Are you prepared for your road trip? Learn the rules of the road
YOUR RENTAL CAR
It is critical that you are well-informed about your rental agreement and vehicle insurance; make sure to ask the rental agent about anything unclear.
The car should be in good condition when you receive it. Make sure to check all lights and the spare tire, and don’t forget to test the radio before driving off the lot. If you have any doubts about the car’s functionality please contact the rental agent directly.
REPAIRS OR BREAKDOWNS
You are responsible for changing a flat tire and getting it repaired, so make sure to have an intact spare tire at all times. In case of a major breakdown, contact your rental agent first but please notify us as well.
SAFE DRIVING IN NORWAY
In general, the roads in Norway are of high standard and are well-maintained. As in other Scandinavian countries, Norwegians drive on the right side of the road. Rural roads are generally two lanes and can be narrow and winding, particularly in mountainous areas.
Please note that motorists are obliged to wear safety belts and use low-beam headlights at all times in Norway. Also, talking on mobile phones while driving is prohibited (except with headsets) and drinking and driving is punished with severe penalties—among the strictest in Europe.
Parking restrictions are strict but clearly indicated in most Norwegian towns and cities.
Metered parking is common during weekdays along city streets as well as in many parking lots. Parking garages (P-hus) are also commonly found in the larger cities.
The most common paid parking system is the automated parking meter (P-automat). To use this system, first park your car and then purchase a parking ticket from the nearest P-automat to display on the dashboard of car. The machine accepts 1, 5, 10 and 20 Kroner coins.
Fines for parking violations cost, on average, NOK 700 and can be paid at a bank. Illegally parked cars may also be towed at the driver’s expense.
In Norway, speed limits are posted as kilometres per hour (km/h):
- Country roads: usually 80 km/h
- Residential neighbourhoods: as low as 30 km/h; make sure to slow down for speed control bumps.
- Commercial areas/urban centres: usually 50 km/h
- Dual carriageways/motorways: usually 90 or 100 km/h
FINES FOR SPEEDING & TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
Norwegians are very serious about following posted speed limits as fines are quite steep and speed cameras are posted along many roadsides around the country.
For minor traffic violations (e.g., 5 – 35 km/h over limit, not wearing seatbelt, etc.), an on-the-spot fine is issued (payable by credit card) and a receipt should be issued by the officer collecting the fine. These fines generally range from NOK 600 to NOK 7800.
Remember, Norway is a beautiful country so there is no need to hurry through it!
TOLL ROADS & AUTOPASS
Your rental car will be equipped with an AutoPASS device, which means you can pass through toll booths without stopping. This will be included as an “extra” fee in your invoice from the car rental agency. Please do not remove, move or change the AutoPASS device from the car as it may result in an additional cost to you.
For more information: http://www.autopass.no
There are over 900 road tunnels of varying lengths in Norway, mostly in the western regions. Road tunnels are typically two-lane, motorists should be aware of possible ice bumps near the entrances in the winter months.
Interesting fact: The Lærdal Tunnel (Lærdalstunnelen) connecting Lærdal and Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane is the world’s longest road tunnel at 24.5 kilometres (15.2 mi) in length.
Mountain passes often have very long and winding downhill stretches, which can cause the brakes to overheat. To avoid this, drive in a low gear so you do not have to brake so hard or often. Make sure to also keep an eye on the car's temperature gauge as the car can quickly overheat when driving up steep grades.
Please also note that some of the higher mountain passes can still have snow or ice on the road in the shoulder seasons, particularly in April/early May and in late September-October.
Ferries are a common part of the Norwegian road network, mainly in the fjords. Ferries depart from ferry slips, called fergekai, rather than ports for passenger boats.
In rural forested areas, beware of elk/moose or deer near the roadsides as they may suddenly jump into traffic, especially during dusk and dawn. In northern regions, reindeer (often in groups) may also wander into the road. There are usually warning signs in areas where animals are known to make frequent crossings.
ROAD CONDITIONS: For up-to-date information about roads and driving conditions:
Phoning from within Norway: 175
Phoning from abroad: (+47) 815 48 991
Please note that certain roads are closed during winter.
For environmental regulation reasons, fuel prices are relatively high in Norway, but prices tend to vary widely among different stations and regions. Petrol (gas) is slightly cheaper at self-service stations like Uno-X and Jet; they only accept credit cards with a 4-digit PIN number. If you do not have a card with a 4-digit PIN, you might be able to pay inside at the service desk or buy a pre-paid gas card to use at the pump.
Many stations have instructions at the pump in English, but if not, don't be afraid to ask for help from a service attendant or another motorist. Just make sure to check which type of fuel your car requires (usually on the cover of the gas cap). Opening hours vary throughout the country. Typically, larger stations like Statoli will have automats available for self-service after closing hours that accept credit cards with 4-digit PIN numbers.
Note: In the mountains and other remote areas it can be long distances between stations, so please keep a close eye on your fuel levels. It is better to fill the tank when you have the chance rather than risk running out of gas!