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    Car Hire in Norway - Exploring Scandinavia

    Take the ultimate self-guided vacation with a car rental in Norway, a land of epic landscapes. Norway is blessed with an excellent motorway network, one of the best in the world in fact, which is why a car hire in Norway is such a popular way to travel around. Discover the wealth of this country's history and beauty by picking up your car at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo to start your Norway adventure.

    A world-renowned centre of art and culture, Oslo the capital is packed with first-class museums and amazing art galleries, not forgetting one of the most impressive opera houses in Europe. The city is also the proud seat of the Nobel Prize and the ideal place to begin your Scandinavian getaway. Tour the former Olympic village of Lillehammer before exploring Roan where you'll discover the ruins of a Viking town and marble quarry. Rent a vehicle in Norway to enjoy a fascinating glimpse of peasant life centuries ago when the Vikings roamed the area.

    Arguably the most picturesque of all the Scandinavian countries, Norway's great grandeur of scenery is a kaleidoscopic mix of breathtaking fjords, huge glaciers, lush green forests and deep river valleys across all four corners of the country. And with its ancient wooden churches - known as staves, of which around 30 of the original ones still remain - and roller-coaster bridges, this 'Land of the Midnight Sun' (as it is affectionately known) is an exciting place for an extensive road trip, most notably along the twenty or so official tourist routes that criss-cross the country from north to south and east to west.

    Driving conditions vary during the winter months, with some parts remaining mostly free of ice and snow, including Oslo and the coastal areas of Eastern Norway and Vestlandet. However, this doesn't mean that the roads don't get slippery, so make sure your car is supplied with special winter tyres, snow chains or studded tyres for use between late October and early April, particularly if you'll be driving in the mountains. Norway's contrasting seascape also features a large number of fjords that stretch far inland so that car ferries are required to transport car drivers to the more beautiful parts of the country's magnificent coastline.

    For appreciating all the wonders of nature, you simply cannot beat a road trip in Norway, particularly around the fjords as well as the country's impressive national parklands of Jotunheimen, Rondane, Hardangervidda, Saltfjellet-Svartisen and Femundsmarka. Further north on the other side of the Arctic Circle, it's even possible to see polar bears, elks, Arctic foxes and reindeer as you drive along enjoying the scenery. And if you're visiting the north of Norway over the Christmas period, keep an eye out for Father Christmas who can sometimes be seen riding along in his sleigh!

    Auto Europe is an international travel broker with over 60 years of experience in the car rental industry. Our competitive rates attract millions of satisfied customers every year and for the convenience of our clients we offer more than 24,000 convenient pick-up and drop-off points in over 180 different countries. By collaborating with all the world's top car hire suppliers, we are able to offer a diverse selection of car categories and locations, including railway stations, airports and city centres. Booking with Auto Europe is a guarantee of quality, so book your rent a car in Norway online now or contact our award-winning reservation specialists on +441233225114 to help with your holiday plans today!

    By far the best way to fully appreciate the full beauty of Norway’s coastal and inland areas is to take to the road. The country has many unforgettable places to explore, including Bergen and Trondheim, both incredibly lovely cities located in beautiful seaside settings.

    What are the most important driving rules in Norway?

    • In Norway, cars drive on the right side of the road and pass on the left.

    • It is mandatory for all vehicles on the roads in Norway to have their headlights on at all times.

    • The use of seat belts is mandatory for both the driver and any passengers.

    • In Norway, the legal limit of alcohol for those behind the wheel is 20 mg/ml. Alcohol and other intoxicants can impair one's ability to drive safely and make sound judgments and decisions.

    • Certain roads in Norway are closed in winter. When driving up a long, steep mountain pass it's always a good idea to keep your eye on the temperature gauge. To avoid overheating the brakes, it is safest to put your vehicle in a low gear when driving down any steep roads.

    • Petrol stations in Norway vary widely in terms of prices and hours of operation. Be warned that in many rural and mountainous regions of Norway, it can be quite some distance before arriving at the next petrol station.

    • For more information about driving around the country, please visit our driving guide to Norway to make sure your trip is a safe and pleasant one.

    What to do in Norway

    Magical Norway not only offers the thrill of seeing the elusive Aurora Borealis but also the chance to experience outstanding scenery and some of the world's best ski resorts. Besides offering the very best of the famous Nordic charm, visitors have a plethora of outdoor pursuits at their disposal, including snow-boarding, dog-sledding, whale-watching and extreme skiing. The country's Viking history is another major highlight for people travelling around in their car rental in Norway, particularly in and around the coastal inlets of the southern and south-western shorelines from where they launched their trademark long-ships as part of their quest for world domination.

    • Norwegian Glacier Museum: Centrally located in Fjærland, to the north-east of Bergen, the Norwegian Glacier Museum & Ulltveit-Moe Climate Centre is an interactive museum for the whole family. Housed in an innovative building in a truly magnificent location, the museum explores a diversity of themes, including how glaciers have been formed since the creation of the planet through to the last ice age and beyond with a particular focus on climate change.

    • Oslo: One of Europe’s most affluent cities, Oslo has a wealth of attractions to suit all tastes, from first-rate museums and cultural centres to dazzling seascapes and an eclectic mix of old and new architecture. Visit the popular Viking Museum where you can learn all about Norway’s ancient past, or the Kon-Tiki Museum depicting Thor Heyerdahl’s historic voyage across the Pacific on a balsawood raft. After that, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront to see the city’s famous opera house (one of the world’s finest) before visiting the impressive National Gallery and the magnificent Royal Palace.

    • Bergen: One of the best-preserved ‘timber-towns’ in the whole of Scandinavia, Bergen is famous for its historic waterside district called Bryggen, which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Another major tourist attraction is the Floibanen funicular railway which links the old town with Mount Floyen, a spot particularly popular for its head-spinning views. Surrounded by the Seven Mountains, Bergen's trading roots stretch right back to the early 11th century and today the city is a popular gateway to the Norwegian Fjords which attract thousands of road-trippers every year.

    • Trondheim: The old city of Trondheim in the north of Norway is worth visiting for its huge and very ancient cathedral (the largest in Scandinavia) where the country’s patron saint, St Olaf, is buried. Its historic centre is another star attraction and an area perfect for a leisurely stroll amongst the city's many bars, cafés, restaurants and trendy boutiques. Other unmissable sights include the National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim Museum of Art, Archbishop’s Palace Museum and, in stark contrast, Rockheim, Norway’s national museum of popular music.

    • Stave Churches: Norway’s fine medieval stave churches (the word ‘stave’ relates to the architectural style of timber framing) provide plenty of side attractions for visitors travelling around the country. Originally far more widespread, the few that remain date back to the 15th century and are most striking for their towering design, particularly the Heddal stave church in Notodden to the west of Oslo, the largest in the country.

    Road trips with my car hire in Norway

    With an abundance of fjords, glaciers and snow-topped mountain districts, visiting this glorious country is all about travelling around and appreciating the great outdoors. It's also a place that scores many points culturally, with a number of the world's most impressive and technologically-advanced museums and cultural centres located in towns and cities all over the country. Use your car hire in Norway to see centuries-old Viking ships, preserved medieval stave churches and impressive collections of art and rare items of treasure in some of Norway's most remote locations.

    The Kystriksveien seaside road along the Nordland coastline is an exhilarating 400-mile trip and, according to National Geographic magazine, one of the world’s most scenic car journeys. Kystriksveien has many tourist highlights, including Norveg (a coastal heritage centre), the Petter Dass Museum (named after the 17th-century priest and poet), the Lovund Puffin Colony (over 200,000 of them!) and the Norwegian Aviation Museum, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. Don’t miss the island of Vega just south of the Arctic Circle where the local residents still make a living from fishing and harvesting the down of eider ducks. There’s very little traffic on this route, even in high summer, so you are guaranteed a stress-free journey and the frequent ferry hops make for an interesting detour.

    Another must for car drivers are Norway's world-famous fjords, where sheer rock walls plunge straight into the water from exceptional heights, dropping from green meadows down to water-filled canyons overshadowed by quaint little villages totally untouched by the stress and strife of modern life. Among the longest and deepest fjords on the planet are Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, which are set about 75 miles apart of each other in the south-west of Norway in an area generally considered to be the most scenically outstanding archetypical fjord landscape in Europe.

    And the further north you travel in Norway, the greater the chance of seeing the greatest light show on earth – the staggeringly beautiful Aurora Borealis. Caused by charged particles emitted by the sun colliding with earth's upper atmosphere, it’s possible to see it all year round but the most spectacular Northern Lights (as this incredible phenomenon is otherwise known) appear on the darkest of winter nights far away from any towns or cities.

    Norway’s fine collection of medieval stave churches (the word ‘stave’ relates to the architectural style of timber framing in northern Europe) provides plenty of side attractions for visitors travelling around the country by car. Originally more widespread, the few that remain (around 30 from the original total of up to 2,000 are still intact and cater for tourists dropping by unexpectedly) date back to the 15th century. These uniquely prominent landmarks in the Norwegian countryside are mostly striking for their towering design, particularly the Heddal stave church in Notodden located to the west of Oslo, the largest in the country.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Norway?

    For most types of cars, the minimum driving age in Norway is 18. Most car rental suppliers have a minimum age of at least 19, and often charge a young driver fee for clients under the age of 25.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car rental in Norway?

    Norway has approximately fifty toll stations, most of which are automatic. Drivers are required to register their credit card online after which they will be able to pass through the AutoPASS stations without stopping. You can either register your credit card in advance or anything up to 14 days after the first time you passed an auto-toll. Those not registered can stop and pay at a nearby petrol station marked by a sign saying "KR-service". Visit the Norway tolls website for more information regarding the country's toll policies.

    A bit of history

    The first hunter-gatherers appeared in the country now known as Norway some 10,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that the region around Oslofjord was a thriving agricultural centre 5,000 years later, while vestiges of Bronze Age burial mounds and Iron Age workings uncovered during excavations have been dated to around 1,500-500 BC. After the Romans came the Vikings who launched their colonisation of Western Europe from the shores of Norway in 793 AD, which ended at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Later on, Norway was locked in a union with Denmark from 1521 until 1814 and following that a further union with Sweden until a peaceful separation was negotiated on the 7th of June 1905. Since then, the country has proven to be a very prosperous independent nation with one of the highest standards of living in the western world.

    What is the currency in Norway?

    Norway uses the Krone as the basic form of its currency, called kroner in plural. Currency exchanges can be made in exchange bureaus or in tourist information offices. ATM units can allow you to withdraw cash from your home account. Many establishments accept credit cards, including Visa, Eurocard, Mastercard, Diner's Club and American Express.

    What time zone is Norway in?

    The time zone in Norway is GMT +1, making Oslo one hour ahead of London, for example. Norway observes standard daylight-saving practices, so from late March until Late November the time in Norway is GMT+2.

    Which are the most common words and phrases in Norway?

    Hello - Hallo
    Good morning - God Morgen
    Good afternoon - God Ettermiddag
    Good evening - God Kveld
    Where is the closest police station? - Hvor er nærmeste politistasjon?
    Where is the closest hospital? - Hvor er nærmeste sykehus?
    Where is the closest ATM machine? - Hvor er det nærmeste minibank?
    Where is [location]? - Hvor er [location]?
    Can I pay by credit card? - Kan jeg betale med kredittkort bil?
    Can I pay by debit card? - Kan jeg betale med debetkort?
    How much does this cost? - Hvor mye koster dette?
    Thank you - Takk
    Keep the change - Behold veksle

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in Norway?

    Norway powers its sockets with 220 volts at 50-60 Hz, same as in the UK. However, the outlets will not be the same as Norway uses the Europlug (Type C & F) so you may need an adapter if you plan to travel with any electrical appliances.

    Do I need a Visa to travel to Norway?

    Norway has a Visa exemption for visitors from many countries, including the UK, provided that the duration of their stay will be 90 days or less. Should you need to contact the UK consulate office for assistance during your travels, please see below for the location of the British Embassy in Norway;

    British Embassy in Oslo
    Thomas Heftyes gate 8
    0244 Oslo, Norway
    Telephone: +47 23 13 27 00
    Opening hours: Monday through Friday: 9am-4pm. Closed on weekends.

    Can I hire a campervan in Norway?

    Travellers looking to experience the best of the country more extensively can opt for our campervan hire in Norway. Travel around at your leaisure and get the true taste of its many unique natural attractions such as the midnight sun and northern lights. Norway is famous for its spectacular fjords and some of them are even classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Click here to start planning your motorhome holiday in Norway.

    Useful links

    Norwegian Tourist Board

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