Denmark, with its scenic countryside, historic landmarks, and modern cities, offers a unique adventure that is best experienced with the freedom of a car at your disposal. Each year, thousands of tourists and business travelers alike opt for the convenience of renting a car to navigate the Danish landscapes at their own pace. In fact, statistics indicate that the car rental industry in Denmark has seen a steady increase in demand, reflecting a growing preference for road trips and self-guided tours among visitors. From the picturesque coastlines of Jutland to the charming streets of Copenhagen, having your own set of wheels allows you to explore this Nordic gem with ease and comfort. Understanding the ins and outs of car rental agreements, along with the rules of the road in Denmark, becomes an essential part of planning your trip, ensuring a stress-free experience as you traverse this culturally rich and diverse country.

Car Rental in Denmark

Table of Contents

Why Rent a Car in Denmark?

During my travels through Denmark, the convenience and freedom offered by renting a car were unmatched. This picturesque country, renowned for its stunning landscapes and historic cities, becomes far more accessible with a personal vehicle. You’re not bound by train or bus timetables, so spontaneous detours to explore an inviting Danish village or a scenic coastal road become part of your adventure. Renting a car also means you can comfortably carry any souvenirs or local delicacies you may acquire along your journey. Whether it’s for the flexibility to wander off the beaten path or the ease of traveling between points of interest like the cliffs of Møn or the beaches of Skagen, a rental car enriches your Danish experience. Continue reading the following sections to dive deeper into the practicalities and perks of car rental in the land of hygge.

What Size Rental Car: Big or Small?

Renting a car in Denmark gives you the freedom to explore the beautiful countryside, vibrant cities, and enchanting coastlines at your own pace. But when it comes to choosing the right size rental car, it’s essential to consider various factors that will influence your decision. Based on my travels and experiences renting both big and small cars in Denmark, here’s a breakdown of reasons you might opt for one over the other.

Reasons to Choose a Big Car

Firstly, big rental cars generally offer more comfort and space. If you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, the extra legroom and luggage capacity can be a game-changer, especially during longer drives across the Danish landscapes.

Moreover, a bigger car means enhanced safety features and stability on the road, which might be a priority for those unused to driving conditions in Denmark. Larger vehicles tend to perform better in adverse weather conditions, providing more confidence behind the wheel.

Lastly, if you’re planning to explore the rural areas of Denmark, such as the scenic routes of Jutland, a bigger car will provide the necessary power and durability needed to handle the less maintained roads or occasional off-path adventure.

Reasons to Choose a Small Car

On the other hand, small rental cars come with their own set of advantages. The most striking benefit is the ease of maneuvering through the narrow and winding streets of Danish cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus. Finding parking spaces can also be much less of a hassle with a compact vehicle.

Small cars are not only easier to handle but are typically more fuel-efficient, which can lead to significant savings at the pump—a noteworthy consideration given the high fuel prices in Europe. They are also generally less expensive to rent, making them a budget-friendly option for solo travelers or couples.

Lastly, choosing a small car aligns well with the environmental consciousness often encountered in Denmark. A smaller, eco-friendlier vehicle may enable you to reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying your Scandinavian adventures.


In the end, the choice between a big or small rental car in Denmark depends on your personal preferences, travel needs, and who will be accompanying you on your journey.

Picking up your Rental Car

As a frequent traveler and blog writer, I’ve had the opportunity to rent cars in various places throughout Denmark, a country known for its picturesque landscapes, historic sites, and modern infrastructure. The process of picking up a rental car in Denmark is quite seamless, especially at major transportation hubs and cities.

Main Airports

Most of my car rental experiences have been at Denmark’s major airports, where picking up a rental car is typically straightforward. Airports like Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup), Aalborg Airport, and Billund Airport, which services the famous Legoland, have several car rental companies operating on site.

At these airports, rental desks are situated inside the terminal buildings, often near the baggage claim areas or the main entrance, making it convenient to go from your flight to the road. The staff at these desks are usually very friendly and proficient in English, making communication about rental details a breeze.

Major Cities

Denmark is also well-equipped with car rental facilities in major cities like Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, and Aalborg. In Copenhagen, for instance, you can find car rental desks not just at the airport but also at key locations throughout the city, catering to customers who prefer to start their journey from their hotel or a central city location.

Rental companies often provide a selection of vehicles to accommodate different needs, whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with family. From compact cars that are perfect for city driving to larger vehicles suitable for country excursions, options are plentiful.

Inside the Airport Facilities

When picking up your rental car inside the airport facilities, you’ll find that the process is designed for efficiency. There will typically be clear signage directing you to the rental car area. Once you approach the rental desk, the staff are adept at processing your reservation swiftly while also providing helpful advice on local driving regulations and tips for your journey.

From my travels across Denmark, I can say that whether you are landing in Copenhagen and driving across the iconic Øresund Bridge to Malmö, Sweden, or planning to wind through the scenic drives of North Jutland, the convenience of picking up a rental car at Danish transportation hubs enhances the entire travel experience.

Remember to have your driver’s license, credit card, and any necessary documents ready when you approach the rental desk. It’s also a good idea to review your rental agreement and inspect your vehicle for any pre-existing damage before you leave the airport or rental facility.

Insurance, Excesses and CDW

Understanding Rental Car Insurance in Denmark

When renting a car in Denmark, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements concerning insurance coverage. Denmark, like many European countries, mandates that all rental cars must have third-party liability insurance. This is typically included in the cost of the rental and provides coverage for damage or injury to others that might occur when you’re operating the vehicle. Besides this basic requirement, several other insurance options are available and may be worth considering for peace of mind and financial protection.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection

The Collision Damage Waiver, or CDW, isn’t mandatory but is highly recommended. While it isn’t an insurance product per se, it does reduce your financial liability in case of damage to the rental car. Without CDW, renters could be responsible for the full cost of repairs or even replacement. Theft Protection, often coupled with CDW, limits your liability in case the rental car is stolen. Keep in mind that these waivers typically do not cover damage to tires, the undercarriage, or the interior of the car, nor do they cover towing charges.

Danish Road Traffic Act lays out the fundamental legal framework for vehicle operation and insurance in Denmark.

Excesses: What Are You Liable For?

The excess, or deductible, is the amount you have to pay in the event of damage to or theft of the vehicle. The rental company will block this amount on your credit card, which can be quite substantial depending on the car type and rental company. By opting for Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) or similar products, you can lower or even eliminate this excess.

Opting for Full Coverage

Why fully cover your excess? Simply put, it can save you from hefty out-of-pocket expenses. Consider the types of roads you’ll be driving on, the length of your rental period, and your comfort level with the potential financial risk. Remember, while Denmark is known for its safe and well-maintained roads, navigating unfamiliar territory always puts you at a slightly higher risk of incidental damage.

Read the Small Print

Before signing the rental agreement, it’s crucial to read the small print and understand what you are – and, just as importantly, what you are not – covered for. Each car rental company may have unique terms and conditions, and what’s included in their basic ‘insurance’ can vary dramatically. Double-check whether windscreen, undercarriage, and breakdown cover are included, and ask about additional fees for extra drivers or young drivers.

For reliable information on legal requirements and options for car rentals, consult the Danish Automobile Association (FDM) or the official VisitDenmark travel guide. Remember, spending a little extra upfront on insurance options can potentially save you from an expensive inconvenience during your Denmark trip.

Renting Eligibility

In Denmark, the legal age to obtain a driver’s license and hit the road is 18 years old. However, when it comes to renting a car, potential renters usually find themselves facing stricter age restrictions. Many car rental companies require the driver to be at least 20 or 21 years old, but this can vary depending on the rental company’s policy. It’s also common practice for rental agencies to impose a “young driver” surcharge for renters under the age of 25. This additional fee compensates for the higher risk associated with younger drivers.

Age Requirements

Before planning to rent a car, it is essential to check the specific age requirements of the rental company you are considering. These requirements can typically be found on their official website or by contacting customer service directly. For instance, a reputable rental service in Denmark might outline their age restrictions and related rules in their terms and conditions.

Driving License Validity

Not only is age a factor, but also the validity of your driving license. Renters must hold a valid driving license for a minimum period before they can rent a car. This period is usually about 1 to 2 years. Therefore, even if you are legally driving in Denmark, you may need to wait until your license has enough history before you become eligible to rent. For in-depth details on license validity, refer to the official Danish Police website which offers guidelines on driving in Denmark.

International Drivers

For those coming from abroad, an international driving permit might be necessary along with your national driving license. Ensure that all documents are valid and in order before making car rental arrangements. Helpful information for international drivers can be sourced from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Remember, while the thrill of exploring Denmark by car is enticing, ensuring that you meet all rental eligibility criteria is crucial for a smooth journey.

Documentation Needed to Rent a Car

When you arrive at the rental desk in Denmark, there are several key documents that you must present to successfully rent a vehicle. The primary document required is a valid driving license. If you are a resident of the EU or EEA, your national driving license is sufficient for driving and renting a car in Denmark. However, for those who are residents outside of the EU/EEA, an International Driving Permit (IDP), alongside your valid national driving license, is often required.

Valid Driving License

Your driving license should be carried with you at all times while driving. It is important that your license is in Roman alphabet; if it is not, it must be accompanied by an official translation or an International Driving Permit (IDP).

International Driving Permit (IDP)

An International Driving Permit is a document that translates your national driving license into several languages and is recognized internationally. It’s important to note that an IDP is not a replacement for your native license; instead, it acts as a supplement and should always be accompanied by your original driving license when you’re driving abroad. People from non-EU/EEA countries are often required to have an IDP to rent a car in Denmark. You can learn more about the requirements from the Federation of Danish Motorists.

Additional Documentation

Additional documents will likely include a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the deposit required by the rental agency. Rental companies may also request proof of identity, such as a passport, especially if your driving license does not include a photo or if additional verification of your identity is needed. Some companies may also require proof of insurance or offer you the option to purchase insurance directly from them. Always make sure to carry these documents with you throughout the rental period as they are essential in case of traffic violations or accidents.

Before your trip, ensure you check the specific requirements with the car rental company you plan to use, as documentation requirements can vary slightly. For official guidelines and up-to-date information regarding driving and renting cars in Denmark, visiting the official Visit Denmark travel website can be very helpful.

Where do I Rent a Car in Denmark?

Denmark offers a variety of car rental options to suit the needs of travelers whether arriving by plane, train, or already situated in the city center. Here’s an overview of where you can hire a vehicle from different points of access in this picturesque country.

Car Rental at the Airport

Upon arrival in Denmark, the most convenient place to rent a car would be at the airport. Major international airports like Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup) house several renowned car rental agencies. Some of the notable companies include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Sixt. These rental services are typically found in or near the terminal buildings, making it easy to transition from your flight to your rental car. A key advantage of renting directly from the airport is the diversity of vehicles available and the convenience of immediate access to a car after your flight.

Car Rental at Train Stations

Another convenient option for renting a car is at train stations, particularly in larger cities such as Copenhagen or Aarhus. These locations frequently offer services from well-known brands like Budget and Enterprise, providing options for those who prefer to combine train and car travel during their stay in Denmark.

Car Rental in City Centers

For those already in the heart of Danish cities, numerous rental agencies have branches scattered throughout urban areas, offering easy access to a car for day trips or longer excursions. In the city center, you can typically find a mix of international names as well as local car rental companies, which might offer competitive rates and personalized service.

Copenhagen car rental

Online Car Rental Options

Before traveling to Denmark, you also have the opportunity to rent a car online through various platforms. Websites like Rentalcars (, Kayak (, and Auto Europe ( allow travelers to compare prices, vehicle options, and rental terms from different companies.

Pros of renting a car online include the ability to secure a vehicle that fits your preferences and budget, often at a discounted rate. Additionally, advance bookings can ensure availability, especially during peak tourist seasons. The downside can be the lack of personal interaction to immediately address concerns, and potentially facing unexpected fees if not thoroughly reviewed in the rental agreement.

As for personal suggestions based on experience, Avis often provides a smooth rental experience with a range of reliable vehicle options. For those seeking a more budget-friendly alternative, Europcar typically offers competitive rates without compromising on customer service. It’s advisable to review recent customer feedback for these companies to ensure service quality remains consistent.

Is Renting a Car in Denmark Safe?

Denmark is a country known for its high safety standards, and this extends to the road conditions and driving culture. For visitors looking to navigate the Danish countryside or even bustling city streets, renting a car is a popular choice, and it’s generally a very safe one. The Danish roads are well-maintained, with clear signage and adherence to traffic laws being the norm.

Highways and Infrastructure

When it comes to infrastructure, Denmark boasts an extensive network of roads and highways that are in excellent repair. The motorways are well-designed with safety in mind, featuring ample lighting, proper signage, and emergency call boxes at regular intervals. Speed limits are clearly marked, with electronic signs often used to adjust the limits dynamically based on current traffic conditions. The highways connect all major cities and are considered very safe for travel. Along the way, rest areas with gas stations and refreshment options are conveniently located and maintained, providing a comfortable experience for long-distance travelers.

Country Roads and Rural Driving

Denmark’s countryside offers a picturesque driving experience, with a network of smaller roads winding through the rural landscapes. These country roads are equally well-maintained, though they can be narrower and may take drivers closer to local wildlife and farm animals. Caution is advised, especially during dusk and dawn when the visibility is lower, and animals are more active. It’s common for these roads to have bicycle paths alongside them, as cycling is a very popular means of transportation in Denmark. There’s a culture of mutual respect among drivers and cyclists, which helps in maintaining safety for all.

Urban Driving Experience

Driving in Danish city centers, specifically in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and other major cities, is a different experience from the open roads. Streets can be busy, with a mix of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians to navigate. Parking can be challenging and expensive in city centers, but the traffic is usually well-regulated with clear indications for different lanes, including those designated for public transportation. Danish drivers are generally patient and courteous, which contributes to a less stressful urban driving environment. The adherence to traffic rules within the city is strict, enhancing safety for everyone on the road.

Small Villages and Local Roads

For those venturing into small villages, the pace of life slows down, and so does the traffic. Streets in these areas are often quieter and the number of vehicles is lower, making it a more relaxed driving experience. Local drivers are familiar with the roads and are typically accommodating to tourists. Signage in these areas may not always be in English, so having a GPS or map handy can be helpful. However, the intrepid traveler will find that driving through Denmark’s smaller towns can be both charming and safe.

In summary, renting a car in Denmark provides a safe and efficient way to explore the country. The roads, from highways to village lanes, are well-maintained and offer a pleasant driving experience. Coupled with the responsible driving habits of the Danish people, visitors can feel confident when navigating the roadways of this beautiful Scandinavian country.

Kirkjubour country road

Is Renting a Car in Denmark Expensive?

Understanding the overall cost of renting a car in Denmark goes beyond looking at the daily rental rate. It’s important to consider several other factors such as insurance, fuel costs, tolls, and parking fees that can quickly add to the total expense of your rental car experience.

Rental Costs

The cost of renting a car in Denmark can vary widely based on the type of vehicle, rental duration, and time of year. Generally, you might expect to pay anywhere from 300 to 600 DKK per day for a standard car. In peak tourist seasons, these prices can escalate due to higher demand. For a more luxurious or larger vehicle, such as an SUV or a premium car, prices may start from around 800 DKK per day. Keep in mind that this baseline cost often only includes the rental fee itself and basic insurance.


Most car rental companies in Denmark offer a basic insurance policy with the rental, but supplemental insurance can add a significant cost, sometimes even doubling the daily rental rate. For example, collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection can be essential, and these can cost an additional 100-150 DKK per day each.

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs in Denmark are relatively high compared to other countries. As of my last visit, the average price of petrol was around 11-12 DKK per liter, and diesel was slightly less expensive. Depending on the fuel efficiency of your rental car and the extent of your travel, this can add considerably to the overall cost.

Toll Roads and Bridges

Denmark has several toll roads and bridges, the most notable being the Storebæltsbroen (Great Belt Bridge) and the Øresund Bridge. The cost for a standard car to cross the Great Belt Bridge can be around 245 DKK one-way, while the Øresund Bridge, connecting Denmark to Sweden, can cost about 390 DKK one-way. If your travel plans include crossing these bridges, it’s important to factor these costs into your budget.

Parking Fees

Parking in Danish cities can be another substantial expense, particularly in Copenhagen where finding free parking can be particularly challenging. Parking fees vary by zone and can range from 20 to 35 DKK per hour in the city center. Some hotels or accommodations may offer parking at a reduced rate or even for free, so it’s worth considering this when booking your stay.

All these costs, combined with any additional surcharges or fees for young drivers, GPS rental, or car seats, can make the overall cost of renting a car in Denmark quite considerable. It’s essential to do thorough research and possibly make bookings in advance to find the best deals and prepare your budget accordingly.

Renting Automatic Cars in Denmark

If you’re planning a trip to Denmark and aim to explore beyond the charming sidewalks of Copenhagen, renting a car might just be on your to-do list. Particularly for those of us accustomed to the ease of automatic transmissions, the thought of maneuvering a vehicle with a manual gearbox can be daunting. That’s where automatic rental cars step in as a trusty companion for the road.

Convenience for the Automatic-Geared Driver

Denmark’s roadways are nothing short of a pleasure to drive on, with well-maintained routes and scenic landscapes beckoning for a leisurely drive. For many travelers, particularly those from regions where automatic cars are the norm, choosing an automatic car rental is a matter of convenience and safety. The last thing you want on your Danish escapade is to grapple with gearsticks and clutches if you’ve never done it before or aren’t comfortable with it.

Ideal Choice for Beginners or the Less Experienced

Automatic cars in Denmark are especially good for novice drivers or those less experienced with manual transmissions. Without the need to shift gears before ascending one of Denmark’s rolling hills or while navigating through one of its bustling city centers, you can focus entirely on the road ahead. Automatic cars enable the driver to operate the vehicle with more ease, which can enhance the overall driving experience.

Planning Ahead is Key

It’s essential to note that in Denmark, as in many other parts of Europe, manual cars dominate the car rental market. This means that the fleet of available automatic cars is limited compared to their manual counterparts. Automatics are often in higher demand for rent due to their scarcity and the preferences of certain international visitors.

Therefore, if an automatic car is your non-negotiable for venturing through the alluring Danish landscape, make sure to book well in advance. Due to their quicker sell-out rate, securing an automatic rental car can become competitive, particularly during peak travel seasons. 

Do I Need Air Conditioning

Deciding whether to have air conditioning in your rental car while traveling through Denmark is a question worth considering. Denmark is known for its temperate climate, and many might find it unnecessary, but there are both sides to this coin.


The primary advantage of opting for air conditioning in Denmark, especially in the summer months from June to August, is the comfort it can provide during unusually warm days. Although not commonplace, heatwaves can occur, and having the option to cool down your vehicle quickly improves the overall driving experience. Additionally, if you suffer from allergies, air conditioning can help filter out pollen and dust, providing a cleaner breathing environment within your car.


On the flip side, because Denmark generally has cooler weather, air conditioning might not be a necessity for most of the year. Since the use of air conditioning can reduce a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, you might end up with slightly higher fuel costs. Furthermore, part of the charm of driving around Denmark is the fresh, clean air, and you could be missing out on this by closing the windows and relying on air conditioning. This can also disconnect you from the natural and sonic ambiance of the Danish countryside or cityscapes.

Denmark Driving Etiquette

Understanding the driving etiquette in Denmark is essential for any visitor planning to navigate the roads in this beautiful Scandinavian nation. Danish drivers are known for following the rules quite strictly, which contributes to Denmark’s reputation for having some of the safest roads in the world.

Rights of Cyclists and Pedestrians

First and foremost, Denmark is a country that highly respects the rights of cyclists and pedestrians. There are extensive bike lanes available, and drivers are always expected to check for cyclists before turning right. Pedestrians also benefit from this respectful approach on the road, especially at crosswalks where drivers typically stop even before the pedestrian has set foot on the crosswalk.

Speed Limits and Compliance

When it comes to speed limits, they are closely adhered to by local drivers. In Denmark, you’ll find that the speed limits are clearly marked and there are frequent speed checks, particularly in residential areas and around schools. Most Danish drivers will not exceed these limits by more than a few kilometers per hour, if at all.

Overtaking and Keeping to the Right

Overtaking is another area where etiquette is clear. Drivers are expected to keep to the right on highways to allow faster vehicles to pass on the left. It’s not uncommon for some drivers to remain in the left lane, but this is considered poor etiquette and can lead to fines if it impedes the flow of traffic.

Use of Headlights and Turn Signals

Another notable aspect of Danish driving etiquette is the use of headlights and turn signals. Headlights must be on at all times while driving, which increases visibility and reduces the risk of accidents. Turn signals are used diligently by Danish drivers to indicate their intention to other road users, whether changing lanes, turning, or pulling out after parked, contributing to a very predictable and courteous driving environment.

Alcohol Consumption and Driving

Drinking and driving is taken very seriously in Denmark. The blood alcohol limit is much lower than in many other countries, and local drivers tend to abstain from alcohol completely if they know they have to drive. This reflects a broader cultural attitude towards responsible driving and ensures a safer experience for everyone on the road.

Fuel and Rest Stops

When traveling through Denmark, one of the vital aspects to take into consideration is the availability of fuel and rest stops. The petrol stations in Denmark offer a variety of fuel types, and it’s essential to be knowledgeable about what fuel your rental car requires. Typically, unleaded petrol (often referred to as “bensin” in Denmark) and diesel are the most common fuels available. You may sometimes find higher octane fuels labeled as 95 or 98, and premium or special blends, which are suitable for more performance-oriented vehicles.

Types of Fuel

In Denmark, it’s not uncommon for petrol stations to also supply LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or electric charging points for the eco-conscious traveler driving an electric vehicle or a hybrid. It’s essential to check the fuel cap or the owner’s manual of your rental car to confirm the correct type of fuel it requires. Using the wrong type can lead to engine damage and void any rental agreements, which could be an expensive mistake.

Finding a Fuel Station

Petrol stations in Denmark are easily accessible and mostly self-service. They are often located near highways and main roads, and in urban areas, they are seldom further apart than 50 kilometers. On more rural roads or in remote areas, it may be wise to fill up when you have the chance, even if the tank is still half full.

Many petrol stations in Denmark offer more than just fuel. They typically come equipped with convenience stores, where one can purchase snacks, drinks, and other travel essentials. Some even have small cafes or fast-food outlets attached.

Paying for Fuel

Most Danish fuel stations accept credit cards and debit cards, and it’s rare to find one that doesn’t. Automated payment terminals operate in English as well as Danish, making the transaction process relatively straightforward for non-Danish speakers. It’s wise to notify your bank ahead of your travel to Denmark to ensure your card won’t be declined for suspected fraud due to overseas use. At night, or in very rural locations, it’s possible that the petrol station could be unattended, relying entirely on automatic, pay-at-the-pump services.

Rest Stops

Conveniently, rest stops are frequently located adjacent to fuel stations, providing a place to take a break from driving. These rest spots often have restrooms, picnic areas, and sometimes play areas for children. They provide a welcome respite and a chance to stretch your legs during a longer journey through the picturesque landscapes of Denmark.

Copenhagen gas station

Always remember that Denmark is a country that believes in ecological conservation. Therefore, while using the rest stops or fueling stations, it’s important to be mindful of waste disposal and keeping the environment clean for other users and local wildlife.


Parking in Denmark is a topic of significant consideration for visitors, as it can influence travel plans and budgeting. Denmark provides a range of parking options, but the ease and cost heavily depend on the location. Generally, parking in Denmark is not necessarily cheap, and rates can vary. Typically, one can expect to pay anywhere from 10 to 36 DKK per hour in major cities.

Parking in Cities and Historic Towns

In the heart of cities like Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Odense, parking can be particularly challenging. The historic centers of these cities are often characterized by narrow streets and limited spaces. Parking facilities and street parking are generally available, but they can be expensive, especially close to tourist attractions and during peak hours. In Copenhagen, for example, parking fees might be as high as 36 DKK per hour in the city center.

Moreover, in some historic towns, parking might be reserved for residents with a special permit, and public parking spaces are usually regulated and fee-based. It is important to pay close attention to signs and instructions to avoid fines.

Parking outside the town/city and using public transport

A practical way to manage parking in Denmark is to use the park-and-ride (P+R) facilities located on the outskirts of major cities. These parking areas are often free or much cheaper than central city parking and are conveniently located near train stations or bus stops. Commuters can park their vehicles and then use the efficient public transportation systems to navigate into and around the city. This not only saves on parking costs but also reduces the stress of driving in congested city centers.

On-Street Parking

On-street parking in Denmark is common, but it’s regulated with time restrictions and fees in most areas. Always check the signs for payment hours and the maximum allowed parking duration to avoid tickets. Some residential areas may offer free parking, but these spots can be hard to find and are often taken quickly. It’s important to note that in Copenhagen, the color of the parking sign indicates the parking zone, which affects the parking fee and the rules for how long you can park.

As a final note, always ensure that you display your parking ticket clearly on the dashboard to avoid fines, and when using automated ticket machines, remember that they may not always accept foreign credit cards, so having some Danish Kroner on hand can be useful.

Driving in Danish Towns

Navigating through the quaint streets and bustling avenues of Danish towns presents a unique driving experience. From the well-signed routes in towns like Odense to the narrow cobblestone lanes of Ribe, driving in Denmark offers both charm and efficiency. One of the most noticeable features is the high level of regard for traffic laws and cycling culture, which requires drivers to be vigilant and respectful of cyclists at all times.

Narrow street in Faaborg

Understanding the Layout

The layout of Danish towns is generally well-planned, combining modern infrastructure with historical preservation. Road markings and signs are clear, and traffic lights are well-timed to keep the flow of traffic smooth. However, due to the preservation of historical sites, some town centers have limited access for vehicles, which is where advanced navigation tools come into play.

Advanced Navigation Tools

The advantages of using sat nav or GPS systems when driving in Danish towns cannot be overstated. These devices not only provide the most efficient routes to your destination but also offer real-time traffic updates. This can be particularly useful during peak hours or when there are roadworks causing unexpected delays. Additionally, given the frequent presence of pedestrian zones and one-way streets, a sat nav can help in avoiding navigational mishaps that can lead to fines or lengthy detours.

Sat nav systems also give insights into available parking spaces and restrictions, which can save time and alleviate one of the most common stresses of driving in town. Moreover, for non-Danish speakers, the voice-guided turn-by-turn instructions in multiple languages are indispensable, making sure that language barriers don’t impede the driving experience.

GPS Integration with Local Laws

A feature particularly important for foreigners is that many GPS systems are programmed to highlight Danish driving laws, such as speed limits that might change depending on weather conditions, and reminders for compulsory headlights usage during the day. This ensures that drivers are less likely to inadvertently break traffic regulations and keeps the roads safer for everyone.

In conclusion, driving in Danish towns requires a driver to be adaptable and attentive. The use of sat nav and GPS technologies eases this process, allowing drivers to focus on the joy of discovering the Danish urban landscapes, from the winding streets of the old towns to the sleek thoroughfares of modern city districts.

Drive on the Right

When transitioning from a country where driving on the left is the norm to driving on the right in Denmark, the shift can be quite disorienting at first. Drivers accustomed to left-hand traffic must recalibrate their spatial awareness and adjust to a new set of driving dynamics. One of the most immediate considerations is the placement of the driver’s seat, as it also switches sides. This alteration changes the perspective of the driver on the road, especially when judging the distance to the curb and oncoming traffic.

Adjusting to Traffic Flow

In Denmark, as well as the majority of European countries, driving on the right side means that all the rules of the road are mirrored. Awareness and anticipation are crucial, particularly when overtaking other vehicles. Drivers used to left-side driving may instinctively glance in the wrong direction before taking action. It’s imperative to mentally remind oneself to look left, rather than right, for the flow of oncoming vehicles before merging or entering traffic.

Navigating Intersections

Intersections also present a challenge for those unaccustomed to right-hand traffic. In Denmark, the right-before-left rule is typically applied at four-way stops unless signs or signals dictate otherwise. This means that if you arrive at an intersection at the same time as another vehicle on your right, you must give way to them. It’s essential to continually be aware of this priority rule to avoid mishaps and ensure a smooth driving experience.

Engaging with Roundabouts

Approaching roundabouts in Denmark can also be confusing for first-time right-side drivers. Unlike the counterclockwise circulation in left-driving nations, traffic in Danish roundabouts flows clockwise. It is important to signal appropriately when entering and exiting the roundabout. As you approach, remember to give way to traffic already on the roundabout coming from your left, and be sure to enter the roundabout to your right. Positioning within the roundabout is also important – if preparing to exit the roundabout immediately or after a short distance, stay to the right. For longer journeys around the roundabout or to make a U-turn, it is better to stay to the inside lane and signal right when you are ready to exit.

Dronninglund roundabout

Overall, the key to successfully adapting to driving on the right in Denmark lies in maintaining a high level of concentration, being vigilant about signaling intentions, and becoming familiar with local traffic regulations. With these in mind, drivers who are usually accustomed to left-hand driving can still enjoy a smooth and safe driving experience in Denmark.

Motorways in Denmark

Denmark, known for its picturesque landscapes and modern infrastructure, offers a network of motorways that are both extensive and efficient. The motorways in Denmark are meticulously maintained and designed with safety and functionality in mind, making driving through them a pleasant experience.

Highway in Denmark

Driving Experience on Danish Motorways

The driving experience on Danish motorways is generally smooth. The roads are well-constructed, with clear markings and ample signage that provide timely information. Speed limits are strictly enforced, which enhances safety for all road users. Rest areas are strategically placed, offering drivers a chance to take breaks during longer journeys. Even during the winter months, the motorways are promptly cleared of snow and ice, ensuring safe driving conditions year-round.

Major Danish Motorways

Denmark boasts several key motorways that facilitate efficient transportation across the country and beyond. The primary motorways are known as ‘motorveje’ in Danish and include:

  • E20: The Danish part of the European route E20 – This is one of the most significant motorways, running from the eastern part of Zealand, through the Great Belt Fixed Link, passing Odense, through Jutland, and exiting Denmark in Esbjerg towards the United Kingdom.
  • E45: The Danish part of the European route E45 – It is another major corridor, also known as the ‘Jutland spine,’ which stretches from the German border near Padborg through Aarhus and on to Aalborg, continuing towards Frederikshavn.
  • E47: The Danish part of the European route E47 – This motorway connects Copenhagen to Helsingør and further into Sweden via the Helsingør-Helsingborg ferry, forming an important international link.
  • E55: The Danish part of the European route E55 – Running from the southern end of Falster at the Rødbyhavn ferry port to Copenhagen, this route is essential for travel between Denmark and Germany.

In addition to these European routes, several domestic motorways connect major cities and regions, such as the E39 motorway leading to Norway and the E21 which serves as a ring around Copenhagen, helping to ease urban traffic congestion.

Navigating the Motorways

Denmark’s motorway system is user-friendly, especially for tourists. All international and most local rental cars come equipped with GPS, which makes navigation a breeze. Information regarding exits, distances, and destinations are available in both Danish and English, catering to a broader group of travelers. Moreover, Danish drivers are known for their disciplined driving habits, which greatly contributes to an overall safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Tolls in Denmark

Denmark is well known for its efficient road network, and while the majority of roads are free to use, there are certain areas where tolls are applicable. As a motorist in Denmark, there are two main tolls that you might encounter: the Storebælt Bridge (Great Belt Bridge) and the Øresund Bridge, connecting Denmark to Sweden.

Storebælt Bridge

The Storebælt Bridge is a significant connection between the Danish islands Zealand and Funen. The bridge toll is mandatory and varies depending on the vehicle type. For a standard car, the one-way toll is typically around DKK 240, but rates can change, so it’s advisable to check the latest fees on the official Storebælt website for up-to-date information (Storebælt English). Payment is straightforward, with both cash and card payments accepted. The toll stations are well-organized, ensuring that even during busy periods, you can expect a relatively smooth passage.

Øresund Bridge

The Øresund Bridge, connecting Copenhagen to Malmö in Sweden, has a toll that is slightly higher due to the international connection it provides. The cost for a standard car is around DKK 370 for a one-way trip, but again, it is best to check the current toll rates on the official Øresund Bridge website (Øresund Bridge) before planning your journey. Payment methods are similar to those for the Storebælt Bridge, and it’s a quick process to pass through the toll booths.

Avoiding Toll Roads

If you prefer to avoid tolls during your travels in Denmark, it is certainly possible, though for some routes it may significantly increase your travel time. Alternative routes often involve taking minor roads that can be more scenic but less direct. It’s beneficial to plan your route ahead of time using a navigation system or a route-planning website that provides options to avoid toll roads.

In conclusion, while tolls in Denmark are present, they are not widespread and are easy to manage with multiple payment options. The convenience they provide, particularly in terms of time saved on long journeys, often outweighs the cost. Always ensure you are informed about the latest toll rates and payment methods by visiting the official bridge websites before your trip.

Speed Limits in Denmark

In Denmark, adherence to designated speed limits is strictly regulated and largely enforced through an extensive system of automated speed control. The speed limits in Denmark are generally as follows:

  • Urban areas: 50 km/h (31 mph)
  • Rural roads: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Expressways: 80-90 km/h (50-56 mph)
  • Motorways: 110-130 km/h (68-81 mph) depending on signs

It is essential to stay vigilant when driving in different zones because the speed limit can change swiftly. In urban areas, the standard speed of 50 km/h is prevalent, but specific residential zones or near schools may have lower limits for safety purposes.

Understanding Speed Limit Signs

Speed limits in Denmark are indicated by standard European speed limit signs – a white circle with a red border and a number indicating the maximum permitted speed in kilometers per hour. In addition to fixed signs, electronic signs are frequently used on motorways, allowing for variable speed limits that adjust for traffic conditions or weather.

Copenhagen road speed sign

To ensure compliance with speed regulations, it is always advisable to pay attention to the road signs. Certain areas, particularly spots with roadwork, may have temporary speed limits that deviate from the standard limits for safety reasons.

For the most up-to-date information on speed limits and traffic regulations, it is recommended to consult the Danish Road Traffic Authority. For a deeper understanding of the rules, you can visit their official website at Vejdirektoratet or for more specific legal framework, refer to the Danish Police website at Politi.

When touring through Denmark, especially for drivers from abroad, it is essential to be aware of these speed limits. There is a prominent culture of road safety, and the enforcement of speed limits is just one aspect that contributes to Denmark’s remarkably low traffic fatality rates.

Speeding Fines in Denmark

Denmark is known for its strict enforcement of traffic laws, including those related to speeding. Speed limits are taken seriously and fines for violations can be quite substantial. In my experience, the cost of speeding fines in Denmark can vary significantly depending on how much you exceed the speed limit. For just a few kilometers over, you might get fined a few hundred Danish Kroner (DKK), but this can escalate to thousands for more serious offenses, and in some cases, can even lead to a court summons or a driving ban.

Speed Cameras Across Denmark

Speed cameras are deployed throughout Denmark and are both fixed and mobile units. Fixed speed cameras are often installed on major highways and they are always clearly signposted in advance. Mobile speed cameras, or “fotovogne” as they are known locally, can be found in both urban areas and on country roads. The use of these cameras means that even if you do not see police officers, your speed might still be monitored.

For further information, motorists can refer to the Danish Police website which provides insights into speed checks and recommendations for driving economically and safely within the speed limits.

Police Speed Traps

Alongside speed cameras, Danish police also conduct manual speed checks using handheld radars, especially on residential roads, near schools, and on roads with a history of traffic incidents. These speed traps are often unannounced and can catch drivers by surprise. It is always best to adhere to the speed limits to avoid penalties and contribute to road safety.

In addition to speed traps and cameras, the Danish police have a comprehensive approach to traffic surveillance, and details on this can be found on the official police website, which also provides updates on traffic regulations and enforcement initiatives.

Mobile speed camera in Denmark

Additional Considerations When Driving in Denmark

In Denmark, the penalties for speeding can also include additional points on your driving record, and for severe cases, confiscation of your vehicle. Tourists and foreign residents should be particularly cautious as they might not be as familiar with local speed limits, which often change depending on the area, time of day, and specific traffic conditions. It’s beneficial to always be attentive to road signs and signals that dictate the speed limits.

Be mindful that Denmark also has a range of other traffic laws that may be different from other countries, such as mandatory use of headlights at all times and specific rules for cyclists and pedestrians. For more information and for a safe driving experience in Denmark, acquaint yourself with the Danish Road Traffic Act available through the official Retsinformation, which is a legal information system for Danish laws.

Lastly, if you are renting a vehicle, the rental agency can often provide guidance on local laws and practices. Given the high penalties, it’s always wiser to drive conservatively and within the legal speed limits. Safe and responsible driving ensures both your well-being and that of other road users.

Drive Times in Denmark

Driving in Denmark is a delightful experience, thanks to the well-maintained road network and the scenic landscapes that greet you along your journey. Despite its relatively small size, Denmark offers a rich tapestry of cultural and natural attractions, all accessible by a short drive. Before planning your trip, it’s beneficial to check the official Denmark tourism website and the Danish Road Directorate for the latest travel information and tips.

Below is a bullet list indicating expected travel times by car between various cities, and from these cities to several popular tourist destinations:

Major City Connections

  • Copenhagen to Aarhus: approximately 3 hours
  • Aalborg to Odense: around 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Esbjerg to Copenhagen: about 3 hours
  • Herning to Aarhus: roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Roskilde to Aalborg: nearly 4 hours

From Cities to Tourist Attractions

  • Copenhagen to The Little Mermaid statue: about 10 minutes
  • Billund to LEGOLAND® Billund Resort: approximately 5 minutes
  • Aarhus to The Old Town Museum (Den Gamle By): roughly 10 minutes
  • Odense to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum: around 5 minutes
  • Ribe to Ribe Viking Center: around 5 minutes
  • Aalborg to the Aalborg Zoo: around 10 minutes

Remember, these drive times are estimates and can vary depending on traffic conditions, particularly during peak hours or holiday seasons. Whether you’re driving to uncover the mysteries of Viking history or simply soaking in the contemporary vibe of Danish cities, you’re never too far from your next destination in Denmark.

Car Seats for Children and Babies

When traveling in Denmark with children, it is crucial to adhere to the local laws regarding child seats to ensure the safety of your little ones during travel. In Denmark, the law requires that all children under 135 cm in height must be secured in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their age and size.

Legal Requirements and Age Categories

The Danish Road Safety Agency categorizes the requirements for child restraints based on the child’s weight and height. Here are the key points:

  • Group 0+: From birth to approx. 13 kg (29 lbs) – infants must be in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Group I: From approx. 9 kg to 18 kg (20-40 lbs) – toddlers can be in forward or rear-facing seats, but rear-facing is preferred for safety.
  • Group II: From approx. 15 kg to 25 kg (33-55 lbs) – children must use a booster seat with a backrest.
  • Group III: From approx. 22 kg to 36 kg (48-79 lbs) – children can use a booster cushion, though a backrest is recommended for as long as possible.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on child seat regulations, it is advisable to consult the website of the Danish Road Safety Agency (Sikker Trafik) prior to your travel.

Renting vs. Bringing Your Own Car Seats

During my travels through Denmark with small children, the question of whether to rent car seats or bring our own was a significant consideration. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Renting Car Seats: Most car rental companies in Denmark offer the option to rent car seats as part of the vehicle rental process. This can be convenient as it ensures the car seats meet local regulations, and you don’t have to carry the extra luggage. However, the costs can add up, especially for longer trips, and the quality or cleanliness of the rental seats can vary.
  • Bringing Your Own: Opting to bring your own car seats ensures that you are using equipment your child is familiar and comfortable with, and it can be more cost-effective. Nonetheless, you’ll need to ensure that your car seats comply with Danish and European safety standards, which are denoted by a visible ECE R44/04 or R129 approval mark.

Ultimately, whether to rent or bring your own car seats when traveling in Denmark depends on personal preferences, budget considerations, and practicality. If you are planning a visit and need to rent a car seat, it’s advisable to arrange this in advance to guarantee availability. Companies such as Europcar Denmark and Sixt typically offer a range of child safety seats that conform to Danish law.

Traveling with children and babies requires extra planning, but understanding the laws and options available for car seats in Denmark will help ensure a smoother and safer journey for your family.


Denmark is renowned for its high quality of life and this extends to its well-managed traffic systems. The nation’s traffic is often orderly and calm compared to some other countries. If you’re planning on driving during your visit, here are some insights to keep in mind.

City Driving

In Danish cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus, expect a blend of modern infrastructure and historical streets. City traffic can get busy during peak hours, but the flow remains relatively smooth due to stringent traffic laws and the local populace’s strict adherence to them. A noteworthy aspect is the ample number of cycle lanes, as cycling is a popular mode of transport. Drivers should always be vigilant for cyclists, particularly when turning right, as this is a common cause of accidents. For up-to-date information on traffic conditions and rules in Denmark, you might want to check resources such as the Danish Road Directorate which provides comprehensive guides and updates.

Driving in Towns and Villages

When driving in smaller towns and villages, the pace noticeably slows down and the traffic thins out. The roads can be narrow, especially in historic or rural areas, and drivers should be prepared for the occasional agricultural vehicle. These areas place a strong emphasis on safety, reflected in the low speed limits. Always be mindful of the speed signs, as speed cameras are common. Parking regulations in these areas are generally straightforward but do not forget to observe any parking restriction signs to avoid fines. For tourists, it is helpful to look at the Danish Police website for guidelines on traffic rules and advisories.

Denmark traffic police

Across Denmark, the traffic signs and signals are consistent with the rest of Europe, which makes for an easier transition for those accustomed to European driving regulations. It’s also worth noting that the Danish are courteous drivers, and aggressive behavior on the road is rare. To ensure a pleasant driving experience in Denmark, it’s best to follow the local customs and drive respectfully. Remember to also adjust your expectations according to the weather as, during the winter months, Denmark can experience quite severe conditions that influence driving habits and traffic flows.

Top Tips for Renting a Car in Denmark

Renting a car in Denmark is a great way to explore the country at your own pace. Here are the top tips to ensure your rental experience is smooth and hassle-free:

  1. Understand the Requirements

    Before you book your car, ensure that you meet the minimum age requirements (usually 21 years, though it can vary by rental company) and have a valid driver’s license that’s accepted in Denmark. If your license is not in a Latin alphabet (like English), you may need an International Driving Permit. Always check with the Danish police for the latest requirements.

  2. Insurance is Key

    Insurance coverage is extremely important when renting a car. Check if your personal car insurance policy or credit card provides any coverage. Additionally, understand what is covered under the rental company’s insurance and consider extra coverage options for peace of mind. Often, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection (TP) are required when you rent a car in Denmark.

  3. Inspect the Rental Car

    Make a thorough inspection of the car before driving off the lot. Take photos and report any existing damage to avoid any disputes later on. This includes checking the car’s body, glass, lights, and the condition of the tires.

  4. Be Mindful of Traffic Rules

    Denmark has stringent traffic laws, and speeding fines can be quite hefty. Familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules and signs. Keep in mind that headlights must be on at all times when driving, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. For more information, visit the Visit Denmark travel tips page.

  5. Plan Your Parking

    Parking in Danish cities, especially in Copenhagen, can be tricky and expensive. Be sure to understand the parking rules where you’ll be staying, and if your hotel offers parking facilities, it’s worth booking a spot in advance. The official tourist site of Copenhagen has useful information on parking lots and rates.