Before you enter the country

Usually car tax must be paid on all vehicles before they are used in Finland. The Car Tax Act lays out when a vehicle can be used temporarily exempt from tax. If you have permanent residence in a foreign country you may, on certain conditions, use a vehicle that is not taxed in Finland when staying in Finland. The extent of the right to tax-exempt use depends on whether the vehicle has been imported for personal use (“tourist vehicle”) or whether the vehicle is used for business purposes. If you are staying in two countries, you are advised to apply for a decision under which your permanent place of residence is determined. Temporary tax-exempt use of a vehicle in Finland is permitted on the following conditions:

* You have permanent residence in a foreign country.
* The vehicle in question is registered outside Finland.
* The vehicle is used for a maximum of 6 months during a period of 12 months.
* When used in Finland, the vehicle must have motor liability insurance that is valid in Finland.
* You have the right of use
* The vehicle in question may not be used by individuals with permanent residence in Finland.
* However, other individuals with tourist status may temporarily use the vehicle in Finland on a tax-exempt basis.

* If you are arriving in Finland with an intention to work or to stay in this country for more than six months, you should contact the car taxation customer service of the Finnish Tax Administration (tel. +358 29 497 152) to determine the right of use of the vehicle.

When driving in Finland

* Everyone in the car must always wear seatbelts

* Always drive with your headlights on

* Don’t use your mobile phone while driving

* Children under 1.35m must use a child safety seat

* Make sure you have warm clothing in case of emergency.

* Don’t drive while intoxicated

Wildlife on the road

Always be prepared for the possibility of reindeer or moose walking on the road. Take note of warning signs indicating wildlife hotspots and reduce speed. It is mandatory to report reindeer collisions to the police. More information on wildlife hazards at

Winter driving

The winters in Inari are cold and dark. This means that visibility may be poor and the roads are often slippery. Before driving off, clear your vehicle from snow and scrape the ice from the windows. Pre-heating you vehicle reduces the likelihood of windows re-freezing. If you have brought your own car from abroad, you must ensure you have suitable winter tires. Adapt your speed to the driving conditions and remember that breaking distance increases on slippery roads.

Drinking and driving

First rule - Don’t drink and drive! In addition to potentially catastrophic consequences to yourself, your loved ones and innocent bystanders, punishment for driving while intoxicated is severe.

Because distances are long and taxies may not be readily available, it is advisable to agree on a dedicated driver before heading to the pub.

Please note, that driving while intoxicated is a crime regardless of whether you drive on or off-road, water or ice. This even applies to un-motorised vehicles if you endanger the safety of others.

You are guilty of driving while intoxicated if your blood alcohol level exceeds 0.05%.


To drive a snowmobile, you must be at least 15 years of age and hold at least a T class driving licence. A crash helmet is mandatory for both, the driver and passenger. Driving on roads is generally not allowed. To drive off-road you always need the permission of the land owner. For state owned land the permission must be obtained from Metsähallitus, Ivalontie 10, 99800 Ivalo (Inari). Be aware of thin ice and don’t exceed 40 km/h unless you have familiarised yourself with the speed limits.

You can find more information here.

All-terrain vehicles – ATVs

ATV’s are divided in two categories – off-road and street ATV’s. For off-road ATV’s you must have at least a B-class licence. There are different regulations concerning the different vehicles, but on the road a helmet is mandatory and for off-road recommended, i.e. common sense. To drive off-road you always need the permission of the land owner. For state owned land the permission must be obtained from Metsähallitus, Ivalontie 10, 99800 Ivalo (Inari). You can find additional information here

Registering an importing a vehicle in Finland

If you want to register an imported vehicle in Finland you must pay the car tax and take the vehicle to a registration inspection. More information at TRAFI - The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s