Temporary tax-free use of motor vehicles
If you move to Finland temporarily, you can use your car without having to pay car tax. The time limit is six months. Please note that the vehicle must be covered by a motor liability insurance valid in Finland. The following conditions are to be met for tax -free use:
• The vehicle is registered outside Finland, and the registration is valid.
• The vehicle is allowed to be used for not longer than six months, continuously or interruptedly, during a period of twelve months.
• The use of the vehicle is not connected with purchasing the vehicle to Finland.
If you intend to stay in Finland for more than six months, you should contact a customs office
for finding out about the right to use the car. If needed, customs offices give guidance in making the application for an extension of the time limit.
If you have moved to Finland from abroad and reside in Finland as a permanent resident , you should register the car you brought as a removal goods, and pay car tax before you can use it in traffic in Finland. Please note that the vehicle must always be covered by a motor liability insurance valid in Finland. It is possible to use the car for 30 days before car tax has been paid. This requires that a commissioning notification for the car is made to customs. If you bring a car from outside the EEA area, you will also need a transfer permit before you can use it. Transfer permits are granted by Customs and Vehicle Inspection Stations.
Driving licenses issued in another EU or EEA country and interim driving licenses issued in the Nordic countries entitle the holder to drive motor vehicles in Finland equivalent to those indicated on the non-Finnish license. The driver must be at least 18 years old. The right to drive is valid regardless of whether the person is in Finland as a tourist or residing permanently.
A person residing permanently in a country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention and who holds a national or international driving licence or an official Finnish or Swedish translation of a national driving licence is entitled to drive motor vehicles equivalent to those indicated on the non-Finnish licence provided that the person fulfils the Finnish age requirement to drive such vehicles. The afore-mentioned driving licence is valid in Finland for two years from the start of the holder's period of permanent residence in Finland provided that the licence is valid and no other reason exists for the termination of its validity.
Driving a Car
In Finland vehicles drive on the right. At crossroads, unless there is a sign to the contrary, vehicles coming from the right have priority.
In autumn and early spring, you should watch out for elk when driving in rural areas. These animals are especially active at dusk and dawn, and may cause dangerous situations, so please drive carefully.
Winter tyres are compulsory in Finland as of 1 December until the end of February. Studded tyres may be used on Finnish roads from 1 November until 20 April. This rule also applies to cars and vans registered abroad when they are driven in Finland.
The law regarding the blood-alcohol level for drivers is strictly followed in Finland. The law allows a level of less than 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, or 0,22 mg per litre of exhaled air. Driving under the influence of drugs is also regarded as a very serious offence. Offenders are subject to heavy fines, withdrawal or suspension of their driving license and/or imprisonment.