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Austria by Road

Getting to Austria by car is simple as there are fast and well-maintained motorways through all surrounding countries. It is approximately 647 miles (1,035km) from the UK to the Austrian border and the drive takes between 10 and 11 hours.

Austria by Road © Oesterreich Werbung New York
An excellent motorway, highway and federal road network connects Austria with its neighbouring states. All main border check points are open day and night. In general, Austrian traffic regulations and traffic signals are similar to those in force in other European countries. Just remember that all Austrian motorways ('Autobahn') and 'S' roads are subject to toll.

You must display a Motorway Vignette on the inside of the windshield of your vehicle as you enter Austria. Failure to have one will mean a heavy, on-the-spot fine. Stickers can be obtained from the Austrian Automobile Clubs as well as post offices, newsagents and petrol stations. You can also purchase stickers in Austria's neighboring countries at petrol stations, borders and Automobile Clubs. Cars rented in neighboring countries may or may not be equipped with the sticker. Please obtain one from your car rental agency.

Toll Sticker Prices 2014:
  • A twelve-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 82.70 and for motorcycles EURO 32.90
  • A two-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 24.80 and for motorcycles EURO 12.40
  • A 10-day sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 8.50 and for motorcycles EURO 4.90

Vehicles exeeding 3,5 t
The toll tariff system based on emission categories concerns all motor vehicles with a maximum permissible gross weight exceeding 3.5t and applies on all Austrian motorways and expressways. These vehicles are required to attach a small adjustment - named 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 motor 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'll need to produce alternative certification e.g. from a weigh-bridge.Headlights
Driving with your lights on is optional during daylight hours and compulsory at night. You will be stopped by the police and possibly fined if you do not comply with this.

Driving in Winter
Between 1st November and 15th April of the following year drivers of private cars and goods vehicles up to 3.5t must be suitably equipped for winter conditions. That means that drivers using the roads in wintry conditions during this period must have winter tyres fitted. Drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5t and buses must comply with a winter tyres requirement. That means that the vehicle must always be fitted with winter tyres during the prescribed period, whether there is snow on the roads or not. This requirement applies to goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes from 1 November to 15 April and to buses from 1 November to 15 March. Find more information at www.bmvit.gv.at

Only persons over 18 years of age in possession of a valid driving licence may drive in Austria. The only exceptions to this rule are those under 17 years old who drive for practice reasons under supervision and have met the relevant legal requirements . When driving in Austria, you should always carry a full British licence, ownership documents and insurance details.

Drinking and Driving
The legal drink driving limit in Austria is 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (the limit is10 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood if you have had your licence for two years or less and for coach and HGV drivers). Penalties for driving under the influence are severe.

Seatbelts
In Austria, wearing seatbelts is compulsory. 

Regulations for Motorcyclists
When driving two-wheeled vehicles the wearing of helmets is compulsory in Austria. While driving, the dimmed headlight must be turned on even during the day. Toll stickers are compulsory.

Petrol
In Austria, unleaded regular-grade 91 octane petrol as well as Euro-Super (unleaded 95-octane) petrol are available at all gas stations. The sale of leaded petrol is forbidden in Austria; for cars without a catalytic converter an additive is available at gas stations.

Get Visible
High visibility warning vests are required for all drivers. They need to be stored within reach of the driver and must be worn day or night when exiting the vehicle on the hard shoulder or in the event of breakdown. You must also have a first aid kit and a warning triangle inside the car in case you break down. Only 'hands free' mobile telephones can be used whilst driving.

Traffic Accident, Breakdown
Traffic accidents involving injury to persons must immediately be reported to the police; accidents involving material damage must only be reported when mutual identity has not been established. The ÖAMTC and ARBÖ Automobile Clubs operate a 24-hour emergency breakdown service, which may be utilized by anyone (non-members must pay a fee).

Emergency Numbers (without area code)
Euro-emergency number 112
Fire brigade: 122
Police: 133
Ambulance: 144
Doctor-on-call 141
Mountain rescue 140
ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service: 120
ARBÖ emergency breakdown service: 123

Traffic News
Traffic news on all of Austria as well as the main connecting roads to neighbouring states are broadcast every half hour on the radio station Ö3. For reports on precarious situations, e.g. ghost drivers – the radio program is interrupted and a through-connection is made to all Austrian radio broadcasters. Traffic news may be reported round the clock at the telephone number 0800 600 601 (free of charge for all Austria). Current traffic news can also be called up at the fee-based Traffic and Radar Hotline 0900 600 600.

At a Glance
Sixt Car Hire has an interactive map on driving in Europe, with useful information such as speed limits, drink driving limits and equipment legally required to drive, plus some humorous facts about what it is like driving in these countries. For further information, visit: www.sixt.co.uk

Rhino Car Hire is a leading supplier of car hire throughout Austria and its airports, which compares prices for customers from all local and leading car rental suppliers to find the cheapest price possible. They also offer 24 hour telephone assistance and an on-line chat facility. Find out more at www.rhinocarhire.com