Iceland Toll Roads – What to Expect
Updated: Sep 14, 2019
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.
You should already know by now that we consider renting a car the 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.
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
The reason is quite simple and probably great news for most of our readers: there is not a single toll road in Iceland. Yes, you read that correctly, you can forget about toll booths and extra costs for using the Icelandic road network.
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.
And I say “avoid” because there is one big exception to all I have mentioned previously: The Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel.
Iceland Tolls- Vadlaheidargong Tunnel
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.
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.
As I mentioned before, 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.
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.
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 until 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 focus on planning how to have fun around the island and get the best out of your trip.