How to drive in Norway?

Basic rules of the roads and driving requirements.


Norwegians drive on the right and overtake on the left. For those not accustomed to winter road conditions, exercise extreme caution during the colder months due to ice and snow covered roads. In mountainous areas, vehicles travelling downhill have priority and vehicles going uphill must reverse into a passing bay if there's not enough room for two vehicles to pass. It is illegal to drive off-road.


Roads are of high standard and are well maintained.  They also include international road signs making it simple to get around.


Trams in Oslo should be passed on the right, but they may be passed on the left if there's no room on the right or if traveling on a one-way street. Trams always have priority.


Parking restrictions are clearly indicated. Paid parking is common during weekdays along city streets as well as parking lots. To use the automated parking meter (P-automat) system, first park your car, then purchase a parking ticket from the nearest P-automat (a grey, rectangular machine which accepts 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner coins), then display the ticket on the dashboard. In parking garages (P-hus) you take a ticket upon entering and pay at an automated machine or manned booth upon exiting.


Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to extremely heavy on the spot fines. The blood/alcohol limit in Norway is 50mg and riving while intoxicated carries jail penalties, with no exception for foreign drivers. handheld mobile phones while driving is also an offense.


There is no leaded petrol (lead substitute petrol available as 98 octane) and petrol cans are permitted but forbidden aboard ferries. Diesel is available but limited LPG availability. Credit/charge/debit cards are accepted at most filling stations but many automatic pumps only accept specified banknotes.


Speed limits are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent.
Motorways -  90kph/56mph
Towns - 50kph/31mph
Major roads -  80kph/50 mph


Toll roads are predominately link roads to major towns. You will find toll roads around major cities and on newer roads all around Norway. Prices vary according to vehicle and distance. AutoPASS is the Norwegian system for electronic fee collection and to use the AutoPASS-lane, you need a subscription and tag. The AutoPASS-system is also available to foreign vehicles.


The minimum age to drive in Norway is 17.


The International Driving license (IDL) and foreign licenses are accepted for a duration of one year, after which a Norwegian license must be obtained. If you are driving your own car, check with your insurance company first.


An international driving license, insurance certificate and vehicle registration and your passport are required.


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 coverage. The Green Card tops this up to the level of coverage provided by the visitor's own policy.

Car requirements

A warning triangle, first aid kit and fire extinguisher are recommended. It is compulsory to have at least one visibility vest and headlamp converters in your car.


Seat belts are compulsory front and rear.


Headlights must remain on at all times.


There must be a minimum of 1.6 mm tread on summer tires and 3.0 mm on winter tires. Vehicles must not be driven unless they have sufficient traction.


Children under 4 years old must travel in the rear and in a regulation child seat.


Motorcyclists must wear crash helmets.


Fire Service 110
Police Service 112
Ambulance Service 113

Sources: Travel Advice Norway / All Travel Norway / Visit Norway / DriveAlive / Norway Direct / Bug Europe / Staten Vegvesen