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What you need to know when driving in Austria
When driving in Austria –
- Always remember that the normal rule is to give way to the right each time you reach an uncontrolled intersection.
- Using mobile phones when driving is forbidden although a completely hands-free unit is acceptable. The speed limit on motorways is 80 mph. Heavy fines are imposed for drink driving.
- You are required to carry certain items in your vehicle such as a warning triangle and reflective jacket.
- In car radar detectors and satellite navigation systems warning the presence of speed cameras or radars are illegal whether in use or not and again the fines are on the spot and heavy.
If you are driving a motorcycle, car or motorhome up to 3.5 tonnes through Austria on their motorways or S roads you need to have a valid vignette. You can purchase one at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations. If your vehicle is close to the weight limit you should carry proof of the maximum permitted laden weight. If your registration documents don’t clearly state this, you will need to produce alternative certification, e.g. from a weighbridge.
Austrian Vignettes for 2019
|Validity||Motorcycles||Up to 3,5 tonnes||Over 3,5 tonnes|
|10 days||€5,30||€9,20||Toll (Go-Box)|
|2 months||€13,40||€26,80||Toll (Go-Box)|
Toll – GO-Box for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes
For vehicles is over 3.5 tonnes you need to hire a small device called a ‘GO-Box’. The GO-Box is an electronic device in a small plastic box that is fixed to your windscreen (with Velcro) in a place where an overhead scanner can identify it. A long instruction leaflet with a full English translation is issued with the box which is definitely worth reading fully. The GO-box is about 11x6cm and weighs 100 g. It works by communicating with the toll gantries by means of microwave technology and thus automatically ensures the correct payment of your toll. Tolls are charged according to mileage and individual tariffs are derived according to the Euro emission class.
The box pings away as you drive under the numerous gantries and into the tunnels. It also allows you to drive through various tolls with a ping without having to stop.
One ping is good, two pings are bad. If you get two pings it could mean that you have run out of credit. If you do run out of credit you can drive to the next GO-Box point of sale which will almost certainly be at the next large petrol station on the motorway.
It’s very easy to reload the box. You take it to a point of sale centre and they will place the box on a reader and tell you your required top up cost.
You can hire a GO-Box from more than 175 GO sales offices in Germany and Austria. Here is a list of all the sales offices for Vignette, GO-Box as well as track toll and digital toll road.
A GO-Box can be picked up immediately at any GO sales point. The registration fee is 5 EUR.
When you register you can choose either Pre-Pay or Post-Pay as the payment method for your GO-Box.
For Post-Pay you need an approved form of payment (Cash, Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, American Express etc.) For Pre-Pay you will be charged at least EUR 75.00.
When you call into the GO sales point you will need to provide the following documents and information:
- Your Vehicle Registration Document
- Name & Address
- Vehicle Make
- Country of registration
- Type of vehicle: bus or truck
- E-mail address for their free services on the internet and for quick information via e-mail
- EURO emissions class – If you do not have documentation of your emission class i.e. your registration document does not show it then you need to contact your vehicle manufacturer for a certificate to prove the emission class. You could also try the DVLA website
If you do not have proof with you when hiring your device you have 28 calendar days of the information being saved on the GO-Box to send in a copy. The penalty for forgetting is around €250. (Details below of how to send in the documentation).
Vehicles classed as Euro1-Euro3 do not need to provide evidence as they pay the maximum toll charge.
After registration, you receive a vehicle declaration for your license plate. Always check the data before you leave the office and get it corrected on-site if needed. You will also receive your personal identification number (PAN)
You must keep the vehicle declaration with you every time you drive through Austria.
There are spot checks and >3.5 are occasionally directed off to an area when they check the box function.
You can use your box for a trip and switch it off when you are not using it.
ASFINAG will require a copy of your vehicle registration certificate showing the EURO emission class. If your registration document doesn’t show the emission class then you will need to submit additional proof documents. These include:
- COC document (Certificate of Conformity)
- CEMT proof of compliance with the technical safety requirements for a motor vehicle
- COP document (Conformity of Production)
The documents can be sent to ASFINAG as follows:
Fax +43 50108-912913
Upload in the SelfCare portal
Scan function of the ASFINAG app “Unterwegs’
ASFINAG Maut Service GmbH
ASFINAG Service Centre / EURO emission
Classes Alpenstraße 99
EasyGo is a European partnership between Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Austria that enables you to use your On-Board Equipment (OBE) at more than 50 toll stations in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Austria as well as many ferry services within Denmark and between Denmark/Sweden and Denmark/Germany. You could opt for Easygo (or Easygo + for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes wishing to use Toll roads in Austria).
If you happen to get on the motorway without a vignette, take the first petrol station on the motorway, or first exit from the motorway and get yourself one. They are sold on all motorway petrol stations.
When you buy an Austrian vignette you must read the very small print on the label which states that it must be stuck on the windscreen (detailed instructions must be followed) otherwise the vignette is invalid and you will receive a fine of €120. These instructions are not widely advertised and they are assumed to be known by everyone. I know someone this happened to and he was still fined even though he could produce proof of purchase.