We all know that fees are usually necessary to maintain roads and bridges. Therefore, it is not unlikely to think that in a country like Iceland, we should come across many toll booths. The Nordic island is the perfect destination for road trips; a type of travel that also happens to be one of the most affordable options. Will toll roads in Iceland increase the cost of your trip? Let’s find out.
Coming from a car rental company, you probably expect this, but we really believe renting a car in Iceland is the absolute best way to discover Iceland. Driving yourself around the island will provide more freedom and a much more enjoyable experience. Main tourist attractions and those breathtaking landscapes you see on Instagram are easily reachable from the main highway, also known as the Ring Road or Road 1.
I bet most of you are already preparing your trip, planning your itinerary, printing out directions, and creating a detailed budget. A road trip through Iceland is cheaper compared to other ways of traveling, yet there are some costs you need to consider. The price of gas is probably the most important one that comes to mind, which is why we recommend hiring a low-consumption vehicle like the Hyundai i10, or getting in touch with our customer service to ask which vehicle will fit you best.
In our new internet world, Google Maps has suddenly become your best friend. It recommends places to eat, accommodation, sightseeing areas nearby and those highly needed gas stations. However, there’s no toll information whatsoever. Why is that?
Toll Roads in Iceland
Almost all roads in Iceland are toll-free except for the Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel, the country's only tolled route. That's probably great news for most of our readers: there are barely no toll roads in Iceland. Yes, you read that correctly, you can forget about toll booths and extra costs for using the Icelandic road network 99% of the time!
It is quite unusual because in most countries you do have to pay to access certain roads and highways. In the Land of Fire and Ice, it is still free to drive around the country. I wholeheartedly hope it remains that way for years to come. Iceland is already a costly country, so it is always nice to know there are some costs we can still forget about or even avoid.
Iceland Tunnel Toll
And I said “avoid” because there is one big exception to all I have mentioned previously: tunnels! You do not have to pay toll roads but if you wish to use the Vadlaheidargong Tunnel, then know it does have a cost.
Vadlaheidargong Tunnel Toll
This new tunnel is located in North Iceland and connects the east bank of the Eyjafjörður fjord with Akureyri, Iceland’s capital of the north. By using this tunnel, you can save up to 16 km (9 miles) of travel between Akureyri and other villages such as Húsavík.
This option can be avoided. There are a couple of options you can use if you wish to dodge this expense: road 83 and road 84. They go around the fjord, and the scenery and views over the Eyjafjörð are both delightful and pleasing.
How to pay the tunnel toll in Iceland
The toll price is 1500 ISK or Icelandic Krona (approximately 10€ or 12 USD), and you can pay it online using their rental car section. All you need is your car’s plate number, a credit card, and the period when you will be crossing the tunnel. It is quite simple so you can do it a couple of km before crossing the toll tunnel. Paying after using the tunnel is also an option, but make sure you make the payment within 3 hours after driving through it. Otherwise, the bill will be sent to the car rental company. That implies an added collection and handling fee.
Hvalfjordur Tunnel Toll
Hold your horses! I know I said there is only one exception and the Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel is still the only toll road in Iceland. Regardless of this, I still believe it is essential to mention that in the past, the Hvalfjörður Tunnel used to be a toll road. Fortunately for most of our travelers, it has been toll-free since September 2018.
The tunnel was designed to shorten the driving time to the North of Iceland, and it was a significant detour at Hvalfjörður, which is only 50km (31 miles) away from Reykjavik. Every traveler coming through Akranes or Borgarnes on west Iceland and who was heading to Reykjavik knows this tunnel.
We mentioned this as there is still confusing information on the internet that has not been updated, so many travelers still think they need to pay ISK 1,000 for that tunnel. Well, the good news is that you don’t.
Icelandic National Parks Entrance Fee
Yes, there is an entrance fee to two main Icelandic National Parks: Thingvellir National Park and Skaftafell National Park. Both of which, at the same time, belong to the immense Vatnajökull National Park. It is a parking fee for passenger cars and can be paid on spot on the machines available in the parking lot area or online. The rate per day is as follow:
- Category A vehicle: up to 5 seats - 750 ISK ($5,52 approx)
- Category B vehicle: 6-9 seats - 1000 ISK ($7,35)
As you can see, this is not exactly a toll but it is still an extra cost any driver can incur while in Iceland. Make sure to pay your parking fee to avoid extra expenses.
Tolls in Iceland
Some rumors are going around that major roads to and from Reykjavik will implement a toll system. It has not yet been confirmed, but it seems the road network system will still be toll-free this 2020. So far It is indeed nice to know that the government of Iceland is in charge of the maintenance of the roads around the country. And that such costs are not for visitors to take on just yet.
So if you are traveling to our lovely island, just make sure to get a vehicle from the best car rental in Reykjavik, check what are the best things to do in Iceland for you, and have fun while visiting the country.