Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Austria

Travellers who plan on driving around Austria will find a lot of freedom and flexibility with getting around. The roads are well maintained, traffic systems are efficient and, thanks to the Schengen agreement, borders will hardly be a problem. What’s more is that travelling by car is ideal for those who want to access the rural regions, as that’s the easiest way to do so. Hitting the off road is also a must because most of the best spots to go to are there.

Austria, however, will have driving regulations that need to be adhered to before hitting the road. If anything, compliance with all of them will guarantee that road trips will be smooth.

First off, those who don’t have a valid European driver’s license you may need an international driver’s license, which can easily be procured at any of the wide range of US and European car firms. You might also want to get discounted insurance while you’re at it, since they’re offered by these companies along with the license.

There are also some required motor vehicle paraphernalia in the check list. Drivers are required to have a reflective safety vest in their car at all times, and failure to comply would mean a hefty fine. Luckily this can also be procured with the same auto clubs that can give you your license. Depending on the vehicle you’ll be driving, you’ll also be required to have the necessary toll stickers on all roads, whether motorways or highways. These stickers are also available at the auto clubs, as well as in some gas stations. For private vehicles, a 12-month sticker is required.

For those who will be driving along motorways, make sure you have the necessary vignette, which aren’t too hard to acquire as well. It’s very important to note, however, that each vignette sticker is valid for one car only. Sharing this sticker will render it void, not to mention put the driver under various complications.

For those who plan on visiting between the months of November to April, you will need to comply with the mandatory winter equipment rule. This means having four winter tires or having snow chains on at least two of your tires. Dozens of accidents take place on the icy roads every year because drivers weren’t well equipped for them.

Speed limits range from 50 km/h in congested areas, 100 km/h on open roads and 130 km/h on the highway. In any case, watch out for your fellow motorists as Austrians are known for their bold driving attitude.

Lastly, be familiar with toll prices, as you’ll definitely encounter them around mountain passes. Parking fees around the city are also something that needs familiarization.

Travellers will also be happy to know that Austria offers cheaper gas prices than their neighbours, although still a bit more expensive than the prices in America.

In conclusion, it’s best to take time to prepare and comply with the driving regulations and be familiar with these matters ahead. Everything will be smooth sailing afterwards.

Summary

The roads are well maintained and the traffic systems are efficient.
You may need an international driver’s license if yous was issued outside of Europe.
Drivers are required to have a reflective safety vest in their car at all times.
Road tax is required in Austria. If you are renting a car it will be included, but if you go with your own car you will need to purchase the tax sticker. You will need to purchase a 12 month disc even if you are only there for 1 week.
Mandatory winter equipment is required between November to April - Four winter tires or having snow chains on at least two of your tires.
Speed limits range from 50 km/h in congested areas, 100 km/h on open roads and 130 km/h on the highway
Fuel prices are cheaper than neighboring countries.

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