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-Driving Laws and Tolls 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…

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 in Austria

  • Motorways 130km/h
  • Open Road 100km/h
  • Towns 50km/h

There is a minimum speed limit on motorways and roads for motor vehicles indicated by a rectangular blue sign bearing a white car which is 60km/h. Any vehicle not able to maintain this speed is not allowed on the motorway.

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.

Vignettes

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 petrol stations, at borders as well as Automobile clubs. See here for vignette prices. Vignettes are available as follows:

  • A twelve-months sticker for private cars and motorhomes weighing up to 3.5 tons and for motorcycles
  • A two-months sticker for travel to and through Austria for private cars and motor homes up to 3.5 t
  • A 10-day sticker for cars and vehicles up to and incl. 3.5t

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.

Driving through Austria with a vehicle exceeding 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.

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