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Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Austria. Rules of the road in Austria.

Tips on driving abroad in Austria. Motoring rules and regulations in Austria. Austria motoring laws.

Self-Drive Motoring holidays in Austria. Tips on driving abroad in Austria. Motoring rules and regulations in Austria. Austrian motoring laws.

Autobahn and Tunnel Tolls in Austria
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Relative Carbon Emissions

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Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on the right!

  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.

  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.

  • Austria has strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood - stricter than the UK where the limit is 0.8. 

  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.

  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent in Austria, and heavy on-the-spot fines can be levied.

  • Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.

  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.

A full UK driving licence is required. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear. Below are motoring regulations relating to Austria.

Speed Limits Motorway Open Road Town Alcohol mg/ml
Austria 130 km/h 100 km/h 50 km/h 0.5

If you intend to use Austrian motorways and expressways you vehicle must display a motorway tax sticker (vignette). These stickers, valid for a year, two months or 10 days, can be purchased at many petrol stations close to the border in neighbouring countries, at the frontier in Austria, or in AMTC offices. Cost 2007 for a car 10 days euro 7.60 or 2 months euro 21.80.

Visibility vests must be worn if walking on a motorway, or anywhere if broken down under a red warning triangle, or on the highway in bad visibility.

Children in cars: child under 12 and 1.5 metres in height cannot travel as front or rear passenger unless they use a suitable restraint system.

Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.

Drinking and driving: Don't do it. You will be fined if the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is between 0.05 per cent and 0.08 per cent. Over this level and you will incur a fine and/or suspension of driving licence.

Emergency vehicles: It is mandatory to clear space for emergency vehicles on dual carriageways whenever traffic stops, even in a normal traffic jam. The space to be cleared is to the left of the outside lane, so drivers in the outside lane must drive as far to the left as possible while other drivers drive to the right. More about this

Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.

First-aid kit must be carried.

Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps. At many garages in rural areas only automatic pumps are available at lunch time, during the evening and weekend, so make sure you're topped up. It's a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.

GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker  when driving in European Union countries.

Headlamp converters are compulsory.

Lights: Dipped headlights are advised during daylight in poor weather and must be used during the day at all times by motorcycles.

Minimum age for driving, provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car, 18 for a motorcycle over 50cc, and 16 for a  motorcycle under 50cc.

Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.

Motor insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory. A green card is not required but your insurer should be advised of your trip.

Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.

Snow chains: it is compulsory to carry chains in Austria during winter, and if you do not fit them when conditions demand the police can prevent you continuing your journey. Snow chains on summer tyres can be used as an alternative to winter tyres when the road is covered with snow deep enough that the chains do not damage the road. The problem is that because of excellent snow-clearing, these conditions are not common so winter tyres are in effect mandatory. If snow chains are used they should be removed as soon as conditions allow so as not to damage the road surface. Click for general information on winter tyres and snow chains.

Visibility Vests are now compulsory in Austria. They are also compulsory in Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain (and likely to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting out. Do this and you will not have a problem.

Warning triangle is compulsory.

Winter tyres or all-season tyres marked M&S/mud and snow are required by law from November 1st until April 15th when driving in bad weather - defined as snow, mud or ice. On a lengthy journey such as from the UK to go skiing in the mountains it is impossible to be certain whether you will encounter wintery conditions. So if you want to go skiing with your car in those countries you really should purchase a set of winter tyres. Tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 3mm.


All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.

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