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Europe > Sweden > Gothenburg

See: Why rent a car in Gothenburg ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Gothenburg?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.

That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Gothenburg?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Gothenburg car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Gothenburg with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.

Should I rent a car in Gothenburg? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Gothenburg, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

As might be expected in Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg has a¬†good range of public transport. This ncludes an extensive bus network supplemented by trams, as well as commuter rail extending around the region. This is also a great place to ride a bicycle, and a number of scenic trails are available right from the edge of the city.

Scenic train journeys can also be taken onwards from Gothenburg, either heading north and west along the coast towards the Norwegian capital Oslo, or hugging around the coast down towards Malmo and Copenhagen, with a separate mainline also heading inland towards the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. 

We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Gothenburg is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Gothenburg? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Gothenburg between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:4/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


All of these features would suggest that the general car hire advice for Gothenburg would be that there was just no need. This could be further compounded by the fact that Gothenburg car rental prices, or Swedish car hire prices in general, tend to be amongst the highest in Europe.

Yet to simply say that you can visit Gothenburg and get around without a car would be to dismiss all of the lakes, the rolling hills, the pine forests, and all of the other scenery that awaits the intrepid visitor just beyond. Sure, bits of this can be seen from a bus or train window, but it’s just not the same.

Why? Visiting Gothenburg using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Gothenburg ?

Just because a country has a reputation for having a high standard of urban public transport, that doesn’t mean that everywhere is universally accessible without a car. This is still sparsely populated Sweden, not Switzerland, and the best places to see are still the ones which need to be reached with your own set of wheels.

  • With a car, you simply have a great deal more flexibility, and this is extremely valuable outside the city.
  • You should hire a car in Gothenburg if you want to explore the Swedish lakes. Public transport options are limited and indirect. The train line heading towards Oslo only covers a very small stretch of lake.
  • A hire car is also useful for driving in either direction along the coast.

Why not? Visiting Gothenburg without a car

Why don't you need a car in Gothenburg ?

  • Public transport in Gothenburg city is reaonsable – there’s a good range of buses and trams.
  • Gothenburg is cycle friendly – with many easy cycling trips outside the city.
  • It’s very easy to take a boat trip from Gothenburg – locally within the harbour, to outlying islands, or even across to Denmark!

Should you rent a car in Gothenburg? Verdict – yes (soft)

Ratings: How does Gothenburg compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Gothenburg? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Gothenburg, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Gothenburg? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Gothenburg (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Gothenburg? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Gothenburg airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Gothenburg car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 6

2019 - 6

2021 - 6

Average score - 6



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