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Iceland road conditions in winter


Is your vehicle ready for winter? 
Road conditions in Iceland are getting more hazardous as we plead our goodbyes to summer and welcome the arrival of winter. We are already seeing icy roads in many parts of Iceland early October especially early morning and in the evenings. Sometimes it is hard to see any icing although it's there. You can check road conditions before heading out by visiting the website of The Iceland Road Administration. Checking weather and road conditions when driving around Iceland each day is crucial. Sometimes starting the day early or late can result in much better driving conditions so being flexible when traveling in winter conditions is a key factor.    

All vehicles should be equipped according to road conditions at each time. First and foremost are the tires. Make sure you have tires appropriate for winter driving. Many different types of tires are used in Iceland although the most frequently used tires are all year tires suitable for both summer and winter driving. A few years back most cars in Iceland had studded tires during winter but these kinds of tires are now on the drawback as they are noisy and give off many times the pollution of all year tires. All year tires are getting more advanced and ever better and therefore are now a more frequent purchase than the studded tires.

With winter comes darkness in Iceland. Make sure you car's signal, head and brake lights are all working properly to make yourself visible to other drivers or pedestrians. In winter ice may build up on your vehicle over night so before you start driving you need to scrape of all the ice of the windshield and other windows in the vehicle. In Iceland we have a special scraping tool for the job although some people make good use of their credit cards to do the job although that sometimes may result in a damaged card. 

Iceland road conditions in summer are more predictable than winter  but should also be monitored before heading out for the day, especially if traveling through the highlands where the trails can get closed due to flooding river and muddy roads. The highland roads in Iceland usually don't open up from traffic until summer and are closed spring, fall and winter. 

Due to the volcanic soils in Iceland you can experience sand storms when the weather has been dry for some time and then heavy wind. These conditions can cause roads to get closed to prevent damages to the passing cars. Car rental offer extra wind & Gravel protection when picking up the car and is well worth considering if conditions have been dry and the weather forecast predicts high winds. The areas where there conditions occur are mainly near the black beaches of the south coast, the highland and in north east Iceland.   

 Make sure you drive safe and let road conditions determine the way your drive.

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