Guide to Driving In Norway - Drive Safe in Norway

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Norway?

Driving in Norway

In Norway, traffic drives on the right and you should give way to the right at any sort of junction including roundabouts. 

Give Way to Polar Bears Sign in NorwayTrams have right of way and should be passed on the right. When driving you should watch out for speed control humps as these are not always signposted. 

In the country areas you should drive carefully in case there are any potholes or rocks in the road. Driving at night should be avoided where possible due to the lack of visibility. When you get to rural areas you should expect to find gravel and even dirt roads so adjust your driving accordingly. A four wheel drive car is usually a good idea and you should always travel with a good map.
 

Driving Laws

Seat Belt Laws

All occupants of the car must be securely belted in whilst the car is moving in Norway.

Drinking and Driving

If you are thinking about drinking and driving in Norway, remember the strictly enforced limit is 20mg per 100ml of blood - a quarter of the level in the UK. This means that even half a pint of lager can take you over the limit. Our advice is never to drink and drive. Additionally, the penalties are severe including removal of licence, a large fine and possibly jail.

Must Have Documents

You must carry your driving licence - both parts if it's a UK licence and you'll need a certificate of motor insurance. It's recommended that you also obtain an insurance green card as without it, your insurance covers you for only the minimum legal cover.

Speed Limits

The speed limits for Norwegian roads are as follows:

50 kilometres per hour in urban areas (some parts, e.g. near schools or shops will be 30km/h)
80 kilometres per hour on the open road
90 - 100 kilometres per hour on motorways but this reduces in bad weather

Minimum Driving Age

You have to be 18 to drive in Norway although most car hire companies will insist you are at least 21 and have held your licence for at least a year.

Safety Camera Warning Devices

Speed camera detection equipment is illegal in Norway and if caught using one, it will be confiscated and you'll receive an on the spot fine.

On the Spot Fines

Minor traffic violations are dealt with by on the spot fines. More serious offences will earn you a ticket and potentially a court appearance such as for drink driving or dangerous driving.

Child Safety Rules

All children must be secured in the car in a seat and restraint system suitable for their age, size and weight. They can travel in the front or rear of the car. Over 36kg or 135cms the child can sit in a standard car seat using standard seatbelts.

Insurance

A minimum of third party insurance is required in Norway. You should also bring an insurance green card as it tops up the legal level of cover to that of your policy at home.

Rules of the Road

Standard European driving regulations apply with a few exceptions:

You must have at least 3mm of tread on your tyres from October to March
You must have winter tyres fitted from November to March
Dipped headlights must be used at all times driving in Norway
You need to carry a reflective jacket and a warning triangle in case of emergencies
It's illegal to drive off road
Trams have priority.
A yellow diamond at a junction indicates changed priorities

Towing Regulations

There are no legal requirements applying to towing in Norway but you are expected to use common sense in making sure the towing equipment is safe and adequate and that other road users know what you are doing.

Speed Cameras

Speed cameras, both fixed and mobile, are common in Norway. Getting caught by a mobile patrol will earn you an on the spot fine whilst a fixed camera will mean a ticket being sent to the registered address for your vehicle and, if in a hire car, it will be posted on to you. 

Using Mobile Phones when driving

The use of mobile phones without a hands free kit is illegal in Norway and will earn you an on the spot fine if stopped by the police for doing so. 

Parking

Parking regulations
 
You'll find in Norway that parking on main thoroughfares is forbidden. There are designated places for on street parking or alternatively you can use one of the many municipal parking lots or garages. Parking bays on roads have different colours depending on how long you can park there.
 
Paid parking
 
Yellow meters mean just an hour's parking, grey is two hours and you'll get three hours at a brown meter. Many municipal lots have ticket machines whilst some have attendants.
 
Enforcement
 
Enforcement of parking is done by the police and in some cities, notably Oslo, parking attendants. If you overstay your time, you'll get a ticket or, if causing an obstruction, you'll be towed away 
 
Disabled parking
 
Whilst Norway doesn't officially recognise the Disabled Blue Badge scheme, showing your badge will often get you a more convenient space and a little extra assistance.

Motor Way Signs

The motorway signs are the same as in England, blue with a white background. Speed limit signs have a red circle with a white background and black numbers.

Norway Motorway Sign

Phrases

Detour- omkjonng
Hospital - sykehus
Police – politi
Police station – politistasjon
Embassy - ambassade
Entrance - innkjorsel
Exit - utkjorsel
Petrol Station- bensinstasjon
Unleaded Gasoline- blyfri bensin
Motor Oil - motorolje
Diesel – Diesel
Car rental company - bilutleie firma
Toll – bomstasjon toll
Toll Road - avgiftsvei
Parking - parkeringHighway - motorvei
Expressway - motorvei
I have broken down -  Jeg har brutt ned
Where is the police station? - Hvor er politistasjonen?
I have a flat tyre - Jeg har en flat dekk 
I have been in an accident - Jeg har vært i en ulykke
Where is? - Hvor er?
Where can I buy petrol? - Hvor kan jeg kjøpe bensin?

Traffic Lights

Traffic lights in Norway have no peculiarities as their road signs and signals follow the Vienna Convention.

Toll Roads

Norway was one of the first countries to use toll roads. Many roads including those into the main cities and also motorways have tolls. You can pay in cash or, if staying long enough, invest in an electronic rechargeable tag. Bridges, tunnels and ferries also have toll charges.

Emergency

Emergency telephones can be found in tunnels and on mountain stretches of the motorway. The fire services are contactable on 110, the police are on 112 and you can get an ambulance by dialling 113.

The United States Embassy in Norway is at Drammensveien 18, N-0255 Oslo. You can phone them on 47 22-44-85-50 or fax them on 7 22-44-33-63.

The United Kingdom embassy in Oslo, Thomas Heftyesgate 8, is open from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday and is reachable on 47 23 13 27 00.

What to do in an emergency

If there is an emergency you must display a red warning triangle and wear a fluorescent vest when out of the car.

If you have simply broken down, call the number given to you by the car hire company or, if in your own car, the number of the Norwegian partner of your own breakdown company. 

If you're involved in an accident, call the police on 112 and whilst waiting for them, photograph the scene, collect the details of witnesses and, if possible, don't move the vehicles. 

Fuel Costs

As of May 2014, 95 Octane unleaded petrol costs £1.48 a litre in Norway although regional differences occur. Diesel is a few pence cheaper per litre.

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Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Norway and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.
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