What to know about driving in Finland
Quiet roads and considerate drivers make driving in Finland a pleasure rather than a chore. Read up on the rules of the road before you go for the smoothest start to your visit.
Q: What side of the road should I drive on in Finland?
A: Finns drive on the righthand side of the road and overtake on the left.
Q: What is the drink-drive limit?
A: The blood alcohol limit here is 0.5g/l
Q: What are the rules on seatbelts?
A: Seatbelts are compulsory for all passengers.
Q: What is the speed limit in Finland?
A: Unless otherwise specified the speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, 80km/h outside urban areas, 120km/h on motorways and 80-100km/h on major roads. Note that there are different winter speed limits when 100km/h limits are reduced to 80km/h and 120km/h to 100km/h.
Q: Are there toll roads in Finland?
A: There are no toll roads in Finland. All construction and maintenance is paid for through Finnish taxes.
Q: Where can I park?
A: There are numerous pay-and-display car parks as well as metered parking in Finland. On Sundays, parking is usually free everywhere but it’s wise to double-check before leaving your vehicle. Be sure when parking on the road be at least 5m from any pedestrian crossings or intersections to avoid getting a fine.
Q: How easy is it to get fuel?
A: There are fuel stations all over the country but in rural areas you may drive for a while without seeing one, so it pays to fill up in advance. Note that the majority of fuel stations in Finland are self-service, so you will refuel and pay at the pump. Although some self-service stations take cash it is usually easier to pay by credit card.
Q: What else should I know?
A: Look out for elks, deer and, in the north of the country, reindeer on the road when driving in Finland. Road signs indicate common crossing points for the animals. If you see one crossing ahead, reduce your speed and if necessary, pull over to let them pass. Also be aware that headlights must be switched on at all times, even when driving during the day.