Driving in Finland

Driving in Finland

Nordic weather can throw drivers for a loop even though the roads of Finland are generally in good shape. Whether you encounter ice or reindeer while driving through Lapland or practically any other terrain, the following advice will make your journey more accessible and more secure.

Renting a vehicle. Car rental agencies are present in all main metropolitan areas and airports. It is advisable to make reservations in advance, and a credit card is required when booking. Carsharing in Lappeenranta is organized through Japster. Validity of foreign driving licenses in Finland.

Avoiding traffic jams. Jammed roadways are uncommon in Finland. Although it is not exceptional to encounter traffic complaints from Finns, such expressions are uncommon from residents of major metropolitan areas in other countries. A few minutes of delay is considered severe traffic to a Finn.

Speed restrictions. The standard speed limit in Finland is 80 km/h outside of towns and 50 km/h in urban areas. Generally, both restrictions are enforced when no other speed limit is posted. Major highways are open to 100 km/h during the summer. In the summer, the speed limit on highways is 120 kilometers per hour. During winter, the speed restriction is reduced to 80 km/h on smaller roads and 100 km/h on highways.

Toll payments. In Finland, neither toll roads nor bridges are present. Most road and highway construction and maintenance funding comes from Finnish taxes.

Traffic cameras. Automatic traffic surveillance equipment is used by the Finnish police on extensively traveled roads and in urban areas. A yellow road sign representing a camera will indicate which of these highways you are crossing.

Turn on the lights. Generally, when an approaching vehicle sends high beams toward you, it indicates that your headlights are not activated. In Finland, vehicles must have their headlights on at all times, regardless of the season or the hour of the midnight sun. However, a flashing light may also indicate an impending collision or the presence of an animal on the road; therefore, maintain vigilance. That may also tell you that your high beams are blasting oncoming traffic.

Be careful about the animals. Attention is highly recommended for drivers in Finland regarding signs that caution about moose walking roadways. Slow down if you observe one, and use your high beams at night whenever possible. Crashes do occur despite the presence of high moose fences along many of the nation’s highways. They can be fatal for drivers, passengers, and animals. Additionally, a reindeer (or ten) crossing the road frequently occurs in Lapland. You must take care while driving and adjust your speed accordingly in light of the restricted visibility and potentially hazardous road conditions.

A four-wheel drive (4×4 or 4WD). Some people believe that SUV or any similar car with two-axled vehicle drivetrain providing torque to all its wheels simultaneously will get you out of the every situation. In the real situation, if you lack your experience and skills and overestimate your and vehicle’s ability, you will be just a little bit further in the forest to be evacuated with special evacuating trailer. Don’t think that if you are stuck in the mud or nice and deep snow, it is the right place to turn your 4×4 on. It is too late, and maybe that worked all the way.

Driving essentials during the winter. A downside of Finland’s pleasant winter climate is that roads may sometimes become extremely icy. Consequently, winter tires are mandatory for all vehicles from December 1st to March 1st. Studded tires produced by Finnish companies may be the best idea when traveling in the northern region. No one drives with chains in Finland, and this is a strange myth from Southern Europe. Additionally, plan sufficient time for driving during the weather. Driving slowly during icy conditions or heavy snowfall is the only way to ensure safety. In general, road surfaces do not receive salting. They are removed through the use of snow plows.

Remember that frigid temperatures and cabin heating reduce propulsion when operating an electric vehicle. Additionally, when driving in Finland, regardless of whether your car is powered by gasoline or electricity, you should always wear or carry warm clothing if you are forced to make an unexpected stop.

And if you have a thought, it is a really cool idea to rent an electric car without any northern driving experience and go from Southern Finland to the North of Norway. Our answer: never do this, please.