Highland Roads for hired cars in Iceland
Hired cars in Iceland are generally not meant for highland roads or F-roads these are marked with an F on maps of roads in Iceland and lead to the center of Iceland. Those wishing to hire a car in iceland should be aware that all driving on F-Roads is forbidden and not insured. Some car hires in iceland offer 4x4 cars and jeeps that are suitable for off road areas such as the highland roads.
Please be aware that the driving in off road areas in Iceland is often impossible far into summer as the roads in the center of Iceland are closed.
Note to hired car drivers: Visitors planning to hire a car should be aware the all driving on the F-roads is forbidden and not insured except when specifically stated.
Some car hires have a number of specially outfitted 4x4 cars available which are suitable for the highland and a selected few of the F-roads. These are mostly 4x4 jeeps which have been changed or modified to handle the rough terrain of roads in the center of Iceland.
Accessibility of the Icelandic Highland roadsThe Icelandic highlands are only accessible by road during the summer months of july and august, at other times they are closed to all traffic. During winter the Icelandic highland is simply closed.
Having said that it must be admitted that driving in the Icelandic highland is very popular in the winter when people use specially equipped 4x4 jeeps both off and on glaciers. To be able to do that you need a super jeep and a very experienced and skilled Icelandic driver used to the conditions in Iceland in winter.
The best known highland roads are Kaldidalur, Kjölur and Sprengisandur, of these Kjolur is the most travelled road. It’s popularity as a mountain road in Iceland is due to the fact that there are no rivers that cut across it.
Rivers on Icelandic Highland roadsMany F-roads in the center of Iceland are frequently severed by highland rivers that are not bridged. Therefore, it is important that hired car drivers make sure that the conditions are safe before attempting to cross unbridged rivers even if they are driving a 4x4 jeep. This is especially true when a vehicle is travelling unaccompanied, i.e. not in a convoy.
Icelandic Highland roads and traffic lawsMost mountain roads in the interior of Iceland are very narrow gravel roads that are not made for fast driving. Speeding in a hired car on gravel roads is a very, very bad idea and the standard speed limit is 80 km/h or 50 mph.
Note to hired car drivers: All off-road driving in Iceland is strictly forbidden.
The word "road" in this context means the mapped tracks, however faint, that are already present.
We ask all those intending to hire a car in Iceland to note that all off-road driving is strictly forbidden in Iceland. Swaying off the marked road or track is prohibited by the Icelandic traffic laws and breaking these laws carries with it a substantial fine.