Coming to Iceland during the off-season is a trend that grows in popularity with every passing year. It makes sense; prices are lower and you can partake in winter-only activities. In the wintertime, it’s possible to observe the spectacular Northern Lights and explore the glacier caverns of Vatnajokull. But some things you’ll also have to consider are road conditions, snow tires in Iceland, and driving in Iceland during the winter.
Snow Tires in Iceland
Driving safely in the wintertime is of the utmost importance, and studded tires help you do just that. When you rent a camper during Iceland winter you are up against the elements. Icy roads and snowy conditions threaten to derail your travel plans. Snow tires in Iceland are your best bet for navigating the potentially hazardous roads. There are a few different types of tires that you can use throughout the year and from November to mid-April.
Let’s look at the different options available when you rent a campervan in Iceland and why you need them. It’s important to know the difference so that you can make an informed decision when speaking with your camper rental company.
Winter tires vs all season
So what differentiates studded and winter tires vs all season? There are a couple of factors. Regular tires without studs fine for year-round use as long they have a minimum depth .06 inches (1.6 mm). Non-studded winter tires can be used during the colder months as long as they have a minimum thickness of 1/11th of an inch (3 mm). They also are designed with a tread to grip both ice and snow. Snow tires are designed specifically for snow.
Studded tires are also a possibility and in addition to a minimum thickness and depth, they also have studs. These are small pieces of that metal dig into the ice. They provide more grip and traction when navigating the snow and ice you are sure to encounter. For this reason, studded tires are preferable for those taking a road trip in Iceland when there is ice on the road.
It’s up to you whether you feel more comfortable using regular winter tires or studded snow tires during your trip. The most important thing is to feel confident behind the wheel during your winter adventure. While all the natural wonders and things to do in Iceland will be the main focus of your trip, the underlying foundation of it all is driving safety.
What are they for? Are they needed in Iceland?
Yes, you absolutely need to have special studded tires or winter tires if you plan on driving in Iceland during this time of year. Iceland winter driving is no joke. Anyone who’s experienced that terrifying feeling of hitting black ice and skidding out of control can relate.
Iceland also has extremely strong winds that can blow you off the road or make steering extremely difficult. This is something that catches many visitors by surprise the first time they touch down on our fair shores. For these reasons, you’re going to want as much traction on your tires as possible so you can keep things under control.
Icelandic law and rental companies policies
Companies that offer camper rental in Iceland have to follow special guidelines throughout the year when it comes to winter tires. Icelandic law and rental companies' policies require that between November and April they outfit their vehicles with them. These type of wheels are changed out during the rest of the year so that they don’t do damage to the roads. When looking at winter tires vs all season, I can’t stress how important it is to use the right type of tires for the time of year.
Icelandic law and rental companies' policies are designed to protect both drivers and rental vehicles. Having these protections in place makes for a safer experience for everyone and ensures our visitors make it home safe and sound. They’ve got the best type of wheels to deal with black ice, strong winds, and sometimes precarious road conditions. Iceland camper rental winter tires will help keep you protected so that you can focus more on enjoying your trip.
Iceland camper rental winter tires
When you pick up your rental at Keflavik airport, it will already come with studded winter or the correct type of wheels. Talk with your customer service agent in advance of making your reservation. They’ll be able to guide you through picking the best tires for your needs and that makes you feel most at ease. Whether you opt for a 2WD or 4WD camper, you’ll be ready to hit the road and drive with confidence.
Winter driving in Iceland with snow tires
Now you know all there is to know about winter tires in Iceland. You’re ready to face the snow and ice with your camper rental and knowledge regarding driving safely. Your vehicle providers are experts and have already outfitted with the best Iceland camper rental winter tires. Icy roads are a part of driving during the Iceland winter when you rent a campervan. But with the right snow tires, a little ice on the road won’t bother you. So take care, drive slowly, have a great trip, and enjoy the enchanting winter wonderland that is Iceland in the winter.