While it may be that your driving license qualifies you to drive in Finland, parking can be a different matter. In order to help save you from a parking ticket (ranging from 60–80 €) we have added this section to inform you about parking rules and signs that are Finland specific.
– When parking near a crosswalk you must have at least 1 car’s length between your car and a crosswalk.
– It is permitted to park facing opposing traffic.
– Some days there are exceptions to paid parking areas. It can be a scheduled day or time of day of the week, which is always listed on the sign. Times without brackets ie: 7–15 show the exception for weekdays. Times with brackets ie: (7–15) are exceptions for saturdays. Red text is for Sunday hours. If there is no red text, sunday parking is free.
Tips & Vocabulary:
-Never park in a place that says “varattu” (reserved) or that is numbered unless it is reserved for you. “Vieras” (guest), “asiakas” (customer), unmarked parking spaces are fine, though.
– You absolutely need a “pysäköintikiekko” (parking disc)! You move the dial of the disk to show your time of arrival,and leave the disk on your dashboard of your car. You can see the time limit for parking on the same sign that has the disc symbol. If you arrive at some time between a full and half hour, you can round the time up. Ie: Arriving at 7:15 can be shown on the parking disc as 7:30. You can buy a parking disc from most stores.
– There is always a sign! If there are conditions to park somewhere, you can see a sign with these conditions either at the beginning of the parking zone or starting from the nearest intersection. If there is no sign forbidding or listing the conditions of parking, then it is not forbidden and there are no conditions for parking.
When you see signs that say “Lippuautomaatti” (Ticket Machine) on the street where you park, remember to check that you are in a paid parking area, or that you have the appropriate parking permit (exceptions to parking rules are listed in the signs). If you’re in a paid parking area, follow the lippuautomaatti signs to the machine. Remember, many machines no longer take coins, so you will likely need a bank card.
You can often pay for your parking using your phone application or sms, and the fees can be added to your phone bill. More information about what kind of parking applications can be used are often found on the lippuautomaatti itself.
For the winter you are going to need a snow brush and a scraper so that when it snows you can actually see out of you car.