Car rental Vienna
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Why rent a car in Vienna?
Vienna is a great place to visit by car. With a rental car you’ll have the freedom to visit its different neighborhoods, travel to nearby nature areas, and even visit other cities and regions that are just a short drive away.
Top ways to enter Vienna
- Vienna Airport: Located just southeast of the city, Vienna Airport is by far the busiest airport in Austria as it serves more than 27 million passengers every year.
- Graz Airport: Serving the capital city of Styria Region and especially active during the summer months, Graz Airport is only about two hours drive south of Vienna.
- Bratislava Airport: Located in the neighboring Slovakia, Bratislava Airport is much smaller than its Viennese counterpart, but is still served by a number of airlines, including low-cost carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air. If you plan to rent a car in Bratislava and then drive to Vienna (or vice versa), you’ll have to cross the national border between Slovakia and Austria, so first make sure if your car rental provider permits it.
- Salzburg Airport: Located on the border with Germany in beautiful Salzburg, a city that is known for its architecture and winter sports opportunities, Salzburg Airport is only about three hours drive west of Vienna.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Vienna by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Vienna Hauptbahnhof Railway Station and Vienna West Railway Station
Useful city facts
- Vienna enjoys wet and warm summers, with temperature sometimes exceeding even 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are dry and cold, with temperature sometimes dropping below 0 °C (32 °F).
- Home to nearly 1.9 million inhabitants (and another 700 thousand in its wider metropolitan area), Vienna is the largest city in Austria and the third largest German-speaking city in the world.
Top destinations and activities
- Spanish Riding School. Located in the imperial Hofburg Palace and nearly 500 years old, the Lipizzan Horses and the riders of Spanish Riding School still entertains travelers with impressive shows of classical dressage.
- The Museum of Natural History. Focusing on not just Austria, but indeed the whole world, this is one of the unique museums of its kind in Europe, featuring countless impressive exhibitions and artefacts like the world’s largest fossilized spider, a number of meteorites, and a skeleton of the gigantic Diplodocus dinosaur.
- Naschmarkt. An open-air market first established in the 16th century, Naschmarkt is a place to try and buy a delicious Austrian wine, a cheese made by local farmers, a honey from the countryside, or a delicious food made by people from one of the ethnic diasporas that call Vienna their home.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130 km/h (80mph) on highways, 110 km/h on main highways, 100 km/h (62 pmh) on country roads, and 50 km/h (31mph) inside populated areas.
- During winter some smaller high altitude roads and passes are blocked by snow. It is a good idea to have snow chains in your car. Ask your car rental car provider about it.
- During year’s warmest months, July and August, it is not uncommon to experience traffic jams on national highways, especially during the weekends, as this is when most Austrians go on vacation.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced and 0.01% for novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide licence ban, or even imprisonment.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
To travel on many motorways and other roads in Austria, you need to purchase a special highway vignette or toll sticker. Austrian highway vignette can be purchased for three pre-limited periods of time - 10 days, two months, or one year. As a visitor to the country, you’ll most likely choose the first option.
You can buy the Austrian highway vignette in many of the gas stations and stores that are located along highways in Austria. If you’re arriving in Austria by car from another country, make sure to purchase the Austrian highway vignette on the border, otherwise you’ll have to pay a fine. Once purchased, it is important to place the vignette inside your vehicle’s windshield.
Many rental cars in Austria will already come equipped with the highway vignette. The price of the vignette will be included in the full rental price. To find out more, do get in touch with your car rental provider in advance.
In addition to the required purchase of highway vignette, there are specifically designated toll roads in Austria, many of them tunnels and alpine passes. Usually you’ll pass through a toll gate before entering the road where you’ll have to pay the toll fee. The payment can usually be made either by cash or a credit card. The exact fee will depend on the specific road. Find out more about the toll roads and the fees of using them in Austria on the European toll road website and on the Austrian toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Baden bei Wien. Just half an hour’s drive from the downtown, the small town of Baden-by-Vienna is known for beautiful architecture in it and for the forested highlands and hot springs that surround it, making it a great and relaxing place to spend a day away from the hectic tempo of the big city.
- Sopron. Located just across the border in neighboring Hungary, a bit over one hour’s drive from Vienna, Sopron is a wine-making center and a place of many interesting buildings, from the Tarodi Castle and the Fire Watch Tower on an ancient Roman wall to even the Goat Church. If you’d like to go from Vienna to Sopron by car, you’ll have to cross a national border, so first make sure with your car rental provider if they permit it.
- Eisenstadt. The capital of Burgenland, one of the nine states that make up Austria, Eisenstadt was once home of aristocratic Esterházy family, and the city’s historical legacy still shows in beautiful castles with wine cellars, gothic cathedrals, and even a Jewish quarter that still houses a synagogue. Eisenstadt is less than one hour’s drive south of Vienna.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Austria is the Skoda Fabia, although travelers also love the Opel Astra and the Dacia Sandero. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and intermediate.
- Salzburg. Mozart’s birthplace is famous for its distinctive baroque architecture that is best observed in Altstadt or old city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its different museums, and for the salt mines that give the city its name.
- Bratislava. Located on Danube just an hour’s drive from Vienna, Slovakia’s capital is known both for its impressive castles and churches and for its burgeoning arts and culture scene. If you’d like to go from Vienna to Bratislava, you’ll have to cross a national border, so first make sure with your car rental provider if they permit it.
- Prague. Many travelers prefer Prague over the famous cities of Western Europe, and with some merit. The city tells fascinating stories on every step of the way, whether you’re visiting the Astronomical Clock, the surreal Dancing House, or one of its gothic palace. The capital of Czech Republic is about 300 km (185 mi) from Vienna. If you’d like to go from Vienna to Prague, you’ll have to cross a national border, so first make sure with your car rental provider if they permit it.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are the tricks you can try to get a good car rental deal in Vienna:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Vienna is the cheapest in October when renting a car is a whopping 65% cheaper than the yearly average.
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Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Vienna?
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What's the most popular month to rent a car in Vienna?
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