Austria by Road

    Austria has a well-developed road network which lets you reach your destination with ease. Find all pertinent information about rules of the road and answers to frequently asked questions.

    Grossglockner High Alpine Road

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    Getting to Austria by Car

    Since there are fast and well-maintained motorways throughout Central Europe, getting to Austria by car is simple.

    An excellent motorway, highway, and federal road network connects Austria with its neighbouring countries. All main border check points are open day and night. In general, Austrian traffic regulations and traffic signals are similar to those enforced in other European countries.

    It is approximately 1,035 km (647 mi) from the UK to the Austrian border, and the drive takes between 10 and 11 hours.

    Please be aware that you need a “vignette” toll sticker to drive on Austria’s motorways and expressways. It is available at the border, at petrol stations, or online. Learn more about the toll sticker here.

    FAQs About Driving in Austria

    Speed limit 100

    1) What are the speed limits on Austrian roads?

    Under optimal traffic conditions and if not otherwise indicated, the following maximum speed limits apply in Austria for cars and motorbikes:

    • Within town limits: 50 km/h (approx. 31 mph)
    • On the open road: 100 km/h (approx. 62 mph)
    • On expressways: 100 km/h (approx. 62 mph)
    • On motorways: 130 km/h (approx. 80 mph)

    Find more information on speed limits here.

    International Drivers License

    2) Is my driving licence valid in Austria?

    Only persons over 18 years (17 years under certain conditions) of age in possession of a valid driving licence are allowed to drive in Austria. When driving in Austria, you should always carry a full valid licence, car ownership documents, and insurance details.

    Driving licences from EU and EEA countries are generally valid for an unlimited time in Austria.

    If your licence has been issued by a non-EU or non-EEA state, it’s generally valid for twelve months following the entry date. You should always carry an international driving licence (available at the post office or AAA) in addition to your licence.

    Motorway Vienna

    3) Do I have to turn on my 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.

    Wine bottles

    4) What are the rules on drinking & driving?

    The legal blood alcohol concentration (drinking & driving) limit in Austria is 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood – stricter than the UK und US where the limit is 0.8. Penalties for driving under the influence are severe any may include the loss of you driving licence.

    Also keep in mind if you planning to cross into neighboring countries their rules and regulations might be different.

    Open road (Brenner)

    5) Do I have to wear my seatbelt?

    In Austria, wearing seatbelts is compulsory for all passengers. The driver is responsible for passengers under the age of 14.

    If you are traveling with children under the age of 14 years we suggest to either bring or rent a child seat.

    Motorcycling in Paznaun / Ischgl

    6) What do I have to consider when driving my motorbike in Austria?

    When driving two-wheeled vehicles, it is compulsory to wear a helmet. While driving, the dimmed headlight must be turned on even during the day. Toll stickers are compulsory.

    High visibility warning wests and warning triangle

    7) What do I need to have with me when driving in Austria?

    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 a breakdown. You must also have a first-aid kit and a warning triangle in your car in case you break down. 

    Petrol station

    8) What type of petrol is available in Austria?

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

    Holidays in Austria Apps

    9) Can I use my mobile phone whilst driving?

    Whilst driving, you are not allowed to talk on a mobile phone unless you’re using a hands-free car kit. You can use your phone as a navigational system (provided the mobile phone is fastened in the car).

    Motorways during Winter

    10) What do I have to consider when driving in winter?

    Between 1 November and 15 April, drivers of private cars and goods vehicles up to 3.5t must be suitably equipped for winter conditions. This means that drivers using the roads in wintry conditions during this period must have winter tyres fitted.

    Find more information here

    ÖAMTC Breakdown Assistance Service

    11) What should I do in case of a breakdown or accident?

    Traffic accidents involving injuries must immediately be reported to the police; accidents involving material damage must only be reported when mutual identity has not been established.

    There are two major breakdown assistance services in Austria (similar to the AA in the UK or the AAA in the US): ÖAMTC and ARBÖ. Both operate a 24-hour emergency breakdown service, which may be utilized by anyone. Non-members must pay a fee.

    Emergency Corridor

    12) What is the “Rettungsgasse” / emergency corridor?

    Whilst driving on Austria’s roads, you might notice signs proscribing the so-called Rettungsgasse (emergency corridor). This is a clear lane for emergency vehicles that has to be formed right away in case of traffic jams.

    On carriageways with two lanes, a lane for emergency vehicles must be cleared between the two existing lanes; on carriageways with more than two lanes it must be cleared between the far-left lane and the lane next to it. This means that all drivers of vehicles in the far-left lane are required to steer their vehicle as far to the left as possible. All other drivers must drive as far to the right as is necessary for clearing a lane for emergency vehicles. 

    Find more information here.

    Emergency Numbers

    • Doctor-on-call 141

      Mountain rescue 140

      ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service 120

      ARBÖ emergency breakdown service 123

    • European emergency number 112

      Fire brigade 122

      Police 133

      Ambulance 144

    •                 Highway in Winter