Road Assistance in Iceland

Knowing how roadside assistance works in Iceland will give you assurance and peace of mind. We prepared this article for you to know how to act and what to expect from this type of service.

Road Assistance

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Life happens and whether you’re at home or on holiday, you might need some road assistance at some point. When this occurs during a vacation, it can be quite nerve-wracking if you don’t know whom to call or where to go for help.

    In this article, we’ll be explaining everything you need to know about road assistance in Iceland.

    Who You Gonna Call?

    The Iceland emergency number is 112, that is the equivalent of 911 in the states. If you need roadside assistance, they will despatch someone to your location. But please note, that this number shouldn’t be your immediate go-to (it is an emergency number, after all).

    If you know that you have a car rental insurance in Iceland that covers things such car breakdowns that need towing services, you won’t be dialing 112. Your first call should be to your rental agency to notify them and have them answer any questions or explain any processes you now need to follow. They might even include certain roadside assistance in their rental prices.

    Your second call will be to your insurance company. Insurance companies may have certain restrictions on things such as towing services. They may require that you only use their tow trucks or their car crane, or that of third parties they have specific partnerships with.

    That means that if you should use any other towing service that’s not affiliated with your insurance company, the cost won’t be covered by the insurance. You’ll be left with the bill.

    Road Assistance

    When You’re on Your Own

    You opted out of that add-on towing insurance or snow insurance, and now you’re left standing next to the road. What do you do?

    Luckily, you will still find plenty of roadside assistance in the form of private companies offering the service. It goes without saying that in these instances you’ll be taking full responsibility for the costs incurred. Some of the local companies offering roadside assistance include:

    Some Helpful Tips for Roadside Emergency Situations

    The following tips will help you if you ever find yourself in an emergency next to the road:

    • Ensure that you have everything in place to avoid an emergency

    If you’re driving in the snow in Iceland, you should already know that you can’t be careening down the road at 90 km/h. And you should already know that you will need to drive with winter tires on in Iceland when visiting the island during the colder months.

    • Always ensure that you have extra snacks and water with you before hitting the road.

    If you do end up having an emergency that required road assistance, you don’t know how long it will take for them to reach you. Especially in the more remote regions and in bad weather conditions. The only thing worse than waiting for help to arrive is waiting for help to arrive when you’re thirsty and hungry.

    • A car rental that broke down is not in the same category as an accident

    The priority in those types of situations is everybody’s safety. Before making any calls, check to see whether anyone is injured. After that, you will need to call 112 regardless, since the police will need to come. They'll open an accident report and take statements from all the parties involved.

    car rental broke down

    • You need to keep emergency numbers close

    We recommend that you keep a printed hard copy with you in the vehicle as well as save the numbers to your phone. It may sound silly to add a number that’s as easy as 112 to such a list. Or add the number of a close friend or family member that you can probably call with your eyes closed by now. But in emergency situations, the adrenaline is pumping, you might be in shock and even the most obvious become not so obvious anymore.

    • Download a few offline maps and buy a few hard copies to keep in the car with you

    As in most parts of the world, technology tends to fail and signals drop. You don’t want to end up creating your own emergency by getting lost (especially not in the more remote regions of the island)

    Iceland emergency number

    Road Assistance: Always Just a Quick Call Away

    As you can see, there will always be road assistance available that’s just a quick call away. Whether you’ve decided to rent a car in Reykjavík or whether you’ve opted for the comprehensive insurance package with all the add-on extras and policies or refused them all.

    After that, you’ll just need to settle in with your snacks and have the peace of mind that help is on the way.

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