About Austria (AT)
Austria is a German speaking country in Central Europe, surrounded by alpine mountains. It has nine federal states, each with a unique and distinct culture.
Besides its famous architecture, Austria is also known for its castles and palaces. The capital, Vienna, is centrally located and is the ideal starting point for day trips. Thanks to its setting on the banks of the Danube, Vienna offers an abundance of beautiful scenery to explore. The picturesque Danube River flows past monasteries, grand castles, villages, and vine-draped hills, offering the visitor a glimpse of medieval times.
An hour’s drive from Vienna is the Wachau Valley of Lower Austria with its charming hamlets and ancient fortresses. A bit further away are Salzburg and Innsbruck — both cities with unique identities. The area also boasts astounding views from atop Innsbruck's majestic Nordkette mountain range.
Driving in Austria is uncomplicated and offers flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace. Roads are generally well maintained.
However, Austria is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries and for some destinations, such as alpine huts and chalets in remote regions, it most definitely will be a necessity to have your own car hire for transport. On the other hand, in some cities like Vienna and Salzburg, the Altstadt (Old City) is closed to vehicles, so here you may want to park in the outskirts and use public transport to get around.
All Austrian motorways ('Autobahn') and 'S' roads are subject to toll. Vehicles must be in possession of a Vignette (toll sticker), but if you rent a car in Austria, these will already been fixed to the vehicle.
Choosing your car
All the major international suppliers of car rental in Austria are available, including brands such as Budget, Hertz, Avis and Auto Europe. However, to ensure that you get the best cheap car rental rates in Austria, we recommend that you book online and well in advance. Our site for car hire booking in Austria makes it easy to choose from a selection of cars — whether you need a family sedan, SUV or minivan. You can also add extra benefits to your Austrian car rental, such as a GPS or child seat.
It is also important to read and understand the conditions of your car rental before signing, as contracts are not all the same.
Tips and advice
Reflective jackets must be worn if involved in a breakdown, an accident or alongside a road where stopping or parking is prohibited.
Whenever traffic congestion occurs on motorways, it is compulsory for vehicles to form an emergency corridor, regardless of whether emergency vehicles are already in the vicinity or not.
Dashboard cameras are prohibited.
Most petrol stations are open from 08:00 to 20:00 hours. In large cities some are open 24 hours a day and service stations on the motorways are generally open 24 hours a day.
In winter, from around December to March, drivers must expect snow on all Austrian roads, particularly on mountain roads at higher altitudes. Winter tires are essential. It is also compulsory to carry chains in Austria during winter and these must be used when driving in snowy conditions.
Tipping at restaurants is considered compulsory in Austria and locals generally recommended 10% of the bill.