Amazing Austria Property

Drive to Austria

Driving to Austria: Since there are fast and well-maintained motorways throughout Central Europe, getting to Austria by car is simple, if you are coming from other European countries such as Holland, Norway, Denmark, begium etc. But for the UK driver, the first requirement is to get the ferry to France or Holland.

Book a DFDS ferry to France or Holland

Driving to Austria?

Winter tyres required from 1st Nov!!

Austria winter driving

Driving to Austria

Update – 2023

For UK drivers: International driving licence requirements

You do not need an IDP to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.

You do not need an international driving licence to drive in Austria. Nor in France. You are also allowed to drive in Germany for up to 6 months on a UK licence with photo.

Uk Government website for all Europe driving requirements.

Update: Oct 2022

Germany has introduced larger  fines for motoring offences, they have literally doubled, so do not get caught out on the speed limits.  Be extra careful on the motorways as they can have instant speed reductions advertised on the gantry;s and with Auto camera’s… even a little over the speed limit will catch you out.

Update 03.08.21

Starting this Wednesday  1st Sept, tougher penalties will apply in Austria for dangerous speeding.

On September 1, the amendment to the “speeding regulations” comes into force. The changes in the Road Traffic Act and the Driver’s License Act relate primarily to the massive exceeding of speed limits in local areas and on open country roads. Offenders face higher fines of up to 5,000 euros and changes in the length of driving license suspensions.

Speeding Fines

In future, anyone who massively exceeds the prescribed speed limits in local areas or on open country roads will have to reckon with a significantly longer driving license suspension. “Previously, a first-time violation by 41 to 60 km/h in the local area threatened a driver’s license revocation of two weeks, so it is now a month. If the offence repeats itself, then it is three months. With each further transgression it is, depending upon severity, three to six months.

Driving to Austria: When the sun comes out and the temperatures start to is always difficult to decide..should I change my tyres…..but be aware the rules say you need to keep your winter tyres on until 15th April!!!

Then it is on Summer tyres until 1st November..of course you can keep your winter tyres on for the summer, if the tread is getting low and you are going to replace the following winter.

BUT, no summer tyres whatever in the Winter!

As of January 2023, the cost of Road toll in Austria is:

A 12-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 96.40 and for motorcycles EURO 38.20
A 2-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 29.00 and for motorcycles EURO 14.50
A 10-day sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 9.90 and for motorcycles EURO 5.80

Read all info further down this page.

Current Updates:

DFDS the ferry company have offers for the Dover – Dunkirk route, so grab a bargain.

DFDS have lots of information about any effects of Brexit. You can check their web information here.

On your way, on your mobile – how it works for Austria

Asfinag,    the Austrian Government dept for road travel, have an App, that is pretty much perfect for travellers and it is in ENGLISH!!

This is the app for you if you want access to quick, clear, up-to-date travel information for your route using your smartphone (iPhone, Android).

Developed by ASFINAG “On the way” traffic app to provides you with free traffic information in a simple and easy-to-use format. Its intuitive design means that a few clicks is all it takes. Whether you’re commuting, setting off on holiday or travelling for business, everything you need for your journey is at your fingertips.

Visit Asfinag web site for more info and to download app.

Considering to hire a car to visit various villages and view properties? Maybe a camper van would be more useful as then no need to book accommodation?

Painted on Austrian roads….. Signs Warn when Black Ice is present!

Austrian motorway officials are experimenting by painting warning signs on the road that are only visible when the temperature falls below freezing.

The move is a bid to cut down on the number of accidents caused by people skidding off the road on ice, especially as temperatures vary widely and Alpine roads climb and fall as they criss cross the country.

Austrian road authority Asfinag said that a difference of several degrees centigrade could be found on the same stretch of road – and have painted the new signs on several stretches of the busy A2 motorway.

Bridges where the temperatures are often very different from the road are a special focus of the campaign.

The signs painted with thermal paint include a blue snowflake surrounded by a red triangle that are only visible when it is close to freezing.

Asfinag advice

Asfinag spokesman Erich Putz said: “Of course if its snowing you don’t see them, but then again when it’s snowing you don’t need a sign to warn you to drive carefully! The real killer is the black ice and people who are not aware that the temperature has fallen to below freezing.

“It is a cheap and an effective alternative to expensive electronic street signs, and if it works it will be expanded across the country.”

The paint has already been tested in giant fridges, with the signs starting to be visible from 4 degrees centigrade and lower.

Cameras have been set up to see if the signs have an effect on drivers and to monitor performance.

Hotels for your drive across Germany & Austria

Emergency Corridor

driving to austria

Since 2012, it has been compulsory to form an emergency corridor during congestion or an accident on Austria’s motorways and expressways! However, this only works if all road users comply with this and allow the emergency teams quick and safe access to the scene of the accident.

The benefits of the emergency corridor are obvious

  • Clear and simple rules of conduct
  • The emergency teams can reach their destination quickly
  • Broad access route
  • Injured people can be treated quickly
  • Increase of the chances of survival of road accident victims by up to 40 percent
  • Broken down vehicles on the hard shoulder do not obstruct access
  • The principle is the same as in the neighbouring countries of Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland.

The right way to form an emergency corridor

driving to austria

Form an emergency lane as soon as the traffic on the motorway or expressway is beginning to come to a halt, whether an emergency vehicle is nearby or not.

Drive your vehicle to the side of the road and position it parallel to the emergency lane. Make sure you leave enough safety distance to the vehicle in front of you.

Two lanes

If the motorway or expressway has two lanes and you are on the left lane, drive as far to the left-hand side of the road as possible, and if you are on the right lane, drive to the right-hand side of the road as much as possible. Also use the hard shoulder. This applies to cars as well as to motorbikes, lorries and buses.

Three or more lanes

The same system applies to motorways and expressways with three or more lanes. All vehicles on the outermost left lane drive as far to the left as possible. The vehicles on all other lanes drive as far to the right as possible – this includes the hard shoulder.

Driving to Austria…

Preparing for your trip and latest winter driving legislation.

Link for purchasing Road Toll Vignettes in advance, although you can buy at most services stations on route and also at the border of Austria.. Toll Tickets

Some things you should make sure you have before you jump in the car and set off are as follows.

*Check your insurance covers you for the trip. Most insurance policies cover you for up to 30 days abroad and some will insure for up to 90 days for each trip, but best to check.

*Next take out Breakdown cover. It is well worth the cost if you should break down.

*Next get your vehicle checked out at your local garage, it is great to have the peace of mind when you are undertaking a long drive.

There are certain items you must carry when driving in Europe otherwise you could be fined.

*Headlamp adaptors.

Fit these when you get to Dover. You must have them fitted for driving in Europe, failure to do so could deem your vehicle unfit for use on the road and invalidate your insurance!

*a UK plate must be displayed on the rear of your vehicle.

*Reflective vests for driver and all passengers. These must be worn by all in the event of a breakdown. You can be fined if you do not have one and also for passengers.

*Spare Bulbs. All your lamps must be in working order. You could be fined on the spot.


*Warning triangle, carry as large a one as possible. In the event of a breakdown, place it 50 – 150 metres behind your vehicle. Both the RAC & the AA sell European packs that will keep you on the right side of the law.

*First aid kit and Fire extinguisher. The European ‘Good Samaritan Law requires every driver to stop and provide assistance when encountering an accident or incident, providing it is safe to do so.

This may require a First aid kit or Fire extinguisher, so it is highly advisable to carry these.

If you are going to drive in the winter, either get some winter snow tyres put on your car or if you are going to be driving up to ski areas etc when you get to Austria, invest in some snow chains. You will need them!

Winter tyres are required from 1st November until 15th April each year. Remember, if you are Driving to Austria with UK summer tyres and have an accident, it is likely your insurance will not pay out as your car was not fit for purpose!

Here are the latest tyre rules for winter driving in Germany and Austria. These are effective immediately……..

Driving to Austria

Winter tyres are mandatory in Austria. The law states that passenger cars with a permissible maximum weight of up to 3.5 tonnes may be operated only between 1 November and until 15 April. In winter conditions such as snow, slush or ice only if winter tyres have been installed on all wheels. All-season tyres are also considered winter tyres if they have the “M + S” mark.

As an alternative to winter tyres, snow chains may be used on at least two driving wheels, however, these may only be used in case the road is covered by a complete or scarcely broken snow cover or sheet of ice.

Failure to comply with the law results in a fine up to 5,000 Euros and the vehicle could be impounded.

Insurance is deemed void if a vehicle which is involved in an accident between November 1 and April 15 is not fitted with winter tyres.

Tunnels in Austria

There are many tunnels as obviously the quickest routes are through mountains!!

driving to austria

In fact there are 165 tunnels in Austria!! They cost a lot to upkeep and maintain. So, it costs extra to use a tunnel as these are no included with your vignette which is for the motorways. The longest tunnels ( about 6 km long) cost around 10 euros.


If you have an accident in Austria, and someone is hurt, the Police must be informed immediately…it is an offence not to inform….so be warned!

Austrian Drivers – What can we say?

The English like to think they can ski… well, until they get on the slopes and discover that the dry slope back home was no real help learning to ski!!

Well, the Austrians like to think they can drive..until they waken up in an ambulance or not at all!

Be aware that the Austrians do not like to be behind anyone, so tend to overtake in the most dangerous places.

They also like to get close enough to inspect what is on your rear window shelf!! Roundabouts are not their forte, so do not expect signals or any indication of what they might happen next.

Austrians like to park as near as possible to the main doors of supermarkets even though the car park is empty! There is also a craze for driving with their ear to a mobile phone.

Speed limits are not for them, except when on a motorway and driving through road works. So in general keep your own speed low so you are prepared for any eventuality.

Useful info from Austrian tourism site: Drive to Austria


Motorists are obliged to make sure they have correct tyres to suit the winter weather conditions. This may mean the use of winter tyres (with M&S or snowflake symbol) and in extreme weather, the additional use of snow chains.

Vehicles with summer tyres fitted are not allowed to be driven on roads covered with snow and ice. Fines are in place for vehicles found to be doing so!

Hotels in Germany & Austria for your overnight stops.

Driving to Austria blog

Routes: There are various choices, you can go via France, via Belgium and Luxembourg or via Belgium – Koln – Stuttgart… this is the fastest route at 9.5 hours!! Go to and click on maps. Then type in Salzburg and then when it asks for a route from here…type in Dunkerque, or Calais, France. It will give you the route via Koln, you can then modify to suit your self. Have a good drive!!

Here is a link to the google maps, for drive to Austria. via Dunkerque.

We always tackle the journey in two halves. On the first day we get the 10 am ferry to Dunkerque. The drive takes about 7/8 hours to get to a halfway point. We have made this Permisens in Germany.

Try to fill up with enough fuel to get to Luxemburg, then it is cheaper than France.

There are two routes to take, the first is via France: After leaving Dunkerque head for LILLE. Trn off for Lille. After you get past LILLE follow signs for Charleroi and Mons, then Luxemburg.

We found the country of Luxemburg the cheapest for fuel.

Rest areas and fuel stations

Most Petrol/rest stations have a turnstyle at the toilets for payment. Cost is 80 cents – 1 euro. But it is worth it, the toilets are excellent, some even have automatic seat cleaning after you have stood up! Also you can use the ticket towards any purchases you make in the restaurant or shop…so the toilet is effectively free! Then it is on towards Germany and Permisens to stop overnight.

Go via Lille, it is so much easier and a nicer drive… and there are no road tolls…unless of course you want to visit some of western France!!

Driving to Austria. The standard of driving in Europe is no worse than in the UK. The drivers seem to have the same penchant for tailgating as we have in the UK! This can be quite frightening, particularly on the German Autobahns in the wet when you watch them tailgating at 100 mph! Best to stay in the inside lane!

The next day we usually aim to get away by 10am; this means we are in Salzburg for late afternoon. When we set off we head for Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and then onto Munich. The motorway leads all the way round Munich and you can pick up the connection for Salzburg and Innsbruck.

An interesting new building is the Allianz Arena, it looks like a giant tyre that has fallen on it’s side!

The inner ring road can save about 15 minutes depending on traffic, but we found it was not worthwhile getting off the motorway. The last time we tried we got stuck in rush hour traffic in the suburbs of Munich!!.

You will find as you get nearer to Austria the price of fuel seems to go up!! If you can fill up before Munich then do so. It is then cheaper to buy fuel in Austria….and remember to buy your Vignette for the Austrian motorways..otherwise the fines are hefty. You can buy them at fuel stations, between Munich and Salzburg…or at the border when you get to Austria.

In Austria

Once in Austria, do take care over traffic signs. I ended up with a speeding fine on one trip because I did not notice I was within village boundaries where the speed limit went from the 80kph of the road to 50kph.

Unlike England with it’s 30mph signs as you get to a town or village. Austria tends to have the speed for the road then a sign for the same speed with a diagonal line through it. In other words the speed you were travelling at has been cancelled!!

The traffic officer who stopped me was very pleasant, but was not happy that I had left my driving licence in my apartment! Anyhow, I was doing 74 kph in a 50 kph area and he fined me 20 euros, which I had to pay there and then. (this was in 2010, fines have increased!) He let me off forgetting my licence although he could have also fined me for that! (carry your documents with you always, just in case!)

Speed limits: Motorways – 130km/h Country roads – 100km/h In towns/villages – 50km/h

Alcohol limit is 0.5% and drink driving is punishable with a fine and confiscation of driving licence.

driving to Austria

You will need a Road Toll sticker if you intend to use the Motorways or Expressways in Austria. These are called Vignette (pronounced Veenyet) and can be bought at petrol/service areas as you get near to Austria. You can also buy them at the border control, but we found it easier to purchase from a service station.

As of January 2023, the cost of Road toll is:

A 12-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 96.40 and for motorcycles EURO 38.20
A 2-month sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 29.00 and for motorcycles EURO 14.50
A 10-day sticker for private cars and motorhomes up to 3.5t is EURO 9.90 and for motorcycles EURO 5.80

They should be affixed to the windscreen top centre or top left!

Infringements of the toll regulations are punished with an additional charge of up to 120 euros! If you don’t have one when you should have one the fine can be from 300 – 3,000 euros!!

The toll sticker

Also, be careful to affix them correctly to the windscreen! It is not like the UK, where you can put it in a plastic pocket!! Thinking, I do not want another sticker on my windscreen. I put it in my UK plastic pocket…oh dear that was a mistake. I had a €120 fine in the post about a week later! I could not believe that, even though I had bought a vignette and had proof of payment. I still got the fine, as I was informed the law states YOU MUST AFFIX TO THE WINDSCREEN!

Don’t think that being a tourist gets you off the hook either! Even if you have one and proof of payment..if not stuck to inside of windscreen in the correct position…120 euro fine!! Very Germanic and very pedantic.

Compare the cost of a ferry and driving to Austria to the cost of a flight from your nearest Airport…..we’ve found that driving with 2 or more people, can sometimes save around £200.00, plus you get to be adventurous and see some more of Europe!

Many clients who have bought apartments regularly make the trip Driving to Austria, and take equipment for their apartments. If you are interested in a property in Austria, have a look at our property page.

Driving to Austria: All motoring legislation and toll costs is subject to change so you should check with our Austrian tourist office link for any updates before you travel. Also, to help when you get there….Here is a link for an interactive Austria map

Many of our clients who have bought property in Austria are driving to Austria regularly.

If you have already been driving to Austria in the past years, please email us with your experiences so that we can add to these pages. email us.

Driving to Austria to view property:

If you are Driving to Austria from the UK, with intention of looking for property in Austria, we have a great choice of land plots on which to erect one of our traditional wooden chalet homes.

Check out our buying advice page

Webcams for Austrian villages

Driving to Austria or keeping your car in Austria – Property Owners

Many property owners complain about the cost of renting a car each time they come to Austria.

You can of course drive here in your car and leave it at your property…but then you need to have insurance and also it needs to stay MOT’d. This means you would have a trip back at least once each year to keep your vehicle legal. A car must be road legal in the country of registration…then it is valid in all EEC countries.

Property Owners

Driving in Austria as a property owner? It can be well worth it just to pick up a second hand car and keep it here. But there are things to consider…as a property owner you also have a secondary residency and as such you should be driving an Austrian car or you can get your car a temporary one year registration here in Austria. Our Finance advisor can help with advice on this.

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