Are you thinking of traveling in Sweden by car? In this article I want to explain the rules and regulations on parking and show you the most common parking signs that you will find to avoid you being fined.
During our one-month long car holidays through Sweden we had to park our car many times and we did it successfully thanks to following these rules.
Regulations on Parking in Sweden
Some of the rules that I think you should take into account when parking in Sweden are the following:
- You can only park in the direction of street traffic. (Forget parking counter-direction as we all do in Spain).
- The vehicle can not be parked for more than 24 hours in the same place on weekdays.
- As a general rule, if you do not see a marked parking lot (a white P on a blue background) you can not park.
- You can not park at the door of a building
- You can not park next to containers or in double row. Neither in preferred streets marked with the yellow rhombus on white rhombus.
- You can not park or stop! less than 10 meters from crossings, corners, zebra crossings, crossing bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, etc.
- In pedestrian or mixed streets you can only park in the marked places
P Parking Signs in Sweden
These signs are present throughout the country and indicate that the place is a parking spot as well as what limitations or possibilities it offers. They consist of a large upper signal with the letter P and in many cases other signs in the lower part that indicate the parking conditions in that area.
The simplest sign of them all is when there is only one P sign and optionally a lower sign marking the parking area. In the following images I have compiled some real signs from my trips through Sweden and added an explanation.
The sign on the picture above these lines indicates that the spot is a free place to park and you need not worry about anything else (except the 24 hour limitation). They are rare in Sweden.
As I explained earlier the lower signs refer to the parking conditions. There is a difference between having only one lower sign or having several since the exposed rules are applied together or not. I will explain it with some examples.
This sign above indicates that you can park for free but that from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in working days and from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and before bank holidays for a maximum of only two hours as long as you have a P-Skiva card and is visible in the vehicle. At other times you can park without worries.
In this picture the parking is free but limited to 2 hours. You can only park between 8:00 and 6:00 pm on working days, Saturdays and before bank holidays (hours between parentheses) and Sundays and holidays (hours in red).
In this other sign above there is only a time limit. You can park free but for a maximum of 4 hours. It is not necessary to indicate when the parking started.
In the sign above we find the legend förhyrda platser – pre-hired places – and thus we need to avoid parking in them since they are reserved. In addition the legend says that for the rest of the parking lot (notice that it is a separate sign) you can only park a maximum of 2 hours showing the P-skiva card and only do it in the marked parking spots.
In this image appears the keyword for paid parking in Sweden: avgift or fee.
Whenever you see that word the parking is NOT free according to the rest of the sign. E.g: in this particular case parking is not free between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on weekdays and on Saturdays and before bank holidays.
The lower plate with the Boende Kv symbol indicates that residents of the neighborhood can park without the limitations of the upper plate. If you see the word boendeparkering you can not park there and if you see besöksparkering or besökande you can’t either unless you are visiting an acquaintance or a business in the area.
In the above image in Smögen on the west coast of Sweden parking is regulated from June 1 to August 31. Paid parking (avgift) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on workdays, Saturdays and before bank holidays and Sundays and holidays. The first hour is free and you must place a P-skiva indicating the arrival time inside the vehicle. In addition, parking is only allowed to the right of the sign. At any other times not stated on the sign parking is free without limitations.
Finally this last image shows a paid parking from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 am every day. The rest of the time, that is between 00:00 and 08:00, parking is not allowed . The first two hours are free with the P-skiva or taking a ticket through SMS.
These are some of the most common parking situations you will find in Sweden.
The P-Skiva Parking Card
The P-skiva card will allow you to park in the car parks of Sweden that require it. You can get it at any supermarket and it is free. You just have to ask for a P-skiva or parkeringsskiva and place it inside or outside the vehicle by rounding the clock to the half hour after arrival at the car park. That is, if you arrive at 12:34 pm, you set it at 1:00 pm.
In a few days I will also write an article with tips for getting around by car and parking in Stockholm .Here you will find another one that I wrote about the rules for caravans and motorhomes in Sweden.