Car hire in Norway - Experience the mountains of Norway in a hire car on the world’s best road trip road
As well as being a great place for a skiing holiday, the many unique Norwegian attractions entice visitors from all over the world all year around.
The Norwegian mountains, the larger Norwegian cities (mainly Bergen and Oslo) not to mention the Norwegian fjords opening out to the Atlantic receive many visitors.
More and more people travel to Nordkap to experience the northern lights or to the Telemark area north-east of Oslo, which is easily accessible by car
Driving in Norway in a hire car – experience the ’best roadtrip road’ in Norway
Most drivers are easily impressed by Norway’s many beautiful stretches of road – for example along the coast of the Atlantic.
From the islands around Molde in western Norway runs the road which has won the title ’world’s best roadtrip’.
The world’s best road trip in Norway is also called main-road 64. It is about 62 miles long and crosses 12 low bridges with fantastic views over the fjords and the Atlantic before arriving in the town of Kristiansund, which is about 112 miles south-west of Trondheim.
The distance to main-road 64 from Oslo is approximately 285 miles, following the E6 motorway. The distance from Bergen is 310 miles but takes considerably longer as it is following the winding road E39.
See also: Road trip suggestions from Visit Norway.
Be aware that there are many toll roads in Norway. See a map of Norway's toll roads.
Some hire companies’ cars register the toll automatically and the final amount will be added to the hire bill on your credit card. This is for example true of many of Avis rent-a-car’s vehicles in Norway. This information is available upon collection of the hire car.
Prices for car hire in Norway
Even though Norway isn’t the most expensive country in Scandinavia to hire cars, it still isn’t a country where car hire comes cheap.
There isn’t much money to be saved by hiring the smallest hire cars in Norway, so look out for a vehicle in the VW Golf class with 5 doors. It is often possible to find a hire car in the bigger Norwegian cities at around £385 for a week of car hire.
It is worth keeping in mind that not all hire companies in Norway offer free mileage. It is therefore important to check the ’price details’ of each car hire quote for information if whether or not mileage is included in the price. Most of the cars on offer in the Cartrawler search engine have got free mileage in Norway.
The price for an MPV or a people carrier in Norway is a fair bit higher than hiring the equivalent in central Europe or the UK. You will rarely find a minibus for 8-9 people and luggage, for less than £850 for a week’s car hire in Norway.
It is usually permitted to drive a Norwegian hire car to Sweden and Denmark, but not on all occasions. Check the terms and conditions under ’price details’.
The hire vehicles are comprehensively insured with an excess for accidental damage. The excess is usually quite high or around 6000 NOK (£675) for the smaller cars. When booking a hire vehicle using Cartrawler it is possible to protect yourself against the excess – usually for around £4.5 per day. You can also take out the excess insurance (collision damage waiver) directly from the hire company upon collection of the vehicle but this will be substantially more expensive.
The car hire prices in Norway can rise in the summer dependant on demand. It is therefore beneficial to book well in advance.
Car hire in Oslo is a whole different chapter.
Winter driving in Norway – using winter tyres and chains.
The general rule when driving in winter is that when driving in Norway you must use tyres which will provide the required grip.
Studded tyres can be used from 1. November to 15. April. In the northern states of Norland, Troms and Finnmark studded tires are allowed for a longer period, from 15. October to 1. May. Studded tyres can be used outside these periods if the weather and road conditions render them necessary – otherwise not.
Winter tyres must have at least 3 mm tread. All hire cars in Norway are of course fitted with winter tyres during the period where they are required as set by the authorities.
Summer tires must have at least 1.6 mm tread like in the UK. The police in Norway are quite strict when it comes to tyre tread – also with tourists.
If using studded tyres in Norway, all four wheels must be fitted with studded tyres. You can use snow chains during winter if you wish. It is not required for vehicles under 3500 kg, but the local authorities can actually demand it.
It is therefore a good idea to bring snow chains, or hire them in Norway during winter, and larger vehicles over 3500 kg must have them fitted during winter, if the conditions call for it.
There is a charge for driving with studded tyres in Norway’s larger cities, as even though they are very effective, they also cause a lot of wear to the road surface. This charge applies in Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.
The studded tyre charge also applies to tourists. Daily and monthly stickers to place on the windscreen are available at Esso petrol stations, post offices and at specific vendors by the roads leading into the cities. The stickers start at 30 NOK (one day). The fine applicable for using studded tyres without purchasing a sticker is 500 Norwegian kroner.
At least one high visibility jacket must be present in the vehicle in Norway, in summer as well as winter. Keep in mind that when driving in unpopulated areas in Norway, the distance between petrol stations can be far.
Speed limits in Norway – large fines, even for small offences
The roads in Norway usually carry a speed limit of 80 km/h
The limit can be 50, 40 or 30 km/h in populated areas. Motorways and dual carriageways have got a speed limit of either 90 or 100 km/h in Norway.
All of the above speed limits apply to cars (excluding trailer and weighing up to 3500 kg) and motorbikes.
There are speed cameras in Norway and they are not always easy to spot.
Keep in mind that even minor speeding and other traffic offences in Norway can be very costly compared to the UK.
For example if you exceed the speed limit by 11 km (7mph) in a 60 zone (drive 71 km/h where you are allowed to drive 60 km/h) the fine will be 2900 NOK or around £325. Running a red light or tailgating other motorists will set you back 5200 NOK or around £590!
Many tourists experience receiving 3-4 automatic speeding tickets during their holiday in Norway without even knowing. Therefore it is extremely important to respect the speed limit in Norway.
In a Norwegian hire car any speeding offences resulting in a ticket will automatically be debited on the payment card used for collateral in connection with booking the vehicle.