Embarking on a Finnish Adventure: An Overview of Car Rental in Finland

Embarking on a self-drive journey through Finland, the 'Land of a Thousand Lakes,' gives you an unparalleled opportunity to explore the breathtaking vistas and vibrant culture this country has to offer.

From the urban sophistication of Helsinki to the northern wilderness of Lapland, a car journey offers an authentic Finnish experience that public transport or guided tours might miss.

Car rental in Finland is a well-established industry, with a host of providers, both international and local, eager to cater to the needs of tourists.

They offer a range of vehicles suitable for the various terrains and weather conditions in the country. Whether you're cruising along the beautiful coastal roads in the summer or navigating through the snow-covered landscapes in winter, there's a car for every need and every season.

However, renting a car is not merely about picking the first option that comes your way. It's about understanding Finnish driving conditions and regulations, choosing the right vehicle for your journey, and planning a route that allows you to experience the best of what Finland has to offer.

You also need to consider factors such as rental insurance, additional services, and, of course, your budget.

As you gear up for your adventure, this comprehensive guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information about car rental in Finland. It will provide insights into the nuances of Finnish driving, tips on selecting the right car rental service, advice on navigating insurance options, and suggestions for crafting an unforgettable self-drive route.

This way, you can focus on soaking up the Finnish experience with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that you're well-prepared for the journey ahead.

Understanding Finnish Driving Conditions: Winter vs. Summer

Finland, the 'Land of a Thousand Lakes,' offers picturesque landscapes that vary dramatically from season to season. When you're planning a road trip through this beautiful country, it's essential to understand how drastically Finnish driving conditions can change between winter and summer.

Summer Driving in Finland

Summer, generally extending from June to August, is a wonderful time to explore Finland by car. Finnish summers are characterized by the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun, where the sun can be seen above the horizon even at midnight. This provides extra daylight hours, especially in northern parts, making road trips even more enjoyable.

The roads are typically clear and dry, which makes driving relatively easy. However, summer is also the season when most road repairs take place, so be prepared for possible detours and temporary speed limits. Another aspect to consider is the abundant wildlife. Watch out for elks and reindeers that tend to stray onto the roads, especially in remote areas.

The summer's mild weather is conducive for taking coastal drives, exploring national parks, or venturing into the Finnish Lakeland. Popular routes include the King's Road from Helsinki to Turku, and the route from Helsinki to the historic city of Porvoo.

Winter Driving in Finland

Winter in Finland, which can stretch from November through March, is a stark contrast to the summer. The country is covered in snow, and daylight hours are significantly reduced, especially in northern areas where Polar Night occurs - a period when the sun doesn't rise above the horizon.

Winter driving in Finland requires special attention. Roads can be icy and slippery, and snowfall can significantly reduce visibility. Therefore, it's essential to equip your vehicle with winter tires, which is mandatory from December to February. Also, be sure to use your headlights at all times, even during daylight hours, to enhance visibility.

Despite the challenges, winter also offers unique experiences. The snow-covered landscapes are breathtaking, and if you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Some adventurous routes for winter include the Arctic Ocean Highway, leading to the northernmost point of the EU, and the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, considered the official hometown of Santa Claus.

Whether you choose to explore Finland in the warmth of summer or the icy grip of winter, understanding the seasonal driving conditions is crucial for a safe and enjoyable journey. Always check the local weather forecasts, follow the driving regulations, and most importantly, take your time to savor the beautiful Finnish landscapes.

Key Traffic Rules to Follow in Finland

Driving in a foreign country can be a thrilling adventure, but it also requires a clear understanding of local traffic regulations. When it comes to driving in Finland, adherence to specific rules is not just a legal requirement, but also a means to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Here are some of the key traffic rules to keep in mind when exploring Finland on wheels.

1. Driving on the Right: Finland, like most European countries, follows the right-hand driving system. It means you should always drive on the right side of the road, and overtake from the left. When approaching a roundabout, give way to vehicles coming from your left.

2. Seat Belts are Mandatory: In Finland, seat belts are obligatory for all vehicle occupants, regardless of where they're sitting. This applies to all kinds of vehicles, including taxis. Children under 135 cm tall must use a child safety seat.

3. Adhere to Speed Limits: Finnish roads have varying speed limits depending on the type of road and the season. In urban areas, the limit is usually 50 km/h, while outside towns it can be between 80 and 100 km/h. In winter, speed limits are generally reduced due to challenging driving conditions. Always check and adhere to the local speed limits.

4. Zero Tolerance for Drunk Driving: Finland has strict laws against drunk driving. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.05%. For drivers with less than two years of driving experience, the limit is even lower, at 0.02%. To ensure safety and avoid hefty fines or even imprisonment, it's best to refrain from consuming alcohol if you plan to drive.

5. Headlights are Always Required: In Finland, it's mandatory to use your vehicle's headlights at all times, day or night, and regardless of the season. The rule applies even during the summer months, when the sun barely sets.

6. Winter Tire Regulations: Finland's winter can be severe, especially in the northern parts. Thus, it's mandatory to use winter tires from the beginning of December to the end of February. These dates can change depending on the weather conditions, so it's best to check with your car rental agency.

7. Respect for Pedestrians: Pedestrians in Finland have the right of way at marked crosswalks. Drivers are required to stop at pedestrian crossings if someone is crossing or about to cross the road.

Adherence to these key traffic rules ensures your journey through Finland is not just fun and memorable, but also safe.

Remember, staying informed and respectful of the host country's traffic regulations is an essential part of being a responsible tourist.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company in Finland

Embarking on a road trip in Finland, with its beautiful landscapes and well-maintained roads, is an experience that no traveler should miss. However, the journey requires a reliable vehicle that matches your comfort, budget, and needs.

Whether you choose an international or a local car rental company depends on various factors. Let's delve into what both types have to offer, including some top companies to consider.

International Car Rental Companies in Finland

International car rental companies have an extensive network across Finland, offering a wide variety of vehicles to pick from. Here are some top players:

  1. Hertz: This global brand is renowned for its diverse fleet and quality service. With several locations across Finland, Hertz offers convenience, especially for those landing at major airports like Helsinki-Vantaa.

  2. Avis: A reputable car rental company known for its comprehensive selection of vehicles, from economy cars to luxury models. They also provide additional amenities such as GPS and child safety seats.

  3. Europcar: Offers competitive rates and an extensive range of vehicles. They also have a simple booking process and excellent customer support, making them a popular choice among travelers.

  4. Sixt: Provides a variety of cars, including eco-friendly options. Known for their exceptional service, Sixt also has multiple pick-up and drop-off points throughout Finland.

  5. Enterprise: With an emphasis on customer service, Enterprise offers a wide selection of vehicles at reasonable prices. Their presence at major airports and city centres ensures accessibility.

Despite their broad network and diverse fleet, international companies can be pricier than local alternatives. Additionally, their presence in remote Finnish areas may be limited.

Local Car Rental Companies in Finland

Local car rental companies often provide more personalized service, in-depth local knowledge, and competitive prices. Here are some Finnish companies to consider:

  1. Scandia Rent: A reliable local brand, offers a wide range of vehicles at affordable prices. Their knowledgeable staff can provide valuable advice on choosing the best car for Finnish terrains.

  2. LansiAuto: With over 50 years in the industry, is known for its excellent customer service. They offer a variety of vehicles, including electric cars, aligning with Finland's eco-conscious ethos.

  3. Käyttöauto: offers high-quality vehicles and competitive prices. They also provide comprehensive customer support, ensuring a seamless rental experience.

  4. Vuokraus Hyypiä: This local car rental offers an array of cars suitable for different driving conditions. Their flexible terms and fair pricing make them a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

  5. CheapSleep Car Rental: Known for their budget-friendly options, provides a cost-effective solution for travelers, without compromising on service quality.

While local companies offer competitive pricing and a personalized approach, they may not provide as diverse a fleet as international brands.

Their locations may also be more concentrated, with fewer branches in major airports or city centers.

Our Car Rental Fleet in Finland: A Comprehensive Overview

Choosing the right vehicle for your journey in Finland can significantly enhance your travel experience. Our diverse car rental fleet is designed to cater to a wide variety of preferences, travel plans, and environmental considerations.

Let's delve into our range of vehicle groups, including eco-friendly electric and hybrid options.

Compact Cars

Compact cars are an excellent choice for city explorations or short trips. They are easy to handle, fuel-efficient, and convenient for navigating narrow city lanes. If you're planning to explore urban centers like Helsinki or Turku, our compact cars, such as the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta, will serve you well.

Mid-size Cars

If you require a bit more space and comfort, our mid-size cars are the perfect option. These vehicles offer a balance between size, fuel efficiency, and comfort. Models in this category, like the Škoda Octavia or Volkswagen Golf, are suitable for small families or groups.


Our sedan range offers a comfortable and stylish driving experience. With ample legroom, larger luggage capacity, and enhanced features, they are ideal for long-distance journeys. You can opt for models like the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class.


For those planning to venture into the Finnish countryside or tackle challenging terrains, especially during the winter, our range of SUVs is the perfect fit. With models like the Nissan Qashqai or Toyota RAV4, you get enhanced ground clearance, 4-wheel drive capabilities, and ample space for passengers and luggage.

Luxury Cars

For a premium driving experience, consider our luxury car range. These high-end models, such as the Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series, offer superior comfort, advanced technological features, and powerful performance, ensuring an unforgettable journey across Finland.

Electric and Hybrid Cars

As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, we also offer a range of electric and hybrid cars. These eco-friendly vehicles reduce carbon emissions and offer a quiet and smooth driving experience.

  1. Electric Cars: Our all-electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model 3, provide a zero-emission driving experience. They are perfect for eco-conscious travelers and city explorations where charging stations are easily accessible.

  2. Hybrid Cars: Hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius or Hyundai Ioniq, offer the flexibility of petrol/diesel and electric power. These vehicles automatically switch between power sources, providing better fuel efficiency and lower emissions without the worry of finding a charging station.

Finland Car Rentals FAQs

What documents do I need to rent a car in Finland?
To rent a car in Finland, you typically need a valid driver's license, a passport or ID card, and a credit card for the rental deposit.

Is there a minimum age requirement for renting a car in Finland?
The minimum age to rent a car in Finland is usually 18 years, although some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 21 or 25 years old. Additional fees or restrictions may apply for young or inexperienced drivers.

Are there any additional fees or charges when renting a car in Finland?
Yes, there may be additional fees or charges when renting a car in Finland, such as insurance, fuel charges, airport surcharges, or fees for additional drivers. It's important to review the rental terms and conditions for a full understanding of the costs involved.

Can I rent a car in Finland with a foreign driver's license?
Yes, many car rental companies in Finland accept foreign driver's licenses. However, it's recommended to carry an international driving permit (IDP) along with your foreign license, especially if the license is not in English or Finnish.

What are the accepted methods of payment for car rentals in Finland?
Most car rental companies in Finland accept credit cards for payment. It's advisable to check with the specific rental company regarding accepted payment methods and whether they accept debit cards or cash as well.

Do I need additional insurance when renting a car in Finland?
Basic insurance coverage is typically included when renting a car in Finland. However, it's recommended to consider additional insurance options such as collision damage waiver (CDW) or theft protection to have comprehensive coverage during your rental period.

Are snow tires provided with car rentals in Finland during winter?
Yes, many car rental companies in Finland provide snow tires during the winter season. It's important to check with the rental company in advance and request snow tires if needed for driving in snowy or icy conditions.

Are there any restrictions on where I can drive the rental car in Finland?
Some car rental companies in Finland may have restrictions on taking rental cars to certain areas or countries. It's important to check with the rental company about any travel restrictions, especially if you plan to cross borders or visit specific regions.

What should I do in case of an accident or breakdown while driving the rental car in Finland?
In case of an accident or breakdown while driving the rental car in Finland, you should contact the car rental company immediately and follow their instructions. They will guide you on the necessary steps to take and provide assistance.

Can I return the rental car to a different location in Finland?
Many car rental companies in Finland allow you to return the car to a different location, known as a one-way rental. However, additional fees may apply. It's important to check with the rental company about their policies and any associated costs.