Any time that you travel to a new country, it takes a bit of research and some learning to make sure that you’re ready to drive on the roads. Many people are apprehensive about driving in Iceland, mainly because of the weather conditions, which is understandable. Iceland’s weather can change quickly and can be treacherous at times. But there are a few driving laws in Iceland that you should be aware of before you hit the road, no matter the weather. 

See below for some common driving laws in Iceland, and before long you’ll be ready to drive the endless roads across Iceland’s expansive and beautiful landscapes!

Basic Points to Remember

In Iceland, it’s important to remember a few key things. 

  • First and foremost, traffic in Iceland moves on the right side of the road. This is important if you are visiting from some countries which favour left-hand drive, which you may find confusing at first. 

  • You should drive with your headlights on at all hours of the day. This is because weather conditions can change very quickly, and you could find yourself in the middle of a sandstorm without warning. You must also always wear your seatbelt when you are in a moving car in Iceland, whether you are the driver or a passenger. 

  • It’s also very important that you remember it is illegal to make calls when driving your car in Iceland. If you need to make a call, you must find somewhere safe and legal to stop so that you do not put yourself or other people on the road at risk. 

  • Next, it’s also illegal to stop on the side of the road to take photos or get out and explore. You will need to find a designated stopping or parking area in order to take part in these activities. But don’t be too concerned, these stopping areas are quite frequent in Iceland so you’ll have plenty of chances to explore and snap photos. 

  • Finally, it is illegal to drive off of designated roads in Iceland. Many of Iceland’s roads are paved, but many of them are gravel. As long as you stay on paved or gravel roads, this is fine. But driving off of them can damage Iceland’s landscape, wildlife and plant life, so it is illegal to do so. This is also for your own safety, as the terrain in Iceland can be very dangerous once you’ve left the designated roads and you could find yourself in danger or get your car stuck and put yourself in a position where you are unable to get it back on the road. 


Typically, Icelandic roads are well signposted and you won’t have any trouble knowing what you’re meant to do. However, if you’re not familiar with the roads in Iceland, it’s a good idea to brush up a bit first. 

Speed Limits in Iceland

Another important thing to understand about traffic laws in Iceland is the law around the speed limit. Like any country, the speed limit will depend on the type of road you’re driving on. These are quite straight forward and can be broken down as follows:

Urban roads - 30mph (50kph)

Gravel rural roads - 50mph (80kph)

Paved rural roads - 55mph (90kph)

If you have questions about driving laws in Iceland, our team will be more than happy to advise you when you collect your rental car, or you can contact us now for any queries you may have.