Car Hire - a Guide to Driving in Austria

By: Liam G

Austria is an outstanding country, with a wealth of natural and historical beauty on offer.

With a car, you can explore its stunning landscape at leisure, without the constraints of timetables, spending as much or as little time in any spot.

Driving around the rugged mountain peaks, peaceful valleys, small towns and never-ending green forests is a truly unique experience.

There are also a number of architectural hotspots throughout Austria, most notable of which can be found in Vienna, the countries capital.

Salzkammergut has been noted as a particularly beautiful area of the country, recommended for new-comers to explore. With its gorgeous lakes, mountainous peaks, small towns and villages, ice caves and salt mines it proves an exciting adventure.

Although the beauty of Austria can be enjoyed all year round, its best to avoid driving in the colder seasons, as snow often blocks some of the higher roads of the country.

Driving laws throughout Austria are governed by EU rules and are obeyed and often strictly enforced.

The main dissimilarity to driving in the UK is of course that motorists in Austria drive on the right and overtake on the left. Headlights must also be used at all times and priority given to ascending vehicles.

When in Vienna, horns cannot be used. There are a great deals of rules that govern where you can and cannot park, the most important of which include not parking wherever you see a sign reading "Halten Verboten" and in front of any entrance.

Failure to comply with the parking rules can make you subject to heavy fines and you could have your vehicle towed.

As is the case in Germany and France it is compulsory to carry a warning triangle with you at all times, visibility vests are also required in Austria.

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