WHAT IS THE LEGAL MINIMUM DRIVING AGE IN ICELAND?
For natural lovers and road trip enthusiasts, you’ll want to know the legal driving age in Iceland so that you can come enjoy the wide open roads of the most beautiful place in the world. There may not be another country in the world which is more suited and better built for driving than Iceland. Many travelers to Iceland rent cars and motorhomes so that they can see the incredible natural landscapes that have made Iceland one of the top destinations in the world for outdoor adventure and sightseeing. Renting a car or a motorhome allows visitors to see all of the awe-inspiring sights at their own pace and in the comfort of their own vehicle. So, are you old enough to legally drive in Iceland? Find out here.
What is the legal driving age in Iceland?
The legal minimum driving age in Iceland is 17 years. This applies to citizens, local residents and visitors as well. However, as a visitor, there are a few more things to take into consideration before coming to Iceland and trying to rent a car. Please be sure to read all of the following pieces of information so that you know upon arrival that you can rent a car or motorhome and safely (and legally) drive around Iceland.
Some things to keep in mind when determining whether or not you can legally drive in Iceland due to your age and several other factors.
As a foreigner, you must have a valid license from your home country or country of residence. However, not every country’s license is accepted in Iceland. We will explain in detail a bit further down.
The legal minimum driving age in Iceland is 17 years as mentioned earlier, but this only pertains to drivers who are driving their own cars, not rental vehicles. All Icelandic rental companies mandate that all car rentals are driven by drivers who are at least 20 years old and have held a driving licence for at least 12 months.
The legal minimum driving age for other vehicles is a bit higher. For many vehicles which have 4x4 such as SUVs, the legal driving age for rentals increases to 23 years. There are many roads in Iceland which require a vehicle with 4x4 drive, so be sure to check if you should be renting an SUV or motorhome with 4x4.
Also please note that if you are under 25 years of age and you will be the driver, you will need to pay an additional fee. This applies to the rental of any type of vehicle in Iceland: cars, SUVs, motorhomes and campervans.
More information about the driving in Iceland: minimum legal age, driving licenses, and insurance:
Can I Drive in Iceland with a UK or US license?
Yes, if you meet the requirements in terms of the legal minimum driving age in Iceland as described above, then a driver’s license from the UK and the US are both welcomed and accepted. This is due to the fact that all licenses which are written using English are accepted by Icelandic rental car companies. As English is the second most common language in Iceland and nearly everyone (rental car companies, police, etc) are able to read and write in English, all driving licences in English are admissible.
Can I Drive in Iceland with a Foreign License?
As mentioned above, all non-Icelandic driver’s licenses that are written in English are accepted when renting a car, motorhome or campervan in Iceland. It is also possible to rent a vehicle in Iceland if your driving licence is written in some form of the Roman alphabet. This is to say that French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and many more, are acceptable forms of a driver’s license when renting a car in Iceland. Those languages which do not use the Roman script to write in are not permissible. This includes Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Japanese and several other languages. Due to the fact that non-Roman based characters are not familiar to the local authorities or rental agencies, they cannot verify the information nor understand its contents.
What Does My Driver’s Licenses Need?
All driver’s licenses, whether in English, Czech, Portuguese or Polish will need to have a few things listed on the actual driving licence. There must always be a photo of the driver. Also, there must be a driver’s license number which is unique to the individual. There must also be an issue date and an expiry date. And the driver must have had the license for at least one year.
What other things are necessary to rent a car and drive in Iceland?
If you are renting a car in Iceland, then you must also have a valid credit card so that the rental car company can charge any damages done to the car.
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) insurance is mandatory in Iceland and comes included in every rental. The renter can always opt in for further, more extensive driving insurance. And it should be known that CDW is not fully comprehensive, there are many things not included in CDW, so drivers and renters should be aware of this before signing the contract.
What are some driving laws in Iceland that I should know?
Driving in Iceland is fairly easy as most of the driving will be done on wide open roads, free from traffic and far from civilization. However, there are some rules which may differ slightly from other countries and which should be noted when renting a car in Iceland:
In Iceland, cars are driven on the right side of the road, as is common in most countries, except perhaps the United Kingdom and many former British colonies.
When driving, either day or night, headlights must be on. This is a requirement, so don’t forget to keep them on all the time.
Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited. The legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is 0.02 which is much lower than the US or UK where it is 0.08. This means that if you are driving, it’s best to not drink at all, as the fins are very high and it is not worth ruining your vacation with a huge driving penalty.
However, as you will be staying in small hotels in small towns or in the middle of nowhere during your trip around Iceland, you will not need to drive after dinner as the restaurant and hotel are one in the same.
Another way many visitors receive fines is when they (accidentally or intentionally) try to drive off-road. No where in Iceland is it permissible to drive off-road. This is so that we can protect the incredible nature of Iceland. Again, the fines are quite steep, so avoid driving off-road at all times.
Please see more information regarding driving in Iceland, such as weather related condtions and types of roads on Iceland.
Responsibility: Although Iceland is an ideal destination, we ask that you be a responsible tourist and that you always respect nature and follow the laws of the Icelandic governemnt. Every natural environment is fragile and vulnerable, so it is essential that you treat it with caution and respect. ID 822.