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Car Rental in Austria

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Car Rental in Austria: Everything You Need to Know

When visiting Austria, having access to a rental car can greatly enhance your experience. From exploring the beautiful countryside to easily navigating through the charming cities, a rental car provides the flexibility and convenience that public transportation simply cannot match.

Understanding Local Driving Laws and Requirements

Before you head out on the road, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws and requirements in Austria. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

– In Austria, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road.

– Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers in the car.

– The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, so it’s essential to avoid drinking and driving.

– Speed limits vary depending on the type of road, so pay attention to the signs.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When renting a car in Austria, it’s important to select the right vehicle for your needs. Consider factors such as the size of the car, fuel efficiency, and any additional features you may require, such as GPS navigation or a ski rack for winter visits to the Alps.

Booking Your Rental Car

Booking a rental car in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. This ensures that you have a wider selection of vehicles to choose from and can often result in lower rental rates. Be sure to have all necessary documentation, including a valid driver’s license and a credit card, when picking up your rental car.

Additional Tips for Driving in Austria

– Be mindful of toll roads, as they are common in Austria. Keep some cash on hand to pay for tolls.

– When parking in cities, look for designated parking areas or garages, as street parking can be limited and subject to strict regulations.

– Familiarize yourself with the local road signs and symbols to navigate efficiently and safely.

By understanding the local driving laws, choosing the right rental car, and following these tips for driving in Austria, you can make the most of your travel experience and explore this beautiful country with ease. Safe travels!

Rental Requirements

When renting a car in Austria, there are a few requirements to keep in mind to ensure a smooth process.

Age Limits

The minimum age for renting a car in Austria is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old. There is usually a maximum age limit of 70 years old for renting a car.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Austria, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. If your license is not in English or German, it is recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany your license. Some car rental companies may require drivers to have held their license for a minimum of one or two years.


When renting a car in Austria, you will need to present a valid passport, a credit card in the driver’s name for the security deposit, and your driver’s license or IDP. It is important to have all necessary documentation ready when picking up your rental car to avoid any delays.

By ensuring that you meet the rental requirements for Austria, you can enjoy the freedom of exploring the country at your own pace.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Austria, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you. Most car rental companies include basic insurance in their rental rates, which typically covers Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection.

Additional Insurance

In addition to basic insurance, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. These can provide added peace of mind and protection during your travels.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Austria, it’s a good idea to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they already include coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid paying for duplicate coverage and ensure that you have the protection you need while on the road.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Austria

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road in Austria.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 50 km/h in urban areas, 100 km/h on rural roads, and 130 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Traffic in Austria moves on the right, and vehicles coming from the right have the right of way.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking is only allowed on the left side of the road, and it is prohibited in certain areas.
Lane Discipline: The ‘keep right except to overtake’ rule is strictly enforced on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: It is a legal requirement to give way to the right at intersections.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the vehicle.
Child Safety: Children under 14 years of age must use appropriate child restraints.
Other Useful Info: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers are wearing seat belts.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of hand-held mobile devices while driving is strictly prohibited.
Other Useful Info: Hands-free devices are allowed, but it is recommended to avoid any distractions while driving.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, with stricter limits for commercial drivers and novice drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There is zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 20 and for commercial drivers.
Other Useful Info: Random breath tests are common, and severe penalties apply for exceeding the legal limit.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: Austria has an extensive toll road system, with tolls payable via vignettes or digital passes.
Congestion Charges: Some cities in Austria have congestion charges for entering certain areas.
Other Useful Info: Failure to pay tolls can result in significant fines and penalties.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are common in Austria, and vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way.
Intersection Rules: Right of way is generally given to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections.
Other Useful Info: It is important to be cautious and yield to other vehicles at intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be used at all times, even during the day, to increase visibility.
Windshield Wiper Rule: It is mandatory to use headlights when using windshield wipers.
Other Useful Info: It is essential to ensure that all lights and indicators are in proper working order.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Emergency vehicles have the right of way, and all other vehicles must make way for them.
Other Useful Info: It is important to pull over and stop when emergency vehicles are approaching.

Driving Tips for Austria

Road Conditions

Austria has well-maintained roads with a mix of highways and smaller country roads. The terrain can vary from flat plains to mountainous regions, so it’s important to be prepared for different driving conditions.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas like Vienna and Salzburg, you’ll encounter heavy traffic and narrow streets. In rural areas, the roads can be winding and narrow, especially in mountainous regions. It’s important to adjust your driving style accordingly.

Navigational Tips

Using a GPS or maps is highly recommended, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Many road signs are in German, so having a reliable navigation system can help you navigate the roads with ease.

Other Useful Tips

– Keep in mind that Austria drives on the right side of the road.
– Make sure to have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance when renting a car in Austria.
– Be aware of toll roads and vignettes, which are required for driving on certain highways.
– Always follow the speed limits and be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists, especially in urban areas.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

In the unfortunate event of a car breakdown while driving in Austria, it is important to first find a safe place to pull over. Turn on your hazard lights and place a warning triangle behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Contact the rental company immediately to inform them of the situation and follow their instructions for next steps.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, dial 112 for police, 144 for ambulance, and 120 for roadside assistance. Save these numbers in your phone before starting your journey in Austria. It is also a good idea to keep a physical copy of these contact numbers in your rental car for easy reference.

Rental Company Policies

Most rental companies in Austria offer 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services as part of their rental package. It is important to familiarize yourself with the specific support offered by your rental company before embarking on your trip. Be sure to have their contact information readily accessible in case of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Austria?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.