Paying tolls to use many of the country's roads is something you should expect when visiting Norway. Here's everything you need to know.
The use of road tolls to fund road building has a long tradition in the country. The main purpose is to develop better road infrastructure, faster, but they can also be used for strengthening public transport solutions within cities. Approximately 190 toll stations are in operation around Norway.
Owned by Statens vegvesen, AutoPASS is the system used to administer and collect tolls throughout Norway. These days, most toll stations are automated and you simply drive on as usual without stopping or even slowing down. The one main exception is the Atlantic Road tunnel between Kristiansand and Averøy, where manned toll booths are in operation.
Norwegian drivers and regular visitors register their car with AutoPASS and receive a tag that is placed on the windscreen. Whenever they drive through an automated collection point, the journey is registered and a bill is sent on a monthly basis.
Norwegian toll roads for visitors
All drivers, regardless of your nationality, are required to pay Norwegian road tolls. The automated toll stations are all equipped with a video camera that reads registration plates and toll tags on every vehicle that drives through.
If you hire a car in Norway, your rental car provider will have registered the vehicle with AutoPASS. Simply drive as usual and your toll charges will be added to your final bill, unless otherwise agreed with the rental company.
If you are driving a foreign registered vehicle, it's a good idea to register with Euro Parking Collection (EPC), which is the body responsible for invoicing such vehicles. By registering your vehicle before your journey, you will ensure easy access to all invoices and a much faster processing time. If you don't register, an invoice will be sent to the registered address of the vehicle's owner. It will be in the language of the car's registered country, and you can usually pay to a local bank account.
Charges to drive in Norwegian cities
Although I highly recommend a road trip in Norway, I do caution against hiring a car if you are planning a city break. Environmental legislation has made driving in Norwegian cities extremely expensive. For example, to drive into Trondheim city centre from the south (from Oslo along the E6), you will pass three toll stations and be charged a minimum of 29kr, and more than that at peak times.
Street parking in the city costs 27kr for the first hour, 59kr for the second hour, and 96kr for the third hour, while indoor parking lots will set you back up to 230kr per 24-hour period. It's a similar story in the other big cities such as Oslo, Stavanger and Bergen.
My advice when visiting Norway is to use public transport while staying in cities, and only rent a car when you want to explore the fjords, Lofoten, or one of Norway's 18 fantastic National Tourist Routes.