List of Essential Practicalities in Finland

List of Essential Practicalities in Finland

Official Regulations and Rules on the Road in Finland

List of practicalities for TC customers shared by ATCF, the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland

One of Touring Cars' partner, the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (ATCF), want to share a list of practical tips for road trippers in Northern Europe. This third article covers official regulations in Finland.

 

Traffic Information 

The Finnish Public Roads Administration Fintrafic publishes traffic alerts and road condition updates on their website. You can find links to weather forecasts and live road cameras on their site as as well.  

There is a Right-hand traffic in Finland. One must avoid coming from the right, unless otherwise indicated. A driver turning the vehicle at an intersection must give way to cyclists, moped riders and pedestrians crossing the crossing road. Turning right when the red traffic light is still on is only allowed if a separate green arrow light is on. People driving in a traffic circle only have the right of way if it is indicated by traffic signs. When exiting the roundabout, a direction sign is displayed to show others which exit road vehicle is taking. rams have the right of way at intersections, unless otherwise indicated by traffic control devices.

Speed limits  inside town areas is 50 km/h and on private yards 20km/h unless otherwise indicated. Outside urban areas on a smaller highways it is often 80 km/h or motorways up to 100 km/h in winter and up to 120km/h in summertime.

The police have the right to impose a traffic fine and collect a fee on the spot. In Finland, there are hundreds of cameras monitoring traffic. Traffic signs warn of camera surveillance.  

Roads and Road Tolls

According to the World Economic Forum's 2019 report, roads in Finland are the 23rd best in terms of condition among the 141 countries compared.

  • Roads totally:    454 000 km  
  • Motorways:    933 km
  • Smaller highways:    77 908 km
  • Small inland vehicle ferries:    61 (from which 21 on privately held roads)

There are not any toll roads in Finland.  

Midsummer Festival is celebrated in the Nordic countries in June (on week 25) which cause exceptional traffic jams on the roads. Road traveling can be also much slower on Easter and Christmas weekends.  

In Finland, there are almost 700 gasoline service stations and already over 1,100 self-service 24/7 gasoline stations (situation in 2022). Service stations which often provide also fresh water and gas bottle replacements are generally open from early morning until 9:00 but opening hours might vary. Some stations might also provide camping services (official camper park services or allow on overnight stay on their yard). In remote areas, gas stations can be located wide apart, especially in Northern or most Eastern part of Finland, so it's worth refueling on time. 

You can easily drive across borders in Scandinavia and the entire Europe. Based on the Schengen agreement, there are no border checks (i.e. checks of travel documents) at the borders of Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. If you cross the border to Norway and you have goods to be noticed on customs, you have to go through the customs office which are located in Kilpisjärvi, Kivilompolo, Karigasniemi, Utsjoki, Nuorgam and Näätämö. If you plan to tour also inside other countries than the one from where you have picked up your rental vehicle, please remember to notify our local team. They will guide you through all necessary tips for a motorhome in each country.  

Safety Issues

Required documents to have on your holiday

  • Passport or identity card: If necessary, proof of identity must be provided
  • Driver's license (only B level is needed with a motorhome)
  • European health insurance card
  • Insurances

Headlights must always be used while driving.  

Do not mix driving and drinking on your road trip. In Finland, alcohol laws are very strict, and penalties for driving under the influence are severe. The legal limit is 0,05% blood alcohol and applies to the driver of any motorized vehicle. Avoid also medications marked with a red triangle if you intend to drive.

Emergency numbers

  • Police 112
  • Ambulance 112
  • Fire Department 112

In case of an accident or when someone is seriously injured, the person involved must report the accident to 112 as soon as possible and police should be informed as well. If the accident causes harm to others in traffic, the situation is unclear, or an elk, deer, large animal or wild boar injury has occurred, it is also necessary to report it to the police as well. 

Camping with a motorhome

Spending a night outside camping areas is permitted based on the Everyman’s Right if it does not cause damage or harm to the owner of the land. This right is similar also in Sweden and Norway but nowadays slightly limited in Iceland. However, those temporarily overnight stays in nature must not disturb the peace of landowners and residents. You should not move and camp too close to the settlement.

Open fire is prohibited.

To find camping sites in Finland, you can use the online service operated by the Finnish Camping Association www.camping.fi.  The Camping Key Europe camping card is also used in Finland.

There are also many camper parks (”Stellplatz in German) in Finland. To check where they are located, please use www.leirintaopas.fi. Unfortunately, this service operated currently only in Finnish. But camper parks are marked on the map as ‘Matkaparkit’. 

Additionally, we recommend on reading some driving instructions published by Visit Finland.

 

Enjoy your road trip in Finland - the Road is Yours!

 

We want to thank our partner, the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (ATCF) for sharing this essential guideline with us. ATCF is the only nationwide association of private motoring in Finland. The association is called AL Autoliitto in Finnish and this organization is a member of FiA, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Touring Cars and ATCF are having a collaboration in Finland: https://www.autoliitto.fi/jasenedut/touring-cars-finland/ ATCF in Finland publish a magazine for motorists: https://moottori.fi/.

  • Original Source & copyright: The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (ATCF)  / AL Autoliitto, Susanna Suokonautio-Hynninen
  • Translation & some TC notes have been added: Touring Cars Motorhome Rental Europe

     

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