9 Important Things to Know Before Renting a Car in Norway

Renting a Car in Norway

It’s no secret that Norway is a dream destination in Scandinavia! The scenery is stunning and there is truly nowhere else in the world like it. The most popular way to explore this vast landscape is by renting a car in Norway. Below we share our own Norway road trip experience and some fun rental car tips. That way you’ll be ready to drive the mountain roads, around the fjords, and start searching for car rentals in Norway.

9 Tips for Renting a Car in Norway

1. Plan Your Route 

The best thing you can do is to plan your route first! We booked our Norway rental car round trip from Oslo and took an adventurous one-week journey.

It was very time consuming to figure out our destinations for each day and we may have overlooked a few things thinking back. So before renting a car in Norway you should go through these quick questions below.

  • Do I need the Norway rental car for the entire trip? If you’re starting in Oslo or another major city you may not need it for the beginning of your vacation.
  • Are there any weekly discounts?
  • What kind of car insurance do I need?
  • What is the one-way drop off fee and it is better to book a flight out of Norway from a different city?
  • What time is my flight out of Norway? If it is past the pick-up time you will likely have to pay for an extra day.

Planning a Trip to Norway: 10 Step Easy to Follow Travel Guide

Renting a Car Norway

2. High Season vs Swing Season

This is not a cheap travel destination and one of the largest expenses might be your Norway rental car. Just know if you plan a trip in the swing season (compared to the summer months of June and July) then the rental cars in Norway can often be 1/2 the price. 

If you’re traveling in high season book your rental car as far as in advance as possible. We use Discover Cars in Europe and always reserve a car as soon as we know our dates. It helps if you can confirm the rental company has a free cancellation policy as well.

Geiranger Skywalk: How to See Europe’s Highest Fjord Viewpoint

Rental Cars in Norway

3. Hybrid vs Electric Rental Cars in Norway

Norway is one of the leading countries in the world with electric cars! So don’t be surprised when you see more EV cars on the road than not.

This also means it’s often the same price to rent a car in Norway with electric or non-electric. Personally, we didn’t go for an EV because we were concerned about finding the charging stations along our intense route.

Luckily, when we got to the airport we were given a hybrid car. If you’re not automatically given one try asking for it.

With gas being around $10 USD a gallon at the time of our visit, the hybrid car was a nice alternative to electric. In fact, we only used about 1/4 of the gas as we would have with a normal Norway rental car.

Best Rental Cars in Norway

4. Ask About Tolls

When picking up rental cars in Norway make sure to double-check about tolls. It’s standard to have a toll pass inside the car (as there are no ticket booths) and to be charged by your Norway car rental company after your visit.

From our experience, the tolls on the highway are just a couple of dollars while some bridges can be much more.There are signs along the road to let you know when a toll is coming up and how much you will be charged for it.

Some companies offer a set fee per day for tolls that you can add on. Depending on your route, this could either save or cost you extra money. 

Norway Rental Car

5. Norway Rental Car Navigation System  

When we booked our car it came with a great built-in navigation screen. This made it super easy to get around Norway! As a backup, we always travel with an offline app like maps.me. You need to download the different maps while you have wifi but then you can use it when you don’t have service. 

This is especially important when renting a car in Norway as the roads can be quite confusing. Seriously… One wrong turn can take you into a 10-mile-long tunnel and really screw up your day.

Norway Rental Car Navigation

6. Taking Car Rentals in Norway on the Ferry 

Much of your road trip through Norway will likely be driving through the magical Fjords. For this reason, don’t be surprised when you find yourself crossing over the water a few different times. Some of this may be over bridges but you’ll also be riding the ferries. 

While this could be a hassle for some, we actually loved it! What a fun way to see the fjords and also get across the water to your next destination. The first time we jumped on a ferry we were a bit confused about how to pay for the 10-minute crossing.

To make it easy on international visitors, most ferries are set up like toll roads and will automatically charge your AutoPASS. Once again, this is a great reason to book your rental cars in Norway with a reputable company and confirm your vehicle has one. There are longer ferry crossings that you have to pre-book and pay for along with a set departure time. 

12 Best Tips To Know Before Exploring the Norway Fjords

Renting a Car in Norway Ferry

7. Driving in Tunnels 

We mentioned the tunnels before, and they can’t be understated. Norway has over 1,000 tunnels throughout the country including the longest car tunnel in the world. If you’re in any way claustrophobic or uncomfortable in small spaces, car rentals in Norway might not be for you.

Some days it felt like we were going through 20 different tunnels as we explored the fjords. We crossed a massive bridge leading one, went through a roundabout, and even passed the famous Lærdal Tunnel. 

Renting a Car in Norway Tunnel

8. Always Plan for Longer Driving Times 

Part of renting a car in Norway is experiencing all the unique and amazing stops throughout the day. Yet, a four-hour drive from one town to the next can easily turn into 6-8 hours once you stop at all the viewpoints. Then of course you’ll need to grab lunch or make time for a short hike in between!

What we’re trying to say is that you shouldn’t go by the exact time your GPS says. There is honestly just too much to see on the roads of Norway. Plus, planning for extra time will allow you to truly enjoy the scenery. 

Car Rentals in Norway

9. Scenic Routes With Norway Rental Cars

An awesome resource that we found helpful in Norway was the map of the different scenic routes around the country. Now, let us say almost all of Norway is beautiful… Especially around the fjords!

We drove along three official scenic routes on our trip and loved all of them. However, many of the roads that weren’t on these specific routes were just as gorgeous and special in their own way. 

What we’re trying to say is you absolutely shouldn’t miss out on the official roads through fjord country. Still, there is plenty to discover on your own as well! Don’t be afraid to stop in different towns along the way. 

Norway Itinerary: Amazing 7 Day Fjord Road Trip from Oslo

Renting a Car in Norway Tips

Is Renting a Car in Norway Worth it?

Yes! While there are plenty of great bus tours and other options available, know that renting a car in Norway is the way to go. It’s not an easy place to navigate by any means. The tunnels, winding roads, and mountains will take a lot out of you.

Yet, once you catch your first glimpse of the fjords and epic scenery you’ll be so glad you did! There’s just nothing that compares to driving yourself around this beautiful country. Having the freedom to stop in different small towns and spend the night make for the best experience.  

Have any questions about renting a car in Norway or want to share your own tips from your visit? Let us know in the comments below. 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Pin For Later 

Norway by car

More Norway Tips

Norway Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Italy to Prague for under $40 USD!

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when abroad. It is especially popular to rent a car and spend one week cruising between the Fjords. 

 Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda.  Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Norway. You can book everything from an Oslo pass for museums and transportation to a Bergen Fjord tour and even take a famous Tromsø Aurora Borealis Tour

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Norway Travel

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Share:

2 Comments

  1. Lesio
    January 17, 2024 / 6:48 pm

    Regarding charging times for EV, is it good idea to rent an electric car? I know there are plenty of charging stations but still it takes much longer to charge the car than buy gas (petrol). What’s your advice? Thanks

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      January 18, 2024 / 2:18 am

      Yes, that’s a good point. If you’re short on time you may want to avoid renting an electric car in Norway.

      There are of course many charging stations around the country and we did notice some are even at hotels so you can charge overnight. Perhaps in the coming years it will be a much better option!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *