Finland

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Handedness of road traffic

Finland is a right-hand traffic country.

Speed Limits

The general speed limits in Finland are presented in the table:[1]

General Speed limits in km/h (mph)
Type of vehicle / Conditions Built-up areas Other roads Motorways[note 1]
Motor vehicles 50 (31) 80 (49)[note 2] 120 (74)[note 3]
Winter[note 4] 50 (31) 80 (49) for sections that had a 100 (62) summer speed limit
70 (43) or 60 (37) for sections that had a 80 (49) summer speed limit
100 (62)

Notes:

  1. Finnish motorways are marked with blue on the map.
  2. That's the only general speed limit mentioned in the Finnish Road Traffic Act for all roads outside built-up areas. On major highways the limit can be 100 km/h (62 mph), set by speed limit traffic signs.
  3. On motorways the speed limit can be 120 km/h, set by speed limit traffic signs, which upgrade the 80 km/h general speed limit of Finland set for all roads outside built-up areas.
  4. Around mid-October till March or April winter speed limits are in effect in Finland. The table presents the general speed limit reductions. For an exact presentation of the speed limits of each year visit https://vayla.fi/tieverkko/talvihoito/talvinopeudet and at the top left corner of the map click the arrow to open the legend. Uncheck all the checkboxes except the one called "talvinopeusrajoitukset", which is the one that displays the reduction of speed limits for winter on the map. Click the arrow next to "talvinopeusrajoitukset" to expand the legend that explains the color cod of the winter speed limits as well what the limits used to be at these sections before the winter limits had taken effect.

Documents

  1. Driver's license. Driving licenses issued in an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland are valid in Finland. Driving licenses issued by Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or countries that have ratified the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention are valid in Finland when visiting as a tourist. They are also valid for two years after their holders move permanently to Finland. If the driving licenses are not written in Latin alphabet a sworn translation into Finnish or Swedish is required or alternatively an International Driving Permit.
  2. Registration certificate.
  3. Certificate of Motor Insurance. Holding an International Motor Insurance Card (Green Card) is also a good idea.

Items required in cars or with motorcycles

  1. Warning triangle. It's compulsory for all vehicles except motorcycles. The warning triangle must be placed in a distance from the stopped vehicle that ensures that other road users will get notified in time for the obstacle.[2]
  2. High visibility reflective vest. Technically there is no requirement to carry one with you in your vehicle, but pedestrians walking in the dark should use a reflector covering specific standards. The vest should have a CE marking, it should meet the EN 13356 EU standard, it should mention the name of the institution that performed the classification tests and come with instructions of use by the manufacturer. So in case you have to step out o the car it is a good idea to carry a reflective vest with you.[3]

Winter conditions

If the weather conditions require so, from November to March, winter tires with a tread depth of at least 3,0 mm shall be used by the following vehicles:

  1. passenger cars ≤ 3,5 t GVWR
  2. vans
  3. special vehicles ≤ 3,5 t GVWR
  4. motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles, quadricycles, heavy quadricycles and light quadricycles
  5. trailers towed by vehicles belonging in the categories mentioned above with a mass > 0,75 t and ≤ 3,5 t GVWR.[4]

Snow chains can be used if the conditions make their use necessary and there is no danger for them damaging the road surface.[5]

Studded tires

Studded tires may be used by cars, motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles, quadricycles, heavy quadricycles and light quadricycles capable of reaching speeds greater than 60 km/h, and by trailers coupled to the aforementioned vehicles from the beginning of November to the end of March. If a vehicle is fitted with studded tires and tows a trailer with a weight > 0,75 t and ≤ 3,5 t GVWR the trailer must be fitted with studded tires too.

When using studded tires on a passenger car or van, a special vehicle or a trailer with a weight ≤ 3,5 t, studded tires - with the exception of dual wheels - must be fitted to all wheels of the vehicle. The count of studs on each tire of the vehicle must not differ in a number that would create a dangerous difference in the level of the traction. The Finnish Transport Safety Agency may issue more specific regulations regarding the permitted difference in the number of studs of vehicle tires.[5]

Headlights

The use of low beam (dipped) headlights is compulsory all day long, including during the daytime.

Filling stations

Fuel stations are self service in Finland. You fill up your vehicle and the you have to go in the office to pay. Usually people in Finland move their cars away of the pump before going in to pay. You can pay in cash and most of the times with a debit or credit card.

Fuel types

  1. Unleaded petrol / gasoline (Finnish: Lyijytön bensiini) Common octane ratingsare 95 and 98 RON.
  2. Diesel. The same name is used in Finland too.
  3. Be aware that LPG is not available as a fuel for cars in Finland.
  4. CNG. A list of CNG stations can be found by following the previous link.

Fuel prices

A comparison of prices (as reported and updated by users themselves) as well as the exact locations of filling stations in Finland can be found on Tankille app (also known as Fuel Fellow) available for Android and iOS devices.

Electric vehicle chargers

You can find electric car and PHEVs chargers in Finland at lemnet.org, also available for Android and iOS

Road user charges

There are no charges for using the roads in Finland.

Urban Access Regulations

There are no restrictions for light vehicles in Finland. There are only restrictions for buses and garbage trucks in Helsinki.

References

  1. liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö, "729/2018 Tieliikennelaki", 3 luku, Liikennesäännöt, 9 § Yleiset nopeusrajoitukset, 10 August 2018
  2. liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö, "729/2018 Tieliikennelaki", 3 luku, Liikennesäännöt, 57 §Tienkäyttäjien varoittaminen, 10 August 2018
  3. liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö, "729/2018 Tieliikennelaki", 3 luku, Liikennesäännöt, Jalan kulkeminen 13 § Jalankulkijan paikka tiellä ja heijastimen käyttäminen, 10 August 2018
  4. liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö, "729/2018 Tieliikennelaki", 3 luku, Liikennesäännöt, Jalan kulkeminen 13 § Jalankulkijan paikka tiellä ja heijastimen käyttäminen, 10 August 2018
  5. 5.0 5.1 liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö, "729/2018 Tieliikennelaki", 5 luku Ajoneuvon käyttäminen, 106 § Ajoneuvon renkaiden liukuesteet, 10 August 2018