Driving in Norway - Tips to Stay Safe

Norway has the highest speeding fines in Europe and some of the lowest national speed limits.

Planning your driving trip in Norway

Driving conditions in Norway can be harsh and it is very important to prepare well for a journey. Make sure you keep warm clothes, food, and water in the car and have a full tank of fuel at all times. Winter tyres are compulsory in Norway from November to April and it is advisable to gain some skills driving in snowy and icy conditions before planning a drive on Norway's roads.

In winter, all cars must carry snow chains. This is checked by the police who can stop a driver from proceeding if they do not have the correct equipment. Whilst major routes are generally kept clear in Norway it is important not to develop a false sense of security as drifts can easily build up. Drivers must also carry a visibility jacket and a red triangle in case of an accident. A first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs are also highly recommended.

Driving in Norway

  • In Norway the priority is on the right. Drivers on a road that is not a priority (marked with a yellow diamond) must give priority to traffic from the right.
  • Speeds in Norway are a lot slower than in many other countries and levels are strictly enforced by the use of radar traps. The police can and will impose hefty on the spot fines.
  • Drivers must drive with dipped headlights at all times in Norway. Driving whilst using a hand held mobile phone is illegal. All passengers and the drivers of vehicles in Norway must wear seatbelts.
  • Drink driving is prohibited and legal levels of alcohol are a lot lower than many other countries, at 0.02. Roadside checks for alcohol occur frequently and penalties are severe.
  • If driving on mountainous roads traffic coming downhill has the priority over the uphill road users who should reverse into a space to allow vehicles to pass.
  • Drivers should be vigilant for potholes which can appear when ice has thawed creating hazards in the road.
  • Drivers should also use a low gear when coming downhill to avoid the brakes overheating. Sometimes there are few danger signs or fences in areas of wilderness and drivers are expected to be mindful of these hazards.
  • In Norway drivers should be vigilant around the entrances and exits to tunnels as animals such as reindeer and sheep are attracted to the warmth in cold weather and have a nasty habit of emerging in front of a car when least expected.
  • There are many vehicle ferries across Norway which traverse the vast fjords. Bad weather can affect their schedule so it's important to factor that in should you be road tripping around the country.

Many people visit Norway to experience the wild open country. Preparation and care are what is needed to ensure that the journey passes safely.

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  • Svein said

    These are some good advices for people coming to Norway.
    One small correction I would make is about the snowchains.
    You say all cars need to have them. That is slightly incorrect. Only cars above 3500kg must have snowchains with them.

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