Driving and renting a car in Iceland during winter

  • During the winter it can be quite challenging to drive on the Icelandic roads.
    During the winter it can be quite challenging to drive on the Icelandic roads.
Jan 2 2017

During the winter it can be quite challenging to drive on the Icelandic roads. This applies particularly to the Westfjords,  the Eastern and North-Eastern part of the country.  There are two main factors that make it difficult to drive in winter; the roads are often packed with snow and therefore very slippery, and the weather and winter storms can be harsh which often makes the view on the road quite difficult. For people that have always lived in conditions where winter never comes and those who never see snow on their roads, this is extremely hard and should not be underestimated when choosing a car for hire.  It can be very difficult to drive a car on a slippery icy road, even for those who are used to those conditions.  It can also be very dangerous as it is not uncommon for people to lose control of the car in such conditions. If you are planning a trip to Iceland, you should really and seriously consider the difference between the seasons and what each season entails. You almost need a particular reason if you want to travel the ring road or some other popular scenic routes in winter. There is a considerable difference in viewing the natural wonders in winter and in summer. So you must have a reason to travel in the wintertime. Like if you want to take photos during winter where everything is covered with snow, or you want to take advantage of the low light during winter. Icelanders themselves never travel the country during winter except to go skiing in Akureyri or on some of the better slopes in the northern region.  And if for some reason you prefer to travel the country in winter you should definitely always follow the weather and you should rent a good mid size four wheel car with winter tires, preferably with snow spikes to enhance your security.