by Florian König, mautwelt.de - June 28th 2023
When it comes to using the motorways and motorways in Austria, vignettes are an unavoidable topic. They allow vehicles with a total weight of up to 3.5 tonnes to travel legally and smoothly on Austrian roads.
For vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, there is a separate toll system, where either a time-based toll or a route-based toll must be paid, e.g. via tollbox from our partner maut1.de.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the different vignette options to help you decide which is best for your travel needs.
Which vignettes are available in Austria?
In Austria, there are different variants of vignettes that are obligatory for the use of motorways and motorways. The classic motorway vignette is available in the form of an adhesive label and must be attached to the windscreen in a clearly visible position.
After expiry, however, they can restrict visibility and have to be removed from the windscreen by scraping them off, which takes a certain amount of time.
Another, but above all more convenient option is the digital e-vignette, which can simply be purchased online and registered on the respective number plate.
This variant is also particularly practical for rental cars, as it is not tied to a specific windscreen like the classic stick-on vignette.
The vignette for Austria, also known colloquially as "Pickerl", is available in three different versions: as a 10-day vignette, a 2-month vignette and an annual vignette.
It is advisable to consider more carefully which of the vignette models mentioned above best suits your needs before setting off on a journey through Austria. If you are caught without a valid vignette, you will be subject to heavy fines.
In addition, you should make sure that the vignette has been properly affixed to the vehicle or registered online in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
NEW FROM 2024: the one-day vignette
From 2024 onwards, there will also be a 1-day vignette in Austria, something that many people travelling through Austria have wanted for a long time.
Due to the amendment of the Federal Road Toll Act in Austria of 20.09.2023, the prices of the vignettes will be calculated as a percentage of the annual vignette from 2024 onwards. The one-day vignette will cost 9% (= 8.60 euros), the 10-day vignette 12 percent (= 11.50 euros) and the 2-month vignette 30 percent (= 28.90 euros) of the annual vignette, which will continue to cost 96.40 euros.
With the purchase of a 1-day vignette for Austria, especially occasional travellers who only travel in Austria very occasionally, e.g. for a day trip, can save a small amount of vignette costs in comparison to a 10-day vignette, or transients who do not want to travel in Austria more than once within 10 days in comparison to several 10-day vignettes.
It remains to be seen how the new one-day vignette will be accepted by travellers from January 2024, as well as whether the price intervals between the one-day vignette and the 10-day vignette will change to provide an incentive to buy. We will keep you informed.
For short-stay travellers: the 10-day vignette
The 10-day vignette for Austria is ideal for travellers who are only in the country for a short time, are planning a city visit or want to travel further through to Italy. It is valid for ten consecutive days from the punched date of the sticker or from online purchase. For example, the 10-day vignette is valid from 10 May to 19 May.
The 10-day vignette for Austria is ideal for you if you are only planning a one-off or extended weekend trip or a short holiday with just a few days in the country. A 10-day vignette gives you access to Austria's motorways and motorways without having to worry about additional charges or possible controls.
For longer travellers: the 2-month vignette
If you are planning a longer stay in Austria or want to travel to Austria more often within a period of 2 months (e.g. for skiing during the winter season or for hiking in the mountains of Austria during the summer season), the 2-month vignette best suits your requirements. It entitles you to use toll roads for a period of two months from a date you specify yourself.
This vignette is of course also perfect for travellers who want to spend longer holidays in Austria or for business travellers who (have to) travel to Austria regularly. With a 2-month vignette, you can use all Austrian motorways stress-free and save yourself the trouble of regularly purchasing new vignettes again.
Deadline for purchasing the Austrian annual toll sticker during the year: 1 August
You would like to travel to or through Austria in summer or autumn for excursions and holidays and are considering whether you should still buy the current annual toll sticker?
In this case, 1 August is the decisive calculation date, because from this date onwards, the purchase of short-term vignettes such as the 10-day vignette or the 2-month vignette is cheaper than the purchase of an annual vignette for the rest of the year.
Why? The validity of the annual vignette for the following year already starts in Austria on 1 December of the previous year, so that for 2023, for example, you only have to bridge the months of August, September, October and November with two 2-month vignettes at a combined price of 58 euros and can use the annual vignette for 2024 already from 1 December 2023. This saves you over 38 euros compared to the annual vignette!
Please note: Normally, you have to wait up to 18 days until the vignettes are valid, but if you order on mautwelt.de, you can use the digital vignettes immediately for your journeys to and through Austria!
As you can see, choosing the right vignette for Austria depends on your individual travel plans and needs. If you are only planning a short trip once a year or are just passing through, the 10-day vignette for Austria is the best option.
For a longer stay of up to two months or several short stays in the same period, the 2-month vignette for Austria is recommended.
If you will be travelling in Austria again and again at regular intervals or, for example, want to travel through to Italy several times for holiday weeks, the cheapest and most convenient solution is to buy the annual vignette for Austria online or at a sales outlet.
Please note that the toll sticker obligation in Austria is strictly enforced and monitored both automatically by camera systems on the motorways and randomly by inspectors of the Austrian toll operator ASFiNAG.