For members


What are the rules for using a foreign driving licence in Norway?

Norway has some of the most spectacular driving roads in Europe. However, it’s also quite remote, making a car essential for getting around. So, what are the rules for driving with a foreign licence in Norway? 

A car on a Norwegian road

Whether you live in Norway or are planning a trip to the Nordic country, having a car will be essential to get about unless you are planning on staying in the bigger cities. 

Whether you can use a foreign licence depends on two factors: how long you will be staying in Norway, and where your licence was issued. 

If you have a valid driving licence from an EU or European Economic Area/EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) country, you can use it in Norway for as long as you like. 

Whether you’re visiting for a road trip or planning on settling down in the country, you will not have to exchange an EU/EEA licence for a Norwegian one. 

However, you can still choose to do so if you think It will be more convenient for renewal and identification purposes. 

READ ALSO: How to exchange your licence for a Norwegian one

If you’ve exchanged a non-EEA licence for an EEA one, then the rules for non-EEA licences will apply. 

Non-EEA licences

In Norway, you can typically use licences from non-EEA countries for up to three months before you have to exchange for a Norwegian one. 

If you have a residence permit of up to six months and a valid employment contract, then you can use a licence for the duration of your stay. 

Driving licences issued in the UK are treated as ones from within the EU, even if it was issued after the UK left the EU. 

Depending on where you come from, you may need an international driving licence to get on the road in Norway. This applies if it was issued in countries not a part of the Geneva and Vienna driving conventions, doesn’t have a photo, or is written in an alphabet other than the Latin one. For example, if the licence is printed in Arabic or Japanese, you will need an international licence. 

If you need to exchange your licence after three months, you may be required to take a test. 

Unless you have a licence from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, United Kingdom, all states in the USA, Switzerland, Greenland, or Japan, you’ll need to obtain a Norwegian licence under the same rules as first-time applicants. 

This means you will need to complete compulsory night driving instruction, first aid and behaviour in the event of an accident training. This is on top of the requirement to pass a theory and practical test.

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For members


The hidden costs of owning a car in Norway

Getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road may give you a sense of freedom, but trust us, that feeling doesn't come cheap. The Local has gathered a list of hidden costs for you to be aware of before you start up the engine.

The Atlantic Road in Norway.
There are a number of costs you should be aware of when getting a car in Norway. Pictured is the Atlantic Road in Norway. Photo by Leonardo Venturoli on Unsplash

It starts with your førerkort

Prepare to reach deep in your pockets if you’re getting your førerkort or “driving licence” in Norway. If you are from the EU/EEA, your licence from your home country is valid and can be exchanged for a Norwegian driving licence without taking any test.

However, if you are from a non-EU/EEA country, getting a Norwegian driving licence can be more challenging. And this is costly on both your time and wallet. If an exchange isn’t an option, expect to pay around 30,000 kroner to get your licence. 

Breaking it down -you’ll need to pay approximately 12,000 kroner for the required driving courses, another 12,000 on driving lessons with an instructor and 5,000 for taking both the theory and driving exam.

The car itself

Buying a vehicle is a significant investment for most of us. Especially in Norway, as the VAT (value-added tax) makes the cost of purchasing a car even more jaw-droppingly expensive. Moreover, many are surprised by having to pay a registration tax and a one-off registration fee before driving off the lot in their new wheels. 

In addition to the high tax, the depreciation of your investment will start to occur almost right away. Smartepenger reports an average 20 percent decline of value within the first year of owning a car in Norway. And approximately 10 percent decrease in value for every year after. The rapid depreciation in value is actually the highest cost of buying a car. It may save you time and increase your quality of life, but buying a car in this country is hardly ever viewed as a wise financial investment.  

Mandatory EU control

An automobile’s upkeep is usually one of the most expensive parts of car ownership. From major repairs to general maintenance, it would be wise to set aside money for these costs as they often come unexpectedly. Smartepenger states that more extensive services or repairs cost, on average, around 8000 kroner. 

By law, every two years, a car owner must take their car in for a mandatory EU control check. This is done to ensure the safety and overall roadworthiness of all vehicles. It’s excellent in principle and increases both drivers’ and passengers’ sense of security while on the road. But it comes at a price.

The base cost for an EU control will cost a vehicle owner around 1,000 kroner. Although it is very likely the mandatory check will cost you way more if they find something wrong with your car. It’s a societal norm to compare the surprisingly high bills one is charged with when they bring their car in for an EU control. 

The necessary switch

Å skifte dekk, or “to change tyres”, is another mandatory maintenance cost that many overlook when factoring in the yearly costs of car ownership. This expectation for the car owner is yet another aspect that contributes to the overall road safety for drivers. Winter tyres are expected to be on your automobile from November 1st up until the Sunday after Easter Sunday.

On average, it costs around 2,800 kroner to change the tires. It’s an additional 2,800 kroner if you want the automobile shop to store your winter or summer tyres for you. If your car tyres need to be rotated, expect to have them through another 400 kroner to the final cost. 

The tolls 

If you commute to work, don’t buy a car until you find out how much the tolls are on the roads you use daily. There are around 200 toll roads in Norway, each of them has its own specific price. (Newer roads typically cost the most to drive on). Pengenytt reports that drivers who drive an average of 25,000 kilometres a year can expect to pay 4,250 kroner per year in toll fees. Keep in mind this is just the average. You should expect to pay a much higher sum if you are commuting on multiple toll roads – like the many going in and out of Oslo, for example. 

Besides not paying for fuel, Electric cars have become a popular vehicle choice in Norway for many as they receive a deeply discounted price on toll roads. 


Whatever you’re expecting to pay yearly for petrol in Norway, double that figure, and you’ll likely be more accurate. Norway has some of the highest fuel prices in Europe. The at-times sky-high prices are mainly due to taxes on fuel imposed by the government and the usual international market factors.

Of course, electric cars can be excluded from this extra cost. But if you’re debating on buying an automobile that uses fuel, you need to factor in how much of your paycheck will be going to this necessity. Finance says on average, a person will spend 16,759.5 kroner per year on petrol and 11,344.5 kroner per year on diesel.  

Strict penalties

Breaking Norway’s traffic laws can be costly. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you don’t test your luck and obey the traffic rules at all times. If not for a clean licence, then for your wallet. 

In addition to police patrols, many Norwegian roads use speed cameras. As noted on the Norwegian Police website, Norway has many road traffic laws and regulations.

Here are some of the surprising costs that can be incurred for breaking traffic laws.

  • Failure to stop at a red light can result in a fine of 6,800 kroner, while not giving way when required can also set you back that amount. You can also be fined 5,500 kroner for driving unlawfully in a public transport lane.
  • Talking on a mobile phone without using the hands-free technology costs 1,700 kroner in fines for a first time offender. This will also be marked as an offence on your permanent traffic record.
  • Driving without a licence has been reported to be punishable with a fine of up to a whopping 10,000 kroner.

 To sum it up

It’s very easy to be unaware of how much it really costs to own a vehicle in Norway. The more obvious costs, such as a car loan and car insurance, are just two of the many additional hidden costs that one should consider when finding out how much owning a