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Driving and Public Transportation

Austria - Driving and Public Transportation


Nationals of EU/EEA member countries are allowed to drive in Austria on their existing licences for an unlimited period, or can convert them to an Austrian licence without having to take a test.

Other foreign nationals can drive on their existing licences for six months from the time they take up residence in Austria. Licences from non EU/EEA countries can be converted to Austrian licences without the need to take an Austrian driving test.

To apply for an Austrian licence you will need to submit the relevant application form, your birth certificate, Austrian residence registration form, a photographic ID, two passport photos and your old driving licence. Those exchanging licences from non EU/EEA countries are also required to submit a medical report. There is a fee of EUR55.

Driving in Austria is on the right-hand side of the road, and the road laws are strictly enforced here, including the speed limits, which are 130 km/h on motorways, 100 km/h on highways, and 50 km/h in built-up areas. On-the-spot fines are commonly enforced for speeding and other driving offences. The use of seat belts in compulsory in both the front and rear seats, and the blood alcohol limit is 0.5 mg. The use of car headlights is compulsory when driving all year round, and all drivers and required to carry a warning vest. You are required by law to buy a Vignette toll pass, available at petrol stations, to travel on Austria's motorways, at a cost of EUR7,60 for 10 days, EUR22 for two months or EUR70 for one year. Austria's network of roads and motorways is of a high standard and well-maintained, although some of the mountain routes can be a little hazardous.

Austria's public transport systems are of a high standard, and the rail and bus network covers most parts of the country. However, it can be easier to travel in remote rural areas by car since public transport services may be infrequent in such areas. Some ski resorts can only be reached by car.

The Austrian Airlines group is the main domestic air carrier, which operates regular daily flights between Austria's main cities. However, given the relatively small size of the country, it is often faster to travel between cities by rail or road.

There is an extensive rail network, operated by Austrian Federal Railways (Ã-BB), which links most of Austria's main towns and cities with fast, comfortable train services. There are frequent services linking Vienna with Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt, and regular motor-rail services through the Tauern Tunnel. The rail network is supplemented by a federal bus network (Bundesbus) which serves areas more remote from the railway lines.

There are also very good public transport systems in Austria's cities and large towns, including trams, metro systems and suburban railways. Cycling is also widely encouraged here, and there are separate bicycle tracks both in the cities and on the main tourist routes.


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