Car rental in Sweden
Renting a car in Sweden is a great way to explore sights and attractions, travel between cities and to easily reach the remote, scenic areas on the countryside. Many people seek the convenience and flexibility of not having to rely on public transportation, and it’s definitely a suitable option for short day tours and longer road trips alike.
But what about age limits, extra fees, driver’s licenses and other local restrictions and regulations? Where am I allowed to take my rental car? What if I need an automatic transmission? Don’t worry, we’ve summed up everything you need to know right here.
(Rental cars offer a versatile freedom on the road, and driving is an easy way of getting around in Sweden)
Which rental car company should I choose? Most well-established rental car brands are represented in Sweden, and their prices does not differ all too much. Most alternatives starts at around 1500-2000 SEK/week if renting for one week, and slightly better rates if renting for longer periods. It’s possible to get better bargains from private actors, but renting from a well-known brand is recommended as it will always get you a quality car. Just make sure your rental car has the proper tires if your visiting Sweden during winter.
A great alternative to find the best deal is to rent through Rentalcars.com. As the major force in the business, they cooperate with all leading rental car companies and can easily get you the best possible rates and availability for your specific rental time and location.
Requirements, fees & practical information
The age limit for driving in Sweden is 18, but almost all rental companies require the drivers to be at least 19 years old (or even 21 in some cases). Many of them will also charge an additional fee if the driver is younger than 25 years old. This “young driver” fee is typically around 100 SEK/day up to a maximum of 1000-1500 SEK. A few companies also applies a “senior driver” fee for drivers above 70 years old, but it is not as common.
An “extra driver” fee is almost always applied if someone other than the person hiring the car also will be driving. This fee is smaller, typically around 30-50 SEK/day up to a maximum of around 500 SEK, but it doesn’t always apply to family members of the renter.
Which driver’s licenses are accepted when renting? Most rental car companies will require that the driver’s license has been valid for at least 1 year before renting. If you are renting with a non-EEA driver’s license, and a license that is not issued in English, German or French, an international driving permit, IDP, will in most cases also be required.
(Highway in summertime Sweden)
Can I return my vehicle at a different location in Sweden? Yes, in general it’s possible to return your hired vehicle at a different location, which can often be preferred when taking a longer trip. It will increase your rental price and a very remote return location may result in an expensive trip. However, travelling between larger cities and airports is usually not a problem.
Can I drive my rental car from Sweden to Norway, Denmark or Finland (or even further abroad)? The short answer: Yes, most rental cars are allowed to be taken outside of Sweden. Typically the neighboring Nordic countries have no restrictions, but driving further into Europe may result in additional fees (check your rental agreement). Most rental car companies require you to mention that you intend to drive abroad when you pick up your vehicle, so make sure to do so. Sometimes, a written confirmation may even be required. When everything is ok, you’re good to go!
But can I return it in a different country? If using well-established, international companies: Yes, in most cases you can, but it may be very expensive and you should avoid this if at all possible.
Find out more about Nordic and Scandinavian road trips.
– Try out lights, wipers and turn signals to make sure everything is working.
– Look for visible damages and verify that everything you find is noted down. Take pictures just in case.
– Which type of fuel should be used? Is the car running on diesel?
– How is the fuel cap and front hood opened?
– Is the car fully equipped with spare tire, warning triangle, lifting jack, tire iron etc.?
– If it’s winter – does the car have the proper winter tires?
Manual or automatic transmission (gearbox). It’s important to remember that most vehicles in Sweden uses a manual transmission, or stick shift, which also applies to most “standard” rental alternatives. If you’re not used to operating a manual transmission, getting an automatic transmission is definitely not a problem. It will typically cost you an extra 500-1000 SEK, but at the same time upgrade your car from the most basic models. The type of transmission should be specified for each vehicle on the rental company’s website.
What about insurance? Before adding an expensive insurance to your rental agreement, find out what your own auto insurance and credit card insurance (that you use to rent the vehicle) already covers. In many cases these may be enough and any additional insurance is redundant and only a waste of money. A general travel insurance is however always a good idea unless covered elsewhere.
Always inspect your rental car to make sure it is undamaged and that it’s in fact fully functional before setting off. If you detect any faults and irregularities, let the car hire company know about it so you won’t be held responsible after your trip. It’s a good idea to note everything down and take pictures to document it.
There are many more ways to customize your vehicle with different accessories and supplements to fit all your needs. A few examples include GPS, child safety seats, roof box and bike, ski or kayak racks. Most supplements comes with an additional fee of 100-150 SEK/day, up to a maximum of around 500-750 SEK. Keep in mind that all accessories might not always be available at specific rental locations.
Some companies also offer 4G-routers to use in their cars in Sweden, which is a great way to enable wi-fi while on the road.
Driving with pets is in most cases perfectly ok in your rental car in Sweden, but be sure to check which policy your rental company has. Some campanies can also install dog cages and trunk dividers, provided they get a notice in advance.
The fuel tank is normally filled up when picking up your vehicle, but the fuel is not included unless stated otherwise. This means that you also need to return the vehicle filled up to prevent being charged.
The basic rental agreements does not charge you per mileage, which means you can drive as far and as much as you please. If a mileage rate is applied (which is very uncommon nowadays), it should be clearly specified.
Special cars and minivans
For larger families and groups travelling together, a normal car might just not do and renting several vehicles is not always practical or economically favorable. Minivans with 7-9 seats is not a problem to get a hold of in Sweden, but availability will be more limited and it’s advisable to book in advance. Normally, airport pick-up spots have more vans and buses at hand.
Luxury cars, sports cars and cabriolets (or convertibles) are more difficult to find as the rental market for these vehicles is quite slim in Sweden. It is possible to find them through your regular booking sites, but for a wider selection and more flexible availability you are bound to seek out smaller companies specializing in this business. Of course, this also means the rates will be considerably higher than for regular cars from the bigger enterprises.
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