Country-specific travel advice
Select the country you will be travelling in to see motoring information and advice, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.
Driving in Austria
Visitors riding or driving in Austria must have reached the minimum age required to drive/ride a vehicle of equivalent category even if they are qualified to drive at a lower age in their country of residence. You must be 18 or over to drive a private vehicle in Austria.
The photocard UK licence is accepted. Otherwise an old-style paper UK licence is accepted only if accompanied by identity document carrying a photograph e.g. passport.
Vehicles from the UK may be imported into Austria for up to 6 months in any period of 12 months. When driving in Austria the following documents should be carried:
- Full, valid driving licence*
- Proof of Insurance (third party or above)
- Proof of ID (Passport)
- Proof of ownership (V5C certificate)
While driving in Austria you are required by law to carry the following items. Hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for failing to carry specific items:
- Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
- Reflective jackets (to be used in the case of a breakdown or accident outside built-up areas, on expressways and on motorways)
- Warning triangle (all vehicles with more than two wheels registered in Austria or abroad must be equipped with a warning triangle which conforms with EC Regulation 27)
- First aid kit
- Motorcyclists (safety helmets are compulsory for drivers and passengers of mopeds and motorcycles)
- Dashboard cameras are prohibited
Rules of the road & regulations
Rules of the road
Overtaking & passing
Drive on the right, overtake on the left.
The intention to overtake or to change lanes must be shown by means of indicators.
Where the approach to an intersection is marked with the international "give way" or a "STOP" sign, every road user must yield right of way to vehicles on the priority road.
Where no such sign is erected, every road user must yield right of way at an intersection to all vehicles approaching from the right. Exceptions are:
- Vehicles on rails which have priority even when they approach from the left
- Emergency vehicles (police cars, fire engines, ambulances, etc.) which always have priority.
Warning of approach
The horn should be used only in case of danger. Its use is generally prohibited in Vienna and in the vicinity of hospitals.
Caravans, camper vans, luggage and boat trailers may be temporarily imported into Austria without formality.
No inventory of the contents is required unless the camper van, caravan or trailer contains unusual or valuable items of equipment.
The use of snow chains is permitted in Austria. The maximum speed recommended is generally 50 km/h (dependent on the manufacturer's advice).
In the winter months, winter tyres are recommended but for cars with summer tyres the authorities can require cars to be fitted with snow chains on the driving wheels when road conditions are bad.
Motorists can hire or buy snow chains from OAMTC offices. Chains can also be hired at all major border crossings
Occupants of all seats equipped with a seat belt (including rear seats) must wear that belt.
Persons found not wearing the seat belt when stopped by an officer of the law can either be warned, or receive a fine on-the-spot of €35. If the fine is not paid immediately or in due course, it can be increased to €72 and even lead to 24 hours detention.
Travelling with children
Children under 14 years old and less than 1,50m in height travelling in vehicles registered in Austria or abroad must use special seat belts adapted to their size or special child restraints, both at the front and at the rear of the vehicle.
Vehicles without such protection (e.g. two seat sports cars or lorries) may not be used at all to transport children under 14 years of age.
There is a speed limit of 50 km/h in built-up areas for all types of motor vehicles, unless otherwise indicated by road signs. A built-up area starts from the place name shown at the beginning of a town or village.
A number of towns (e.g. Graz) have a general speed limit of 30 km/h (except where a higher speed limit is indicated).
Mopeds must not exceed a speed of 45 km/h in or outside built-up areas.
Motorists are required to exercise great care when in the vicinity of children, disabled or old people; they must drive in such a way that they can stop without danger at any time.
Ouside built-up areas
|Motorcycles, Private cars and Goods vehicles up to 3,500 kg||130 km/h||100 km/h|
The minimum speed limit on motorways and roads for motor vehicles indicated by a rectangular blue sign bearing a white car is 60km/h. Vehicles that are not capable of sustaining 60km/h are not allowed on motorways.
A car navigation system with maps indicating the location of fixed speed cameras is permitted, but equipment which actively searches for speed cameras or interferes with police equipment is prohibited.
The Austrian police are empowered to impose and collect fines of up to €90 on the spot from drivers who violate traffic regulations. The police officer collecting the fine is required to issue an official receipt. In the event of a higher fine, the police officer may ask the motorist to pay a deposit, the remainder of the fine must be paid within two weeks of the offence.
No vehicle may be parked so as to cause an obstruction. Standing and parking regulations follow the provisions of the Convention on Road Traffic (Vienna, 1968).
In places where there is a “no parking” sign, vehicles are allowed to stand for up to 10 minutes or for loading.
Enforcement of parking regulations
Parked vehicles which obstruct the traffic may be towed away. This applies to vehicles registered in Austria and abroad. Wheel clamps are used on illegally parked coaches in Vienna.
Disabled parking access
In public parking areas, spaces reserved for disabled drivers are marked.
A flashing green light indicates the approach of the end of the green phase; vehicles close to the traffic lights should proceed. Those which are still some distance away should prepare to stop.
An orange light combined with the red light means that the green phase is imminent.
The maximum level of alcohol in the blood is 0.49%.
If a person who drives or takes charge of a vehicle is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol he or she must undergo a breath test. If the test is positive, the suspect will be examined by a police physician. A blood test is also taken if someone has been killed or seriously injured by a driver or a pedestrian suspected of having caused the accident when under the influence of alcohol.
The offence of driving under the influence of alcohol has serious legal consequences, with fines ranging from 300 to 5,900 EUR. Visitors may be forbidden from driving in Austria.
Roads & fuel
All motor vehicles must carry a "Mautvignette" (toll sticker) to use motorways and express roads.
Availability of fuel
Most petrol stations are open from 0800 to 2000 hours. In large cities some are open 24 hours a day; service stations on the motorways are generally open 24 hours a day.
Means of payment
Credit cards are accepted by larger petrol stations.
Automatic petrol pumps
There are no automatic petrol pumps.
Useful guides and maps
Michelin: National Map Austria
Michelin: Motoring Atlas Europe
- Still current at:
- 9th Dec 2016
- Updated at:
- 1st Dec 2016
- Latest update:
- Latest update: Summary - there may be increased security in place over the Christmas and New Year period, including at Christmas markets and other major events that might attract large crowds; you should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities
Information and advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe, following the result of the EU referendum.
Immigration controls may temporarily be in place at some road and rail border crossing points with Germany, Hungary, and Slovenia. You should carry your passport with you when crossing the border into, or from Austria, monitor local media and check with your transport provider or the Austrian Railways (OBB) website for updates.
There are complex driving laws in Austria, especially for caravan and motor-home owners. See Road travel
There is a danger of avalanches in some areas. Even during summer time this danger still exists for snow covered areas. See Skiing
Around 774,000 British nationals visit Austria each year. Most visits are trouble-free.
You are advised not to carry your passport around with you. Leave it in your hotel safe and carry a photocopy of your passport instead. See Local laws and customs
There is a general threat from terrorism. There may be increased security in place over the Christmas and New Year period, including at Christmas markets and other major events that might attract large crowds. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. See Terrorism
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Make sure this covers any winter/mountain activities you plan to undertake.
If you need to contact the emergency services in Austria call 112.
British Embassy in Vienna
Office: British Embassy Vienna
Street Address: Jauresgasse 12
ZIP Code: 1030
British Consulate in Salzburg
Office: British Consulate Salzburg
Street Address: Alter Markt 4
ZIP Code: 5020
Telephone: (43-662) 848 133
Fax: (43-662) 845 563
British Consulate in Innsbruck
Office: British Consulate Innsbruck
Street Address: Kaiserj?gerstrabe 1/Top B9
ZIP Code: A-6020
Telephone: (43-512) 588 320
Fax: (43-512) 579 973, 8
British Consulate in Graz
Office: British Consulate Graz
Street Address: Schmiedgasse 12
ZIP Code: 8010
Telephone: (43-316) 826 105
Fax: (43-316) 821 616, 45
British Consulate in Lauterach/Bregenz
Office: British Consulate Lauterach/Bregenz
Street Address: Bundesstrasse 110
ZIP Code: A-6923
Telephone: (+43-5574) 78586
Fax: (+43-5574) 70928