Driving in Finland

Important Driving Basics for Visitors

nighttime time lapse of a highway in Finland
Teemu Tretjakov/EyeEm/Getty Images

Part of the article collection Driving in Scandinavia.

You'll be driving on your next Finland vacation? Find out more about how to drive in Finland, and get useful driving tips for Finnish roads...with these practical tips for drivers. You will find that the traffic rules in Finland may not be so different from the ones used in your home country. But then again, a few things may differ a lot. Let's find out what you should keep an eye out for.

  • 01 of 06

    Important Basics for Finland

    Don't drive on the left like in the UK or Australia. In Finland, you drive on the right side of the road. In all public traffic areas, road signs use standard international symbols. They sometimes include Finnish phrases and it is good practice to familiarize yourself with those phrases before arriving at the airport in Finland. Distances given on traffic signs in Finland are in kilometers, and 1 kilometer equals 0.6 miles.

  • 02 of 06

    Speed Limits in Finland

    Speeding gets you tickets in Finland, just like in most other places around the world. Make sure you don't drive too fast in Finland. The speed limit on highways (motorways) is 100 kph (120 kph in the summer), in towns it's generally around 40 - 50 kph. On major roads outside of towns, the Finnish speed limit is between 80 - 100 kph.

  • 03 of 06

    Finnish Safety Regulations

    Driving in Finland requires snow tires from December to February. Make sure to use headlights at all times, not just during dusk, rain, fog, or otherwise bad weather in Finland. Headlights must be switched on continually due to recent changes in the law and seat belts are also required at all times. In newer car models in Finland, the headlights are automatically on at all times, so you won't have to worry about that part if you decide to get a rental car.

  • 04 of 06

    Alcohol & Driving

    For drivers, the alcohol limit in Finland is 0.5 promille. Keep in mind that the police can pull you over for testing at any time and if you're over the limit, you're going to jail. Yes, it's that easy to see a Finnish jail from the inside. Just don't do it and catch a taxi or select a designated driver ahead of time, please. You are endangering others on the road as well, not just yourself, and the tolerance for this behavior is not too great in this part of the world.

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  • 05 of 06

    Required Documents for Driving

    There are a couple of things you should have on you at all times when driving. So what do you need before setting off in the car? In Finland, you should carry your driver's license and passport with you, as well as the vehicle's vehicle registration form, which at the same time serves as proof of insurance for the vehicle. You have to be 18 to drive in Finland.

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    Calling Emergency Services

    So you have had an accident on your trip in Finland? Roadside assistance needed? I hope not. But if you do get into an accident or require other emergency services in Finland, call 112 nationwide to reach the police, fire department and ambulance. You can immediately ask for an English-speaking staff member without further problems and have appropriate emergency services dispatched to your location (to indicate where you are, provide at least the street and city, or in rural areas the kilometer markers of side roads or country roads).

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