Hiring a car to travel through Norway is a great way to see this beautiful country. Because of the mountainous terrain and rugged coastlines, driving a car allows you to see many of the interesting corners of Norway that you might miss if you were to travel by rail. And because Norway's rail system is not as extensive as that in many continental European countries, hiring a car grants you far more access to the culture and geography of the country. With nearly 93,000 km of roads in Norway, you'll have plenty of scope for exploration.
Renting a car is quite convenient in Norway. You'll find many companies offering car rentals, including Europcar, AutoEurope, Argus, Thrifty, and Avis. Car rentals are available in all towns and in some of the more built-up rural areas as well. You can book your rental car online, in person, or with the help of a travel agent. If you plan to tour Norway during summer, however, you are advised to book well in advance due to high demand.
You have to be at least 19 years old to rent a car in Norway, though some companies specify a minimum age of 25 for certain models. Drivers under 25 may have to pay a surcharge, and anyone renting a car must have had his or her driver's license for at least one year. Seatbelt use is mandatory, and children under age 4 must travel in a child safety seat. In cities, the speed limits are generally 50kph, with open roads having speed limits of 80kph, and highways 90kph. Traffic is on the right side of the road, and trams always have the right of way.
Renting a small car usually costs around NOK 2,800 per week, while larger cars can cost NOK 3,700. At early 2011 exchange rates, this works out to approximately £310-410, $480-640, or euro360-475.