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Guide to Driving in Sweden

Driving in Sweden? Here you'll find the ultimate guide to driving in Sweden, in this article we will cover all of the  key areas to ensure you are safe on the roads when driving in Sweden;

driving in sweden

All you need to know to drive safely in Sweden

  1. The Basics
  2. Document Checklist
  3. Driving in Winter / Requirements
  4. Driving in the Dark
  5. Driving in a Whiteout
  6. Speed Limits
  7. Alcohol Limits
  8. Parking
  9. Toll Roads
  10. Traffic Lights

The Basics:

  • Drive on the right
  • Overtake or pass on the left
  • Give way to the right
  • Priority is given to vehicles already on the roundabout
  • It is compulsory to wear a seatbelt
  • Children smaller than 135cm in height must be in a child seat
  • Children smaller than 140cm in height are allowed in the front passenger seat – but the airbag must be turned off.

Driving checklist – What you should carry with you:

  • Full driving licence (IDP is required if not in roman alphabet)
  • Insurance
  • Photographic ID
  • V5C certificate (not applicable to rental cars - keep rental car docs in the car)
  • Headlight beam deflector stickers (if bringing your own car from UK)
  • Warning triangle (provided with rental car)

Driving in winter

From the 1st December until the 31st March certain winter road conditions dictate the rules of the road. Road conditions, which are considered to be wintry include when there is snow, ice, slush or frost on any part of the road and the temperature is around 0 degrees. The Swedish police will decide if there are winter conditions on any particular road.
winter tyres sweden
Heavy snowfall and lower temperatures are more common in the northern parts of Sweden. However don’t be put off by driving in wintery conditions as long as you are informed of the rules of the road and keep to well-maintained roads you will be fine.
  1. You must use winter tyres on both light and heavy vehicles.
  2. The winter tyres must be labeled with M&S (Mud and Snow).
  3. The tyres can be studded or non-studded (with or without spikes).
  4. Private or light vehicles should have a tyre tread of at least 3 millimetres.
  5. Snow chains can be used in Sweden if the road conditions require it.
  6. Trailers are also included and must also have studded tyres if the car has studded tyres.
  7. Trucks, buses and campers should have a tyre tread of at least 5 millimetres.
  8. Drivers must have antifreeze in the vehicle windscreen fluid and a shovel in the vehicle to clear snow.
  9. Recommended for winter conditions are a towrope, a reflective jacket and jump leads.

m+s tyres sweden             studded tyres sweden


min tyre depth sweden             snow chains sweden

Winter Tyre Requirement

Winter tyres are compulsory in Sweden from the 1st of December until the 31st of March. As shown above, winter tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 3mm (5mm for vehicles other than private cars). If hiring a car, the required winter tyres will be fitted for your rental car to meet the regulations.

EU winter tyre requirements

Driving in the dark

Sunset can occur early in Sweden during the winter months, so it is likely you will find yourself driving in the dark. It is advisable to use your main beam when possible, this will help in detecting any animals crossing the road in the distance. It is possible to come across Moose or Reindeer in the North or Pigs in the South.

Driving in high winds

Driving in high winds can be dangerous, be alert to fallen trees and related road closures. Bridges in Sweden, such as the Oresund Bridge often has speed limits placed on it during high winds, so pay attention to any changes in speed limits.

Driving in a whiteout

driving in a whiteout

Driving in a white out can be dangerous. Look out for weather warnings and special notices in advance of your trip. The best advice is to NOT drive during a whiteout, the severe conditions can completely block your view. Therefore only drive if it is absolutely necessary. If you are already driving when the conditions turn severe and you are caught in a white out then the following advice should be followed:

  • Slow down
  • Turn your headlights on
  • Steer, accerlerate and brake smoothly
  • Be aware of what is in front and behind you
  • Switch to maximum defrost in order to keep your windows clear
  • Reduce distractions by turning off any audio systems
  • Stop if conditions become too dangerous

Speed limits in Sweden

Speed limits are based on the safety and quality of each road. Therefore be careful to check speed limits carefully when driving in Sweden, you should come across signs at regular intervals.

*Note that speed detection devices are not allowed in Sweden.

Type of Road Speed Limit
Built up area 30, 40, 50 0r 60 km/h
Outside built up areas 70, 80, 90 or 100 km/h
Motorways 90, 100, 110, 120 km/h
Private car with a trailer Never more than 80 km/h
Private car with two trailers Never more than 40 km/h

Alcohol limits for driving in Sweden

The maximum blood alcohol limit allowed is 0.02%. Drink driving is taken very seriously in Sweden and if you are caught
above the limit a large fine or a prison sentence can be issued. The best advice is not to drink and drive at all.

drink drive limit sweden alcohol

Parking in Sweden

  • A circular sign with a blue background indicates NO PARKING, but stopping is allowed.
  • A circular sign with a red St Andrew’s cross on a blue background surrounded by a red border indicates NO PARKING OR STOPPING.
  • You are only prohibited to park or stop facing the direction of traffic flow.
  • Parking fines ranging from 400 – 1000 SEK may be enforced.
  • Disabled parking badges from the UK can be used in Sweden.
parking sign sweden

Toll roads in Sweden

There re no toll roads in Sweden, however you do have to pay a fee to cross two of the major bridges: The Oresund and Svinesund bridges. These bridges lead you to Denmark and Norway.

Traffic Lights in Sweden

The international system of green, amber and red are used in Sweden.