How to drive in Sweden?

Basic rules of the roads and driving requirements.


The Swedish drive on the right and overtake on the left.
Sweden’s road network is extensive and well maintained, with toll-free motorways and thousands of picturesque roads in the countryside.
Traffic jams and queues are rare.
Large elongated arrows on the highway signify the minimum distance you are expected to maintain between your vehicle and the next.
Slower vehicles are expected to move onto the shoulder to allow faster moving vehicles to pass.
Sweden is a densely-forested country where wildlife accidents are all too common. Be extra careful to wild animals on the roads.

Roads and Motorways

The network of highways and secondary roads in Sweden are among the best in Europe. The motorway, known as the Motorvag, runs between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo and connects Stockholm to the northern coastal region of Sweden. The roadways of Sweden traverse the varied scenery of woodlands and costal views. Most important swedish highways are:

E6 - from Malmö to Gothenburg (Göteborg) and Oslo (Norway).
E4 - from Helsingborg (close to Malmö), to Stockholm and then all the way north to Haparanda at the Finnish border.

National roads (riksvägar) have two digit numbers, and there are two classes of three digit numbered roads (länsvägar): the big ones (numbers 100-400) and really small ones (all other numbers).


Trams have priority. When a tram stops and there is no island to accept disembarking passengers, drivers must yield to passengers crossing to the sidewalk.

Right of way

Pedestrians have priority on a pedestrian crossing, but they're required to cross streets at a crossing only.


Parking restrictions are strict but clearly indicated. Most Swedish cities operate both metered on-street parking and timed ticket machines from 8am to 6pm. On street parking usually takes place on the right side of the road only.


If you speed in Sweden, you risk a heavy fine and maybe even losing your driving license.
Police are not empowered to collect fines on the spot. Fines range from 300 to 1200 Kr, but if two or more offences are already on record and the new fine or fines brings the total over 2500 Kr the offender must go to court.
The blood/alcohol limit is 0.02. It is best to avoid alcohol completely if driving. You can be prosecuted even if you have drunk only the equivalent of less than a can of beer; police make frequent spot checks.
Use of mobile telephones while driving is against the law.


Some pumps accept SEK 20 or SEK 50 or SEK 100 bills; These pumps are called sedel automat; old-fashioned self-serve pumps are called tanka själv. Generally, fuel stations are open from 7am to 7pm, but in cities and along main roads they stay open until 8 or 10pm, or for 24 hours. You'll have to exit the expressway to find fuel stations; but on the expressway, signs abound pointing to them. In general, credit cards are accepted. Leaded super petrol has an octane rating of 96 (normal) or 98 (premium). Unleaded petrol is called blyfri 95 (or 98); and it has an octane rating of 95 (or 98). Diesel is, in fact, called diesel. LPG is called autogas. Propane is called gasol. Petrol and diesel are both dispensed from green pumps. You may carry 30 litres of spare fuel.


Motorways: 110 kph/68mph
Towns: 50 kph/31mph
Major roads: 90kph/56mph


There are no tolls on Sweden’s roads.


The minimum age to drive in Sweden is 18.

Drivers Licence

An International Driving Licence (IDL) and foreign licences are accepted for a duration of one year, after which a Swedish licence must be obtained.
If your driving licence does not have a photograph, it is only valid with an identification document with a photograph.
If your licence is not designed according to the United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic, and if it is not also written in English, German or French, it is only valid in combination with a certified translation into English, German, French, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian.

Drivers documentation

It is advisable to carry international driving licence, insurance certificate and vehicle registration, along with the passport.


Fire and third party liability insurance is mandatory.

Car requirements

A warning triangle is obligatory (to be placed 50-100 metres behind the vehicle).
The use of snow tires is mandatory between December 1 and March 31 and, due to the country's northerly climate, experience in driving on ice and snow is recommended before negotiating Sweden's winter roads.


In Sweden seatbelts are compulsory front and rear.


You must drive with headlights on 24 hours a day.


Children under 7 years old should be restrained in approved seat. It is illegal to use a back facing Child safety seat in a car that has a passenger side airbag.


The helmet is obligatory. It is by law necessary to have the dipped head lights on.


Police 112
Fire 112
Ambulance service 112

Sources: All Travel Sweden / Bug / Wikitravel / Vagverket / Sverige Turism / Sweden Travel Guide / Embassy of Sweden / AutoEurope