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    Car hire in Austria - The Ultimate Alpine Adventure

    Car hire in Austria

    With all its scenic splendour and unparalleled cultural heritage, Austria is without doubt one of the world's most alluring motoring destinations. Stretching just 440 miles across the centre of the continent between the the great Hungarian plains in the east to the ever-peaceful shores of Lake Constance to the west, the country today is renowned for its outstanding hospitality with tourism a solid mainstay of its thriving economy, a fact reflected by its magnificent network of motorways and other first-rate transport facilities.

    A car hire in Austria is by far the best way to fully appreciate a destination blessed with an abundance of beckoning back-roads penetrating the country's lush interior to provide privileged access to some of the most interesting off-the-beaten-track destinations in the whole of Europe. No less than two-thirds of the country is mountainous, with glorious Alpine scenery a major attraction for the many visitors driving for hours on long winding roadways that carve a peaceful passage through deep valleys and around picturesque lakes all over the country. And for the drive of a lifetime, take a trip on Europe's longest and most picturesque Alpine highway - the world-famous Grossglockner Road - to feast your eyes on the some of the most stunning vistas you'll ever hope to see, rising to heights of over 8,000 feet in some places!

    Most Austrian adventures start in the capital, Vienna, once the hub of a great empire and today a concentrated cornucopia of culture. Steeped in history, the city's landmarks are a rich testament to the country's former power, most notably the Hofburg which began life as a small fortress in 1275 before metamorphosing into a vast palace to become the seat of Austrian imperialism for over six centuries. And if you only have time to visit one of Vienna's many tourist attractions, then make sure it's the Kunsthirstoriches Museum, home to one of the world's greatest art collections, much of which was built up by the Austrian emperors (the Habsburgs) themselves.

    For over a millennium the country has been at the centre of European history and culture, with its other main cities (namely Salzburg, Graz and Innsbruck) also standing tall as rich legacies of Austria's great and glorious past. Each is as aesthetically pleasing as anywhere on earth with quite a few surprises in store for visitors in the form of cutting-edge architecture, innovative contemporary art and modern, mouth-watering cuisine. And the fact that Austria shares its borders with several other equally fascinating countries - Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic - means that road-trippers have plenty of options to cross the border and embark on an exciting two-destination itinerary.

    Founded in 1954, Auto Europe is one of the world’s best-established car hire brokers with over 24,000 pick-up and drop-off locations available in more than 180 destinations in all four continents. By collaborating with all the top car hire suppliers, we are able to offer the widest choice of vehicles at the cheapest rates in the market, guaranteed. Our reservations team provides the best customer service in the business and should you have any questions or require assistance of any kind, please don't hesitate to call them seven days a week on +44 123 3225 114. They are waiting for your call!

    For more information on renting a vehicle in Austria, click on the car hire related topics listed below:

    Our Car Hire Suppliers Car Hire FAQs Vehicle Options

    Where to Pick up a Car Hire in Austria

    Being such a popular tourist destination, it's no surprise to find that Auto Europe has all the main towns, cities and airports very well covered with plenty of options available for drivers planning to take to the road with a low-cost car rental in Austria.

    Along with the capital, Vienna (one of the world's most sought-after cities), visitors have the chance to get well off the beaten track by basing themselves at the other end of the country in Innsbruck, for example, or due south in the charming city of Klagenfurt in close proximity to the Slovenian border, Linz near the German border or Graz, Austria's increasingly-popular second city.

    Compare Car Hire Rates at the Most Popular Airports and Railway Stations in Austria

    • Salzburg Railway Station
    • Vienna Hauptbahnhof Station
    • Vienna Westbahnhof Station
    • Innsbruck Railway Station

    Book with the Best Car Hire Suppliers in Austria

    Auto Europe's reputation as a leading car hire broker is bolstered by the quality of the suppliers we work with, including large worldwide providers such as Europcar, Hertz, Avis and Sixt and the very best local rental companies like Buchbinder.

    Collaborating with the most reliable suppliers enables us to guarantee the best prices in the market, which means that our millions of regular customers will not find a better deal for their car hire in Austria anywhere else on the Internet.

    Call our reservation specialists today if you have any doubts regarding which supplier to choose and where to pick up and/or drop off your vehicle. They can be contacted seven days a week on +44 123 3225 114 or, if you prefer, you can drop them an e-mail anytime to reservations@autoeurope.co.uk and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Buchbinder - Car Hire Information Global - Car Hire Information Europcar - Car Hire Information
    Hertz - Car Hire Information Avis - Car Hire Information Sixt - Car Hire Information

    When choosing our partners, the top priority has always been to make sure that their company standards for service and quality are as high as Auto Europe's, which means that our customers' rental experiences will be as seamless and enjoyable as when they are driving their own vehicles back home.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Austria

    Contact UsThe idea of our FAQs section is to provide you with a list of the most popular questions that arise when people are searching for the best car hire deals in Austria. Keep scrolling down to find all the information you need on a wide range of subjects like age restrictions, cross-border travel and all the local driving tips such as paying motorway tolls, choosing the best coverage and adding another driver to help out on that long trip across the mountains on Austria's world-famous Grossglockner Road.

    To find the info you're looking for, just click on the link and you'll be automatically taken to the relevant section.


    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Austria?

    You must be at least 19 years of age to be eligible to rent a car in Austria, although the car hire age requirements can vary depending on the car category and the local supplier's own rules and regulations.

    Please note that you must have held your licence for at least a year prior to picking up your vehicle. It's also worth bearing in mind that drivers under the age of 25 are often subject to an additional fee known as a Young Driver Surcharge, which can substantially increase the daily rate. Young drivers also need to remember to enter their correct age when making a booking through the Auto Europe website in order for us to properly inform them of any age restrictions and/or additional charges that might affect their booking.

    It’s easy to check how much this locally-paid fee is going to be when making a search in the Auto Europe booking engine. Once you have selected your dates and destination, just click on the Rate Details button under the car info to access the Driver Information section where the amount of the Young Driver Surcharge is clearly stated. This information is also included in the booking voucher's terms and conditions sent by e-mail once the reservation has been confirmed. Young people renting their first car can consult our blog post on this subject for lots of advice and useful tips on hiring a car for the very first time.

     

    Can I pick up my car rental in Austria in one place and drop it off in another?

    Yes. Drivers interested in booking a one-way car hire in Austria can pick up their vehicle in one place and drop it off somewhere else, subject to an additional fee and with certain restrictions depending on the duration. People planning to cross the border between Austria and one of its neighbouring countries (Germany, for instance) will also be subject to an additional fee payable directly to the supplier at the time of picking up the vehicle.

    The amount of the one-way fee (excluding VAT) clearly appears in the booking engine search results just below the car rental rate. The same information is stated in the booking voucher’s terms and conditions after the reservation has been confirmed. Please note that such fees are directly payable to the car hire supplier (not to Auto Europe).

    As mentioned, Auto Europe does not receive any part of the one-way fee, although we feel that it is important to inform our clients of all the fees relating to their booking in order to help them make the best choice when booking a car rental in Austria. Each of the different suppliers determine their own fees independently of one another and because of this the amount can vary greatly for the same dates and pick-up/drop-off locations. It’s possible that one company might charge less than another, while others may not permit the journey at all because each supplier runs a separate operation with an independent range of options.

    Any travel plans between Austria and its neighbouring countries are strictly on a request-only basis subject to approval by the local supplier. Some car hire providers do allow travel outside of Austria for an additional fee, although the locations will be at the car hire company’s discretion.

    Due to certain regulations relating to car hire coverage, some restrictions might also apply to specific luxury car categories and travel to particular countries. If you are planning to drive in Eastern Europe, please be aware that permission to travel to those countries is decided by the suppliers themselves and not by Auto Europe. We can, however, check with the supplier on your behalf if any fees and/or travel restrictions will apply to you whilst driving in that part of Europe.

    You can find out whether or not any travel restrictions or additional fees apply to your booking when making a search in the Auto Europe booking engine. First select your dates and destination, and after choosing your preferred car and supplier you’ll find all the necessary info by clicking the Rate Details -> Inclusive Package -> General Terms buttons. This info is also included in the booking voucher sent to clients by e-mail once the reservation has been confirmed.

     

    Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Austria?

    Yes. Drivers booking a car rental in Austria are required to present a valid credit card at the time of picking up their vehicle. The reason for this is that the credit card is required as a security deposit and the amount will be held by the rental car company and fully refunded after the vehicle has been returned in pristine condition.

    For more info, check out our blog post explaining six of the most important things to know about credit cards and deposits to help get you on the right road.

    This is important information because it often comes as a surprise to drivers when they try to pay for their car hire with a debit card and it’s refused, so make sure you always travel with a valid credit card (and a high enough credit limit) so that you can cater for all eventualities whilst on the road in Austria. It’s also worth remembering that when booking a premium or luxury category car, the supplier may request an additional credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Diners or American Express) in the name of the main driver.

    You can easily check which card and type of card will be accepted when searching for a suitable vehicle in the Auto Europe booking engine. Just click on the Rate Details button after selecting your preferred car and supplier for access to the Supplier Payment Policy Information where you’ll find all the relevant credit card instructions.

    Please note that you can use either a debit or credit card to book your car rental in Austria online with Auto Europe, although you’ll still need to present a credit card to the car hire supplier in the name of the main driver to actually pick up the vehicle when you arrive at your destination. Check out our blog post on this subject, which covers everything you need to know about credit cards and deposits when hiring a car with Auto Europe.

     

    What are the most important driving rules in Austria?

    In Austria, traffic moves along on the right-hand side of the road and overtaking is done on the left, like most of the other countries in Europe. Speed limits depend on the kind of road you are driving on: for motorways it’s 130 kph, country roads (100 kph) and urban centres (50 kph). Please note that on some roads the speed limit is reduced during the hours of darkness, from 10pm to 5am.

    The permissible blood alcohol content allowed when driving in Austria is 0.05%, and please note it is mandatory for drivers and all the passengers to wear seatbelts. The use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited (with the exception of hands-free systems) and children are only allowed to sit in the front seat of the vehicle if they are aged 12 years or over.

    Never leave the car rental station without checking whether a high-visibility vest and triangle is stored in the boot, because it’s illegal to drive in Austria without them. You’ll also need to carry a valid UK driver's licence, car registration documents and insurance details with you at all times because you never know when the police will stop you and ask to see them.

    Autobahns are mostly marked with an ‘A’ except those that connect with Austria’s neighbouring countries, which are marked with an ‘E’ and only accessible with a vignette (check with your car hire supplier for details on how to acquire one). Main roads in Austria are marked with a ‘B’ (for Bundesstrasse), while country routes designed for leisure (Landstrasse) are marked with an ‘L’.

    Petrol prices in Austria tend to remain constant across the entire country, with self-service stations often proving to be a little bit cheaper. Please note that petrol stations in the more remote mountain areas sometimes close on Sundays, so make sure you fill up in towns and cities whenever possible, but generally they are open from 8am to 8pm, with some in Vienna and other large cities staying open 24/7.

    If you are planning to drive in Austria between 1 November and 15 April, then you need to make sure your car is suitably equipped for wintry conditions, which means the vehicle must be fitted with winter tyres whether there is snow on the roads or not. Snow chains are also required in hazardous conditions.

    In case of an emergency, accident or breakdown, drivers must immediately report the incident to the local police. The two national automobile associations, the ÖAMTC and ARBÖ, operate a 24-hour emergency breakdown service which is also available to non-members for a fee. The most important emergency numbers in Austria (without the area code) are 112 (the main European number), 122 (fire brigade), 133 (police), 144 (ambulance), 141 (doctor-on-call), 140 (mountain rescue), 120 (ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service) and 123 (ARBÖ emergency breakdown service).

     

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in Austria?

    Yes. Toll stickers (vignettes) are required on all vehicles using Austria’s 1,400-mile motorway network, including rental cars. These stickers have a validity of 10 days, 2 months or 1 year and are available from over 6,000 outlets in Austria, including petrol stations, border posts and the two main automobile associations in Austria, the ÖAMTC and ARBÖ.

    The vignette must be clearly displayed in the vehicle’s windscreen and fines are payable for drivers failing to do this. A 10-day vignette costs around €10 or approximately €30 for a two-month vignette and some car hire companies offer prepaid toll options so make sure you check at the time of collection or contact us at Auto Europe for more details. Digital vignettes are also available and can be downloaded from the Austrian motorways website at www.asfinag.at/en/.

     

    What kind of insurance do I need for my car hire in Austria?

    Auto Europe’s online car hire rates always include the minimum amount of required liability insurance and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) either with or without excess depending on the supplier. Drivers should note that CDW never covers damage to tyres, glass, wing mirrors, undercarriage, the inside of the car, roof, engine, locks and keys should they get lost. Our rates also include Theft Protection (TP) either with or without excess depending on the car rental company.

    Drivers looking for total peace of mind are advised to consider purchasing Auto Europe’s Full Protection product for an additional fee, which covers damage to glass, wheels, roof, undercarriage, towing costs (in the event of a breakdown), loss of car keys, misfuelling and any admin fees incurred. The price of this cover may vary depending on the location, rental duration, car category and supplier.

    All the necessary information about car hire coverage is clearly stated on the Auto Europe website and accessible by clicking Rate Details -> Additional information in the car hire search results, where you will find the coverage amount of the CDW deductible, theft insurance deductible and liability insurance, all of which can also be found in the terms and conditions provided when either making an enquiry or confirming a booking.

    Please note that some car hire companies try to sell their own coverage at the time of pick-up, including (but not restricted) to personal accident insurance (PAI), personal effects coverage (PEC), super CDW, Seguro Relax Insurance and road assistance, etc. Drivers buying this coverage need to be aware that Auto Europe cannot refund the cost of any locally-purchased insurance, even if it is deemed to be an unnecessary purchase after the vehicle has been returned.

    To find out more, please read our Complete Guide to Car Hire Coverage blog-post specially written to prepare you for your trip to Austria and elsewhere around the world.

     

    Can I use my UK licence to drive my rental in Austria?

    Yes, if it is valid and full, you can use your national driver's licence to rent a car in Austria. In the event of the driving licence not being entirely written in the Roman alphabet, then an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required for people planning to drive in Austria, which must also be presented along with the regular national driving licence.

    Please note that since 8 June 2015, clients with a UK licence have sometimes been requested by the rental company to provide a DVLA code to check a driver's licence record, along with a printed copy of the licence record which can be downloaded from the DVLA website 21 days prior to the start of the rental. For more advice, please visit the UK government's Austria Travel Advice web-page.

     

    Can I add an additional driver to my rental car in Austria?

    Yes, it is possible to add extra drivers when hiring a car in Austria with Auto Europe. Some suppliers include the fees for additional drivers in their rates, while others will charge you an additional daily fee when you arrive to pick up the vehicle, the amount of which is established by the provider.

    All additional drivers will need to be fully registered in the rental agreement prior to picking up the car, plus they will need to present the same documents as the main driver at the time of pick-up, namely their driving licence (with International Driving Permit, where required) and their passport.

    Visitors to our site can take advantage of our free additional driver offers, along with a wide range of other promotions available on the Auto Europe website.

    The additional driver fee is clearly stated in the car hire information when making a search in the Auto Europe booking engine. To find it, just click on the Rate Details button followed by the Driver Information button where you will find the daily rate. It is also included in the car rental voucher sent by e-mail once the reservation has been confirmed.

    We cannot overstress how important it is for friends and family members being properly signed up and included in the rental contract before hitting the road in Austria. The fact is that if anyone unauthorised to drive the vehicle is involved in an accident, they will be automatically excluded from all the insurance coverage, thus making them liable for the total amount of damage caused in the event of a collision or theft. So please make sure all the drivers are properly authorised prior to leaving the rental company’s premises.

     

    Do I need extra equipment for my car hire in Austria during winter?

    Yes. Austria is a very popular winter sports destination, which means that large numbers of tourists use the roads even during the colder season. Due to the icy and sometimes snow-covered roads at that time of year, it’s even more important that you drive carefully and take all the necessary precautions when travelling around Austria.

    The first thing to remember is that winter tyres are mandatory in Austria from 1 November to 15 April, so please check our dedicated section to learn all about the local winter tyres regulations prior to your trip.

    Besides winter tyres, other types of winter driving equipment such as snow chains are also required in Austria when the roads are icy or covered in snow.

    The good news is that Auto Europe includes free winter tyres in its online rates for people booking a car hire in Austria with certain suppliers during the winter season. Besides added peace of mind, this will save you time and money when you arrive at your destination to pick up your vehicle.


    Additional Vehicle Rental Options in Austria

    Auto Europe has the best deals and widest range of vehicles for a successful motoring holiday in Austria. For city sightseeing in Vienna, Salzburg and the country's many other historic towns and cities, a small, cheap-to-run car from our Mini and Economy categories are the perfect choice. For an exhilarating drive on Austria's famous Grossglockner High Alpine Road, there's nothing better than one of the high-performance vehicles from our Luxury or Convertible categories, or perhaps a sturdy SUV is preferable for that extra level of protection.

    To help you make the right choice, please consult our Austria Fleet Guide for suggestions and details of all the features and specifications for each respective car hire category.

    Luxury Car Hire Austria Hire a Van in Austria Campervan Rentals in Austria

    Luxury Car Hire Austria - One of the attractions you won't want to miss is Melk Abbey, a stunning 11th-century church perched high on a hill overlooking the River Danube in north-east Austria. It's easily accessible from Vienna and for a trip like that we suggest one of our ultra-comfortable Luxury-category cars to get you there in grand style.

    Van Hire Austria - Friends and family will have a lot of fun visiting the parts of Austria used for the filming of The Sound of Music, including the natural freshness and purity of the alpine meadows surrounding the beautiful city of Salzburg. To do this, it's best to rent a modern multi-seat vehicle from our Van category to enjoy the most popular film settings.

    Campervan hire Austria - A trip around Austria in a motorhome is a dream that can easily come true with Auto Europe thanks to the wide selection of vehicles we have available for hire. Enjoy Austria's spectacular mountainscapes in your very own hotel room on wheels for a low-cost trip of a lifetime in one of the world's most scenic countries.


    Useful links

    Travel Inspiration and Information for Your Trip to Austria

    Winter Equipment Guide