How Oslo’s proposed parking reform could cost residents and visitors

Oslo City Council has proposed a massive shakeup to parking in the capital whereby it could potentially start charging motorists fees for leaving their cars on private land.

Motorists in Oslo could be charged for parking at work or at shopping centres. Pictured is an intersection in the Norwegian capital.
Motorists in Oslo could be charged for parking at work or at shopping centres. Pictured is an intersection in the Norwegian capital.

In its budget proposal for 2022, Oslo City Council asks the government for powers to enforce parking charges on private land such as shopping centres and workplaces to try and cut emissions in the city. 

“The government must remove barriers that prevent emissions reductions in the big cities and strengthen the use of policy instruments beyond what is in the government’s climate plan, such as secure regulations that allow municipalities to demand that payment be made for private parking, for example at workplaces, in order to stimulate increased use of public transport, walking and cycling for business trips,” the proposal outlined.

The aim of the parking charges, which wouldn’t extend to peoples homes, is to try and increase the number of people using environmentally friendly methods of transportation. 

“The goal is to increase the number of trips on foot, by bicycle and by public transport at the expense of a car. Road traffic accounts for close to half of climate emissions in Oslo. The cars also take up a lot of valuable space,” city councillor for the Environment and Transport Sirin Hellvin told newspaper VG.

Hellvin insisted that the charges wouldn’t extend to peoples homes. 

“Private individuals must not pay to park on their own property,” she outlined. 

It is not yet clear what the new charges would cost, how the money would be collected and how the revenue would be spent because the city council has yet to receive the powers to implement the fees from the government. 

Parking in Oslo is currently divided into municipal and private areas with varying prices and time regulations depending on the zone. Parking in a yellow zone will cost 209 kroner per day, for example. You can read more about the rules on parking in the capital here

Cecille Lyngby, who campaigns against tolls and parking charges, slammed the proposals. 

“Resident parking and toll rates are increasing, at the same time as 5,000 parking spaces have been removed. The parking fees in Oslo are at a horrible level. This is anti-social and awkward,” she told VG. 

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EXPLAINED: How to bring a foreign car to Norway  

If you've thought about bringing a car from another country to Norway, you've probably wondered what costs and paperwork would be involved. 

EXPLAINED: How to bring a foreign car to Norway  

Whether it’s a beloved classic that’s been the pride of your garage for years, a project that isn’t quite finished, or the family car for pottering around town, there are many reasons why you’d want to bring a vehicle to Norway. 

But what kind of paperwork is involved, and is it financially feasible? Let’s find out. 

Import taxes 

Before you begin the importing, you will need to contact the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens Vegvesen) to see if your vehicle meets the technical requirements to be imported into Norway. 

You will also need to check with the authorities of the country you are bringing the car from to check whether there are any export restrictions or whether any clearance to move the vehicle to another country is required. 

The vehicle will need valid number plates and insurance to be driven to and in Norway. And finally, you can check whether you are due a valid added tax refund on the vehicle when it leaves the country. 

Once the car crosses the Norwegian border, you will need to go to a crossing that is manned and head to the red zone, where you can declare the vehicle. If the tax authorities in the country you are travelling from have not issued a transit declaration, you can get one at the crossing. The transit document allows goods to pass through certain areas. 

You can also pay the VAT, more on that later, that may be required at the customs office at the border, but you will need to let the customs office you will be passing through know in advance, according to the Norwegian Tax Administration.

If you don’t do it when you first pass through, you will need to arrange to go to a customs office within one to three days to pay VAT on the vehicle. You will need to go to the crossing listed on the transit declaration. In addition to VAT, you will need to pay greenhouse gas taxes. If you don’t do this within the deadline, the tax authorities will charge additional fees. 

READ ALSO: What happens if you are caught driving without a valid licence in Norway?

The transit declaration, invoice or purchase contract for the vehicle and original registration document will need to be presented to have the car cleared through customs. 

If you have not purchased the car recently, you can bring an updated valuation from the country the vehicle was bought in. You will also need an original foreign registration document. 

Once the car has been cleared with customs, you’ll receive the Notification of calculation duties and registration or, Melding til avgiftsberegning og registrering (Form NA-0221). This paperwork is only available in Norwegian, and you’ll need to present it to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. You will also need to keep it in the car while driving with foreign plates. 

You can use a tax calculator to figure out how much it will cost to import your car. Cars over 20 years old are exempt from import taxes. However, unlike cars over 30 years old, you will still need to pay regular taxes and insurance.  

You will be able to drive with foreign number plates for up to 30 days after the vehicle has been cleared with customs. After that, you will need to have valid plates, proper vehicle registration, and insurance. 

If you don’t have all of this, the vehicle can only be used with valid temporary number plates. These are referred to as day test plates or prøveskilt. You can read more about obtaining test plates here

Getting the car on the road

Paying the taxes is not the end of the process. You will need to get the car approved for Norwegian roads. Used vehicles need to be checked over by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration Driver and Vehicle Licensing Offices. When new cars are imported, the information from the COC will be used. 

Getting the car approved requires you to book an appointment with the roads and traffic authority. You can book appointments here.

Once approved, a one-off fee will need to be paid before registering the vehicle. The one-off tax is calculated on the vehicle’s tax group, weight, CO2 emissions and engine power.

After this, the car can be registered with the public road authority. To register the vehicle, you will need the foreign vehicle card, the registration card you received when the car was cleared with customs and your own credentials, such as a passport or driving licence. You will need to have insured the vehicle too

You will get a temporary registration certificate for the vehicle when all this is done, while the full registration certificate is sent in the post. The temporary one can’t be used to drive abroad. 

If you haven’t already, you will need to hand over your foreign number plates to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office. Norwegian plates will not be issued until you do this.