Driving in Sweden is great. Volvos, great scenery, and the 120km speed limit on the motorways, it’s a pretty good deal here.
To start driving in Sweden can either be really easy or really hard depending on where your current driving licence is from.
I’ve tried to break down everything you need to know about driving in Sweden in this page. If I’ve missed anything, or if you have any questions, just let me know here.
Driving in Sweden - The Basics
- Swede’s drive on the right-hand side of the road
- You must be aged 18 or older to drive in Sweden
- Speed limits vary but the max is around 120 km/h
- Since Sweden uses the metric system, all driving information is in meters, kilometers, kilometers per hour, etc
- Headlights must always be used, all day, all year round
- Sweden is VERY strict on alcohol. Unlike some countries where you can have a beer before driving, Sweden has a very low threshold so if you are driving, just avoid alcohol (0.02 - it’s 0.08 in the UK)
- If you have a serious emergency, call 112
- You must always carry your driving licence with you when driving
Important things to remember
- If you are banned from driving in your home country, you can not drive in Sweden
- If you have a Swedish driving licence, you must use that as your driving licence
- If your Swedish driving licence has been revoked, you **can not **drive with your licence from your home country
Getting a Driving Licence in Sweden
If you want to drive in Sweden, you will need a valid EEC or Swedish licence. If you already have a licence, you can read more about which licences are valid in Sweden.
If you do not have a licence and you want to get a Swedish driving licence or convert your EEC driving licence, you need to speak with the Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen)
If you are from outside of the EEC, you will need to get a Swedish licence and start from the beginning.
Cost of Petrol
Petrol prices vary so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cost per litre, but most petrol stations are open 24 hours and have chip and pin machines to pay. Petrol here is called bensin and diesel is called diesel. They have all of the regular petrol types as well such as unleaded 95 (blyfri).
Saving money getting a Swedish Driving Licence
Learning to drive in Sweden is expensive and can cost up to 700 kr. per hour to hire a driving instructor. What you can do is learn to drive in another EEC country such as the UK where is is around 200kr per hour or even spend a week doing an intensive driving course (here) and then come back to Sweden. You will need to look into the details around getting a licence in that country but try looking for other options to getting a valid EEC licence.
Which driving licences are valid in Sweden?
If you have a driving licence from the EEC, you can drive in Sweden straight away without applying for any extra or a new licence. There is no time limit on how long you can use your licence, and so drivers from outside Sweden can use their home licence for as long as they like.
Bear in mind, it is your responsibility to follow the rules and regulations in Sweden. Furthermore, if your licence has been revoked in your home country, you can not drive in Sweden. If you have a Swedish licence, you should use this instead of your home EEC licence,
So which driving licences are valid in Sweden? At time of writing (December 2015), the EEC licences and countries that allow you to drive in Sweden are:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, UK.
If you don’t have an EEC Licence…
If you do not have an EEC licence, you will need to get a Swedish licence. The governing body in Sweden is called the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and they are responsible for Swedish licences.
You will need to take lessons to learn the driving laws in Sweden, and then take your driving exam to get a valid Swedish licence.
- Transportstyrelsen (Swedish Transport Agency and responsible for all types of transport in Sweden including boats and planes)
- Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration)
Exchange your EEC Licence to a Swedish Driving Licence
If you have a valid driving licence from within the EEC, you can exchange it for a Swedish licence without having to re-do your test. As long as your licence is valid in your home country (in date, not revoked, etc) and you are register to live in Sweden (address, personnummer, live here for at least 185 days per year, etc), you can apply to Transportstyrelsen to have it converted to a Swedish licence for a free of 750 kr.
To do this, simply:
- Download this form (it’s in Swedish. Google Translate should work. If not you can ask someone at work or somewhere like a library to help)
- Pay a 600 kr. fee
- Send in your application to Transportstyrelsen
- You may have to send in extra details such as health details if requested by Transportstyrelsen
- If you are accepted, you will need to go to a Transportstyrelsen office be identified and have your photograph taken. They will give you more information, but you can see a list of locations here
- There is another 150 kr. fee
- Transportstyrelsen will then send you your new ID and send your home licence back to the Transport Agency of your home country
I am not sure how long this takes but I imagine it will take 6-8 weeks so if you NEED your Swedish licence for some reason, I suggest you plan this in good time.
Processes and prices are correct at time of writing (December 2015).
Photo Credits: Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se