Driving in Iceland safe
Seatbelts are required by law
Stopping on the roadside is illegal and dangerous
Average speed limits
- 50 km/h in urban areas (some streets 30 km/h)
- 70 km/h in most road tunnels
- 80 km/h on gravel roads
- 90 km/h on paved (asphalt) roads
Please note that in poor weather or bad weather condition you should show extra caution and drive slower than the above.
Speed cameras are also located around the Island and in all road tunnels. Speed fines can go over 100.000 ISK.
Road condition in Iceland
For driving in Iceland safe, you may have to rely more than usually on your good sense and judgement. The main route 1, is narrow but mostly paved but other country roads can be hazardous. When encountering one-lane bridges or entering gravel roads extra caution is needed.
The Icelandic Road Administration, Vegagerðin, offers information about open and closed roads and road conditions and can be reached by phone in 1777. The Icelandic Met Office, Veðurstofan, offers weather conditions all around the Island and a weather forecast.
Roads can be temperarely closed due to extreme road conditions, weather, snow, sandstorm etc. You should never enter a closed road as it can be simply dangerous, cause costly damages to your rental vehicle and cause delays on your trip.You can see information regarding blocked roads at Vegagerðin or by phone at 1777.
One lane bridges
Manu bridges in the rural area are so narrow that they only allow one car to cross at a time. You need to show extra caution before entering a bridge and make sure that no one is entering from the other side.
Please note that there was a recent fatal accident where drivers entered a narrow bridge at the same time.
Animals on the roads
In rural areas it is common for animals such as sheep, cows or horses to be grazing by the roadside. Be extremely cautious while driving past the animals as they tend to run into the road or tempt to cross over it.
Drivers who cause injury to such animal are liable to claims of compensation for the animal. If an animal is injured or killed in a collision, please contact the nearest farm and pass on the information so the animal can be taken care of.
Off road driving is illegal !
Sand and ash storms
Sand and ash storms are most common in the southern part of Iceland and in dry areas. It can also happen on Road 1 !
They can cause a very expensive damage to your rental car where it damages the paint, glass, lights and numerous other parts of the car. The renter is fully liable for the repair cost unless purchasing a specific Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) insurance.
Crossing unbridged rivers
Please note that even small rivers can turn out to be very dangerous. We at Saga Car Rental do not recommend for our customers to drive through rivers as the damage cost can be severe. This can also cause serious delays on your trip if anything happends to the rental vehicle.
Crossing rivers requires certain skills and special driving techniques and knowledge where it is best to cross the river and in what condition the riverbed is. You need to find the correct ford, water depth must not be higher than 50 % of the wheel and you should drive SLOWLY. Slowly means 4 km/h.
UNIQUE ICELAND ROAD SIGNS.