For driving in Iceland, foreign visitors from European Union states must have valid driving permits issued from their domestic countries which they have held for two or more years. Visitors who don’t hold European Union driving permits need driving permits from their countries and International driver licenses or notarized English translation of their original driver licenses if they are not written in English.  

The road traffic rules in Iceland:

  • Traffic moves on the right side of the road. Drivers must overtake on the left side.
  • The minimum age is 18 years for driving and 21 for renting a car.
  • Winter tires are necessary from November to May.
  • At intersections, the right of way goes to the driver on the right.
  • In traffic circles, cars that are inside lane have the right of way.
  • It is not permitted to turn right on a red light.
  • Speed limits are in towns – from 30km/h to 50km/hr; on gravel tracks – 80km/hr; on tarmac roads – 90 km/hr.
  • A driver and all passengers must wear seat belts.
  • Children under six years must be ridden in special car seats.
  • Children shorter than 150 cm are not permitted to sit in the front seat or in front of an airbag.
  • Passengers who are less than 140 centimeters tall, weighing less than 40 kilograms, or under 12 are not permitted to ride in a front seat equipped with an airbag.
  • While driving, it is permitted to use only cell phones equipped with hands-free system.
  • While driving outside the cities, lights must be on during the day and night in any season.
  • The third-party insurance is mandatory for motorists driving their own cars.
  • It is prohibited to drive while intoxicated from drug or alcohol.
  • Off-road driving is forbidden.
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit are supposed to be in each car.
  • Fire extinguisher is required.
  • The police phone number is 112.

Some additional information and advices:

  • In Iceland, blind bends are common; reduce your speed and keep in tight to the right.
  • Country roads are built on raised embankments to counteract snows in winter so in case of losing control, the vehicle can easily roll over.
  • Often, bridges are one lane; drivers should slow down and be careful when crossing them.
  • Farm animals are common on the country roads.
  • It is recommended to turn on headlights at all times while driving.
  • It is not recommended to travel alone in the winter.
  • In the winter, not all rotes are open.
  • Many mountain roads are closed up to end of June as they are muddy from the wet conditions.
  • In areas where flora and fauna are protected, roads are not open to the public.
  • The safest roads have numbers beginning with “F”.
  • In a case of renting a car in Iceland, motor vehicle Insurance is always included in a car rental quote.
  • Many rural roads are gravel and are not appropriate for fast driving.
  • If you drive on gravel road, slow down when you meet other vehicles.
  • It is not easy to drive on Icelandic country roads, especially gravel roads.
  • In Iceland, there is sunlight 24 hours a day in the summertime.
  • Weather can change quickly in any season.

Icelandic Republic Traffic Signs

Icelandic Republic Marking

 Driving Overseas - Short Information