DESTINATIONS car-travel-49


Car Travel

Driving is pleasant on Finland's relatively uncongested roads. That said, car rental here isn't cheap: regular daily rates range from about €80 to €160. Unlimited mileage rates are the norm.

Late autumn and spring are the most hazardous times to drive. Roads are often icy in autumn (kelivaroitus is the slippery road warning), and the spring thaw can make for kelirikko (heaves). Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. You must use headlights at all times, and seat belts are compulsory for everyone. Yield to cars coming from the right at most intersections. The use of cell phones while driving is not permitted. There are strict drinking-and-driving laws in Finland, and remember to watch out for elk and reindeer signs, placed where they are known to cross the road.

Outside urban areas, speed limits vary between 60 kph and 100 kph (37 mph and 62 mph), with a general speed limit of about 80 kph (50 mph). In towns the limit is 40 kph to 60 kph (25 mph to 37 mph) and on motorways it's 100 kph to 120 kph (62 mph to 75 mph).


Automobile and Touring Club of Finland. 09/7258–4400; 0200/8080;

Gasoline costs about €1.50 per liter. Nearly all gas stations are self-service. Those in Helsinki and on major roadways are open 24 hours.

You can usually park on the right-hand side of the road. In town, you'll find meters everywhere; metered parking can cost up to €2 per hour. There are also a few pay-by-the-hour garages. In winter, signs in Finnish posted a week in advance will announce snow plowing.


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