Tips for Driving in Finland

Driving in Finland. Driving Requirements. Why carry an IDP while driving in Finland. 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Driving in Finland. The Most Important Driving Rules in Finland. Rules of the Road. Renting a Car.

Driving in Finland


Driving in Finland.


If you are going on vacation to scenic Finland in Northern Europe, whether to the capital city Helsinki or more rural areas, be prepared for beautiful natural landscapes and attractive cities in the country known for the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Before you go, there are some important things to learn about the required paperwork and driving laws in Finland, which are in some ways similar to the rules and customs of driving in Scandinavia. Finland has roads that are generally in good condition, with light traffic jams that are rare compared to what people from other countries are used to.




Driving Requirements


There are a couple of things you should have on you at all times when driving. Before setting off in the car in Finland, you should carry your valid driver's license and current passport with you, as well as the car's vehicle registration form, which at the same time serves as proof of insurance for the vehicle. Also, take note that drivers have to be 18 to get behind the wheel in Finland.

Checklist for Driving in Finland

  • Driver's license (required)
  • Vehicle registration (required)
  • Proof of insurance (required)
  • Snow tires (required in winter)

Why carry an IDP while driving in Finland. Get an international driving license for driving in Finland. Your International Driving Permit is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information. It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Finland highly recommends an International Driving Permit ( known as International Driver’s License).




5 Reasons Why You Should Be Driving in Finland


  • 1. Enjoy the freedom of having your own vehicle. Make side trips. Stay somewhere cool a little longer.
  • 2. The roads. They are in great condition and clearly marked.
  • 3. People obey the driving rules. Everything is organized.
  • 4. Gas stations with free and decent toilets. Most places have a good variety of food and even a grocery store.
  • 5. No traffic jams. I repeat, no traffic jams!




Renting a Car


You'll find rental car companies at the airport or in all major cities and towns. To rent a car, you must be at least 20 and to have held your license for a year. Drivers under 25 may have to pay a young driver fee to rent a car. Travelers from the U.S. and Canada can rent a car with a domestic driver's license that has been valid for at least one year. Most rental cars in Finland are stick shift, so double check your order if you want a car with automatic transmission.




The Most Important Driving Rules in Finland


Tips for road trip in Finland
  • Don’t drink and drive!
  • Always use the lights when driving.
  • No turns on red.
  • Always use your blinker.
  • In the cities, the default speed is 50 km/h.
  • On the roads, the default speed is 80 km/h
  • Buses have the right of way at speed limit under 60 km/h. Even when the bus is at a bus stop and only blinking!
  • Pedestrians have the right of way crossing the street in spots where there are no traffic lights.
  • If a car is in any way stopped close to a crosswalk, you must stop too.
  • Pay attention to cars coming from your right. If no sign is showing otherwise, they have the right of way.
  • Fines for speeding are proportional to your income.




Rules of the Road


One difference from other parts of the world is that in Finland, like in the United States and Canada, you drive on the right side of the road, unlike countries that drive on the left side, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Australia.

  • Distance measurements: Traffic signs in Finland are in kilometers, and 1 kilometer equals 0.6 miles.
  • Seat belts: In Finland, seat belts are mandatory for the front and rear seats.
  • Flashing high beams: If a car coming in your direction flashes its high beams at you, there may be an accident or a moose on the road ahead, or you may need to turn your headlights on. Stay safe by keeping an eye out for these possibilities anytime you are driving.
  • Alcohol: The alcohol limit in Finland is 0.5 grams/liter for drivers, and the tolerance for this behavior is low in this part of the world. Keep in mind that the police can pull you over for testing at any time.
  • Drugs: Scandinavian countries are strict regarding driving under the influence of psychotropic substances and do not allow driving under the influence of methylamphetamine, marijuana (THC, cannabis), or MDMA (ecstasy).
  • Parking: Always park in the direction of traffic, with a 5-meter distance from intersections or pedestrian crossings.
  • Gas stations: Gas is called petrol. After filling their tank, people in Finland move their cars off to the side while paying inside.
  • Tolls: Fortunately for tourists and locals alike, Finland does not have toll highways or bridges.
  • In case of emergency: If you get into an accident or require other emergency services in Finland, call 112 nationwide to reach the police, fire department, and ambulance.
  • Speed limits: You'll find the speed limit on a round sign with a red circle outline, measured in kilometers per hour. The speed limit on highways (motorways) is 100 kilometers per hour, while the general speed limit is 50 kph in built-up areas. In winter, the general speed limit is reduced everywhere to 80 kph.
In winter, the general speed limit is reduced everywhere to 80 kph.