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You can rent a car in most cities and towns in Norway, as well as in larger communities and airports around the country. You can book your car through a car rental company online, in person at car rental offices, or through a travel agent. We strongly recommend that you book in advance, especially during the summer season.
Driving and drinking do not mix, and especially so in Norway. Alcohol laws are very strict, and penalties from driving under the influence are severe. The legal limit is 0,02% blood alcohol and applies to the driver of any motorized vehicle. Medications to avoid if you intend to drive are marked with a red triangle.
Carrying a mobile phone makes good sense from a safety point-of-view, as long as you do not use it hand-held whilst driving. Doing so is an offence and can land you in a lot of trouble – even if you don’t have an accident.
Brakes may overheat at long downhill stretches. To avoid this, drive in a low gear (as when driving uphill). Sudden braking will require less force, and brakes will stay cool. When driving uphill, watch the car’s temperature gauge to avoid engine overheating in time.
In 2018, more than 140,000 electric cars were driving on Norwegian roads. Norwegian authorities are investing massively in electric vehicle-friendly infrastructure and incentives. Quick charge stations are being built in increasing numbers on long distances between bigger cities. More and more hotels offer electric charging, sometimes for free. Plug-in hybrids are also benefitting from advantages over traditional drivelines.
Norwegian registration plates indicating the EV or plug-in driveline are mandatory in order to use devoted parking spaces and other special facilities. Rules and conditions are constantly changing. For help and updated information, please contact the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association: +47 907 04 545.
All vehicles must have at least one high-visibility vest, a warning triangle, and third-party insurance in case of a breakdown or an accident.
Emergency telephones can be found on mountain stretches and in tunnels. For 24 hour salvage or technical assistance, call:
Dipped headlights are mandatory at all times, even in the middle of the brightest summer day. This includes mopeds and motorcycles. If your car is a right-hand drive, you must use black triangles on your headlights to avoid dazzling other drivers.
Note that weather conditions can cause mountain passes to close, especially during heavy snow and strong wind. Some of the higher mountain passes can get snow fall and frost when there are summer conditions in the lowlands, particularly in April/early May and in late September–October.
Norway has a human oriented traffic culture that puts pedestrians and cyclist first. Pedestrians who want to cross the street will expect you to slow down or stop, and cyclists may not always follow traffic regulations. Please take all soft road users into consideration when going by car.
There are many toll stations in Norway, and almost all of them are automatic. All drivers, regardless of nationality, have to pay Norwegian road tolls. Read more about invoicing and how to register your car.
If you want to drive in Norway, you need a driving licence issued in your country of residence. When hiring a car in Norway, you may need to have held the licence for at least one year. For stays in Norway exceeding three months, a Norwegian driving licence is needed.
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