Driving in Austria, Laws and Regulations

Driving in Austria, Laws and Regulations


“Click for mountain Tolls” 

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Driving Regulations in Austria

Driving in Austria is uncomplicated and offers the greatest flexibility and freedom: you explore at your own pace. Roads are well maintained, whether you select a motorway or a side road. However there are a few rules you need to be aware of…

Cardistances  © Oesterreich Werbung New York
Travel distances in Austria

Always drive on the right

  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.
  • Take care when overtaking – allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
  • Austria has strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood – stricter than the UK where the limit is 0.8.
  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.
  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent in Austria, and heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied.
  • Remember – Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.
  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.
    Speed Limits Motorway Open Road Town Alcohol mg/ml
    Austria 130 km/h 100 km/h 50 km/h 0.5 

An international drivers license is required

Children in cars: child under 12 and 1.5 metres in height cannot travel as front or rear passenger unless they use a suitable restraint system.

Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.

Drinking and driving: Don’t do it. You will be fined if the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is between 0.05 per cent and 0.08 per cent. Over this level and you will incur a fine and/or suspension of driving licence.

Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.First-aid kit must be carried.

Mandatory Winter Equipment:
In winter conditions the use of four winter tires or snow chains on at least two tires is now mandatory in Austria between 1 November and 15 April.Reflective Safety Vest
Drivers are required to carry a Reflective Safety Vest in their car at all times. This new regulation is required by law and is subject to heavy fines. Please check with your car rental company before entering Austria to ensure a Reflective Safety Vest is located in the car.Toll stickers are required on all vehicles on Austria’s motorways and highways! 
Stickers can be obtained from the Austrian Automobile Clubs as well as post offices, sundries and gasoline stations. Please note that stickers are also available in Austria’s neighboring countries at gasoline stations, at borders as well as Automobile clubs.The following fees apply:

  • A twelve-months sticker for private cars amd motorhomes weighing up to 3.5 tons is EURO 76.20 (2011: EURO 76.50) and for motorcycles EURO 30.40 (2011: EURO 30.50)
  • A two-months sticker for travel to and through Austria is EURO 22.90 (2011: EURO 23.00) for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5 t
  • A 10-day sticker for cars and vehicles up to and incl. 3.5t is EURO 7.90

These stickers must be applied on the upper middle or left side of the windshield. Motorists who do not possess the appropriate sticker will have to pay a fine of EURO 300 (up to EURO 3,000). Cars rented in neighboring countries may or may not be equipped with the sticker. Please obtain one from your car rental agency.

NEW: KorridorVignette for the A14 Rheintal/Walgau Motorway in Vorarlberg
In order to relieve congestion around the city of Bregenz on the banks of Lake Constance the ‘KorridorVignette’ will be introduced and will apply to the 23-km long corridor (“Korridor”) on the A14 Rheintal/Walgau motorway in the federal state of Vorarlberg between the German border and Hohenems (Exit 23, near the Swiss border crossing). The ‘KorridorVignette’ will only be available for a limited period of time, namely until the opening of the second tube of the Pfänder Tunnel, which is due to be completed in 2013.

The KorridorVignette will apply to all single- and twin-track vehicles (passenger cars, motorhomes and motorcycles) with a maximum gross vehicle weight of up to (and including) 3.5 t and will cost EUR 2.00 (incl. VAT) for one direction.
Please note: Drivers who are in possession of a valid annual, 2-month or 10-day toll sticker do not require an additional KorridorVignette!

The KorridorVignette may be purchased at the beginning and the end of the corridor at vending machines which can be operated directly from the vehicle. It will also be available for purchase at a number of authorised agents on roads leading to the corridor (primarily at petrol stations and service areas).

Driving through Austria with a vehicle exeeding 3,5 t?
Starting with January 1, 2010 new rules and regulations apply.
The toll tariff system based on emission categories will concern all motor vehicles with a maximum permissible gross weight exceeding 3.5t and will apply on all Austrian motorways and expressways.

All vehicles above 3.5 tonnes maximum permitted laden weight and using the Austrian network of motorways and expressways are required to attach a small device – called the ‘GO-Box‘ – to their windscreen. Note that this includes larger private vehicles such as motor caravans that are above the weight limit. If your vehicle is close to the weight limit you are advised to carry documentation confirming the maximum permitted laden weight. If your registration documents do not clearly state this, you will need to produce alternative certification e.g. from a weighbridge.
The GO-Box uses the high frequency range to communicate with the around 400 fixed-installation toll points covering the whole of Austria, making it possible to effect an automatic toll deduction without slowing down or stopping the flow of traffic. The on-board devices can be obtained for a one-off handling fee of Euro 5.00 at approximately 220 sales centres in Austria and in neighbouring countries, or via the Internet. The minimum amount of charge you can put on the box is 100 euros. When the money is running out, it will beep to let you know. When you leave Austria you can hand the box back and they will refund any amount left on the box, or you can save it until your next trip.

For  information on Low Emissions Zones or ‘LEZ’s please ‘Click here

Helpful Words

Gasoline – benzin
Diesel – diesel /gasöl
Motor oil – motoröl
Gas station – tankstelle
Toll – maut
Toll road –gebührenpflichtige Straße/Mautstrasse
Parking – parkplatz
Motorway – Autobahn
Exit – ausfahrt(road)/ausgang(building)
Entrance – einfahrt(road)/Eingang(building)
Detour – umleitung
Hospital – Spital
Police – polizie
Police station –Polizeistation
Embassy – Botschaft
Please – Bitte
Thank you – Danke
Excuse me-Entschuldigung
Help! – Hilfe!

Please help me – bitte helfen Sie mir
There has been an accident – es gab einen Unfall
Call an ambulance – rufen Sie einen Krankenwagen!
My car’s been broken into – mein Auto wurde aufgebrochen
I’ve locked  myself out of my car! – ich habe mich aus meinem auto ausgesperrt

      –One-way road


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