We often get asked whether there are any tolls in Iceland. And with our pristine roads, it’s no wonder that people will start wondering whether it’s Iceland tolls keeping the Road.is up and running.
But you’ll be surprised to know that Iceland actually doesn’t have toll roads! There is only one place where you pay tunnel toll in Iceland, and it’s only opened in recent years. It’s quite an interesting part of our country, so read on to find out more.
As we’ve already mentioned, Iceland has only one toll road, and that’s at the Vaðlaheiði tunnel. This tunnel was opened in 2020 and connects Akureyri (the so-called capital of the north) with the east bank of the Eyjafjördur Fjord. The main goal of the tunnel was to try and shorten the popular Ring Road route – which it did – by 16km!
You will be charged a different toll amount depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving in Iceland:
This toll in Iceland doesn’t have someone manning the tunnel 24/7 and playing cashier to every vehicle that passes. You will need to pay the toll online or via their app before or after using the tunnel.
You can actually pre-pay the toll if you know you will be taking the tunnel. All you need to do is to register your license plate on the veggjald.is website and pay the fee at least 24 hours before passing through the toll. If you registered your license plate and pass through the toll without pre-payment, you will receive a fine (and in Iceland, these can be pretty hefty).
You also have the option of paying the toll after you’ve gone through the tunnel. But, the time will start ticking the moment you’ve passed the toll. You only get 24 hours after passing the toll to make payment in full via the veggjald.is website. You can also pay via the Veggjald app, which is available to all mobile devices, whether iOS or Android. Once again, if the timer on your 24 hours run out and payment has not been received, you will be fined.
The majority of visitors to the island will be renting a vehicle to use on their Iceland adventure. But this does not exempt you from the tolls in Iceland or any fines incurred. And it certainly does not pass the buck (pun intended) on to the rental agency.
In fact, if you use the toll road and do not pay the toll, the rental agency will be notified, and the subsequent fines sent to the agency. Then, you will not only be liable for the outstanding toll and fines incurred, but also an admin/handling fee. This will be charged by the rental agency, as they had to sort out the mess on your behalf. So, stay on the right side of the law and your rental agency, and ensure that you stick to the rules of the road and pay your tolls (on time!)
Well, that solely depends on you. As we previously touched on, the tunnel was created to save people time on the Ring Road, aka Route 1. In other words, by avoiding the toll, you will still be able to get wherever you intended to go – just a little slower.
If you are on a road trip across Iceland and you have some time to spare, taking the scenic route isn’t a bad thing. And the normal Ring Road route that you will be skipping is definitely a scenic one. The Vikurskard Road is a mountain pass that runs between Fnjoskadalr and the Svalbardsströnd Coast.
The only time you might want to rethink avoiding the toll road is during the winter months. Driving any road in Iceland during the colder, winter season is challenging, to say the least. You have to deal with the legendary Icelandic winds that threaten to drive your car on your behalf. Also, the snow that may just keep you parked permanently, and icy roads that can have your car performing more cray (and uncontrolled!) maneuvers than a pro skater.
So, to tackle a mountain pass in the north of Iceland, even if it is still open for some strange reason, is not something we’ll recommend. Especially if you’re not used to driving in this type of weather.
You can see that paying the tunnel toll in Iceland is completely up to you. It’s not a mandatory road or the only road that will get you to your destination. But if your time on the island is limited, or you’re visiting during the wintertime and feel nervous about driving the mountain pass, the Vaðlaheiði tunnel is an excellent alternative (and welcome relief).
Besides, this 7.5 km tunnel can form part of your island experiences and can be added to your Iceland trip itinerary. Armed with the knowledge of the tolls in Iceland and how to pay them, you can now rent a vehicle in Reykjavík. Now you can stay on the right track when it comes to the road rules in Iceland!