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Iceland – Vehicle Maintenance, Repairs, and Breakdown Recovery

Iceland is a country known for its unique landscapes and rugged terrain. If you are planning to move to Iceland or are already living there, you may be considering buying a car. Whether you decide to purchase a vehicle locally or import it from another country, there are important things you need to know about the rules and regulations regarding vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair, and the major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations in Iceland.

Rules Regarding Regular Vehicle Inspection

In Iceland, all vehicles are required to undergo a regular inspection, called the vehicle inspection (bílprófun), in order to obtain a valid registration. The inspection is mandatory and must be carried out every two years for all vehicles, including motorcycles. The vehicle inspection checks the vehicle’s brakes, suspension, lights, emissions, and other important components to ensure that they meet the minimum safety and environmental standards.

If a vehicle fails the vehicle inspection, the owner has 30 days to repair the issues and bring the vehicle back for a retest. If the vehicle still fails after the 30-day period, the owner can face fines or even have their vehicle impounded. The cost of the vehicle inspection varies depending on the type of vehicle, but it usually ranges from 12,000 to 20,000 Icelandic krona.

The vehicle inspection is similar to the British MOT (Ministry of Transport) test in that it aims to ensure that vehicles are safe and roadworthy. However, the standards of the vehicle inspection may not be as strict as those of the MOT, and some vehicles may be able to pass even if they have minor issues. It is therefore important to ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition before taking it for the vehicle inspection.

General Standard of Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

The general standard of vehicle maintenance and repair in Iceland is high, as the harsh climate and terrain require vehicles to be in excellent condition. There are many reputable mechanics and garages in Iceland that can provide high-quality maintenance and repair services at reasonable prices.

However, there are also many unscrupulous mechanics who may try to overcharge or use cheap, substandard parts to save money. It is important to do your research and choose a reliable mechanic or garage with a good reputation. You can ask for recommendations from friends, colleagues, or other expats, or check online reviews and ratings.


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If you are importing a vehicle to Iceland, you should ensure that it is in good condition and has been well-maintained before shipping it. It is also a good idea to have it inspected by a reputable mechanic or garage in Iceland before registering it and taking it for the vehicle inspection.

Major Accident Breakdown Companies and Motoring Organizations

In Iceland, there are several major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations that provide emergency roadside assistance, towing, and other services to motorists. These include:

1. Icelandic Automobile Association (Félag Bílafara Íslands)

The Icelandic Automobile Association is a non-profit organization that provides a range of services to motorists, including roadside assistance, travel planning, and vehicle inspections. It also offers discounts and other benefits to members.

Website: www.bifreid.is

2. Vodafone Iceland

Vodafone Iceland is a private telecommunications company that also provides emergency roadside assistance and other services to motorists. It offers a range of services, including towing, tire changes, and jump-starts.

Website: www.vodafone.is

3. Olís

Olís is a fuel company that also provides roadside assistance and towing services to motorists in Iceland. It has a network of service providers across the country and offers different levels of coverage, including basic and premium plans.

Website: www.olis.is

4. Europcar Iceland

Europcar Iceland is a car rental company that also provides emergency roadside assistance to its customers. It offers services such as tire changes, battery replacement, and lockout assistance.

Website: www.europcar.is

5. N1

N1 is a fuel company that also provides roadside assistance and towing services to motorists in Iceland. It has a network of service providers across the country and offers different levels of coverage, including basic and premium plans.

Website: www.n1.is

If you are planning to drive in Iceland, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these organizations and their services. You can also consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan or insurance policy that includes emergency roadside assistance to ensure that you are covered in case of an accident or breakdown.

Buying or Importing a Vehicle in Iceland requires careful consideration of the rules and regulations regarding vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair, and roadside assistance. It is important to ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition, and that you choose a reliable mechanic or garage for maintenance and repairs. You should also familiarize yourself with the major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations in Iceland and consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan or insurance policy to ensure that you are covered in case of an emergency. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy safe and worry-free driving in Iceland.


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