Toll Roads in Iceland - All You Need to Know
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice. Such a small country and so many things to see and do. Glaciers, waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes. Everything you might ever want to see can be found in one small country. Reykjavik is the most northerly located capital in the world. The Northern Lights attract hundreds of tourists every year.
When you plan a trip in Iceland, you would like to see it all, right? You wouldn’t want to miss a single bit of its beauty and uniqueness. How to get to know the richness and all the diversity of landscapes of Iceland? If you really want to leave Iceland satisfied with memories of beautiful and wild nature in, the best way is to rent a camper for your road trip in Iceland. No doubt about that. We already gave you many reasons for that in our previous articles. Driving the Icelandic Ring Road will let you see all of it and even see some hidden gems of Iceland.
Now this the point when you start thinking about your budget. Iceland is an expensive country; we already know that, and probably the toll fees are horrendous. While planning your itinerary and checking maps of Iceland you are probably looking for toll free roads. But wait, which one are those? The reason nothing comes up when you try to search it online? Lucky you, that you have your own tour guides here who will explain that and tell you all about toll roads in Iceland.
Is There a Toll Road in Iceland?
There is not a single toll road in Iceland. No toll booth or toll booth operators will be found on your way to most famous waterfalls in Iceland. Just to make it clear straight away so you can keep reading our article without having to worry about your budget. There are no toll highways in Iceland and so travelling on our roads is free of charge and any fees.
As you know our main road is Ring Road and it circles the whole Iceland. It remains open during the whole year, in the summer as well as in winter. Most of the main attractions, we may say those symbols of Iceland can be accessed from the Ring Road. There are some parts of the road that are gravel but in general you do not need any special 4x4 campervan to drive on it.
Toll Tunnel - Vaðlaheiðagöng
In the previous paragraph I calmed you down and said there are no tolls in Iceland. Let’s move on to the exceptions now. Vaðlaheiðagöng tunnel is located in North Iceland and the reason it was built was to make the way from Myvatn to Akureyri shorter. The distance was shortened by 16 km. It was supposed to be available in 2016 already but due to several issues it was opened in 2018.
The cost to go through the tunnel is 1000 ISK and the fare has to be purchased before entering the tunnel. You can do it here directly. In case the fee is not paid up to 3 hours after your trip, there is an additional handling fee of 1000 ISK so make sure you pay your toll on time.
Most of the rental companies in Iceland make sure you know about this tunnel and the toll fee you should pay. In case you do not pay it, they have the right to charge you another handling fee on your credit card. Another reason to pay your bills in advance.
There is nothing to worry if you decide to avoid this charge, you can choose a different road and use let’s say road 83 and 84 which go around the fjords. You can imagine that the view is much better from the one you will get from inside the tunnel.
Oh, wait, another exception? Nah, do not worry, you keep your money for Icelandic hot dogs as this tunnel no longer has toll fees. As there is only one toll tunnel in Iceland, I decided to mention that one as well to make this post more complete.
This tunnel is located in the western part of Iceland and it is indeed a part of our well-known Ring Road. It was first opened in 1998 and it shortened the road by 45 km. The scenery from the window was not that pleasant but the road trip was faster obviously.
Speed cameras and speed limits
Do not forget about the most important thing - speed limits. Quick reminder although you can always read our article entirely dedicated to this topic.
If the road signs do not say otherwise, the speed limits in Iceland are as follows:
50 km/h (31 mph) in populated areas
80 km/h (50 mph) on gravel roads in unpopulated areas
90 km/h (56 mph) on paved roads in unpopulated areas
The speed limit inside both mentioned tunnels is 70 km/h (44 mph). Remember, roads in Iceland are certainly not made for fast driving. Sometimes you will even need to stop the car and pull over as the roads are curved and narrow. Safety while driving should always go first.
We always recommend to plan a bit more time for driving when organising the itinerary, add some spare time.
Speeding tickets can really hurt in Iceland as those are really expensive. It is better to keep this money for your new lopapeysa sweater instead of spending it on fines just to arrive three minutes earlier.
You can expect speed cameras all around Iceland too. We’ve already had situations where our customers were pretty surprised because they were charged a fine when they had no police checks during the road trip. Remember as well that when you get a fine because you got caught on speed camara, it is charged to your camper rental company. You can expect the speed cameras inside the tunnels as well which automatically photograph everyone who violates the the traffic law. Spare yourself this kind of a photo from your Icelandic holidays and drive according to the traffic rules.
And here, a similar situation happens as in case of not paying the toll for the tunnel. You will be charged a handling fee plus the fine. Let’s try to avoid this scenario.
Toll roads in Iceland
When you plan your trip to Iceland you want to get as much as possible out of it. You want your Icelandic roads trip to be unforgettable and hassle-free. Remember to do some research and prepare your itinerary details. It is always good to know what to expect especially when it comes to fees and making your budget smaller.