Driving in Reykjavik
Experiencing Iceland on your own in a rental car is a great way to travel. Before one set out to explore this mysterious country, there are few basic things one needs to know about driving in Iceland. You might think that it´s like driving anywhere else but you would be wrong.
Unlike many European countries, Iceland has a max speed limit of 90km per hour. In urban areas the limit is 50km per hour but once you are out on the open road it´s 90km on paved roads but 80km on gravel roads.
Speed Limits No matter what the speed limit is it´s very important that you adjust your speed to the driving conditions? When driving in Iceland you are likely to encounter difficult gravel roads, sudden icing on roads, animals or otherwise tricky roads to drive.
You might think that the Icelandic country side is free of police performing speed check but you would be wrong. The Icelandic police keep an eye on most of highway #1 and will get in the most unlikely places. We recommend you just relax the right foot and take in the magnificent scenery rather than be speeding – you won’t regret it. If you decide to ignore that advice you can expect at least a 450 euro fine if caught 30km above speed limit. That amount increases heavily for every 10km above that.
Conditions Road conditions in Iceland vary and can change dramatically in no time. Highway #1 is nearly all paved but other roads are likely to be all or partly gravel. It´s not uncommon that country roads are narrow, steep and wash boarded with frequent potholes.
Caution Slow down when passing other vehicles on narrow roads and gravel roads. Be advised to slow down before you drive from paved road to gravel as it might affect your steering at high speed.
If you see some sheep around you want to be careful. They wander the Icelandic country side and tend to cross the roads when they please. In the eastern part of the country there are also wild reindeer that sometimes cause accidents as the cross the roads.
Note: Driving in Iceland can be tricky if you venture outside the capital area. We highly recommend that you read the brochure Have a safe journey before you head off on your adventures in Iceland.