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Driving in Iceland – what that you must know

Driving abroad can generally be a little bit daunting, significantly should you’re travelling someplace for the primary time. Nevertheless it needn’t be… overcome that trepidation, and also you’ll quickly uncover that the independence that comes with renting a automobile (versus travelling on excursions or by public transport) greater than makes up for any preliminary fears you may need had.

And this couldn’t be extra true in a rustic similar to Iceland the place we expect the power to self-drive is a wonderful selection. In case your journey plans contain the land of Hearth and Ice, I’m positive you may’t wait to discover the various glaciers, geysers and waterfalls, in addition to Iceland‘s many different pure wonders. However, earlier than you are taking to the street, it’s finest to be ready. Listed below are our high suggestions for driving in Iceland.

Driving rules in Iceland

In Iceland, you drive on the suitable and overtake on the left. Drivers and all passengers are required to put on seat belts by legislation. Infants and youthful kids have to be seated in automobile security seats. For extra info on little one security in Iceland, see this hyperlink.

Your automobile headlights needs to be switched on when driving, no matter whether or not it’s day or evening. And there’s zero tolerance for driving drunk or medicine. Don’t do it even when the principles in your personal nation could also be barely completely different. The minimal penalty for drink driving is a superb of 100,000 ISK and a 4 month ban. That’s round 700 USD at present alternate charges.

Additionally, don’t use a cell phone when driving. Using cellphones when driving is in opposition to the legislation. When you should, it’s necessary to make use of hands-free gear while driving.

Ensure you protect Iceland’s distinctive ecosystem and untouched nature by staying on the roads! Off-road driving can also be unlawful in Iceland and can even lead to giant fines, and even imprisonment.

Velocity limits in Iceland

You’ll need to pay attention to velocity limits – to your personal security (and that of different street customers) and to keep away from hefty fines. In populated areas, velocity limits are typically round 30-50 km/h. On gravel roads, the nationwide velocity restrict is 80km/h and on main paved roads it’s 90km/h, however all the time examine the indicators simply to make certain as some circumstances could command a special restrict.

And don’t really feel that the boundaries are a goal – should you really feel extra snug driving extra slowly due to the prevailing situations, then don’t hesitate to drive at a velocity the place you’re feeling extra in management. If there are different automobiles desirous to cross you, the same old customized is to sign together with your proper indicator if you see that it’s protected for them to overhaul.

Iceland’s Ring Street has a lot of fastened velocity traps, in addition to patrolling police automobiles with cellular detectors.  However don’t fear… I’ve a high tip so that you can keep away from getting caught!  It would shock you however one of the simplest ways to keep away from being fined for rushing is to not break the velocity restrict within the first place.  OK, so speak about stating the apparent, I do know… however a extra real tip is to make use of your cruise management (in case your automobile has it) to make sure you don’t unintentionally go over the restrict.

When you select to hurry, then be ready to face the implications – at finest, a rushing superb; or worse nonetheless, a severe accident.  You gained’t essentially learn about it instantly (the superb, I imply… however the identical could possibly be true of an accident!), however you may be in for a nasty shock when your rental firm costs your bank card weeks later to your driving misdemeanour.

The roads in Iceland

The roads in and round Reykjavik are of a very good normal and properly maintained.  Roads within the countryside, alternatively, may be extra variable – probably rougher, narrower and extra hazardous than you could be used to.  With greater than 8,000 miles of street in Iceland, and fewer than 3,000 of these being paved, there’s a excessive chance that you’ll come throughout an unsealed street floor throughout your travels.

Even on the Ring Street, which tends to be a very good floor many of the manner, pay attention to smaller bridges that are often single lanes, usually with gravel surfaces, with velocity limitations.  Decelerate as you strategy them, particularly if you end up approaching one on the similar as one other automobile. The final etiquette in these sitations is that the automobile closest to the bridge has proper of manner, while the opposite car waits for them to cross.

On gravel roads, attempt to hold your velocity low sufficient so that you simply don’t throw unfastened stones on to the aspect of your personal automobile. Equally, don’t drive too near automobiles in entrance of you and danger being caught by any unfastened chippings that they throw up.

Solely enterprise on to Iceland’s F-roads when you’ve got a 4×4 and are assured with driving on mountain roads.


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Parking in Iceland

Reykjavik is split into parking zones, marked P1, P2, P3 and P4, with P1 (the pink zone) being closest to the centre and in addition the most costly.  Fee may be made simply utilizing the PARKA app, or you may pay utilizing ticket dispensers in pay-and-display zones. If you’re exterior these zones, then parking is free.  Road parking in Reykjavik can also be free exterior of the hours of 9am-6pm, in addition to on Sundays. Completely different guidelines could apply for multi-storey automobile parks inside the metropolis.

I like to recommend utilizing the PARKA app for different places in Iceland the place that you must pay for parking, however you might also like to put in the EasyPark app as a substitute. (EasyPark acquired Leggia in 2017.)

Gasoline stations in Iceland

A great rule of thumb is to replenish if the chance arises even when your tank is half full as you by no means know when the subsequent alternative may come.

Virtually all fuel stations in Iceland are self-serve, with cost made earlier than you replenish. You’ll simply want your debit or bank card and the related pin quantity. When you’re filling for the primary time and are usually not positive which aspect of the automobile your petrol cap is on, then you definitely may discover a small arrow displayed subsequent to your petrol gauge, pointing to the left or proper. That is an indicator of which aspect the gas goes in.

Gasoline stations are often open 24/7, that means you may replenish at any time of day, however the kiosk the place you will get help or buy different gadgets will often shut round 8pm or a little bit later.

It’s all the time a good suggestion to examine forward on the place the closest fuel station is – your GPS or Google Maps may also help you with this, however don’t let your gas ranges get gradual that you simply grow to be reliant upon this info.

Driving hazards in Iceland

The climate in Iceland may be very variable and modifications can occur at quick discover. Be ready for regardless of the situations could throw at you. Use the SafeTravel app for up-to-date info on the roads and driving situations.

Iceland is a shocking nation with mesmerising landscapes and it’s very simple to get distracted by all of it. Regardless of how lovely the surroundings, don’t let it distract you out of your driving. It goes with out staying, but it surely’s much better to drag over in a protected place and take in the vistas than lose focus while behind the wheel.

While nearly all of drivers are courteous and accountable, there are some (in each nation!) who’re impatient and drive irresponsibly, be it by way of rushing, tailgating or another malpractice. Don’t be intimidated by their behaviour; simply hold to the driving rules and revel in your journey, slightly than allow them to affect your personal protected driving.

Beware animals! Cut back velocity if you encounter livestock or different animals on the street. Sheep, horses, birds and different animals are usually not unusual.

On our journey, we encountered some sheep that have been standing in the midst of the street and bringing site visitors to an entire standstill. They gave the impression to be eager to lick the automobile tyres for some purpose (possibly it was the salt, I don’t know) and we may solely get previous by coming to an entire standstill, earlier than crawling ever so barely ahead, when it was protected to take action, to renew our journey.

We additionally encountered a lot of horses that have been being excercised or re-located, I’m undecided which. A handful have been being ridden, however the overwhelming majority have been riderless. There will need to have been round 50 horses in complete and all we may actually do was come to an entire cease and sit tight till they’d all handed. It didn’t take lengthy, and was fascinating to see, so we have been in no hurry.

Within the occasion of an accident

Within the occasion of an accident, the emergency quantity to name in Iceland is 112. Relying on the character of the accident, we advise you contact the emergency providers, the police and your rental supplier. For added peace of thoughts when driving in distant places, we additionally suggest putting in the 112 app. This can be utilized to offer common notifications of your present location, which may be useful to first responders within the occasion of an emergency.

Don’t spend all of your time within the automobile

While it’s comprehensible that you simply need to see and do as a lot as you may while in Iceland, you additionally must be real looking as to what’s achievable within the time that you’ve got. In principle, it’s doable to drive across the whole Iceland ring street (1,339 kilometres) in 17 hours… however would you need to? Undoubtedly not! Enable your self loads of time to take sufficient stops and revel in this lovely nation, and be real looking on how a lot you may cowl inside the time that you’ve got, with out compromising the enjoyment of your journey.

For extra recommendations on driving in Iceland, check out the Driving with Elfis sequence of movies.

So, there you’ve gotten it – a abstract of my high suggestions for driving in Iceland. I hope you discover this handy, but it surely also needs to be careworn that we have been driving duing the Summer time months and I’ve not gone into any element about Winter driving. This could in all probability warrant a publish all of its personal. In case you have any questions, or suggestions of your personal, be happy so as to add them within the feedback beneath.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You may watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Icerental 4×4. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.



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