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Everything you need to know about vehicle checks in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Everything you need to know about vehicle checks in Norway
Under Norwegian regulations, all cars registered in the country that are over four years old must be inspected every two years. Here's what you need to know. Photo by Sten Rademaker on Unsplash

If you've just moved to Norway and need a car to get around, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the country's vehicle inspection rules.

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After moving to Norway as a car owner - or a prospective one -- one of the first things you want to learn is what requirements the country has for vehicle inspections.

If you talk to locals or browse Norwegian websites and forums, you'll quickly encounter two terms: "EU control/inspection" and PKK, which stands for periodisk kjøretøykontroll (vehicle inspection in English).

READ MORE: Living in Norway: Can you get by without a car?

We'll simplify things right away – these terms have often been used interchangeably over the years, both colloquially and among relevant authorities, ever since Norway adopted EU traffic safety regulations in the late 1990s.

Which vehicles need to be checked – and what is checked

Under Norwegian regulations, all cars registered in the country that are over four years old must be inspected every two years.

In practice, that means most passenger cars must have an approved EU inspection within four years of initial registration, then every two years.

Simply put, if you don't drive a new car, you'll most likely need to plan for these biennial vehicle checks.

Some exceptions are in place, but they're usually related to special vehicle types or large vehicles, such as camping vans.

READ MORE: What you need to do if you have a car accident in Norway

The standard vehicle check – which usually takes between 45 and 90 minutes, depending on the shop and how busy it is – looks at both safety elements and environmental factors.

In the traffic safety category, expect the mechanic to examine the brakes, wheels, lights, and other components that directly impact your safety while you're driving.

Environmental factors include measuring your vehicle's emissions, checking for leaks, and a few other controls.

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What does it cost – and where can you have it done?

Different shops offer different prices, so look at several of them in your area before turning your car in for an inspection.

On average, expect to pay upwards of 1,000 kroner. At the time of writing, the price range in the Bergen area in western Norway was between 900 and 1,600 kroner.

The vehicle inspection can only be carried out by a car workshop authorised by the Norwegian Road Administration, although Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF) centres also offer the service in many parts of the country.

You can find the full list of these shops on the road authority's website, and it's pretty easy to collect offers from shops online, as many of them allow you to ask for a quote via their website.

Note that vehicles registered in Norway cannot take the mandatory roadworthiness test abroad. If you are planning an extended stay abroad, you should, therefore, take this into account and plan accordingly.

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What affects the price

In Norway, you'll find two general types of car workshops – independent ones and those that are part of a chain.

Note that both need to follow the same set of rules for the vehicle checks, so the actual level of service you'll get from them should remain the same.

While the price will remain in the range we mentioned before, Norwegian car shops can also factor in the size of the car and several other elements, such as whether it's electric or not, to arrive at the final price.

So, you'll need to check whether your vehicle triggers additional costs before committing to an inspection (some shops offer a flat rate, but in others, there will be added costs).

EXPLAINED: The ways you can lose your driving licence in Norway

If you live in an urban area with multiple authorised car shops, you'll probably get a better price, as competition will help drive the costs down as the shops fight for customers. However, don't expect major price differences. For example, savings in the broader Bergen area usually amount to 10 to 20 percent.

The inspection price doesn't cover fixes – you'll have to budget for that separately after you get the information from the shop.

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Addressing the errors and inspection deadlines

While some small issues won't require a follow-up inspection, bigger issues will need to be addressed for your vehicle to pass the test.

You can have the vehicle reinspected in the same garage that carried out the roadworthiness test or present it for reinspection at another garage authorised to carry out the mandatory tests.

Remember that you also risk hefty fines if you miss an inspection deadline, and your car will also become non-compliant and might be de-regsitered.

If Norwegian police stop you with such a vehicle, they might remove your license plate and impound the vehicle, leaving you to cover the bill.

That's why it's a good idea to use the Norwegian Road Administration's license plate search option to find out when to take your car in for your next inspection.

You can also receive notifications from the Road Administration when your next test deadline is approaching by downloading the "Bil og henger" app.

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