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DRIVING

The key things you need to know about Norway’s toll roads

Hitting the road in Norway? Whether you live here or are on a road trip as a tourist, you should know a few crucial things about the country's toll roads. 

The Atlantic Road, which is a toll road.
These are the key things you should know about toll roads in Norway. Pictured is the Atlantic Road. Photo by Will McClintock on Unsplash

There are more than 300 toll stations in Norway where charges are levied for travelling on certain roads and bridges and through tunnels. 

Road tolling in Norway dates back to the late eighties and early nineties when Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim introduced toll rings to finance infrastructure and decrease congestion. 

Fast forward to today, and you’ll need to pay a toll to travel into, or to and from, most of Norway’s cities and large towns. Today there are toll rings surrounding Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen, Askøy, Bodø, Harstad, Grenland, Førde and Trondheim. 

Where are the toll roads, and how much do they cost? 

Toll stations are pretty much everywhere in Norway. Luckily, there are plenty of maps available online that can point you to where the toll roads are and show you how many there will be along your journey. 

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens Vegvesen) has a map to help you plan your route

Vehicles are divided into specific categories, depending on the vehicle type, its weight, whether it’s powered by fuel, electricity, or is a hybrid, will determine how much the toll is. 

Greener cars, emission wise that is, generally pay less. 

For example, a cross country journey between Oslo and Bergen would just over 460 kroner in tolls if you drove a diesel car, compared to 160 kroner for an electric vehicle

Different toll booths will also levy different charges, meaning there is no catch-all price. In some places, the toll is higher during peak hours. 

Generally speaking, though, toll roads cost between 10 and 40 kroner, though some can be as expensive as 100 kroner. 

Luckily, there are various journey planners that will take calculate how much you can expect to pay in tolls during your journey.

Who has to pay?  

All drivers, regardless of nationality, are required to pay road tolls. The same applies to whether the vehicle is registered in Norway or not. 

How to pay

Fortunately, you won’t have to keep a constant eye for booth stations to pull into and pay a toll, as all levies are charged automatically via the AutoPass system. 

All toll operators in the country are a part of the AutoPass system. Once you pass through a toll station, payment will be taken automatically if you have an account, or an invoice will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle’s address. 

If you are driving a foreign-registered vehicle and are only visiting Norway, then it is recommended to sign up to the Euro Parking Collection (EPC) for a smoother and quicker process. 

If you rent a car in Norway, the vehicle should be registered with AutoPass, and any toll charges will be added to your final bill. 

READ ALSO: The key things you need to know about car insurance in Norway

Is there any way to save money on tolls?                   

You can register for an Autopass tag which will provide a 20 percent discount on vehicles in tariff group one on most toll routes. Tariff group one includes all vehicles with a mass of less than 3,500 kg and those in the M1 category, regardless of weight. 

The M1 vehicle category includes passenger vehicles with a maximum of eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. Most motorhomes, camper vans and certain large cars are included in this vehicle category. 

If you were to use the above example of a trip between Oslo and Bergen, you would save almost 145 kroner in tolls. 

You will need to pay a deposit of 200 kroner, which will be added to your first toll invoice. Once the tag arrives, you will need to install it. It is installed at the top of the windscreen. You can use this guide here to install it

Another way to cut down on costs would be to consider taking a train, bus or flight. The journey may take longer, but you will not need to fork out tolls and fuel, making it an attractive cost-cutting solution. 

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DRIVING

Trollstigen: Tips for driving Norway’s most famous road this summer

One of the country's most iconic roads, Trollstigen, has reopened for the summer season. But, before you buckle up and take in the spectacular scenery, there are a few things you should know. 

Trollstigen: Tips for driving Norway's most famous road this summer

Trollstigen, famous for its 11 hairpin turns draped over a breathtaking mountain pass, reopened for summer traffic on June 10th. 

Up to one million tourists, motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists are expected to take to the road in Møre og Romsdal, Western Norway. 

The road’s original reopening was delayed due to a series of avalanches in the valley this winter. The mountain pass is probably the most iconic of Norway’s 18 tourist route roads. So if you plan a trip this summer, you’ll want to know what to expect from the route. 

Where is Trollstigen? 

The road is located on country road 63 in the Rauma and Fjord municipalities in the Møre og Romsdal county of west Norway. The Geiranger to Trollstigen stretch is 104 kilometres long and has an elevation change of 1,000 metres. 

However, the most famous part of the road is the section which ascends, or descends, from Stigøra. This stretch of road is blanketed with 11 hairpin bends and is notable for being carved into the mountain, supported by stone walls and the impressive bridge which crosses the Stigfossen waterfall. 

What to see? 

Looking out of the windows will be the easiest place to start, but you shouldn’t just pass through the road and valley as there are plenty of places to stop. 

For starters, there is the large viewing platform which hovers 200 metres above the most picturesque stretch of road, with different observation points for both bold and more cautious visitors. 

Near the road’s end is Flydalsjuvet, located on the steep mountains that back onto the inner Geirangerfjord. The fjord is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the rest stop at Flydalsjuvet is excellent for taking photos.

 
 
 
 
 
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If you get hungry, you can stop at the Gudbrandsjuvet viewing point. The café there is open from 10am until 5pm every day during the summer season. 

For more inspiration on where to stop and what to see, click here

Expect some congestion too

You may be left disappointed if you dream of having the open road ahead of you and the mountain pass all to yourself. The reason for this is that during the high season, 2,000 vehicles pass the Trollstigveien Plateau. This is the equivalent of a car every 10 seconds. 

Furthermore, the route is becoming a popular cycling destination, and slower vehicles such as mobile homes, which can struggle with the inclines, also use the road. Therefore you can expect slow-moving traffic. 

This may not be the worst thing in the world, as it means you’ll have more time to take in the views. If you prefer quieter roads then it is best taking the route outside of peak hours. 

Weather in the west of Norway can’t always be relied on

Perhaps after seeing a picture of the road, it’ll be easy to imagine yourself pootling down it, or meandering up it with the sun shining, windows opening and clear skies above. 

This may not be the case as the weather in west Norway doesn’t always cooperate, and grey skies and rain are relatively common during the summer. 

Due to the altitude, weather can also affect visibility significantly, so if you plan a trip to see the road especially, you should do so when the forecast is on your side. 

Checking the weather will help give more nervous drivers a heads up to whether they can expect wet or greasy roads, while cyclists and motorbike owners can avoid having their trip ruined by bucketing rain. 

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