Even when driving in a rental car, make sure your vehicle is equipped as needed before starting your journey:

Your tires are key when controlling your vehicle so it’s important that they are in good condition. The pattern must be at least 1,6 mm. and the pressure must be as recommended – otherwise the tires wear incorrectly which can lead to accidents.
Winter tires are required during the winter months. Conditions on the roads are different from year to year but studded/nailed tires are allowed from November 1st. to April 14th. These are essential for driving on icy roads.

Keep in mind that certain types of tires are very hard, such as “low profile” tires. These are very slippery except for in high temperatures and therefore not ideal for Icelandic conditions.

If you feel your vehicle veering to one side when breaking have them checked. If you feel like the breaks are loose and you have to press them far, have mechanics check your break fluid.

According to Icelandic law car headlights must be turned while driving, both night and day. Adjust all lights correctly – especially the main lights in front and back. Check that the headlights, back lights, break lights, turn signal lights, reverse lights, hazard lights and fog lights are all working.

Windscreen and mirrors
A dirty windscreen or mirrors can result in the driver not having a clear vision on the road. If you don’t see out clearly, you don’t see where you are going.

Safety Equipment
A warning triangle should always be in your car in case you run into trouble and need to stop along the road.

  • A First-Aid Kit should always be within reach – make sure you know it’s location.
  • If you pop a tire it’s good to have a spare one available, Icelandic roads can be rough! Make sure you know where your spare tire is located in the vehicle and make sure you know how to change it.
  • Snow storms are not uncommon during winter time. Having a shovel and a good rope in the car can come in handy in case your car gets stuck in snow.
  • A rope will also be of help in case you get stuck while attempting a river-crossing.