Crossing unbridged rivers
Some of the rivers in the highlands in Iceland are unbridged and if you choose to cross any of these rivers you have to be aware that a special skill is needed. The driver and lessee have complete responsibility for all damage (see terms and conditions) unless purchasing the River ford crossing (RFC) protection. The protection only applies if you cross the river at a river ford and are driving at a very low speed (4 km/h).
Not recommended. Why?
We advise our customers to avoid crossing unbridged rivers. Crossing rivers requires:
- Special driving technique
- Knowledge about where to cross
- Knowing the conditions of the riverbed
Crossing rivers can be dangerous and the rental car could suffer damage which is very expensive. Additionally, damage to the rental car will delay your trip.
I understand the risks, but I still want to do it. How?
1. Go slowly
The most common mistake of drivers crossing rivers is going to fast. SLOWLY MEANS 4 KM/H. If you drive too fast through the river the front of the vehicle will lift the water above the engine cover (bonnet) and front grille resulting in water flowing into the engine, shutting it down. This causes the vehicle to drown in the river.
Many drivers who cause damage to the rental car are making a simple mistake. Going too fast. They are even driving through shallow rivers but because they drive to fast they lift the water over the engine.
2. Cross over a ford
If you decide to cross a river, choose your crossing point carefully. Water depth should not be higher than 50% of the wheel. This means you should be able to walk over the ford without the water going over your knees.
DO NOT CHOOSE THE SHORTEST ROUTE. The shortest route is ALWAYS the DEEPEST.
DO NOT DRIVE UP-STREAM THEN THE WATER IS LIFTED HIGHER OVER THE ENGINE.