Guide to Toll Roads in Iceland
There is nothing worse than cruising down the highway on vacation and suddenly you come across a toll. Especially if you forgot to take out cash or didn’t set up the proper pass on your rental car. Iceland is a popular road trip state, with famous routes such as the Golden Circle and The Ring Road. We will tell you exactly what to expect and how to prepare for your Iceland Road Trip. Here is your guide to toll roads in Iceland!
Does Iceland have tolls?
To keep it simple, almost all of the roads in Iceland are toll-free. Just another perk this amazing country has to offer. However, there are few expectations.
If you are heading from the east of the Eyjafjörður fjord to Akureyri, there is a toll you have to plan for. The newly opened Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel, which opened in 2020 in Northern Iceland. The tunnel was created to shorten Ring Road by 9 miles.
The toll varies depending on the weight of your vehicle. For regular passenger car under 3.5 tons will cost you 1,500 ISK or $10, each way. For vehicles that weigh between .5 to 7.5 tons, there is a 2.500 ISK or $15 one-way fee. You need to pay the fee within 24 hours of driving through and you will need to have a valid credit card to do so. You can pay for the fee via the website veggjald.is. They even have a convenient app that you can use with Apple iOS and Android after passing through the tunnel. The easiest option would be to pre-register your rental car’s license plate number on the website 24 hours before you pass through the tunnel. That way you can prepay and not have to worry about it afterward.
It is important to pay the fee and there is no way to get around it. If you forget to pay within 24 hours before or after you pass through the tunnel, you will leave Iceland with a fine. You will be charged the tunnel fee upon returning your rental car, as well as a $20 service fee. So it is best to be prepared and take care of it immediately after or in advance.
Can I drive around the tunnel?
You could, but only if you feel comfortable driving on a mountain pass. The tunnel saves not only time but unneeded stress. Especially for those who don’t like windy roads. However, it is an option for you during certain times of the year. If you do not take the tunnel you will take the Víkurskarð road, a mountain pass that connects the Svalbarðsströnd coast and Fnjóskadalur. The road is not that challenging during the summer months, but winter is another story. Heavy snow is more common in Northern Iceland than in other parts. Bad weather normally occurs between late September to early May. It could be a beautiful day in West Iceland but heavily snowing on the mountain pass. So it is best to avoid those months in general, just to be extra safe.
Are there any other tunnels in Iceland?
Yes, there are and we will go through them. The rest of the tunnels are free to pass through, so you will not have to worry about additional tolls.
The Westfjords has the Arnardalshamar Tunnel which is located along Route 61. This tunnel is the oldest artificial tunnel in all of Iceland, in addition to being the shortest. It will bring you through a basalt dike named Arnardalshamar.
There is a second tunnel outside of the village of Siglufjörður in the Westfjords. The village was very hard to access in the winter until the tunnel was created. Now you can easily access the charming town without the hassle of an intense mountain pass.
Your final tunnel in the WestFjords is the Breiðadals & Botnsheiði Tunnels. There are crossroads inside this tunnel too. It will first connect you from Isafjordur to the towns of Suðureyri and Flateyri. You will be able to stop off and enjoy these towns at the crossroads in the tunnel.
If you are heading west of Reyjavik then chances are you will pass through the Hvalfjörður Tunnel. This used to be a toll road which then became free in 2018. Which is great news for anyone heading toward the Hvalfjörður fjord, which is where it lies under. This is also a part of Ring Road.
Located between Siglufjordur and Hédinsfjördur is the Héðinsfjarðargöng Tunnel. Which are two road tunnels in northern Iceland, connecting Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður. They were opened in October of 2010 to help with tourism and access to the towns.
Visiting East Iceland? Then expect to pass through the Múlagöng Tunnel. This free tunnel will connect you to the lovely towns of Dalvík and Ólafsfjörður.
Are they any other fees I need to plan for?
While it is not related to road tolls, you should still be aware of the National Park Fees in Iceland. There are no entrance fees to Iceland’s National Parks. But there is a parking fee for passenger cars that can be paid via a machine when you park. The parking fee is $5 for a car that has up to 5 seats. For larger vehicles with 6-9 seats, you can expect to pay $7.
You can pay the Thingvellir National park fee by visiting their website. For Skaftafell National Park instead, you can pay here. There is no parking fee for Vatnajökull National Park. The cost is low to visit them and is well worth the few extra dollars.
Now that you know the basics of the toll roads in Iceland you can rent a car feeling prepared. You can also discuss your route with your Rental Car Specialist before hitting the road. That way they can assist with setting up a pass for you in advance.
Which lane is the fast lane in Iceland?
The left lane is the fast lane in Iceland just like how it is in America. Since both countries drive on the right side of the road.
Is driving difficult in Iceland?
No, it truly isn’t. While the country is known as the land of fire and ice, the roads are well-kept for tourists. Iceland is known to be one of the easiest countries in Europe to drive in. Especially for American tourists, or anyone that is used to driving on the right side of the road.
What is the best way to pay in Iceland?
Credit cards and debit cards are acceptable and common forms of payment in Iceland. You can also use cash if you would like just to be sure to trade in your currency at Reykjavik airport before picking up your rental car.