Driving Our Rentals in Iceland

Driving In Iceland

Some tips about safe driving in Iceland.

Some tips about safe driving in Iceland.

Travelling in Iceland can be one of the greatest experiences you can have. But this beautiful and rugged landscape also contains some difficulties and dangers for the driver, difficulties and dangers that you may not have come across in other countries. In this video, you can see a few examples of what to bear in mind when driving in Iceland to avoid these hazards and have an accident-free holiday.  When you rent a car in Iceland and go on a self-drive adventure Icerental 4×4 encourages you to look at the video below.  Have a pleasant journey.


Here are important messages regarding your safety on Icelandic roads. Conditions in Iceland are unusual and unlike what foreign drivers are accustomed to. Your rental car can bring you to many interesting and beautiful places in our country. Please stay safe and take the time to familiarize yourself with special Icelandic conditions by listening to this safety message, specially made for rented cars. See here

Loose gravel:

All mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a surface of loose gravel. The same applies to large sections of the national highway, which also have long stretches of asphalt. 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. The mountain roads are also often very narrow and are not made for speeding.

The same goes for many bridges, which are only wide enough for one car at a time. In addition to their not having an asphalt surface, the mountain roads are often very winding. Journeys therefore often take longer than might be ex­pected. For information on road conditions: Tel: 354-563-1500, answering service 24 hours, Tel: 800-6316 (In English 1/6-31/8).

The general speed limit

is 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads in rural areas, and 90 km/h on asphalt roads. Please note: special warning signs indicate danger ahead, such as sharp bends, but there is generally not a separate sign to reduce speed. Please choose a safe speed according to conditions. Motorists are obliged by law to use headlights at all times day and night. In Iceland all driving off roads or marked tracks is for­bidden. Passengers in the front and back seats of an automobile are required by law to use safety belts. Icelandic law forbids any driving under the in­fluence of alcohol.

driving rental car in iceland

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash

Gas stations in Iceland:

In the greater Reykjavík area filling stations are open Mon-Sat 07:30-20:00, Sun 09:00-20:00 (Oct-May 10:00-20:00). Many of the filling stations are open until 23:30. Opening hours around the country, where the pumps are privately operated, can vary from place to place. Most stations are open until late in the evening, to 22:00 or even 23:30. Many stations in the Reykjavík area have automats in operation after closing, which accept 1000 krónur banknotes and credit cards. All filling stations accept credit cards. Automats are also operated in various places around the country. Octane levels in Iceland are 92 regular unleaded, 98 premium leaded and premium unleaded 95.

Opening of the mountain tracks:

Most mountain roads are closed until the beginning of July, or even longer because of wet and muddy con­ditions which make them impassable. When these roads are opened for traffic many of them can only be negotiated by four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is strongly advised that two or more cars travel together. Also, before embarking on any journey into the interior collect as much information as possible regarding road conditions from a travel bureau, tourist information office or the Icelandic Road Administration (ICERA) Tel: +522 1000 or 1777 - or their website.  A booklet called Mountain Roads can be obtained at Tourist Information Centres and the offices of the Icelandic Tourist Board abroad. Always take along a detailed map.

Getting around

in Iceland is easy during the summer but can be difficult during winter. Domestic airlines provide the only reliable form of transport in the winter when snow and ice prohibit most overland travel. In summer, the airlines have daily flights between Reykjavík and most major destinations. Iceland has no railways and its highway system is the least-developed in Europe. However, Bifreiðastöð Íslands (BSÍ), a collective organization of long-distance bus lines, does a tidy job of covering the country with a feasible, though the inconvenient, network. There are also several ferry services connect­ing ports. Car-rental agencies are found in most major towns. With its unsurfaced roads, steep hills, and inclement weather, Iceland is hardly a cyclist's dream. Nevertheless, an increasing number of visitors are trying cycling as a mode of transport, and bikes can be rented in most urban centres, as well as at hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Local transport in­cludes municipal buses, and taxis which can also be hired for sightseeing.

Read more about vehicle safety here. Visiting Iceland during the winter? We got you covered with this blog. 

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