Strictly speaking, there are no toll roads in Iceland, however there is a toll to pass through the Vaðlaheidi tunnel. The toll free ring road that circumnavigates Iceland is known as Route 1, Highway 1 or Road nr1, however you might see or hear it referred to as Hringvegurinn which translates to ‘Ring Road’ or can also be known locally as Þjóðvegurinn which translates to ‘the national road.
What is the Vaðlaheidi Tunnel in Akureyri?
There is a toll tunnel east of Akureyri that passes between between Eyjafjordur and Fjoskadalur designed to replace a section of the Route 1 highway that can be very dangerous in winter months. Facts about the Vaðlaheidi Tunnel;
- 7.4km in length
- Saves 13.6km from the previous road (N1) route
- Project budget of $96 (USD) although reportedly cost 44% more (as much as $140m)
- Opened in December 2018
- Toll introduced in April 2019
- Toll is 1,500 ISK if paid within 3 hours of use
- Toll is 2,500 ISK if paid after 3 hours (sent to registered owner)
How to pay the Vaðlaheidi Toll?
You must pay for the Vaðlaheidi toll online, you can pay via the website as a single trip without registering, however if you plan to use the tunnel frequently, it’s well worth registering an account that requires your car registration, a credit card and some personal details. Your card will be automatically charged the toll fee each time you use it (1,500 ISK).
You can pay without registering, however this must be done within 3 hours of using the tunnel (entering the tunnel), or the toll fee will be issued to the registered owner of the car with an additional 1,000 ISK due (total toll 2,500 ISK).
You can download the app to manage your account or make individual toll payments, available on the app store and google play.
How to pay the Vaðlaheidi toll in a rental car?
Since its introduction, there has been some confusion over paying the toll fee from rental car customers. Unsure as to how to pay the toll, many car hire customers have been caught out by not paying the toll, or trying to pay it too late resulting in the rental agent being charged the late fee and the car rental customer being charged a further administration fee for the renal agent to handle the toll fee. If you rent a car in Iceland
and use the Vaðlaheidi tunnel, ensure you pay the toll fee to avoid extra charges.
Poor signage has been criticised for the lack of understanding which has led to confusion for car rental customers and unexpected charges from rental agents, however rental agents are providing more information on the toll and how to pay when you pick up your rental car, however it is still your responsibility to pay the toll to avoid extra charges.
Rentals cars and tourists have to pay the same toll to use the Vaðlaheidi tunnel and use the same payment method. You need to pay via the website which has a handy function for ‘Payment for Rental Cars’ where you do not need to register for an account, rather just input the rental car number plate.
Can you pay the Vaðlaheidargöng toll in cash?
No, there are no toll booths on at the Vaðlaheidargöng tunnel, automatic number plate recognition technology is used to track and record journeys through the tunnel.
Are there discounts for multiple trips?
Yes, you can pay for multiple trips in advance at discounted rates, an ideal way to save money if planning to use the tunnel multiple times;
- 10 trips = 12,500 ISK (1,250 per trip / 16% saving)
- 40 trips = 36,000 ISK (900 per trip / 40% saving)
- 100 trips = 70,000 ISK (700 per trip / 54% saving)
Can you avoid the Vaðlaheidi tunnel toll fee?
Yes, the N1 (Ring Road) passes around the tunnel and is toll free. Following pressure on the authorities, new signage has been installed at both approaches to the tunnel to show directions for the alternative, toll free route around the tunnel. At just 1,500 ISK however, the time savings, not to mention fuel make the tunnel a very popular choice, however some prefer the old Ring Road for its spectacular scenery. If you do decide to take the old road around the tunnel in winter, take great care as the tunnel was introduced primarily for safety reasons as the road can be extremely dangerous in winter, 4x4 rental in Iceland
would be recommended for this trip.
Is it Vaðlaheidi or Vaðlaheidargöng tunnel?
Both names are used for the tunnel, however Vaðlaheidi is the more commonly used term and is the name given on the signage / information at the tunnel.
to pay the Vaðlaheiði tunnel or download the app.