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To obtain a licence to drive in Austria, you must be a minimum of 17 years old and have a family member or friend who has been driving for at least seven years to accompany you as a supervisor. New drivers usually take educational lessons before they pass a written theory test and a series of driving tests and courses. The process is strict, and all tests are conducted in German.

Austrian licence

If you already have a licence from an EU or EEA country, you are not required also to have an Austrian licence. However, you can exchange your licence for an Austrian one, which can also be used as a form of identification within Austria.

If you are from a country outside of the EU/EEA, and you wish to drive locally, you must obtain an Austrian licence within six months of arrival in the country. Depending on your home country, you may be able to exchange your licence without also taking the theory and driving tests.

To exchange your international licence for an Austrian licence, you will need to provide a range of documents:

  • Austrian request form to exchange your licence
  • Your original licence, including an official translation if the licence was not issued in German
  • Birth certificate
  • Austrian residency registration card
  • Identification photo for the new licence
  • Proof of good health for driving, issued by a doctor

International licence

If you are only in the country for a short time and wish to drive, and your licence is not issued in German, then you will need to have either an official translation of your licence into German or an international licence, also known as an International Driving Permit (IDP).

You can issue the IDP in your home country before travelling overseas by following a simple process, which requires you to show your full local licence and pay a small fee.

Car insurance and other costs

If you buy a car in Austria, you will also need to account for insurance costs. All car owners must have a third party insurance, with some drivers also purchasing comprehensive insurance, which covers their vehicle in case of an accident. Roadside assistance packages are another important thing to budget for, in the event of breakdowns. You will also need to account for registration fees when purchasing a new or secondhand vehicle.

If you purchase a car from outside Austria, the buyer is liable for an import tax and a roadworthy certificate to prove it is safe to drive.

  Good to know:

Some rules regarding driving in Austria include: Driving is done on the right side of the road; between November 1st and April 15th all drivers must keep winter tyres or snow chains in their car; and the legal limit for alcohol and driving is 0.5BAC.

 Useful links:

Driving licence information, Austrian government
OAMTC - official licence translations in German

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