Guide to Driving in Austria

Austria has an impressive road infrastructure. We must say that there are no cracks or bumps at all, perhaps with several exceptions in rural areas. The road markings and the indicators are a common view. All the road signs display information in Latin characters and they all respect the ‘Vienna convention on road signs and signals’. However, as tempted you might be to step on the gas, there are good reasons not to do it. Police cars often have radar devices mounted so you could be fined before realizing what happened. Speeding cameras work mostly on the same principle, except that you receive your fine at home, based on the car’s registration plate. Austria is a beautiful country, especially during the winter. The law says that every car must have winter tires from 1st of November to 15th of April. You should always have a pair of spare winter chains and a shovel, just in case. In terms of compulsory equipment, all cars must have a warning triangle, first-aid kit and a reflective vest. In case that there’s something you would like to ask, note that Austrian people are speaking fairly well English and they are polite with tourists. Parking should be done only in signaled areas otherwise your car might be towed.

Police cars in Austria are silver with red stripes on the sides and blue accents on the hood and above the red stripe. They include the word ‘POLIZEI’ on the hood and on the side doors. They often drive Volkswagens but on the motorways you might see some Porsche 911s. Documents that need to be carried by every driver are: the car’s third-party insurance, your domestic license accompanied by your identification card and the car’s registration. Fines are often issued on the spot by the officer and you’re required to pay them in 48 hours.

Essential Driving Information

  • Every passenger of a car must wear the seatbelt, including the ones traveling in the back seats. Otherwise you risk a fine of €35.
  • Dipped beam must be used only when the visibility is not clear and at night.
  • If planning to drive on motorways make sure that you have a vignette which can be purchased from petrol stations.
  • The use of the mobile phone while driving is prohibited. The only exception is when you have a hands-free device attached to it.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 100kmh(62mph)
Motorway: 130kmh (80mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 133
Ambulance: 144
Firefighters: 122
Other: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05% (0.01% for new drivers)
Petrol Price: €1.36/litre
Diesel Price: €1.29/litre
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