Studded tires in Iceland

Planning on renting a vehicle for your winter adventure in Iceland? Driving safely in the wintertime is crucial and studded tires can really help that here in Iceland.

Visiting Iceland over the winter months is growing in popularity every year. Coming in winter often means lower numbers of other travelers and taking a chance on seeing the magnificent Northern Lights is why so many people choose to visit Iceland over the winter months.

So, do I need studded tires in Iceland?

Yes, definitely. Most car rentals in Iceland include them on all of their vehicles during winter for no extra cost, but if you are not sure if the Icelandic car rental provides winter tires then just send them an inquiry.

Winter/All-year tires are mandatory by law here in Iceland for all vehicles, from the 1st of November until the 15th of April. However, they can go on earlier or off later than that if the road conditions in Iceland still require them in any part of the country.


One tip for when driving in Iceland in winter: Most car accidents in winter in Iceland happen when the temperature is around 0° celsius. The reason is black ice. Black ice is most likely to happen around that temperature and is ice that is almost invisible, giving you false security. Pay extra special attention to the condition on the road when the temperature is around 0°C.

Good winter tires can make all the difference when driving in Iceland in winter. Many people think that a 4-wheel drive will be sufficient for the Icelandic road conditions, however, if you do not have good winter tires, then you do not have traction and therefore can not drive safely. The 4-wheel-drive will help you get back on your way and you are less likely to get stuck but without winter tires it does not help much.


But do I need snow chains in Iceland?

No, there is no need for snow chains on your tires here in Iceland and it is actually forbidden to use except in extreme conditions by snow plowing vehicles.

Driving in the winter conditions in Iceland is not for everyone. If you have no experience driving in winter conditions with potentially icy roads, you might want to think of other options. Finding yourself in a heavy snowstorm or deep snow where you can easily get stuck is a craft that you need to learn. If you really want to, we would recommend reading more on what to do in these cases and watching tutorials before your journey. Also always check the road and weather conditions before starting each journey using the website and

Studded tires do help on icy roads but they can only do so much.

If you're planning a trip on the ring road of Iceland. Do not miss our guide to driving Iceland's ring road

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