What not to forget when driving to Austria
Whether you are going skiing in the Alps, on an extended weekend in Vienna, or on a holiday in Croatia, these tips for travelling by car in Austria will definitely come in handy. Our southern neighbours are famous for their insistence on upholding their road traffic regulations, and not even foreigners are spared. To avoid unnecessary expenses, don´t forget about the environmental badge, the high-visibility vest, the highway toll sticker and the necessary documentation.
Environmental badge Pickerl
What is it and what is it for?
The Environmental badge indicates the level of air pollution caused by vehicles. Austrians recognize 6 levels of pollution that are represented by 6 types of sticker, differing by colour. At present, this obligation applies only to N category trucks, including N1 light trucks - which is virtually any corporate passenger car. Failure to comply is subject to a heavy fine of over 2,000 euros (i.e. approximately £ 1980).
Where do I need it?
The obligation to affix the environmental badge on your car´s windscreen is valid in Vienna, Tyrol, Styria and selected sections of motorway. However, the number of low-emission zones in Austria is growing every year.
How do I get it?
You can order the badge online with free delivery within 14 days. You will need the information from the registration certificate of your vehicle when filling out the online order.
A high-visibility vest conforming to the EN 471 norm is an item that the Austrian police will 100 % focus on if you are stopped for a control. You will be definitely fined if one is not found. Although only 1 driver´s vest is required by law, we recommend purchasing vests for all passengers. Anyone who gets out of the vehicle on the road (e.g. because of the vehicle breaks down) must wear such a vest.
Put a first aid kit and a warning triangle into the car's cabin, not the trunk.
Use of on-board cameras is forbidden.
Winter equipment is valid for the period from 1st November to 15th April and includes the obligation of winter tyres or snow chains.
Children under 14 years of age and of up to 150 cm height must be transported in a child safety seat.
A highway toll sticker affixed to the car's windscreen is a prerequisite for using Austrian motorways. You can purchase a 10-day, 2-month or 12-month stamp. You can buy them at petrol stations, exchange offices, or at Cash Point branches. Do not hesitate buying one especially in the summer season, and you will avoid queues and waiting.
- maximum speed on the motorway - 130 km / h.
- maximum main-road speed - 100 km / h.
- maximum speed in municipalities - 50 km / h.
The mandatory use of headlights applies only in case of bad visibility, just as in Germany.
Experienced drivers who have owned a driving license for more than 2 years are tolerated to have up to 0.5 per mille of alcohol in the blood. For new license holders and professional drivers, this rule does not apply.
Renting a car
If the car is not yours, it is necessary to have a written rental confirmation, in English, or preferably in German.