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Confused.com’s guide to driving in Austria

An Austrian mountain villageFind the hidden gems of this picturesque European country

Getting started

Austria: home to Mozart, opera and Hundertwasser architecture - a country rich in history, music and beautiful countryside.

Unfortunately, if there’s one country that’s too often overlooked, it’s this one, as it’s frequently bypassed in favour of neighbouring Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic. But to avoid Austria is to miss out on the hidden gems of this gloriously picturesque European country.

Hit the road

Austrian roads are some of the best in Europe. Most of the expressways are two rather than three-lane, but they’re well maintained. So too are the minor roads if you want to explore the countryside.

You’ll need a motorway pass (vignette) to travel on motorways or expressways. These can be bought from petrol stations, post offices and usually on the border when entering Austria.

It’s also worth noting that parts of the A9, A10 and A13 motorways use video tolling, which requires an extra ticket.

Star drive

A road trip to Austria wouldn’t be complete without a view of the Alps. Head south towards Innsbruck and pick up the 188. This takes you on a spectacular route through the heart of the mountains. You’ll come out 50 miles later near Brunnenfeld.

Best of the rest

The Arlberg Pass is a historical route between Vorarlberg and Tyrol. A tunnel was built in the 1970s to make life easier, which means the adventurous and enthusiastic can use the old route - enjoying amazing views along one of the world’s best driving roads.

Next stop should be the capital city of Vienna, but ditch the wheels for this one. Vienna, a World Heritage Site, with its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage is the place to savour fine art and music.

Laws of the land

  • The minimum age for drivers is 18
  • Dipped headlights are required when weather conditions are poor. Motorcycles are required to use dipped lights at all times.
  • All occupants must wear seatbelts if fitted
  • Children under 14, or less than 1.5m tall, may only travel in the front or back of a car if fitted with an appropriate restraint.
  • All cars must carry a first-aid kit, warning triangle and EN471 reflective jacket or vest.

Local knowledge

All cars must have winter tyres, or carry snow chains, between 1 November and 15 April. This period may be extended if conditions continue.

Use of the horn is generally not allowed in Vienna or outside hospitals.

Austrian speed limits

Road type

Speed limit

Residential areas

50 kmh

Built-up areas

50 kmh

Outside built-up areas

100 kmh

Dual carriageways

100 kmh

Motorways

Up to 130 kmh

Did you know?

Vehicles with a top speed of less than 37mph are not permitted to travel on Austrian motorways. If you’re driving something slower, you might want to consider flying instead.

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