Austria is an ideal country to explore by car – you get a chance to experience it more authentically. This country has a well-developed road system, and you will reach even the most distant destinations with ease.
Though, it is not enough to develop a route and take a navigator. To make your trip comfortable and avoid unpleasant surprises and additional costs, you should know some intricacies about driving in Austria.
Check your driving license
First of all, you must be over 18 to drive in Austria. You can freely use licenses obtained in EU and EEA countries. In all other cases, your driving license should be international.
EU and EEA-issued licenses have no time restrictions, while non-EU and non-EEA licenses are valid only for a year after your entry date.
Rent a car
If you are unable to travel in your own car, you can easily rent it. You must have a valid credit card of any bank, an international driver’s license, as well as at least one year driving experience.
There is an interesting nuance regarding age – the driver must be at least 21 years old for renting a car in Vienna, while in the highlands, the driver’s age increases to 23 years. The rental company will block a deposit on your card – from €200 to €800. This money is returned after the end of the lease.
Buy car rental insurance
Insurance policy is obligatory for all types of vehicles, including rental cars. It is not necessary to buy car insurance from the company you are renting from.
You can find more details about collision damage waiver insurance & theft protection at CarInsuRent.com. Their policy to cover your vehicle against any possible damages such as tires, windscreens, theft, and much more. Insurance is not only your safety but also the protection of your funds.
Get a vignette
There are toll roads in Austria, so you need to buy a vignette when crossing the border. You can get it at the border, gas stations, and special points near the border. You will pay €9 for 10 days, €26 for 2 months, and €87 for a year.
The vignette ticket must be attached in the upper left corner or in the center of the upper part of the windshield. A wrongly attached vignette is considered invalid.
The police are closely monitoring its presence on foreign vehicles.
Watch the speed limits
There are strict speed limit rules in Austria. Actually, you need to remember and follow the following driving modes:
- In towns and villages – 50 km/h
- On ordinary roads outside settlements and expressways – 100 km/h
- On motorways – 130 km/h
Take additional accessories
Keep in mind that the traffic rules in Austria are very strict. Besides such basic requirements as the use of seat belts and adhering to speed limits, you must have the following things with you:
- First aid kit.
- Warning triangle that is to be used in the case of an emergency stop.
- Fire extinguisher.
- A reflective vest is a must for any person who gets out of the car, both at night and during the day, in case of a stop on the road. The vest must be in the passenger compartment, not in the trunk.
- The use of radar detectors and anti-radars is strictly prohibited.
- Winter tires are compulsory from November 1 to April 15, with a tread depth minimum of 4 mm.
- Studded tires are permitted between 1st October and 31st May.
If you do not have the above-listed items, you may pay a fine of €14 to €36.
Think about parking
It is advisable to choose a hotel with its own parking. Otherwise, this service will considerably increase your travel budget. In most Austrian cities, parking is paid from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays, and on Saturdays, the fee is taken only until 1:00 pm.
Only on Sundays, you can park for free. It is vital to recheck at each parking spot for how long you can leave a car here. Usually, city parking allows you to stop from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The first 15 minutes are free, with €2 for each subsequent hour. The fines for incorrect parking are severe and start at €20.
Of course, these tips can be continued. But the above-described ones are essential to know. Careful preparation will help you avoid additional costs and worries and will allow you to get the most out of your trip.
Check for COVID-19 travel restrictions
The world have changed since the COVID-19 outbreak. As of this date, travelers to Austria must complete an electronic declaration in advance and travel. Travelers from some areas must present a negative result from an antigenic test for coronavirus, made not earlier than 48 hours (or a PCR test performed no earlier than 72 hours) before entry. We encourage you to check the entry regulations for Austria prior to your trip so that you will not face any surprises.
Have a safe and pleasant trip.