When you are visiting Iceland for the first time, it can be very exciting and tempting to jump behind the wheel and race up on the road with your car rental because of the beautiful scenery and landscapes. However, as in every country, you need to keep to the regulated speed limit and Iceland is no different. There are Iceland police everywhere keeping watch of car speed in the cities and not to forget the speed cameras on the roads.
There are differences in speed limits in towns and the surrounding countryside and they are all well marked for drivers’ attention. Fines for speeding are quite different from other offenses.
As a driver, before you jumped behind any vehicle to drive, it’s your responsibility to know the traffic laws of the country you are driving in. Understanding the speed limit is about as basic as knowing if to drive on the right side of the lane or the left. The good thing is that, on almost all the roads in Iceland, there are ample signs with the speed limits. These are internationally acceptable signs just like you have in any European country.
If you are planning to rent a car in Iceland and go on a self-drive tour, but are not too sure of the signs, here are some frequently asked questions on speeding fines in Iceland in case you got on the wrong side of the traffic law:
What happens if a visitor is caught in a speeding camera?
If you are caught violating the speed limit – Either:
1. Mobile radar detects your speed and you are intercepted by the police in such cases, you are asked to pay immediately and might likely get a discount (25% discount if you pay it within two weeks) OR
2. Your car is captured by a speeding camera - In this case, the Icelandic police will trace the speeding car to the car rental company and subsequently send a mail requesting information on the offending car. The car hire agency is required by law to send this information back to the police. The speeding ticket is then charged to your credit card by the booking agent.
Are there cameras in the remote countryside of Iceland?
There are speed cameras all over the country. However, most of the speeding cameras are located in the south part of Iceland which has fewer police patrols. Just like there are speed cameras, there are also mobile cameras in cars. So do not assume that the countryside is not well covered with speed cameras. The speed cameras are of multi-national standard and are the same found all over Europe and the UK.
Fines for speeding in Iceland - Are they too expensive?
There are varying opinions based on the speed fines in Iceland. While some tourists view it as very high, there are others who believe the fines are the same as every other country in Europe.
Recently, a tourist from the Czech Republic who was fined for a speed violation complained that the fine was equivalent to his monthly salary also an Italian woman was noticed to be in tears when she was told how much she has to pay for violating the speed law. However, some tourist says they pay more in speeding fines in countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
Iceland speeding fines
Here is a table showing how much you are likely to pay when you violate any of the speed limits:
|Type of offence||Fine (ISK)||Fine (USD)|
|Driving 26km/h faster over allowed top speed (30-35 km zones)||23544.30||195|
|Driving 36km/h faster over allowed top speed (50-60 km zones)||36222 - 47088.60||300 - 390|
|Driving 41km/h faster over allowed top speed (70 km zones)||55540.40||460|
|Driving 41km/h faster over allowed top speed (80-90 km zones)||74255 - 83310.60||615 - 690|
20% will be added to this if:
- A bus is driving faster over the legal limits
- A vehicle over 3.5000 kg is driving over the legal limits
- A car pulling any type of trailer is driving over the legal limits.
Iceland Parking Fines
Here is another tricky part of your traveling to Iceland…the Iceland parking fines! Iceland is not a friendly place for a learner driver, especially if you are a visitor to the country. If you must drive in Iceland, you need to acquaint yourself with the right information about their driving laws else, you might be forced to cough out more fines than you ever expected.
If you ever got a parking ticket stuck under your windshield wiper, you know how annoying and frustrating that could be, especially when you thought you have your car parked at the right place. In fact, you might be tempted to toss a parking ticket into your glove compartment and forget about it but if you give in to such temptation, you might face some consequences for giving in to such thought.
Penalty charge notices
In Iceland, there are two types of parking violation charges:
The #1 parking violation charge is a fine meant for vehicles that failed to park at the right designated parking areas or for drivers who stays longer than necessary at the parking area. The #2 is parking fines that are imposed on vehicles that are illegally parked that violate the traffic regulatory law.Here are the fees to expect when you break any of the parking laws in the country:
|Offences||Fines (krónur)||Fines (USD)|
|If the citation is paid in full immediately||4,500||37.27|
|if fine is unpaid within 14 days - after date of citation||4,500 to 6,750||37.27 - 55.90|
|Fine unpaid after 28 days - after date of citation||9,000||74.53|
These parking fines are also referred to as the `parking meter citation`
Parking Violations & Fines
Parking in Reykjavik is the same as parking in any other European capital. Parking violation fines are imposed on vehicles when a parking offense like parking where there is a marked "No Parking Zone" or where the driver parked on the curb or too close to the walkway. These are not the only offenses under this violation for more information on offenses under parking violation charges you can refer to Article 108, Traffic laws no. 50/1987Here are the fees associated with these offenses:
|Offences||Fines (krónur)||Fines (USD)|
|If the citation is paid in full immediately||8,900||73.71|
|if fine is unpaid within 14 days - after date of citation||15,000||124.23|
|Fine unpaid after 28 days - after date of citation||20,007.21||165.25|
Parking in a handicapped parking space
|Offences||Fines (krónur)||Fines (USD)|
|If the citation is paid in full immediately||18,900||156.54|
|if fine is unpaid within 14 days - after date of citation||30,000||248.47|
|Fine unpaid after 28 days - after date of citation||40,000||331.29|
How to pay a parking ticket or speed fine in Iceland?
You will have different options depending on the type of ticket. When it comes to speeding fines if a police officer issued the fine on the spot, you can pay it immediately. In case you got caught on camera, chances are that the traffic authorities will issue the fine to your car rental company. They will then charge your credit card and pay it off for you, adding an administration fee. The same applies to parking tickets sent by the police to the car owner.
For parking tickets left on the windshield, you can simply walk into any bank, wait your turn, and pay your ticket.
Is there adequate speed warning signs for tourist in Iceland?
Although some car hiring services could be blamed for not doing enough to spreading the word - That said, many car rental companies in Reykjavik go out of their way to make speed limits and road limitations known to their clients. They have a brochure that shows the maximum speed limits printed on the pages. Some have the speed stickers posted on the dashboard while some have a big sign in their main office with the speed limit boldly written on it.
Each and every rental service demands you sign a contract where you agree to adhere to the traffic law.
Traffic fines in Iceland - Can you "not" pay them?
This is totally your choice to make. If you want to, you can choose not to pay the fine! It’s just that the car rental company has your registered card information and you would have signed a document agreeing to comply with their fine requirement when you took the car.
Again this is all about your moral and ethical value to society. If you decided not to pay, the Icelandic police will probably not do much as contacting an international booking agency to force you to pay (when you must have returned to your home country) because of the high cost that might likely be involved in persecuting such an offense. In fact, this is the reason they give you a 25% discount to encourage you to pay the fine.
However, if you refuse to pay your fine, you should also never think of returning to Iceland because if you do and the police stop you the next time you visit, you will go to jail. Here are some other reasons why you need to pay your speed fine:
The cost of speeding damage on roads, traffic delays caused by accidents, medical costs or the SAR helicopters for rescue missions, etc. could easily be sourced from the fine - so it could be easier for the Iceland government to continue to provide excellent service to its people and visitors when such fines are paid.
Why are fines Imposed?
According to online statistics, road accidents by foreigners with rental cars is about 157 fatalities from 2007-2017. And most of these accidents are caused by speeding. So, if you do get tickets, then as most Icelandic guides will humorously tell you: "Smile and Pay Up" (well, you really don’t have to complain much for your negligence) you violated the traffic law, you got caught so your speed fine is your punishment.
Speed fines and Parking Tickets in Iceland
Observing all traffic laws will save you lots of embarrassment from the Iceland authorities and also save you your hard earned dollars if you don’t over-speed or parked at the wrong place. It is indeed a good idea to first understand the traffic law of any country you are visiting if you intend to drive around.