A Guide to Parking in Reykjavík
With so much to explore and experience in Iceland, many visitors will consider renting a car in order to create an itinerary tailored to individual tastes, increase comfort and experience the ultimate road trip around the island. Research often begins with seeking information on how to drive safely in the snow in Iceland, what type of car to rent, and what insurance you’ll need, but it is often not until you are trying to find somewhere to pull over that you’ll think about the dreaded “P” word. Parking.
Parking in Iceland
There are some places that you can’t park, like the sides of the road outside of cities, and places you may have to pay, particularly if you are parking in Reykjavík, Akureyri, or other main tourist attractions around the country. It’s important that you are aware of all the regulations and restrictions to ensure you have the most positive experience possible whilst travelling in Iceland. For more information about parking restrictions in specific areas of Iceland, please see below:
- Akureyri city, more info here.
- Skaftafell, Vatnajökulls National Park, more info here.
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, more info here.
- Þingvellir National Park, more info here.
- Fagradalsfjall Volcano, more info here.
Parking Zones in Reykjavík
If you are parking in Reykjavík city centre, you need to be aware of the different zones and their restrictions. There are four parking zones within the downtown area, near Laugavegur (the high street) and Lækjargata/Austurstræti. The P-signs to indicate that parking is available are also located on lamp posts, but we have a diagram below to help:
Reykjavík Parking Zone Prices
The prices of the parking zones differ due to location. As of October 2023, the prices are:
P Zone 1 (red & pink) = 600 ISK / hour
P Zone 2 (blue) = 220 ISK / hour
P Zone 3 (green) = 220 ISK / hour for the first two hours & 65 ISK / hour following that
P Zone 4 (orange) = 220 ISK / hour
The tickets expand outwards, which means P1 tickets apply for all P-zones, but a P4 ticket will only allow you to park in P4 zones.
Reykjavík Parking Zone Times
The current hours of operation are:
Mon-Fri: 09:00 – 21:00
Sat: 10:00 – 21:00
The only exceptions are P3 zones, where weekends are free, and P4 zones which run from 08:00 – 16:00 on Monday to Friday and are free on both Saturday and Sunday.
During most bank holidays, parking is free in all zones, but some areas may be closed off.
How to Pay for Parking in Reykjavík
Within the zones, there will be either meters or ticket machines, though the meters are being phased out.
Meters: You can only pay using bigger coins (10, 50, and 100 ISK) and cannot use cards.
Ticket Machines: Simply enter your vehicle registration plate number into the machine, select your length of stay, and then pay with either coins or a credit card. The machine may print a ticket, but you can keep that with you as the parking attendant only needs to scan your license plate to determine whether or not you’ve paid.
Sometimes it is best to use an app to pay for parking, there are two available that cover most parking spaces. They are called Parka and Easypark. These can be downloaded in advance of your trip so that you are prepared upon arrival in Iceland.
Reykjavík Car Parks
If you don’t want to park on the street or want somewhere secure to park overnight, there are multiple car parks available around the capital. City Hall and Vesturgata are both often full, but the rest tend to have plenty of space. They are tight to drive through, as a warning. They are also only open between 07:00 and 24:00 every day, so don’t try planning to drive out at 4 a.m. or you may well end up stuck.
Prices vary but you will typically pay more for the first hour, with a reduced rate for the following hours. For example, Stjörnuport parking garage charges 180 ISK for the first hour and 120 ISK for every hour after that. More information about parking garages and parking in Reykjavík can be found via the Reykjavík Parking Service.
The parking inspectors in Iceland are very thorough and efficient and the police make a point of giving out tickets, so don’t think that you might be able to cheat your way out of parking properly.
There are three kinds of parking violations – Parking Meter Citations (extra parking fines), Parking Violation Charges and Parking in a Handicapped Parking Space.
Parking Meter Citations are given when you don’t pay for your parking. The current amounts that you will be fined for an offence are:
- 3,400 ISK if paid within 3 business days
- 4,500 ISK (~ £30 / $35) normal
- 6,750 ISK if not paid within 14 days after the citation date
- 9,000 ISK if unpaid after 28 days
Parking Violation Charges are given when you park illegally, such as parking on a curb or in marked no parking zones. The current fines are:
- 8,900 ISK if paid within 3 business days
- 10,000 ISK (~ £65 / $80) normal
- 15,000 ISK if not paid within 14 days
- 20,000 ISK if unpaid after 28 days
Parking in a Handicapped Parking Space is imposed when you park in a marked handicapped parking space without a valid disability card. The current fines are:
- 18,900 ISK if paid within 3 business days
- 20,000 ISK (~ £125 / $160) normal
- 30,000 ISK if not paid within 14 days
- 40,000 ISK if not paid within 28 days
If you find yourself with a ticket, don’t worry, and don’t try to pretend it didn’t happen. Car rental agencies will match the amount of the ticket and charge you the total. It is easy enough to pay, you just have to take the ticket to a nearby bank and pay there.
Please be aware at Iceland Car Rental, we charge a 5,000 ISK service/handling fee for each fine/ticket we receive from drivers using our rental cars, plus fine fees. So it is important where possible to pay any fines you incur before leaving the country.
Other Driving Regulations to be Aware of
Unfortunately, a large percentage of renters receive a speeding, parking meter, or tunnel fine during their visit because they are unfamiliar with Iceland's driving laws and regulations. As well as parking restrictions, it is important to be aware of how to avoid speeding tickets in Iceland and how to pay when driving through the Vaðlaheiðigöng tunnel.
Our local office makes renting a car in Iceland easy. Iceland Car Rental provides a number of guides to help you navigate driving in Iceland, including information about finding fuel stations and Highland driving in Iceland.Back