Motoring & Toll Roads
The Austrian Road System
During the summertime, driving conditions on Austrian roads and highways are excellent. All of the main roads are paved and kept in good shape. In winter, however, from December to March, drivers must be prepared for snow on all Austrian roads; this applies particularly to mountain roads at higher altitudes. Therefore, when driving in winter, winter tires are absolutely essential. When driving on a precipitous terrain, snow chains must be used.
An international driver's permit (IDP) is required for Austria. It can be purchased through the AAA club and is valid for one year. When driving abroad, carry both your IDP and your state driver's license with you at all times. An IDP serves as an official, internationally recognized translation of your license.
Traffic regulations are similar to those of other European countries. The speed limits are 100 km/h [62 mph] on freeways (Bundesstraße) and 130 km/h [81 mph] on highways (Autobahn). In residential and urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h [31 mph], unless otherwise signposted.
Since 1 January 1997, it has been compulsory for vehicles to carry a toll sticker - the so-called Vignette - on Austria's highways. The vignette is available at automobile clubs (e.g. ÖAMTC, ARBÖ), in post offices and tobacco shops as well as at some gas stations.
If you drive without a valid toll sticker or a sticker which is not properly affixed, you will be subject to high fines. The police and customs authorities are authorized to collect the toll evaded, together with an additional sum as a substitute fine.
For further information (mostly in German), please follow the Quicklinks.
Alcohol whilst Driving & Traffic Accidents
Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) is subject to severe punishment. The minimum fine is approximately €360 and loss of driver's license. The maximum permitted blood-alcohol level is 0.05%.
All traffic accidents involving personal injury must be reported immediately to the police (Polizei or Gendarmerie). Accidents involving material damage (fender benders) must be reported only when the identity of the other party cannot be established.