Stockholm may be an easier place to drive than many other large European cities, but if you’re a foreigner there are still many new things to keep in mind when you’re driving in the city. Check out the YLC guide to driving and parking in Stockholm!
As most Stockholm street signs are not in English it can be tricky when first starting to navigate your way around. It’s often said by locals ‘that all roads lead to Årsta’, and for those of you who are currently driving the motorways, you may well understand the joke! Unfortunately, this article wont help you with directions, we will outline some of the basic rules you need to know when driving, and especially, parking in the City:
If you have an EU driving licence and you are staying temporarily you can use your licence from your country just the same. If you are from a country outside of the EU, your licence is only valid in Sweden for one year. After that you will need to apply for a Swedish driving licence to drive here legally.
Basic driving rules to remember:
The legal level for drinking and driving is a maximum of only 0.2 ‰
Buses always have right of way on 30 and 50km/h roads
Pedestrians always have right of way at pedestrian crossings, so watch out!
You must drive with your headlights on at all times (dimmed during the day at least)
Regular inspections are compulsory when your car is 3 years old, 5 years old and then each following year.
It is mandatory to change to winter tyres between December 1 st – March 31st. Studded winter tyres are permitted for use from October 1st – April 15th in wintry conditions and un-studded tyres are allowed all year round. It is also important to learn how to drive on the snow and ice during Swedish winters!
There is a congestion charge (or toll) when driving in the inner city of Stockholm. It only applies to Swedish-registered vehicles on weekdays between 06:30-18:29. Road toll cameras record vehicles entering and leaving the city centre then send an invoice to the vehicle owner at the end of each month. Depending on what time of day your trip is it will cost between 10 and 20 kronor, with a maximum of 60 kronor per day. Foreign-registered vehicles do not pay the congestion charge.
If you are just visiting Stockholm there are options for not having to park in the city centre. You can park just outside the inner city in one of the 25 park-and-ride services that are conveniently close to public transport. Parking your vehicle here is easier than finding parking in the city; it is less expensive and better for the environment.
To park your car in town:
1. You can lease a permanent garage space. There are a number of parking companies and garages can be found in all Stockholm neighbourhoods, although are less easy to find in Östermalm. On average a permanent space costs between 1000 kronor and 1500 kronor per month.
2. If you don’t need a permanent space some garages just charge you as you’re leaving for the time you have parked. The price is normally between 60 kronor and 70 kronor per hour Monday to Friday.
3. Register for a resident permit in the area of the city in which you live (Boendeparkering). That way you just pay a monthly fee of 800 kronor to park anywhere in your district, obviously while still following the general parking rules. Remember to check signs for street cleaning days, “Städdag”, on these days you will have to park in a neighbouring street.
You can also use resident parking to pay per day, up to a maximum of five days.
4. When using designated street parking to park in the city, pay attention to the signs. The areas where you can park on the street have signs that may vary. Street parking metres charge by the hour, you just pay at a machine and display your ticket visibly. If you are parking in an area that has a time limit make sure you display on your dashboard what time you left the vehicle.
The Swedish transport authorities do have a lot of useful information on their websites, and you will find some of it in English. Head to The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). Also the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) where you will find useful information on road conditions and particularly driving licences and driving tests.
If you are currently driving in Stockholm and have some important tips to share with our readers please comment below. And for the rest of us who feel the hassle of driving and parking is too much, then we are lucky in Stockholm to also have a great public transport system.
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