F-road driving in Iceland

F-roads in Iceland are mountain roads marked with an F in front of the road number, for example F210. F-roads are really rough to drive and only suitable for AWD and 4x4 rental cars. If you plan on visiting the highlands and drive on F-roads please make sure you rent a 4x4 or AWD rental car.


F-roads in Iceland are NOT open during winter. Opening of F-roads varies every year depending on weather and road conditions. F-roads are not maintained regularly as other roads and are therefore much rougher and have big rocks and large holes that can easily damage the undercarriage on your rental car. This can result in a high damage cost for the lessee. Please check the National Road Administration website, www.road.is, for more information regarding openings and road conditions.

Opening dates on F-roads in Iceland and current road conditions of mountain roads.  (http://www.road.is/travel-info/condition-and-opening-of-mountain-roads/)


These vehicles above are categorized as Smaller AWD/4x4 vehicles.

Only larger AWD/4x4 rental cars are suitable for the following F- roads. Our fleet is not suitable for those F-roads:

  • F88 and F894 (Öskjuleið)
  • F249 (Þórsmörk)
  • F578 (Arnarvatnsheiði)

Smaller 4x4 or AWD cars are not suitable for those F-roads. If conditions are bad then even larger 4x4 or AWD cars can not be used on any F-roads. Please always check the website www.road.is before you enter an F-road.

Some F-roads are not marked with F

This is when it gets a bit confusing. Some of the rough gravel roads are actually F-roads but are not marked as such on official maps. Those roads are, due to their location and low level of maintenance, much rougher than regular gravel roads and not suitable for passenger rental cars. Those roads are road 550 (Kaldidalur), road 35 (Kjalvegur) and road 570 (Jökulhálsleið).

Off road driving in Iceland is forbidden

Off-road driving (off marked roads) is forbidden by law in Iceland. The nature is very delicate so driving off-road will leave tyre marks which can remain visible for decades. No matter the type of landscape, be it green or simply black sand – off road driving will always leave a lasting mark and is considered vandalism. Drivers who cause damage to the land and the vegetation can easily expect a sky-high fine or prison term for offences. Also, no insurance covers damage to the rental vehicle while driving off road.

Regular gravel roads

Not all gravel roads require an AWD or 4x4 car. Passenger cars are allowed to drive on all of the non F-marked gravel roads except the non-marked F-roads mentioned here above. If you are not used to driving on gravel roads please take extra caution. The speed limit on gravel roads is lower than on regular paved roads. Only 80 km/h vs. 90 km/h. Keep in mind that though the speed limit is 80 km/h this is too fast for drivers unfamiliar with the terrain. We recommend that you drive at the speed you feel comfortable with and let other drivers pass you rather than try to keep up with other drivers.

When a car comes from the opposite direction, slow down and pull out to the right side of the road. This can reduce risk of costly damage to paint and windshield from flying stones.