Car hire in Austria

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Car hire in Austria

Tips for a cheap rental car

Austria is known for its beautiful scenery and its many nice towns and villages. With a rental car, your holiday in Austria will be a completely different experience. You’ll be able to get around the country and see smaller places that you otherwise might have missed. And you’ll also get some great views from the car!

Car hire is possible in all major cities and airports in Austria. It’s also relatively cheap to rent a car in the country.

Rules

Car rental in Austria is generally hassle-free. There are only a few requirements:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old and have held a driving licence for at least a year.
  • If you are under 25 years old you might be charged extra, but this will depend on the car rental firm.

The age limit for car hire can also vary depending on the type of car you’d like to hire. Check with your chosen car rental firm to get more exact details.

Add-ons at booking

We recommend that you add whatever extra equipment you want already when booking the car. The extra equipment can be things like child car seats or a GPS. Booking these things in advance will facilitate the pick up of the car and ensure that the equipment is available on site.

Using a GPS in Austria is a good idea. Especially if you will be driving in the countryside, a GPS will make sure you don’t get lost.

It’s also important that children use proper child car seats. By Austrian law, children under 12 years or 150 centimetres (about 4’9”) must use an appropriate child car seat.

Driving in Austria

The driving pace in Austria is quite calm, and the road network is well developed. The roads are also in good condition, both the larger ones and the smaller mountain roads.

You should, however, stay alert and pay attention when driving in mountainous areas as the roads are narrow and winding. The general speed limits are 50 km/h (about 30 mph) in urban areas, 100 km/h (about 60 mph) on main roads and 130 km/h (about 80 mph) on motorways.
An important thing to keep in mind when driving or renting a car in Austria is that all cars must have a vignette sticker on the windshield. A vignette is a type of road pass that allows you to drive on motorways. There will usually be a vignette on the rental car when you pick it up, but check this before heading out. If your car does not have a vignette, you will be heavily fined if caught. A 10-day vignette costs about 8 euros.
Below is a list of a few Austrian traffic rules to be aware of:
  • If you want to talk on the phone while driving you must use a hands-free.
  • If you hit a traffic jam, all the cars in the queue are legally required to form a so-called “emergency corridor”. This means that cars in the right lane must keep as far right on the lane as possible, and cars in the left land must keep as far left as possible. This will create an extra lane in the middle that can be used by emergency services if needed. Only emergency services may use the emergency corridor.
  • Make sure not to park where you’re not allowed. Parking tickets in Austria are very high.
  • Using the horn is not allowed in Vienna and in hospital areas.