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Hiring a car is a great way to travel around Iceland independently; it gives you the freedom to explore on your own terms. However, rules and regulations may vary from one country to another, so it is important to know the rules so you can be safe and avoid fines when driving in Iceland.

There’s a lot of rules on the road, most of them are obvious; such as, in Iceland you drive on the right, overtake on the left, seat belts are mandatory for drivers and all passengers, headlights are also mandatory, don’t drink and drive and don’t go over the speed limit.

Speeding is a common offence that people visiting Iceland get fined for, and the fines are costly. This article will prove helpful if you want to avoid getting speeding tickets on your visit to Iceland.

What is the speed limit in Iceland?

Speed limits in Iceland vary according to the type of road you are on, and if it’s urban or rural, so it is important you check signs when driving and keep within speed limits. Below you will find a rough guide to speed limits in Iceland.

  • 30-50 km/h in residential and areas with a considerable population
  • 80 km/h on roads formed of gravel outside cities
  • 90 km/h on paved roads outside cities

What do you do if you get a speeding ticket?

There are two main ways you get a speeding ticket; you either get pulled over on the road and given a ticket, or you get a ticket delivered to you by mail. In both instances, your options are limited - see below.

  • If you get pulled over, these are your 3 options
    • pay later once you get the ticket in the mail with no discount
    • don’t pay, dispute and face repercussions
    • pay immediately and receive a discount
  • If you get a ticket in the mail you have 2 options
    • don’t pay, dispute and face repercussions
    • pay (paying within a given time limit grants a discount)

It is important to note that the automatic speed-surveillance cameras are not always correct; therefore, it would be wise to ask for proof before you pay your ticket. You shouldn’t have to pay your fine if they do not have any substantial, visible proof.

How can I contest a fine?

If you are unable to avoid getting a fine, then it may be possible for you to dispute it. Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility for errors to occur, so if you get fined, remember to check all the details before paying.

Below are common legal defences for speeding fines:

  • If significant details of the speeding alleged offence are incorrect, (ie your name, nature, time and location) you may be able to dispute the ticket
  • You were wrongly accused
  • The driver who allegedly committed the speeding offence wasn’t driving at the time
  • If the speed measuring instrument was incorrectly used or misused 
  • If the road you sped on was absent of signs notifying you of speed limits.

 How long will a speeding fine take to arrive?

You may get your speeding ticket on the day or later. You may get a ticket in the mail; often it will be perhaps the week after the alleged crime. There have been few incidents in the past where people have hired rental cars, travelled, then returned home, and the weeks later they get a mail request to pay fines in Iceland. Even if you aren’t told you have a fine when you return your car, it does not mean you are in the clear.

Car rental companies are required by law to give the authorities your details if you receive a speeding ticket whilst driving their cars. A lot of car rental companies also charge a handling fee if you get a speeding ticket.

How much do speeding fines cost?

The cost of a speeding ticket varies according to many factors; such as the speed you are driving. As a general guide the fine is usually between $195- $460 USD, however, if you are driving very fast, such as 41+km/h faster than legal top speed in 80-90km zones, then you may get fined $615-$690.

The best way to avoid getting a speeding ticket in Iceland is always to drive safely and according to driving laws and posted signs along your route. 

 

 
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