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Iceland – Driving

Iceland has a relatively low number of traffic fatalities and accidents compared to other countries. However, the country’s unique geography and weather conditions can make driving challenging. Roads in rural areas may be narrow, winding, and unpaved, while snow and ice can make driving hazardous in the winter months. Drivers should exercise caution when driving in Iceland and be prepared for changing weather conditions.

Local driving standards in Iceland are generally good, with most drivers following the rules of the road. However, some drivers may not be familiar with Iceland’s driving regulations, particularly tourists driving rental cars.

Required Equipment

Drivers in Iceland are required to carry certain equipment in their vehicles at all times, including a warning triangle, first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. It is also recommended that drivers carry a spare tire, tire repair kit, and tire pump, particularly if traveling in rural areas where services may be limited.

Road Accidents

In the event of a road accident in Iceland, drivers are required to stop their vehicle and assess any injuries or damage. If someone is injured or the accident involves significant damage, the police must be notified immediately. Drivers must also exchange information with the other party involved, including name, address, phone number, and insurance information.

Driving Rules

In Iceland, drivers must drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limit on highways is generally 90 km/h, with speed limits in urban areas ranging from 30 km/h to 50 km/h. It is important to note that speed limits may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and drivers should pay attention to posted signs.

Drivers must also yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and give way to vehicles on the right at intersections where there is no traffic signal or sign indicating otherwise. In Iceland, vehicles entering a roundabout have the right of way.


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Road Signs and Traffic Lights

Road signs in Iceland are generally recognizable and follow international standards. However, travelers should be aware that some signs may be written in Icelandic only, particularly in more remote areas.

Traffic lights in Iceland are similar to those found in other countries. The colors of the lights are standard, with red indicating stop, yellow indicating caution, and green indicating go. It is important to note that the duration of green lights may be shorter than in other countries, particularly in urban areas.

Road Traffic Info

Drivers can find up-to-date road traffic information on the Icelandic Road Administration’s website. The website includes information on road closures, construction, and weather conditions. Drivers can also call 1777 for road conditions and travel information.

Parking Rules

Parking in Iceland can be challenging in urban areas, particularly during peak tourist season. It is important to pay attention to posted signs and regulations to avoid fines or towing.

In Reykjavik, there are a number of paid parking options, including street parking, parking garages, and paid parking lots. Some areas may have time restrictions or require a parking permit.

Drivers with disabilities can apply for a special parking permit, which allows them to park in designated disabled parking spaces. These spaces are typically located close to building entrances and are marked with the international symbol for accessibility.

Driving in Iceland can be a unique and rewarding experience, but it is important to be aware of local driving standards, road safety, and regulations. Drivers should make sure they have the required equipment in their vehicle at all times, be aware of their legal obligations in the event of an accident, and follow Iceland’s driving rules.

Road signs and traffic lights in Iceland are generally recognizable, but travelers should be aware that signs may be written in Icelandic only in more remote areas. It is also important to note that parking can be challenging in urban areas, particularly during peak tourist season.

By following these guidelines, drivers can safely and confidently explore Iceland’s stunning landscapes and unique culture. Remember to always exercise caution when driving, particularly in adverse weather conditions, and be respectful of other drivers on the road. With proper preparation and a willingness to adapt to local driving customs, driving in Iceland can be a truly unforgettable experience.


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