Iceland is a great place for a driving holiday, particularly if you’re into stunning mountain vistas, far-reaching tundra and jaw-dropping mountains and volcanos. To get around and take it all in, driving in Iceland is paramount.
You can choose to take a guide to drive you around, though of course having your own hire car will offer you more freedom. For those of you who wish explore Iceland by car on your own, check our guide to driving in Iceland which covers all you need to know.
Driving in Iceland: What Do I Need to Take?
You must at all times carry with you:
- A valid, full UK driving licence (you must also be 18 or over)
- Your motor insurance certificate (dealt with by www.debitcardcarhire.com)
- The V5 registration document for your own car or the hire car paperwork for a rental
- Headlamp converters
- A warning triangle
- Spare bulbs for your car’s external lights
- A fire extinguisher
- A first-aid kit
- A reflective jacket
General Driving Regulations in Iceland
- Drive on the right-hand side of the road
- Overtake on the left.
- Wear seatbelts for both adults and older children.
- Car safety seats are required for younger children and infants.
- Both day and night car headlights must be switched on.
- As in the UK, no mobile phones while driving, pull over to use the phone.
- Zero tolerance on drink and drugs while driving
- Inner lane traffic at a two-lane roundabout has priority over traffic on the outer lane.
- Check the weather and road conditions before setting out.
- Don’t be led astray by locals who break these rules, stick to the guideline like glue!
- 4x4s are necessary for more remote areas of Iceland especially from October to May, book through Debit Card Car Hire.
- There are many wonderful sights in Iceland but don’t get distracted, pull over to take them in.
- No off-road driving is permitted, you will face a fine or even imprisonment.
- Use the Search and Rescue Association of Iceland (ICE-SAR) a safety app when driving in remote areas.
- Only use horns them when overtaking or in cases of immediate danger.
- In emergencies phone 112.
Speed Limits in Iceland
- In populated areas: 30-50 km/hour (20-30 mph)
- On gravel roads in rural areas: 80 km/hour (50 mph)
- On paved roads in rural areas: 90 km/hour (55 mph)
Parking Info in Iceland
Parking in Reykjavík includes:
- Specialized parking zones
- Multi-storey car parks
- parking lots
- Street parking
Parking zones are divided into P1, P2, P3 and P4:
- P1 is the red zone and the most expensive parking zone in Reykjavík but the P1 parking meter ticket is also valid in zone P1, P2, P3 and P4.
- P2 is the blue zone but the P2 parking meter ticket is also valid in zone P3 and P4.
- P3 is the green zone but the P3 parking meter ticket is only valid in zone P3.
- P4 is the yellow zone and the P4 parking meter ticket is also only valid in zone P4. Parking is
If you’re looking for further inspiration for driving in Iceland or taking a road trip holiday in Iceland, take a look at our driving guides and related articles:
Driving in Iceland FAQs
Yes, valid UK licences enable to you to both hire a car or drive your own car in Iceland.
During the months of October through to May, you will need to hire a 4×4 due to heavy snow covering a lot of the country.
Roads in Iceland are generally very easy to drive on and most of the roads are quite flat. However, changing weather conditions can make driving in Iceland challenging at times so come prepared.
Definitely. To take advantage of everything Iceland has to offer in terms of natural beauty, you will need a hire car.