Watch out for the vignette - penalty & replacement toll looms!

Errors in affixing the sticker or using toll roads without a valid e-vignette can lead to a fine and a high "substitute toll"...

by Florian König, - 08 August 2023

For all travellers who have recently been on the road in Austria with their vehicle and who have used a so-called adhesive vignette for the payment of the vignette obligation but have perhaps not attached it correctly according to the specifications, the excursion could become considerably more expensive in retrospect due to a vignette penalty...


Because, what many people don't know, if you don't affix the vignette for Austria to the inside of the windscreen correctly according to the instructions, e.g. if you mount it in the wrong place, don't remove it completely from the backing film or just buy it and keep it in the glove compartment, you are using the motorways and motorways in Austria "improperly", which will be punished by a fine or a vignette penalty.

As a result, all licence plates determined during the automatic checks by means of a holder query, which are now exchanged smoothly with Germany and Italy, receive mail from the Austrian ASFiNAG with a 120 euro "substitute toll" quasi a vignette penalty.

For comparison: in the first half of 2023, almost 165,000 fines were already sent out with demands for a replacement toll for Austria; in 2022 as a whole, the number of subsequent demands was 250,000 and in 2021 165,000.

This increased volume of fines for substitute tolls in Austria is meanwhile also increasingly occupying lawyers, who are checking the chances of a possible appeal against the vignette fine and see good chances of a successful appeal at least if the vignette is attached to the windscreen, which then only results in a - free of charge - warning.

In addition to the problems with adhesive vignettes, it should also be noted that in most cases digital vignettes are only valid after a certain waiting period due to the right of withdrawal for online purchases and are not valid immediately. Anyone who drives in Austria with their registered number plate before it is valid will also be driving illegally and will receive a vignette fine.

Our recommendation: Find out on about the special features of all stretches of road in your country of travel that are subject to vignettes and buy your toll sticker, not only for Austria  but also for SwitzerlandSlovenia  and the Czech Republic , among others, without waiting time and without the risk of a vignette penalty!

Photo credits: Headerimage © Ingo Bartussek / & Image with info sign @ DWX / & Image motorway © mojolo /