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Guide to Road Tripping on a Rental Car in Iceland

With its breathtaking scenery and unique natural wonders, Iceland is a dream destination for road trip enthusiasts. In order to embark on this adventure, the ideal option is to rent a car.ย 

In this article, we'll walk you through the basic details of your Iceland road trip, including information on the need for an International Driving Permit (IDP), how to rent a car, traffic rules and fines, as well as some intriguing routes and hidden attractions to explore along the way.

International Driving Permit (IDP):

To legally drive and rent a car in Iceland, you must possess an International Driving Permit.

You can obtain an IDP through the International Drivers Association, which simplifies the process. Remember that the IDP is not a standalone document but should be accompanied by your valid driver's license.

Renting a Car in Iceland:

Most car rental companies in Iceland require drivers to be at least 20-23 years old, depending on the category of car.

A valid driver's license issued in your country is mandatory.

The preferred method of payment when renting a car is by credit card.

Be careful about the type of fuel and technical characteristics of the car, especially if you plan to explore remote areas.

Traffic Rules and Fines in Iceland:

When you hit the roads of Iceland, knowing the rules and following them is key to a safe and fun trip. Here are a few key points:

  • Remember to obey the speed limits: 30-50 km/h in populated areas, 80 km/h on dirt roads and 90 km/h on paved roads to ensure your safety and enjoy the beautiful views.

  • Exceeding the speed limit can result in fines ranging from 10,000 and up to 50,000 Iceland Krona ($75-375$), depending on the extent of the offense. Following the speed limits is your key to a safe trip.

  • Always adhere to the rule about wearing seat belts for all passengers in the car, it is not only a requirement but your safety concern.

  • Remember to keep your headlights on at all times of the day. This will increase your visibility and help other drivers spot you.

  • Iceland has a strict rule - do not exceed 0.05% blood alcohol content, otherwise you may face serious negative consequences. Therefore, if you have plans to get behind the wheel, consider abstaining from alcohol.

  • Drunk driving in Iceland is highly unacceptable. Fines can be up to 500,000 Iceland Krona ($3700) and there is also the risk of jail time. Take care of your safety by avoiding alcohol behind the wheel.

Scenic Routes and Hidden Gems of Iceland:

The Golden Circle: Explore the geothermal wonders of Geysir, the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, and the historic Thingvellir National Park.

South Coast Adventure: Witness the stunning Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, along with the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara.

Diamond Circle: Discover the North's hidden gems, including the powerful Dettifoss waterfall and the otherworldly Hรบsavรญk geothermal area.

The Snรฆfellsnes Peninsula: Visit Kirkjufell Mountain, the charming town of Stykkishรณlmur, and the iconic Snรฆfellsjรถkull glacier.

Icelandic Local Cuisine and Cultural Features:

Taste traditional Icelandic dishes such as hรกkarl (fermented shark), lamb stew, and Icelandic hot dogs.

Visit local markets to sample fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, and Nordic pastries.

Embrace Icelandic culture by attending local events and festivals, such as the Reykjavik Arts Festival or Independence Day celebrations.

A road trip in Iceland offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the country's unique natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality. Remember to plan your journey, respect the environment, and adhere to local rules for an unforgettable adventure. So, get behind the wheel, and let the Icelandic roads lead you to unforgettable memories!