Bergen

By | 16th January 2018

Should you hire a car in Bergen?

Do you need a car in Bergen > Should you rent a car in Bergen Norway > Bergen ( BGO )

Do you need a car in Bergen? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

James says - a few trip notes:


It is a while since I actually visited Bergen, but oddly enough, the scenery hasn’t changed much, and the infrastructure hasn’t changed a great deal either, although there have been a few road improvements.

Back then, you could take your own car on the DFDS ferry between Newcastle and Bergen. This is no longer an option (DFDS canned the route in 2008), so assuming you arrive on flights to Bergen instead, what’s the best way to get around?

So, the obvious suggestion would be that a rental car is the best way to explore this very scenic, but sparsely populated part of the world. But the costs are astronomical – Bergen tops the list of cities I’ve looked at, with car hire prices starting at over £300 per week.

For this reason, I think it is worth thinking again:


Why should you rent a car in Bergen?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Bergen?

Bergen Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

90%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€275

 #253/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €350

222/300

 

Free parking score

Total 60 - of which 13 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

22%

#238/300

 
  • Explore: For all the obvious reasons – this is a land of stunning scenery, and the only way to do it justice is in a hire car.
  • Hardanger Fjord – not only this this perhaps the most famous of Norway’s fjords, but it might have been one to reach by rail, had the Granvin line been kept open. Note: Google maps shows Granvin station as being open, when this is not the case.
  • Expensive trains too! – car hire in Bergen (or in Norway generally) might be expensive, but the trains are too. The price of car hire in Norway is more of a reflection of the generally high cost of living, rather than of motoring costs.
  • Atlantic Ocean Road – from Bergen you can start a road trip right up to the famous Atlantic Ocean Road around Averøy. Never mind the price of Bergen car hire, this is one particularly unforgettable trip that you will need to do with your own set of wheels.

Why not? Visiting Bergen without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Bergen public transport quick facts

Train score

 

90%

Water travel score

90%

Overall public transport score

90%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

90%

  • Cost – whether due to the high costs in Norway or not, car hire in Bergen is still ridiculously expensive, and more so than any other city we have looked at for Car Or No Car. For this reason alone, it is very difficult to advise hiring a car here!
  • Stunning rail trips: The Bergen to Oslo railway is rare amongst inter-city lines in that it is rated as scenic for virtually its entire length.
  • Flåm Railway – this route is one of the most famous scenic routes in Europe, if not one of the great railway journeys of the world. The line branches off the Bergen to Oslo railway line, itself also incredibly scenic, but is much closer to Bergen than it is to Oslo.
  • Boats: Whether you take advantage of organised trips, or use the ferries (combined with buses), the fjords are at their most impressive when reflected in all their glory from the water. Taking your car onto the ferries is an additional expense on top of already exorbitant Bergen car hire prices!
  • Walk it: The other ‘classic’ view of the fjords is from the top, but the best spots are rarely accessible directly by car, so you will have to plan to do some walking. Whereas many other scenic parts of the world can be visited by a ‘road trip’, the car in this part of the world is only going to take you to and from the start of a walk.
  • Outdoor Activities – there are many excellent opportunities for guided outdoor activities, and these may well come with transport provided, in which case a hire car won’t be needed.

Ratings

Car rental in - Bergen Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Bergen?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Bergen?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Bergen?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Bergen if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Bergen if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Bergen if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

6

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Conclusion – Should you hire a car in Bergen? You would naturally expect that a hire car in Bergen will give you the most flexibility, but there clearly are other options. As car hire in Norway is more expensive than anywhere else I have seen, I have to suggest thinking twice before booking.

Verdict – no (based on cost)

What about car hire in Haugesund or Stavanger?

  • Bergen is more of a gateway to the fjords, although it may be tempting to look at Ryanair’s flights to Haugesund. However, Haugesund is nowhere near a station, so it is harder to get around without a car, and there are no scenic rail routes to enjoy. If it is a case of enjoying the area around Bergen without a car, or flying into Haugesund and renting, one, then those ‘cheap’ flights could end up being very expensive indeed!

Would you hire a car in Bergen?

Have you driven in Bergen? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bergen?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

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