Renting a car is the best way to get around Iceland and see some of the world’s most spectacular sights. One thing that people might be unsure about before arriving on the island is the parking provisions in the capital. In fact, many of our clients are tripped up on this because they’re unsure of the regulations. It’s best to be as informed as possible to avoid hefty fines upon your return home!
Parking in Reykjavík
Street parking in Reykjavík is always free before 9 am and after 6 pm, as well as all day on Sundays. Charges apply on weekdays from 9 am-6 pm, so it is worth doing some research ahead of your journey. Costs will depend on the coloured zone you’re in, so this could vary depending on where you’re headed in the capital.
Reykjavík Parking Zones
There are 4 parking zones in Reykjavík and each has different charges and rates when it comes to parking. Generally, it is only within these zones in downtown Reykjavík that you must pay for parking, most other places should be free. If you don’t see a “P” parking sign or information about charges clearly displayed, then you shouldn’t have to pay for parking. The different rates for parking zones in Reykjavík are charged at an hourly rate as follows:
- Red & Pink – Area P1; these are the most expensive areas to park, charging 600 ISK (€4.04)
- Blue – Area P2; these areas of parking charge 220 ISK (€1.48)
- Green – Area P3; these regions of the capital charge 90 ISK (€0.60)
- Orange – Area P4; only valid during weekdays charging 220 ISK (€1.48)
Where Else Can I Park in Reykjavík?
It's not just street parking and parking lots that are available in Reykjavík. One of the best places to park in Reykjavík is in multi-storey car parks, which are usually much cheaper than the parking zones.
If you want to be sure of a parking space, then there is a great website that provides live parking updates called Bílastæðasjóður. The website can be translated into your native tongue and you can easily navigate by choosing your location and seeing the number of spaces available in green. See an example below:
The Parkopedia site also has an excellent map to help you find a parking space in Reykjavík.
How to Pay For Parking in Reykjavík
Without an app, there will be machines in areas that you must pay for parking. You can generally pay for parking with both cash and credit cards in most places, but there are still some old-fashioned machines around. These older parking meters will only accept coins and are generally located down side streets in downtown Reykjavík.
You can still use a pay and display machine to get a valid ticket for parking if you only have a credit card, but it could be difficult to find a machine if you don’t know where you are. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep some coins with you in case you come across an old parking meter in the city.
Parking During Public Holidays
As with many countries in Europe, parking during public holidays is relaxed in Iceland. The public holidays that allow free parking are outlined below, however always be sure to check the signs before you park:
- New Year’s Day
- Maundy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- 1st day of Summer
- Labour Day, May 1st
- Ascension Day
- Whit Monday
- Independence Day, June 17th
- Commerce Day, 1st Monday of August (also known as Holiday of the Merchants)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Can You Sleep in Your Car in Iceland?
Whilst it is not illegal to sleep in your car, it is currently illegal to camp overnight in your car, trailer, motorhome or campervan outside of designated campsite areas. Unless you have written permission from the landowner, you will find yourself confronted with a hefty fine. We would recommend using your car during the day and then seeking a hotel or rental accommodation for overnight. If you do wish to park up and sleep under the Icelandic night sky, be sure to find a campsite that will suit your needs so that you can ‘car camp’.
Parking Fines in Iceland
If you do not follow the laws and guidelines for parking in Reykjavík, you could find yourself facing a fine, as the rules are strongly enforced. The main things you can encounter a fine for are not having any time left on your meter, parking in a disabled or handicapped space without a permit, or parking in an area where parking isn't actually permitted.
Parking Ticket Charges
If you pay within the first 3 days of being issued a ticket you will get a discount, and your fine (depending on the violation) will range between 4000 ISK (€30) and 20,000 ISK (€150).
If you pay within 2 weeks of the ticket being issued, you can expect to pay between 6000 ISK (€40) and 30,000 ISK (€220).
Waiting to pay your fine after 29 days will incur a late fee, and you can expect to have to pay somewhere between 9000 ISK (€65) and 40,000 ISK (€300).
How to Pay Parking Fines in Iceland
If you do get issued a parking ticket in Iceland, you'll want to pay it as soon as possible, and you can do so by going to the nearest bank where they will let you pay the fine.
If you leave Iceland without paying a fine received in a hire car, your rental car company will be issued the ticket. They will then track you down and you will need to reimburse them. Note that Reykjavík Rent a Car also charges a 5,000 ISK (€34) handling fee on top of your parking fine, so it’s in your best interest to deal with your charges before you leave Iceland.
If you have any questions about tickets and fines in Iceland ahead of your trip, please contact us.