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Do I need a Special License to Drive a Motorhome in Iceland?

20-01-2020

Driving license Iceland

If you are planning a road trip in Iceland there is always quite a bit to think about. But by breaking it down into stages the whole process will go smoothly. Part of the fun of a vacation is the research and anticipation, after all.

You might well be wondering if you need a special license to drive a motorhome in Iceland. Or if campervan hire has any restrictions or specific requirements attached to it. Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will take you through the process in straightforward terms. Read on for a complete insight into driving licenses and Iceland.

driving motorhome in Iceland license

Your driving licence and whether it is valid in Iceland

The good news is that the vast majority of licenses will allow you to drive a motorhome in Iceland. This does depend a little on your home country though. In Europe the regular driving license is called a Type B. This allows you to drive vehicles up to 3,500 kg (3.5 tons).

This might sound like a lot. But when you think that the average car weighs around 2 tons it doesn’t sound quite so daunting. The equivalent license in the US is referred to as a Class D and in Canada it is a Class G. All of these are standard licenses that allow you to drive a regular manual car. The same goes for Australia and New Zealand.

Motorhome license driving Iceland

The only exceptions to this are if your home country driving license in not written in Latin characters. So travellers from China, Arabic nations or Russia etc. will need to acquire a translation. A rental company will accept both an official translation of your licence or an International Driving Permit.

Another exception to the rule is the Indian driving license. Those holding this license are only permitted to drive a vehicle up to 2.5 tonnes. This will generally not be a problem when it comes to hiring a campervan in Iceland. However a rental motorhome usually weighs in a little higher than this. So there are some restrictions here.

Applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP)

The process for applying for an International Driving Permit is straightforward enough. You will just need to make sure that you are using the official website for your country or region. Do check this carefully, though. One more thing to emphasize is that the IDP is only valid alongside your regular license. It does not replace your driving licence. It simply exists to make everything to do with hiring and driving overseas a little easier.

With the IDP your license will be translated into ten different languages and is valid in 150 counties. If you are stopped for any reason it will make the process much easier to navigate for all.

International Driving permit

Age requirements for driving a campervan or motorhome in Iceland

One thing to consider when you are planning to hit the roads in Iceland is the driving age rules. There are certain restrictions around how long you have been driving and your age. In all cases you must have been driving for at least a year in order to hire any vehicle.

Age restrictions for motor home rental in Iceland

25 years – You must be at least 25 and have been driving for at least one year.

Age restrictions for camper van rental in Iceland

20-23 years – This is dependent on the model of the campervan you are hire.

If you are in your early twenties you should discuss the available camper van models for your age. For a regular two-wheel drive camper van the age requirement is 20. However for a four-wheel drive camper van the minimum age is 23.

There are certain roads in Iceland that you can only drive in a four-wheel drive vehicle. These are the gravel roads in the highlands known as F roads. If you are under 23 you will have to stay away from these roads for now. Unless you have an older licensed driver in your group. In which case they will have to agree to do all of the driving and hiring.