Norway Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Norway
Norway drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any country to drive here, providing it’s written in Roman alphabet. Drivers from other countries need their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 100kmh on motorways to 80kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.
Norway has a road network of 92,946 km of which 75% are paved and 664 kilometres are classed as motorway. Motorway sections are usually on the European highways which pass through Norway and are denoted by an ‘E’ Prefix. None of the E routes are multi lane highways for their entireity though. Main routes through Norway are-
The E6 is the main north-south route through Norway. From start to finish it is 3,088 km long and runs from the South of Sweden at Trelleborg, into Norway at the Svinesund Bridge and through the country north to the Arctic Circle and Nordkapp. The route ends in Kirkenes close to the Russian border.
The E16 is the main road between Norway’s largest cities of Bergen and Oslo. It forms part of the European route which began in Northern Ireland and travelled through Scotland and Norway before ending in Sweden. There is now no ferry service between Scotland and Bergen so the full route is no longer viable.
The E18 is another route which originally covered Northern Ireland , Scotland and England before utilising a ferry crossing from Newcastle to reach Norway. Again there is now no such ferry in existence. The route in Norway is from Kristiansand via Oslo to Ørje.
The E39 is a 1,330 km route in Norway and Denmark, running from just south of Trondheim via Bergen, Stavanger and Kristiansand to Aalborg, using a ferry from Kristiansand to Hirtshals to get from Norway to Denmark.
There are a number of toll roads in Norway denoted by a ‘Kr’ sign. Payment is made via an electronic tag. Norwegian rental cars will be fitted with a tag but foreign vehicles need to register before using the country’s roads, via this website. Tolls cover ring roads in Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen, Askøy, Bodø, Harstad, Grenland, Førde and Trondheim, many tunnels and bridges, Sections of all the ‘E’ roads as well as numerous other public roads prefixed Rv.
Roads are generally well maintained and are in good condition, even minor roads. Though in mountainous areas roads are steep, narrow and winding. In the North expect severe winter conditions and many minor roads may close. Winter tyres are mandatory from approximately 1 November to 15 April (exact dates can vary year on year).Distances are great and driving takes longer than you think. Keep headlights on at all times and observe speed limits, which are, in general lower than the rest of Europe. Fines for speeding are high and are enforced by automatic cameras.
Alcohol limits for drivers are low and random checks for alcohol are frequent, with severe penalties if you’re over the limit. Driving standards are high and road rules are generally complied with.
Norway is a spectacular driving location with a number of scenic drives such as –
The Sognefjellet National Tourist Route is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe and is widely accepted as one of the most spectacular drives in Scandinavia. Along its 108 kilometres you will find The Sognefjord and Jostedalsbreen Glaciers, and Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain.
The Hardanger National Tourist Route is a 194-kilometre-long stretch of road east of Bergen passing by glaciers, mountains, moorland and waterfalls, its seen as the classic Norwegian drive.
The Lofoten National Tourist Route – a 166-kilometre-long stretch of road between the village of Fiskebøl in the north of the Lofoten islands and Å in the south.
The Helgeland Coast National Tourist Route is divided in two parts; Helgeland Coast South and Helgeland Coast North.
Helgeland Coast South is a 101-kilometre-long stretch of road between Holm and Alstahaug. Helgeland Coast North is a 129-kilometre-long stretch of road between Stokkvågen and Storvika.
Rondane National Tourist Route is a 42-kilometre-long stretch of road that follows the border between the Rondane Mountains and the valley from Enden to Folldal . The area is part of the destination Villmarksriket Hedmark, Scandinavia’s southernmost wilderness.
The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road (Gamle Strynefjellsveien) is a 27-kilometre long stretch of road between Videseter and Grotli.
More details of all these drives can be found on the following website-
The Scandinavian countries are notoriously expensive destinations for food and drink (especially alcohol!). For that reason, many travellers opt for a campervan holiday. This saves on hotel costs and allows you to be self sufficient in terms of food and drink. The Scandinavian countries are perfect for campervan and caravan holidays as, away from main Cities, the roads are quiet and in good condition, and camp sites are plentiful and have good facilities.
Also, all the countries abide by whats known as ‘Everymans Law’. (In Norway its allemannsrett – all men’s right) This varies by country but generally provides a ‘right to roam’ eg the opportunity to hike across or camp on another’s land , boating on someone else’s waters, and picking wildflowers, mushrooms and berries. However — with the rights come responsibilities; that is, an obligation neither to harm, disturb, litter, nor to damage wildlife or crops.
I’ve experienced a campervan holiday in Scandinavia myself, and it’s a great experience, especially in the long days of Summer when there is 24 hour daylight.
Driving distances and times between main settlements in Norway-
Oslo- Stavanger -550km, 8hrs
Oslo-Bergen – 520km, 8hrs
Oslo- Trondheim- 500km, 7hrs 15
Trondheim to Bodo- 715km,9 hrs
Bodo to Tromso- 561km, 7hrs
Trondheim- Tromso -1155km, 16hrs
Oslo- Tromso -1650km, 23hrs
See Svalbard page for driving on the Islands.
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
Norway Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, have outlets here.Also usually features on Car rental broker sites .
We currently have no local car rental partners in Norway. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com
Norway Self Drive Rules –
The big companies generally allow Cross Border Rentals to Denmark, Finland and Sweden with no Greencard needed. Cross Border Rentals out of the Nordic countries may be allowed with written authority from the rental company. If they grant permission they will also arrange a green card which you will need to carry in the vehicle. One way rentals are allowed within Norway by some companies. (Sixt allow them between Kristiansand, Stavanger, Oslo, Bergen, Sandefjord and Trondheim.)