If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want to make the most of your holiday, a hire car is definitely the best way to see the island.

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want to make the most of your holiday, a hire car is definitely the best way to see the island. With complete freedom, you can travel to the destinations you wish to see without any waiting around for coaches or public transport. However, before embarking on this adventure, you should check that you will be allowed to hire a car in Iceland.

Every country has laws about how old you must be to drive a car. Iceland is no different. These are here to ensure everyone’s safety and you will not be allowed to hire a car if you are deemed too young to drive in Iceland. Let’s take a look at the facts!

Driving Age in Iceland

For natives living in Iceland, the driving age is 17 years. Before learners are allowed to have a practice permit, just like in the UK, there are extensive theory tests to ensure they understand the rules of the road. This age is only valid if you hope to drive your own car on Icelandic roads. For visitors hoping to drive a rental, this is not the case.

Car Rental Iceland Age Limit

The age limit for hiring a car in Iceland depends entirely on the type of car you wish to rent. Icelandic Rental Companies require that customers wishing to rent a small compact car, best for city driving, are at least 20 years old, as well as have held a valid driving license in their home country for a minimum of 12 months. 

Alternatively, if you are seeking more adventurous routes or destinations further off the beaten track, renting SUVs has a minimum age of 23 years. You should bear this in mind as there are destinations in Iceland that require 4 wheel drive to access.

Another thing to remember is that an extra fee will be required for rental drivers under 25 years of age. This fee is unavoidable, no matter the type of car you choose to hire in Iceland. 

Man pointing at a learner car parked between two orange cones.

Can I Drive In Iceland With A UK Driver’s Licence?

All licenses which are printed in English are viewed as valid in Iceland, meaning your UK license, if in date and held for at least 12 months before your visit, will be accepted. In addition, licenses from other countries which use a Roman alphabet, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and more, are also accepted. Non-Roman based characters, like those seen in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other languages, will not be recognised by local authorities and therefore are not accepted as valid in Iceland.

In addition, you should ensure your license includes a photo of the driver, issue date and expiry date, as well as a unique driver’s license number. These are all present on a valid UK driving license so this should pose no issues with rental agencies or authorities.

For more information about driving in Iceland, read our blog. It is packed with useful information for driving on Icelandic roads, no matter the weather, and how to stay safe at all times. When you are sure that you will be accepted, browse our cars to find the best Iceland hire car for you.