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Car rental locations in Helsinki
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Car Rental in Helsinki: driving to the “Daughter of the Baltic”
Helsinki, or the “daughter of the Baltic,” is the core of Finland’s largest metropolitan area and offers visitors an excellent array of activities, from the parties of Kallio to seaside promenades to the historic buildings and excellent shopping opportunities of downtown. Make the most of your visit to Finland’s capital by renting a car and exploring each of its neighborhoods before heading into the majestic Finnish countryside.
Finland’s summers are short-lived but very comfortable. Visit Helsinki between June and early October for the best weather and greenest foliage.
The major official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Language, and Karelian are the official minor languages. Over 70% of Finns also speak some English. Signs in Helsinki will typically be written in both Finnish and Swedish, with some signage in English as well, though typically only in tourist areas.
Helsinki is in the Eastern European Time Zone, UTC+2.
The currency is the Euro, and ATMs are widely available in most cities. While most restaurants, grocery stores, and other shops will accept credit cards, markets and most automated gas or petrol stations do not accept foreign credit cards, so have enough cash on hand to fill your gas tank and buy trinkets.
History buffs will want to take a quick day trip to nearby Porvoo, located just 50 kilometers east of Helsinki; Porvoo is the second oldest city still populated in Finland, originating in the 1300s. For a day in the Finnish wilderness, head to Nuuksio National Park, 40 kilometers northwest of Helsinki. Squirrel lovers will want to make this a weekend camping trip, as these little Nordic creatures are nocturnal. Travellers who want to spend more time on the road—about 4 hours one way—should head to Olavinlinna Castle through the Finnish Lakelands along Route 5.
Automobile hire is available in over 15 locations throughout Helsinki. You are likely to find the best deals at the Helsinki International Airport, the central railway station, and downtown Helsinki.
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Finland accepts visitors from many countries visa-free for up to 90 days. If you do need to apply for a visa, you can do so at a Finnish consulate or mission at least 15 days in advance of your arrival.
Driving in Helsinki
Driving in downtown Helsinki can be slow going, as roads are typically one-way and can get quite congested during morning and evening rush hours. But renting a car is a great way to get out of the city. Make the most of your visit by planning day and weekend trips outside of the city and be at your most comfortable and spontaneous by booking your rental car today.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road in Helsinki, as throughout the rest of continental Europe.
- In the city: 50 km/h
- On rural roads: 80 km/h
- On motorways: 120 km/h
- Avoid driving from 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm to prevent getting stuck in traffic.
- Parking in downtown Helsinki is limited and typically costs around $4 an hour.
- All drivers whose licenses are issued by a country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention are permitted to drive in Finland with their domestic driver’s licenses.
- There are no toll roads in Finland.
- It is required to have your headlights on at all times.
- The minimum driving age in Finland is 18, though to rent or hire a car, you will have to be at least 20 years old and you may face young-driver surcharges up to the age of 25.
- Particularly if you’re visiting Finland during the winter, expect roads to be icy and snowy. Avoid braking or turning sharply. It is good habit to shift into lower gears to slow your car rather than braking in order to avoid losing control.
Cheap Car Rental in Helsinki
Automobile hire in Helsinki typically starts at around $35 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Helsinki:
- Skoda Citigo or similar (mini class) – $27/day
- Ford Fiesta or similar (economy class) – $28/day
- Toyota Auris or similar (compact class) – $34/day
- Volkswagen Passat or similar (intermediate class) – $46/day
- Ford Mondeo or similar (standard class) – $47/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Helsinki
There is no significant seasonal variation in the price of rental cars in Helsinki. Instead, save money by paying attention to where you book a car. For example, cars are typically cheapest at the Helsinki International Airport, the central railway station, and downtown Helsinki.
Thrifty and Keddy by Europcar are two of the most inexpensive rental brands in Helsinki.
You can also save $10 to $15 a day by extending your rental period to over a week!