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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Finland - Driving Nuances

1. In Finland, there are very strict restrictions concerning the technical condition of cars, as well as their environmental performance. While in some countries the police can stop drivers in order to check their documents, in Finland any driver can be stopped in order to make sure that his car works properly.
2. Unpressurized fuel system, high content of harmful substances in exhaust gas, loud noise while driving, faulty steering or brake system - if your car has at least one of these problems, it is forbidden to drive such a car on the roads of Finland.
3. All the above mentioned characteristics of the car are included in the local traffic regulations and have the specific numerical value. Some of the most stringent requirements concern the car’s braking system. Note that virtually any road patrol can check your car’s brake system using a usual dynamometer.
4. The brake system must necessarily provide smooth braking. Moreover, if the road slope is 18 degree (descent or ascent) and grip of wheels is 0.6, the car must remain motionless. If these requirements are not met, the vehicle is considered dangerous to other road users, and, therefore, it is prohibited to use it.
5. If during the check the police determine that the vehicle doesn’t meet the standards, it will be immediately transported to a parking lot or to a repair center. It is prohibited to use such a vehicle, and the driver will get it back only after the repair that will solve all problems.
6. There are also several serious requirements concerning tires. For example, starting from the beginning of December to the end of February, owners of the vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tons must use winter tires. Trailers, the mass of which ranges from 750 to 3500 kg, must also be equipped with winter tires.
7. The local traffic regulations allow the use of snow tires starting from early November to late March. The abovementioned time period is not strict and may vary depending on the specific weather conditions.
8. It must also be mentioned that the use of snow tires does not mean that you must attach an appropriate warning sign to your vehicle. Snow tires must be installed on all wheels. Using them together with ordinary tires is prohibited.

Nuances of Car Rental in Finland

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Finland usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Finland try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Finland in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Finland. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
9. When planning your travel on the roads of Finland, the choice of tires must be really careful. In winter, the tread depth should be at least 3 mm, and in summer it is not less than 1.6 mm.
10. Speaking about restrictions on Finnish roads, it is also worth noting a heavy fine that is imposed for using the mobile phone while driving. If you need to make or receive calls while driving, make sure your phone is equipped with the “hands free” system.
11. The car must be equipped with an anti-theft device. Such devices as steering wheel locks are very popular in the country. Mudguards are also in the list of obligatory equipment. Splashes of water and dirt while driving are unacceptable in the country.
12. In Finland, drivers should be very careful about following the speed limit. In the territory of settlements, the speed limit ranges from 40 to 60 km/h, depending on the specific type of the road. On highways, the limit is 100 - 120 km/h, and it depends not only on the type of road, but also on the time of year. On other country roads, the maximum speed is 80 km/h.
13. While driving, it is always important to turn the low beams on. This requirement is valid at any time of day. Also, keep in mind that the driver and all the passengers in the car must fasten seat belts.
14. Small children can be transported in a car only in a special child seat that must be placed in the back seat of a car. Sometimes, as an exception, it is permitted to install the child seat in the car’s front seat, but it must be put with its back forward.
15. If the car’s windows are too tinted, the car can be prohibited to use. The light capacity of the side windows must be at least 75%, of the front window - not less than 70%.
16. Motorists, who plan to make long distance rides, will be glad to hear that it is allowed to carry fuel in cans. However, there is a limit even here – one car cannot carry more than 10 liters of fuel.
17. A large part of petrol stations in Finland are open from 9 am to 9 pm. You can also find petrol stations that work round the clock near highways, but their number is fairly small, so it is better to think about buying fuel in advance.
18. The choice of a parking space should also be made with great attention. First of all, it is prohibited to leave your car in the places marked with the corresponding prohibitory sign. You also cannot park a car near turns and closer than 5 meters to intersections.
19. There are special lanes for cyclists along some city roads. A parked car cannot block these lanes or pavement. The minimum distance from a parked car to a pedestrian crossing should also be 5 meters.
20. If you park your car closer than 30 meters to a railroad crossing, this inattention will cost you a lot of money, and your car can be brought to a penalty parking.
21. The majority of ground and underground parking lots are paid. Some parking areas are paid only on weekdays and only for a certain period of time. There are three main parking zones in Helsinki.
22. The parking lots, located in the first zone, are the most expensive. The fee for their use is charged even on weekends. Parking lots located in the territory of the second and third zones, are free on Saturdays. Drivers should also keep in mind that all underground parking lots are paid.
23. Almost all street paid parking areas are equipped with special machines, using which you can not only pay for parking, but also learn a lot of useful information. For example, the parking machines provide information about the availability of parking spaces (indicating the numbers of free parking spaces). They also show the cost of one hour of parking, as well as the time limit for the use of the parking lot.
24. The parking time limit is a typical parameter in parking lots located in the central area of Helsinki. Every parking lot here has the time limit – four hours. This means that it is not possible to pay for a longer period. If you need to park your car for more than four hours, then you should go back to the parking lot later and make one more payment using the parking machine.
25. In some cities in Finland, it is possible to use free parking lots only for a limited period of time and only if you have a special parking clock. This clock can be purchased at any petrol station or in a shop for motorists. Such parking lots usually have special boards that indicate the maximum time of parking.
26. It is really simple to use the parking clock. When you arrive at the parking lot, you must use the clock to set time, rounding it up to half an hour. Then you must put the clock on a visible place in the front window. The clock must be placed in the center of the windscreen or on the driver’s side. There must be no other items on the windscreen at the same time with the clock.
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