All You Need to Know About Icelandic Traffic laws

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

If you’re planning to drive during your Icelandic vacation, then it’s a good idea to get your head around the country’s traffic laws before you leave home. Falling foul of a traffic police officer isn’t going to be the highlight of your holiday, so it’s best avoided. Here’s what you need to know about Iceland’s traffic laws.

A bunch of traffic road signs that show the many rules of the Icelandic traffic law

On which side of the road do Icelanders drive?

First, the basics: Icelanders drive on the right side of the road. This keeps the country in line with the majority of European countries – only four countries (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) drive on the left so driving on the right side of the road is exactly what you’d expect. If you’re travelling from Europe or from another country that drives on the right such as Canada or the United States, driving in Iceland is going to be a breeze. If you from Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or one of the other countries that drive on the left, you’ll take to your new road position like a duck to water thanks to Iceland’s light traffic and well signposted roads.

Licence requirements and age limits in Iceland

You’ll need a valid driving licence, held for at least a year. Although Icelandic drivers can get their licence from the age of 17, if you are renting a car, that minimum age rises to 20 years old for a car and up to 23 or even 25 years old for some larger vehicles such as motorhomes. That makes sense, as car rentals are a slightly more risky thing than driving a car you’re familiar with (and if it’s your own, probably want to look after more carefully). You’ll also need a valid credit card to rent a car. Credit cards are also going to come in handy when it comes to refuelling, for instance. Insurance is compulsory, by the way, so expect to see at least the basic package included in your rental agreement.

Speed limits in Iceland

It goes without saying the drivers are required by law to stick within the speed limits when travelling in Iceland. In urban areas, that’s likely to be capped to speeds of no more than 50km per hour in built up roads and often as low as 30km per hour. Though you won’t find speed cameras unless you’re driving through tunnels, t