F-Roads in Iceland
F-roads in Iceland are mountain roads which are marked with an F, for example F210. F-roads are only suitable for 4x4 or AWD vehicles. Therefore, if you intend to drive on F-roads in Iceland, make sure you book a 4x4 or AWD rental vehicle.
F-roads are not open during winter
Average opening dates of Mountain roads.
F-roads in Iceland are not allowed for passenger car rental but only 4x4 or AWD vehicles. The reason is that F-roads are not regularly maintained and therefore there can be big holes or large rocks on the road that can damage the under body of the rental car which can result in a very high cost for the lessee.
Not all 4x4 or AWD vehicles are suitable for all F-roads. F-roads 88 and 894 (Öskjuleið), F249 (Þórsmörk) and F578 are not suitable for economy AWD vehicles or intermediate AWD vehicles but only for larger 4x4.
To make it even more complicated few roads are actually F-Roads but not marked as such. Those are Kaldidalur (road 550, Kjalvegur (road 35) and Jökulhálsleið (road 570) and are only suitable for 4x4 rental vehicles.
Crossing unbridged rivers is always the drivers and lessee´s responsibility and damages caused by river crossing are not covered by any insurance (see terms and conditions).
Off-road driving prohibited
Driving off-road (off marked roads) is prohibited by law in Iceland. It results in irreparable damage to the land and the plant cover which may remain visible for centuries. Drivers who cause damage to the land and the vegetation may be liable by law to claims for compensation which is not covered by insurance. None of the insurance offers covers damages of the rental car if driving off road.
Normal gravel roads
Passenger cars are allowed to drive regular unpaved roads (gravel roads) which are marked with road signs other than F-roads. Exception is road Kaldidalur valley (road 550) and Kjalvegur (road 35) which are only for 4x4 and AWD vehicles even though these roads do not have F-marking. Please take extra caution when driving on unpaved roads (gravel roads). The speed limit on unpaved roads is lower than on paved roads, only 80 km/h.