Driving your rental car in Iceland

Gravel roads

Most countryside roads in Iceland are gravel roads not suited to fast driving. Rental car drivers should be careful and show other road users consideration at all times. When cars meet, driver should slow down, and pull to the side of the road.

Speed limit

Iceland car speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas, 80 km/h (50 mph) on gravel roads in countryside, and 90 km/h (56 mph) on hard-surfaced roads. Special warning signs indicate danger ahead such as harp bends, but there is generally no separate sign to reduce speed.

Highland Roads

Iceland rental cars are not meant for highland roads (roads marked with F) and all driving is forbidden and not insured. 4x4 rental cars are, however, suitable for the highland. Please note that all off-road driving in rental cars is strictly forbidden in Iceland.

Blind hills

There are many blind hills on Icelandic roads, some of them without any markings at all. Many of them however, are marked with the warning sign "Other danger" above the word "blindhaed" (Blind rise).

Bridges in Iceland

Many bridges are too narrow to allow more than one car to cross at a time

Road information

Please ask for information about the various roads and tracks in the highlands, e.g. at the office of Vegagerdin  (The Public Roads Administration of Iceland). Tel.: 1777. Highland roads are often impassable far into summer. Please remember that driving off the established roads and tracks is forbidden in the highlands as well as everywhere else.

Road signs

Always pay attention to road signs, especially when travelling on unfamiliar roads.

Rivers in the highlands

Many rivers in the highlands are not bridged. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that the conditions are safe before you attempt to cross - especially when a vehicle is travelling unaccompanied, i.e. not in a convoy.

Animals on the road

Please be prepared for farm animals grazing by the roadside and straying into or crossing the road. Drivers who cause injury or death to such animals may be liable to claims for compensation.

Driving under the influence (DUI)

No-one may drive a motor vehicle in Iceland after drinking alcoholic beverages.

Safety belts

All travellers are obliged to use safety belts where they are available.


Drivers are obliged to drive with headlights on at all times.