Car rental Austria
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Why rent a car in Austria?
Austria is a great country to explore by car. With your own ride you’ll have the freedom to travel to its various regions, see historical cities and villages, visit nature areas and winter sports centers, and drive some of the highest and most scenic alpine roads in Europe.
Top ways to enter Austria
- Vienna Airport: Austria’s largest international airport and one of the 25 busiest airports in Europe, it hosts flights to and from four continents.
- Salzburg Airport: Located in the west of the country, Salzburg Airport is the main entry point to the Austrian Alps.
- Graz Airport: This international airport, located in Graz, capital of the Styria region, is the primary airport in southeast Austria.
- By land: If your rental car provider permits it, it’s possible to rent a car in a neighboring country and then drive to Austria. Some large international airports near Austria are Zurich Airport in Switzerland, Budapest Airport in Hungary, and Munich Airport in Germany.
Top cities and places to visit
- Vienna: Former home to the Habsburg dynasty, Vienna has retained all its glory—you’ll find countless cultural, architectural, and historical landmarks here.
- Salzburg: Many consider Salzburg to rival Vienna in terms of beauty. It has baroque fortresses, many museums, and breathtaking views of the Alps.
- Vorarlberg: The westernmost and smallest of the Austrian states, Vorarlberg is located entirely in the Alps and is the best place to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the mountains and to do winter sports. You’ll also find Lake Constance here.
- Linz: Capital of the Upper Austria region, Linz is home to many palaces and the impressive Danube Valley.
- Carinthia: Older than Austria itself and culturally similar to neighboring Slovenia, this province features countless lakes and ski resorts.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Austria is the Skoda Fabia, closely followed by the Opel Astra and the Dacia Sandero.
Driver licence requirements
- Austria accepts all driver licenses issued in the European Union (EU).
- If your driver license is issued by a non-EU country, for it to be considered valid you’ll need an Austrian visa. Another requirement is to have been in the EU for no more than six months at the time of the rental. If you’ve been in the EU longer, you’ll need a driver license issued by an EU country.
- If your driver license is printed in a non-Latin alphabet (Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation of your license into English or German.
- You must carry your driver license, not its copy, with you at all times. You need to have had your driver license for at least one or two years, depending on the car provider’s requirements.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.
Austria is bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Austria is a member of the European Union (EU). It’s also a member of the Schengen Area, as are all the neighboring countries. If you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need a Schengen visa to visit Austria. With a Schengen visa you can also cross the border to any of Austria’s neighbors. Some car rental providers allow you to cross national borders and even drop off your car in a different country, while others don’t. If you’d like to cross a national border during your rental period, make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking a car. Learn more about cross-border rentals in our FAQ section.
Most popular types of rental car
The type of car rented most often in Austria is an economy, but intermediate and mini are also very popular.
Top driving routes
Vienna–Budapest (243 km / 151 mi) You can travel from Vienna to Budapest, Hungary’s beautiful capital, in less than three hours, but you might want to stop along the way at Lake Neusiedl or in the cozy Hungarian city of Győr. Note that you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
Salzburg–Munich (145 km / 90 mi) Traveling between these two cities in the Alps, there are countless opportunities for scenic detours, especially around the southern coast of Lake Chiemsee. But if you decide to drive straight through, the trip takes less than two hours. Note that Munich is in Germany and you’ll have to cross a national border, so first check with your rental car provider to find out if they allow it.
Vienna–Innsbruck (517 km / 321 mi) This is a comparatively long journey—it’ll take around six hours, but you’ll see nearly all of Austria as you cross the country from west to east (or vice versa).
How can I save money on my rental car?
You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in Austria:
- Compare rates
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
Top 10 Most Popular Locations in Austria
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Austria?
What’s the average rental length in Austria?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Austria?
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Top 9 Suppliers for Austria in 2019
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