Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Norway

Norway
Population: 5.4m
Area: 328,878 square kilometres
Currency: Krone (100 øre) – NOK

Coronavirus update

Please be aware that driving in Europe may be restricted at the moment.

Check the Foreign travel advice section of the GOV.UK website for up to date advice on all European countries.

Known for its fjords and snow-capped mountains, Norway has some wonderful scenic drives to enjoy. The Atlantic coastal road, in particular, has dramatic landscapes that you can experience at your leisure in a car.

But if you’re planning a road trip to Norway, it’s essential you’re fully prepared ahead of time as driving there has many differences to the UK. 

To make your trip to Scandinavia as safe and effortless as possible, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know before you go, from required documents to rules of the road.  

Driving a rented vehicle? Jump to the advice for driving a hire car in Norway section.

RAC European Breakdown Cover (Basic, Comprehensive and Single Trip) provides a wide range of benefits should you breakdown in Norway to ensure you stay safe. 

To supplement this, RAC also offers travel insurance. Cover will include medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings, among many other benefits.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered when driving in Europe from just £7. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

Things to take when driving in Norway

driving-abroad-in-norway-advice

Documents for driving in Norway

  • A valid, full UK driving licence
  • A GB sticker (as Norway isn’t a member of the EU, you’ll need this even if your car has EU number plates that show a circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background)
  • Your motor insurance certificate (Ensure your car is covered by third-party insurance recognised in Norway. This is the legal minimum cover for residents and visitors, so check with your provider before you travel)
  • V5 registration document or hire car paperwork

Packing checklist for driving in Norway

Aside from the documents above, there are some legally-required items you must bring with you to drive in Norway.

Unless your headlights can be adjusted, it's a legal requirement to carry headlamp converters (stickers for your headlights when driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way).

A warning triangle is also compulsory to carry in vehicles in case of a breakdown.

It's also recommended to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A fire extinguisher 
  • A first-aid kit
  • A reflective jacket
  • A Green Card (this is no longer a requirement, but it could be useful to back-up your insurance documents and show you've got the minimum legal level of cover. To find out more, contact your insurance company)

You can pick up all the car kit you need from RAC Shop.

Rules of the road in Norway

  • Make sure everyone in the car wears a seat belt at all times. It’s compulsory for the driver and front seat passengers of cars to wear seat belts (passengers in the back seat must wear a belt if fitted)
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a moped or motorcycle
  • Use dipped headlights in the daytime (in towns as well as outside built-up areas)
  • In Norway, you drive on the right and overtake on the left. As a general rule, trams and vehicles from the right have priority
  • Use your horn, indicators and lights when necessary to avoid accidents. You should not, however, use them excessively
  • A vehicle towing a caravan must be equipped with special rear-view mirrors
  • You will have to pay tolls to use some roads, bridges and tunnels in Norway. You will also be charged to drive in the main cities, including Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger
  • If you're caught committing a driving offence while travelling through Norway, you could be given an on-the-spot fine of up to 10,000 NOK (around £800)
  • Children under 135cm in height must use an appropriate child restraint. If seated in a rear-facing seat in the front, the airbag must be deactivated. Children between 135cm and 150cm can use an adult seat belt with a booster cushion
  • Alcohol laws are strict in Norway. The drink-drive limit for all drivers is 0.02% and the police may ask you to undergo a random breath test

Norwegian speed limits

In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50km/h unless otherwise indicated, and as low as 30km/h in some residential areas. Outside built-up areas, the limit is 80km/h, and on motorways and dual carriageways, it’s 90km/h or 100km/h

Other things you should know when driving in Norway

driving-in-norway-abroad-speed

  • Norway is a long country and driving takes longer than you might think. Narrow and winding roads may be hazardous and impassable, especially in winter
  • Unleaded petrol and diesel are readily available, even in small villages, but only a few filling stations sell LPG. All have pumps where payment can be made with a credit card
  • There are service stations with fuel, shops and cafes along motorways
  • Parking spaces and ‘No Parking’ areas are clearly indicated by the international signs. Wheel clamps are not used in Norway, but vehicles parked illegally may be towed away

In an emergency

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting.

Operators can answer your call in their native language, English or French.

Breaking down in Norway

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings.

Driving a hire car in Norway

Not all of the information in the guide above will be relevant to those looking to rent a hire car in Norway.

Though it might be a good idea to read through everything anyway, here are the most important things to know for drivers of rental vehicles:

Rental information

  • The minimum age to hire a car is 19, although this can vary depending on the type of vehicle
  • You need a full, valid UK driving licence and usually a second proof of ID (passport)
  • Car rental companies ask that you have held your licence for a minimum term of 1 year
  • Some companies require you to use a credit card for deposit
  • You may not be able to drive outside of Norway unless planned in advance - check with your hire company first
  • Make sure you get car hire excess insurance before your trip to protect yourself from unexpected costs. It's almost always cheaper to do this with a separate insurer and in advance

Hire car driving tips

  • Norwegians drive on the right and overtake on the left - the opposite to the UK
  • The national speed limit on Norwegian motorways is between 90km/h (55mph) and 100km/h/h (62 mph). On a main road outside a built-up area it's 80 km/h. For built-up areas it’s 50km/h, unless otherwise stated
  • Dial 112 in an emergency
  • It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in the front and rear seats
  • The blood alcohol content limit for drivers of private vehicles is 0.02%. That's lower than the 0.08% in England Wales and Northern Ireland, but the same as Scotland.

Car hire excess cover

Protect yourself from unexpected excess costs when hiring a car.

Driving in Norway FAQs

  • Is it safe to drive in Norway?

    Yes, the roads in Norway are of a high standard and well-maintained, although some are narrow, especially in mountainous areas. Watch out for hairpin bends when driving around the fjords.

    You should also take extra care in forested areas. Elk, moose and reindeer have a tendency to jump into the road, especially at dusk and dawn.

    As with driving in any foreign country, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the law to ensure you stay safe on the roads.

  • Can you drive in Norway with a UK licence?

    Yes. You can legally drive in Norway with a full and valid UK driving licence. In addition to this, International Driving Permits are recognised but not required.

  • Do I need a green card to drive in Norway?

    Like the UK, Norway is a member of the Green Card System, a Europe-wide scheme that allows countries to recognise foreign vehicle insurance policies of visiting motorists.

    UK motorists are no longer required to carry a green card to drive in Norway, but you should check that your policy will cover you in all countries you plan to visit before setting off.

  • What side of the road do they drive on in Norway?

    Like most of mainland Europe, motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Norway.

  • Do I need a GB sticker for Norway?

    Yes. As Norway isn’t a member of the EU, you will need to display a GB sticker on the rear of your car even if it’s equipped with Euro plates.

  • Can I drive my car in Norway?

    Yes, provided you’ve got all the essential documents to stay legal on the roads, including having at least third-party insurance cover.

    You should also ensure you have all the required items needed for your journey in Norway (such as a warning triangle and GB sticker) as well as for any other country you’re planning to drive through.

  • How do I drive to Norway?

    As there are no longer any direct ferry routes from the UK to Norway, you’ll have to go either via the Netherlands or France.

    You can take your car to the Netherlands on board a ferry from Newcastle, Hull or Harwich. From there, drive up through Germany and Denmark, where you can catch another ferry from Hirtshals to Larvik in Norway.
    If you’re taking your car on the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais, drive up to Norway through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The drive from Calais to Oslo will take around 17 hours.

  • What age can you start driving in Norway?

    To legally drive in Norway, you must be 18 years or older and in possession of a full valid driving licence.

  • Do I need winter tyres to drive in Norway?

    Winter tyres are not compulsory for private vehicles but, when used, they must be fitted on all wheels and have a minimum tread depth of 3mm. Vehicles with summer tyres must use snow chains if there is snow or ice on the road.

    You may use spiked tyres from 1 November to the first Sunday after Easter. If you use them within the city boundaries of Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, you’ll be charged a fee.

  • Are there toll roads in Norway?

    Yes, you will have to pay to use some roads in Norway and, because of the mountainous terrain and numerous fjords and streams, there are many bridges and tunnels where tolls are normally payable too.

    Tolls can be paid in cash or by electronic collection, except for the toll on the Oslo ring road which is automated.

    You will also be charged to drive in the biggest cities, including Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered when driving in Europe from just £7. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice


Information in this guide is subject to change

British Embassy Oslo

Office: British Embassy Oslo
Street Address: Thomas Heftyesgate 8
ZIP Code: 0244
City: Oslo
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-23 132700
Fax: +47-23 132789, 132738

British Consulate Trondheim

Office: British Consulate Trondheim
Street Address: Beddingen 8 Trondheim
Postal Address : PO Box 2521, 7413 ZIP Code: 7037
City: Trondheim
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-73 600200
Fax: +47-73 600250

British Consulate Bodo

Office: British Consulate Bodo
Street Address: Brggcon AS, Notveien 17
ZIP Code: 8013
City: Bodo
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-75 565800
Fax: +47-75 565801
Email:[email protected]

British Consulate Laksevag

Office: British Consulate Laksevag
Street Address: Carl Konowsgate 34
Postal Address : PO Box 7255, 5020
ZIP Code: 5161
City: Laksevag
State : Bergen
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-55 944705
Fax: +47-55 343428

British Consulate Alesund

Office: British Consulate Alesund
Street Address: Farstadgarden, St Olav's Plass
Postal Address : PO Box 1301
ZIP Code: 6001
City: Alesund
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-70 124460
Fax: +47-70 128530

British Consulate Tromso

Office: British Consulate Tromso
Street Address: Mack's Olbryggeri, Storgaten 5-13
ZIP Code: 9291
City: Tromso
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-77 624500
Fax: +47-77 658677

British Consulate Stavanger

Office: British Consulate Stavanger
Street Address: Prinsensgate, 12
Postal Address : PO Box 28, 4001
ZIP Code: 4008
City: Stavanger
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-51 529713
Fax: +47-51 538301

British Consulate Kristiansand

Office: British Consulate Kristiansand
Street Address: Tangen 10
Postal Address : Post Box 479, 4664
ZIP Code: 4610
City: Kristiansand
Country: Norway

Telephone: +47-38 122070
Fax: +47-38 122071

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover