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Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows

Norway tops the table for the most expensive fines for drink-driving, running red lights and motorway speeding, compared to the rest of Europe, a new study has revealed.

Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows
Watch your speed, Norway's driving fines are eye-wateringly expensive. Photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

Drinking and driving is not only dangerous but incurs hefty fines in much of Europe, but none as expensive as in Norway, a new study by driving institute Zutobi found.

Being 0.02 percent over the blood alcohol limit in Norway will cost you an eye-watering €5,783 at a minimum.

This compares with the Czech Republic, where drink-driving penalties start at just €19 for having anything over zero percent alcohol in your blood.

Norway also has the most expensive fines for running red lights — penalties of up to €756 are charged, far outpacing the €10 minimum penalty levied in Albania, the European country with the least expensive fines for ignoring the stop signal.

Norway tops the table for driving fines compared to Europe. Source: Zutobi

The Nordic country is just as strict when it comes to speeding on motorways: get caught exceeding the statutory 110km/h speed limit and you could be charged as much as €711, hundreds of euros above Italy, the second-strictest European country for speeding fines.

You’re much less likely to be snapped racing down the road, though, as Norway only has 311 speed cameras compared to Italy’s 8,073.

READ ALSO: Norway trebles fine for using mobile phone at the wheel

At the other end of the scale, these countries are lax with their driving fines, with Albania placing first for the least strict in Europe. Source: Zutobi

At the other end of the scale, the least strict country in Europe for driving fines is Albania, with motorway speeding starting at just €20 and an almost unnoticeable €8 fine if you’re caught using your mobile phone while driving.

Zutobi gathered its data on fines, speed limits and blood alcohol limits from Speeding Europe, SCBD and Auto Europe.

 

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EXPLAINED: How owning an electric car in Norway could change

More and more motorists in Norway are ditching the petrol pumps and going all-electric. However, several changes could be introduced, which would significantly affect the cost and the practicality of owning an electric car.

EXPLAINED: How owning an electric car in Norway could change

More than half of all new cars sold in Norway are electric vehicles, and recently the government has introduced or announced several proposals which affect EV owners. 

Unfortunately, most changes put forward by the government will make it more expensive to own an EV. However, they have said they will look into one thing which would make owning an electric car much more straightforward. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about owning an electric car in Norway

Government to consider scrapping toll road and tax discounts

Toll deductions for electric cars could be reduced or scrapped as the country’s transport ministry is concerned public transport ministry is losing out to low-emission vehicles. 

A law previously passed by parliament holds that electric cars should never incur more than 50 percent of the tax applied to petrol and diesel equivalents.

But reduced public transport revenues related to higher electric car use, as well as lower intakes from tolls around Oslo because the rate paid by electric cars is lower, are causing the government to rethink, NRK reports.

“It’s great that people use electric cars. But we are not well served by people getting into their cars and drive into busy city areas instead of walking, bicycling or taking public transport,” Nygård said. 

READ MORE: Why owning an electric car in Norway could become more expensive

Re-registration fee introduced

At the beginning of May, it became more expensive for used EVs to change hands. Every time a used electric car is sold, a re-registration fee of up to 1,670 kroner will need to be paid. 

The cost will depend on the car’s age, with the fee being cheaper for older EVs. The re-registration charge is also 75 percent cheaper for electric vehicles than regular ones. 

The government hasn’t explicitly outlined whether this discount could be reduced in the future. 

Tolls in Oslo to go up

Various outlets report that the cost of driving within Oslo’s toll roads will go up twice, once in September 2022 and then again in January 2024. 

The toll hike was agreed upon as part of the third Oslo package. Oslo City Council and Akershus County Council must officially approve the agreement. 

If discounts on tolls are axed or decreased, electric car owners will be hit even more by the increases. 

VAT on electric cars could be announced in the revised budget for 2022

MVA or VAT could be introduced when the government presents its revised national budget for 2022 in mid-May, experts have predicted. 

The government proposed introducing a VAT on electric cars that cost more than 600,000 kroner when it was formed last October. VAT on vehicles is calculated based on several factors

The introduction of VAT didn’t come in the new year as expected, but now industry experts are anticipating its announcement in the revised budget.  

The Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF) has told online publication Nettavisen that it expected VAT to be introduced eventually. 

Charging could become simpler

The government will look into making charging easier by making sure a universal payment method is adopted, Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård has told newspaper VG

Currently, you cannot use one universal payment method, app or card to pay for all fast chargers in Norway. 

“It looks like it is necessary,” Nygård said of a standard payment method for charging to VG. 

The transport minister added that a solution wouldn’t be introduced until next year at the earliest. This autumn, the government will present a new strategy for electric car charging. 

Tesla to allow other models to use the Supercharger charging network

Tesla has launched a pilot project which opens its Supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles. 

58 stations are open to non-Tesla cards, with plans to open more stations and charging posts to other vehicles in the future. 

Owners of non-Tesla vehicles pay more than Tesla owners for charging. However, the cost is still on par with other charging stations, technology news site Tek.no reports. 

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