I have previously written about self driving in January but now I want to talk about what it’s like in September. September is that lovely time where the Summer heat is cooling off and it’s really pleasant light layer weather.
I think driving in September is perfect. It’s not likely to snow, although it is Iceland, where anything can happen but generally it’s party cloudy to overcast to raining. It’s pretty much like Ireland so it is definitely weather I can drive in. I thankfully got glorious weather! It was mostly sunny all five days except the last day that was raining all day with high winds.
When it is dry and sunny, driving in Iceland is a dream. It’s open roads and gorgeous scenery. The only things I have to say is don’t get so distracted you don’t look out for oncoming traffic. Don’t stop in a small hard shoulder, where your car is jutting out on the road, to pet horses or take a picture. I know Iceland is breathtaking and yes, I wish there was one giant hard shoulder so you could pull off at any given second, but there isn’t, so you can’t just do what you want.
Driving in wind is kind of horrible, Iceland is known for gale force winds and passing through a pocket of strong wind feels like you will be swept off the road. My tip is slow down to where you don’t feel like the car is as unstable and watch when opening up car doors because people will not thank you if your car door smashes into theirs. And some insurance wont cover the damage if you hit a door or a door hits you. I found that people will go very close to you before they over take you on the roads. Even if it a completely empty road they will go really close. I never understood that. What I always do when someone is over taking me is when they have pulled out, I slow down. I don’t jam on my breaks but I slow a little so they don’t have to floor it or just incase a car suddenly appears. It’s just a nice gesture. Also don’t go really close behind someone, what if they want to pull off at a rest stop and take pictures. Don’t be mean!
*Note that: A Petrol Station/Garage is what I call Gas Stations/Fuelling Stations.
When I read blog posts and articles about driving and fuel stations in Iceland it’s as if it’s a post apocalyptic world where there is no food or water for miles. It’s just not the case. It’s really easy to navigate around Iceland and to have enough fuel to do it with!
Sometimes you will be driving along and thinking there will never be a petrol station so I can use the loo or get a hot dog or fill the tank up the two bars that have gone down but there will be. If you are going along the ring road or any main tourist locations there is no need to panic!
If you are a 1 litre car to a 1.6 litre car than there are plenty of petrol stations around the place so don’t worry if you don’t fill up at every one. If you have a bigger engine I recommend you fill up every chance you get just to be sure as I haven’t driven one…yet!
How to self service:
Self service petrol pumps are in almost every station. Step 1: Go to the machine, put your card in and enter your pin. Step 2: Choose how much money you want to put into your car. 500 kr, 1000 kr, 2000 kr etc. Step 3: Choose which pump you want to activate. Step 4: The pump is ready, fill your tank. Then if you want a receipt than stick your card back into the machine and a receipt will print.
You will need a chip and pin card to use the self service petrol pumps. I saw lots of Americans frustrated at the pumps because there was no authorisation going through. This may be just for american cards but Irish ones work perfectly! I used two visa cards and although I got a call from Visa making sure it was me, everything was authorised and I was able to buy everything I needed.
If you don’t have a card that works you will need a gas card. They sell them in petrol stations so make sure you have one before you go on a long journey.
Don’t hog the pump. The amount of people who’s cards didn’t work so they had to go into the shop, who left their car by the pump so no one else could use it was annoying. Don’t do it!
Get a bacon wrapped hotdog. They are actually really tasty. Try not think of the nitrates though.
Olis petrol stations have a really great website that allows you to filter the types of stations and facilities Olis have, so you can find the right station for your needs. I used this when I needed to find a vacuum cleaner to clean out my rental car.
N1 stations are great to get a bite to eat. I really like their food sections and they usually have a nice sit down area. I always liked getting a cheeky donut, a ginger juice and a hot chocolate.
Hope this covers any questions you have before you go. If you have more questions leave them below!