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Driving Guide for Austria

Austria has some of the most pristine roads in all of Europe. They have an extensive system that connects all major cities and neighboring countries. You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the mountain roads compared to other Alpine countries. In general, the driving culture is courteous and responsible. You will not find as many maniacs as are across the border in Italy. You need to drive defensively and respectfully to blend in with the Austrians.

Driver’s License

Type of License

Requirements

EU license

All EU licenses are valid in Austria

Non EU license

You must have and international driving permit (IDP)

The IDP will supplement your current license

All motorists

Must be at least 18 years old

Must have a valid license from their home country

You can easily and cheaply obtain an IDP from your local automotive club. If you are from the UK, click here to learn more about IDPs. For all other countries, click here to get more information about your license and the IDP supplement.

 Speed Limits

Type of Road

Speed Limit (km/h)

Urban streets (built up area)

50

Rural streets (one lane)

100

Major highways (Autobahn)

130

It is important that you follow these speed limits very closely. When you are on the urban streets, you have to be careful of speed cameras and traps set up by the local police. Sometimes the major city roads will have a speed limit of 70 or 80, but you should stick to this guide if you are unsure.
When you are driving on the Autobahn, you might witness people driving past you at a very high rate of speed. It is vital that you resist the temptation to copy this behavior. Many drivers in Austria are very skilled at high speed driving and they are not concerned about the speed limit. Apart from the occasional Autobahn speed demon, Austrian drivers are law abiding.

Rules of the Road

Category

Description

Flow of traffic

Drive on the RIGHT side of the road

Only pass slower traffic on the left

Always yield to cars on your right at an intersection

Always yield to cars on your left at a roundabout

The driver

Must not exceed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05%

Must give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport

Cannot use a hand held mobile phone

Cannot use a radar detecting device

Must use headlights at all times for safety

Passengers

Must wear seatbelts at all times

Need the proper child seat if under 12 years of age

Other rules

Much purchase a “vignette” sticker to drive on the Autobahn

Need to give priority to cars ascending a mountain road

Some rental companies have cars equipped with the “vignette” toll sticker and you do not need to purchase one. You must ask your car hire supplier about this. If the sticker is not available, you can purchase a 10 day pass for less than 10.00 EUR. You can buy the stickers at fueling stations and other locations in Austria. It might even be possible to purchase one from your rental pick-up location.
It is important that you know the road signs in Europe before you drive in Austria. You can save yourself from getting a ticket if you understand the signs. If you are stopped by the police for a traffic violation, they are authorized to give fines up to 40.00 EUR to be paid on the spot. If this happens to you, make sure you are issued a receipt to prove you have paid the fine.

Parking in Austria

Day

Hours

Price

Monday - Friday

9:00 – 22:00

1.20 EUR/hour

Saturday and Sunday

All day

FREE

(1.00 EUR,0.90 GBP, 1.40 USD)
It is fairly easy to find street parking all over Austria. The rates are low, but there are usually time limits of one or two hours. If you want to park for a longer period of time, you need to find a public parking lot. If you are travelling to Vienna, you will be spoiled for choices. Click here to find parking lots near the city center. Another option you can use are the park and ride lots. These are situated outside of the city center and have extremely low rates. You can park for as little as 3.00 EUR/day.
*Information on this page is accurate as of May 28, 2011