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Car Rental in Bergen

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Car Rental in Bergen: the historic Student City and beautiful Seaport

This university city is an excellent introduction to Norway. The nation’s second largest city, Bergen briefly became Norway’s capital after its humble origins as a Viking village and was also a major member of the Hanseatic League. With plenty of museums and a charming city center, Bergen is a great base from which to self-drive the profound and unique beauty of Norway’s fjords. Book your car today to make the most of your visit!

Bergen is a very rainy city. Even if you’re arriving in May, the month that historically sees the least precipitation, packing rain gear is recommended! While May is a great time to visit to take advantage of local festivals, June through August are also excellent months to visit Bergen and its surroundings.

Norwegian is the official and most widely spoken language of Norway, though English is also spoken fluently by 90% of the Norwegian population. It’s also likely that people in the tourist industry will speak French, German, Russian, Dutch, Italian or Spanish.

The currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone or norske krone. ATMs are widely available and most Norwegians pay with debit cards, making cash unnecessary. You may have trouble paying at grocery stores with international credit cards, however, so carrying some kroner is recommended.

If you fly directly to Bergen, you will land at Bergen Airport Flesland, 20 km south of the city. This is an excellent place to pick up a rental car, as multiple international agencies have offices just outside the airport. If you are arriving at the weekend, be sure to double-check your rental company’s hours and off-hour rental policies. There are a few other car rental offices in Bergen, though only one close to the city center.

To head into the fjords from Bergen, follow the E39 north out of the city along the 7-hour Aurlandsfjellet Route towards Oslo.

Visa Regulations

As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Norway accepts visitors visa-free from countries such as EU member states, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens of other countries will be required to apply for a visa before they arrive and are permitted to stay for up to three months.

Driving in Bergen

Although Norway has fairly good public transportation, self-driving through the fjords, along the coast, and into the mountains is still the most efficient, breathtaking, and comfortable way to explore this gorgeous country. Though mountain roads are winding and narrow, roads are well maintained throughout the country, making a self-drive tour of Western Norway an experience not to be missed!

Right-Hand Driving

  • As in the rest of continental Europe, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.

Speed Limits

  • On motorways and some dual carriageways: 100 km/h
  • On most other roadways between towns: 80 km/h
  • In towns or built-up areas: 50 km/h, unless otherwise marked. Central Bergen has a much lower speed limit in order to dissuade people from entering by car.
  • While you may find that many local drivers exceed these speed limits at will, it is not recommended that you follow suit! There are numerous speed traps throughout the region, and speeding fines are very high. If you feel pressured to drive faster, just pull over and let the local drivers pass.

Other Regulations

  1. If the city center is your goal, it is highly recommended that you park at any of the garages around its perimeter and explore by foot, as parking in this primarily pedestrian area is reserved for people with disabilities or residents with special permits. The Klostergarasjen and the slightly cheaper Bygarasjen garages are both great parking options.
  2. You can drive for up to three months in Norway on your valid domestic driver’s license, provided you have a full year’s driving experience.
  3. Yield right of way to pedestrians and cyclists!
  4. Most of the expressways around Bergen are also toll roads; this makes them fast and convenient, and paying the toll is also simple. Just slow down as you drive through the automated tollbooth, where a photograph will be taken of your license plate and the fees forwarded to you by your rental company.
  5. You will have to be at least 19 years old with a full year’s driving experience to rent a car in Norway, and all drivers under the age of 25 are likely to be issued a surcharge.
  6. It is mandatory to keep your headlights on at all times.

Other Tips

  • Winter driving can be very precarious in the mountains, as weather conditions can change suddenly, and other travelers may be few and far between. Fill your gas or petrol tank whenever possible, and carry sufficient warm clothing, food, and water. On mountain roads, shift into a lower gear when you are descending in order to prevent undue wear and tear – and the potential failure – of your brakes.

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