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Family on a car holiday in Norway - Photo: Ute foto/Innovation Norway
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Family on a car holiday in Norway Photo: Ute foto/Innovation Norway

Driving on Norwegian roads

Rules and regulations for driving in Norway.

Toll roads

Norway has more than 70 years experience in using road toll payment as a financial instrument for building bridges, tunnels and roads.

Information about roads, distances, driving conditions

Phoning from inside Norway: 175
Phoning from abroad: (+47) 815 48 991
Please note that certain roads are closed during winter.

Speed limits

In general the speed limit for cars on Norwegian roads is 80 kilometres per hour.

  • Residential areas: Sometimes as low as 30 kilometres per hour. Watch out for speed control bumps, they are not always signposted.
  • Built-up areas/town centres: All vehicles 50 kilometres per hour.
  • Dual carriageways and motorways: Either 90 kilometres per hour or 100 kilometres per hour for cars. Motor vehicles with a highest permissible gross weight of more than 3.5 tonnes and motor vehicles towing caravans/trailers may not exceed 80 kilometres per hour even if the local speed limit is higher. Motor vehicles towing a caravan/trailer without brakes with a gross weight of over 300 kilos, may not exceed 60 kilometres per hour even if the local speed limit is higher.

Mountain passes

When going over mountain passes there are often very long downhill stretches, when brakes may overheat. To avoid this, drive in a low gear (the gear you would use if you were driving up the slope). This means you will not have to brake so hard and that brakes will not heat up so quickly.

When driving up steep slopes the car is required to work hard. Keep an eye on the car's temperature gauge, because the car can quickly overheat.

Drinking and driving

Alcohol can have a serious affect on judgement and your ability to drive. The legal limit is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliltre of blood. There are severe penalties for drink-driving. Some medications should be avoided if you intend to drive. These are marked with a red triangle.

Headlights

It is obligatory for all vehicles to drive with dipped headlights at all times, even on the brightest summer day. This includes motorcycles and mopeds. Do not forget that right-hand drive cars will require black adhesive triangles, usually supplied by the ferry company you travel with, or clip-on beam deflectors, so as not to dazzle oncoming drivers. Carrying spare headlight bulbs is recommended.

Seat belts

Seat belts are compulsory. All children must be firmly strapped in using approved safety equipment that matches their age, size and weight. Children under 135 centimetres must have their own seat or safety restraint (babies in a cot). Children over 36 kilos, or 135 centimetres, can use a normal seat.

Tires

There must be a minimum of 1.6 millimetre tread on summer tires and a minimum of 3 millimetres on winter tires. Vehicles must not be used unless they have sufficient road grip for the road surface.

During the winter, you must drive with winter tires with or without studs. All-year tires can also be used. Use of studded tires is allowed from 1 November until the first Sunday after Easter Sunday. In Nordland, Troms and Finnmark studded tires are allowed during the period  15 October - 1 May. Studded tires may also be used outside these periods if the weather and road surface conditions make it necessary.

If studded tires are fitted to a car weighing under 3.5 tonnes, they must be fitted to all four wheels. Vehicles with a permitted total weight of 3.5 tonnes or more, must carry snow chains if ice or snow is expected on the road. These snow chains must fit the vehicle's wheels.

Snow chains can be bought at reasonable prices. Studded tires can be rented. In Trondheim and Oslo you will have to pay a fee of approximately NOK 30 if you drive with studded tires in the city centre. This restriction has been introduced to limit the pollution produced by studded tires.

Visibility vests

It is compulsory to have at least one visibility vest in your car.

Mobile phones

It is an offence to use a handheld mobile phone while driving.

Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory and green cards are highly recommended. Without it, visitors with motor insurance in their own countries are allowed the minimum legal cover. The Green Card tops this up to the level of cover provided by the visitor's own policy.

Petrol stations

For environmental reasons petrol and fuel prices are relatively high. However, gasoline dealers set their own prices, and consequently petrol prices may vary from place to place. In the mountains and in remote areas it can be far between petrol stations.

Autogas/LPG

There are more than one hundred LPG-units operating at different petrol stations across the country. For a list over the LPG-units, please see external link to the left of this article.

The most common connection used at the filling stations is Dutch bayonet. Some select few use Italian dish. Many stations provide an "adapter" so that you can use the connection regardless of which system your car uses. However, the best sollution is to bring your own "adapter", can be bought in Norway for around NOK 300. 

What documents do I need?

You need a fullvalid driving licence issued in your country of residence. If your licence is not issued by an EC/ECA country, an International Driver's Permit (IDP) may be required.

Please note that if you are planning to hire a car in Norway, you may need to have held the licence for at least one year. If you are planning to stay in Norway for more than three months, you will need to get a Norwegian driving licence.

Read more about the documents you need to drive in Norway on the Norwegian Public Roads Administration's website.

In the event of an accident

You are required to carry a red warning triangle and a yellow fluorescent vest in your car in case of a breakdown or an accident.

Emergency telephones can be found on mountain stretches and in tunnels.

The following telephone numbers will provide help:

  • Fire: 110
  • Police: 112
  • Ambulance: 113

Breakdowns and assistance

You are required to carry a red warning triangle and a yellow fluorescent vest in your car in case of a breakdown or an accident.

If you require salvage or technical assistance with your vehicle you can call the following 24 hour numbers:

  • NAF: 810 00 505 (local rate)
  • Falken: 02 222 (freefone)
  • Viking: 06 000 (freefone)
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Last updated:  2013-04-19
Reindeer on the road in Trøndelag, Norway - Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic life/Innovation Norway
Reindeer on the road in Trøndelag, Norway
The Atlantic Road in the county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway - Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/Fjord Norge AS
The Atlantic Road in the county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway

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Family on a car holiday in Norway - Photo: Ute foto/Innovation Norway

Driving on Norwegian roads

Rules and regulations for driving in Norway.

Driving on Norwegian roads

Source: Visitnorway

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