www.road.is/ where you can see if there is snow or ice on the roads; if it’s closed or clear to drive.

  • By law, drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts in Iceland, no matter what type of vehicle.
  • Children must either wear seatbelts or be in car safety seats, depending on their age and height.
  • It is forbidden by law to operate a vehicle in Iceland after having consumed alcohol.
  • Iceland requires that vehicle headlights should be on at all times both day and night, while driving.
  • The use of hands-free equipment is an obligation when talking on a mobile phone and driving at the same time.
  • Most mountain roads are closed until the end of June, or even longer and when these roads are opened many of them may only be driven by 4WD vehicles
  • Off-road driving is strictly forbidden since it can seriously damage our sensitive vegetation, which may take nature decades to repair.


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