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Driving in Iceland can be quite different from the US, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some rules of the road before going. We have compiled this guide with some useful tips so you can be confident your road trip in Iceland will go smoothly.


  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left.

  • Drivers and all passengers are required to wear seat belts.

  • Children under 3 measuring less than 4 foot 9 inches must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size.

  • The use of mobile phones while driving in Iceland is not allowed unless you have a hands free system.

  • Car headlights must be switched on at all times, day or night when driving in Iceland.

  • Special warning signs indicate possible danger, such as sharp bends. As there are no signs to reduce speed, please drive carefully, and choose an appropriate speed according to road and weather conditions

  • No right turns are allowed at red lights

  • At roundabouts, right-of-way goes to the driver already in the roundabout.

Image by Il Vagabiondo


The speed limits are taken seriously in Iceland. If you are caught going faster than the speed limit, you will likely get an on-the-spot fine.

  • Urban areas                              30-50 km/h (19-31 mph)

  • Unpaved roads                          80 km/h (50 mph)

  • Highways outside cities           90 km/h (56 mph)


  • A valid driver’s license

  • An International Driving Permit (IDP)


  • You can rent from one of our locations in Reykjavik or in Reykjanesbaer. It’s easy to get around the country, although be warned that if you venture off the ring road that goes around the coast of the country, you may encounter unpaved, single-lane roads that can be treacherous. Also, be aware that driving off the roads is forbidden to protect nature. Whether you are going to Iceland to see the volcanoes, lava fields, or otherworldly landscapes, or to soak in the hot springs, you can have a seamless trip with SIXT.

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