Helsinki - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Something that can handle snow! We were in good shape with our Subaru Outback paired with studded snow tires and got a car/engine block heater installed locally. - Dec 2022

Car preference depends on housing location and family size. Expats drive SUVs, sedans, minivans, etc. All cars will require winter tires (per local law) which you can purchase when you arrive. - Oct 2021

A good winter car is advisable. Sports cars and convertibles are not practical, due to severe winters and the prevalence of cobblestone streets in the city center. Finns use studded tires in winter, although U.S. mud/snow-rated tires are also legal. Because Finns use winter and summer tires, tire storage can become an issue for those with no garages. Mechanics offer tire storage services for a small fee. - Oct 2018

Any car is fine. No special vehicles needed. Even though there is lots of snow and ice in the winter, the Finns really know how to clear the roads well for driving. Gas is expensive! Don't bring a gas-guzzler because you will PAY at the pump. - Jul 2012

A person should bring a newer car and should have the Finnish spec requirements done in the States. To get your car drivable in Finland it will cost you about 700 Euro for side blinkers and a back-up light. Auto inspection is 120 Euros every year, Insurance 500+, Gas 7.50 usd a gallon (although we get it duty free). Bring snow tires or all-weather tires (which are required). You can get everything here, though. - Jan 2011

I would go with a smaller car, as the streets are narrow and the parking garages can be quite difficult to get into if you have a big American car or truck. - May 2010

You don't really need a car in Helsinki, but if you bring one, don't bring a large car. A smaller SUV or a sedan or station wagon will work. Just double check to make sure you can get parts here. Your car will need to be inspected first so you may not want to bring an older model car here. It may cost too much to bring up to Finnish code. - Apr 2009

Anything you want although repairs and parts for American cars can be expensive. All cars must meet European inspection requirements. - Mar 2008

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