Germany and Austria - Autobahn

Old Aug 7th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 78
Germany and Austria - Autobahn

Hi all!

I will be renting a car in Munich this fall and driving on both the German and Austrian Autobahn. I understand that Austria requires a sticker for Autobahn travel. The website indicated that it could be purchased at gas stations.

I have several questions!

I don't need one for Germany do I?
For the Austrian sticker, do I have to wait until I get into Austria to purchase the sticker or can I purchase it in Germany when I get my rent a car? If I can purchase it in Germany, where can I purchase the sticker? What is the cost?

I would ask the rent a car place but I haven't picked a car or company yet!

I have rented cars several times before and had never heard about the sticker nor did my rental company ensure or ask for an international drivers permit.


rowdytxgirl is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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We rented a car in Germany this spring and traveled in and out of Austria. You don't need a sticker for travel in Germany. We bought our sticker for Austria at a gas station within meters of crossing into Austria--the cost was $10 for a weekly pass that we stuck in the front windshield. And, we were also asked to show our IDP.

Have fun!
fourfortravel is online now  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 10:22 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,468
Austria and many other countries require a highway use sticker . This is known as a Vignette in Austria. Germany does not currently have such system.
Curently one can be purchsed for 7,70 euro for a 10 day period.
This is needed for all autobahn driving and also on some other major highways.
These are identified by the Prefix A - example A-1 or autobahn #1 and many highways with prefix S.

Minor roadways do not require this sticker, but you are best served to have one.
They can be purchased at many gas stations, rest areas as you near to the border. Large signs saying " Vignette" may be seen sometimes before these stations. Very easy to access them directly from the autobahn.
If you miss them and get to the border on the autobahn between Munich and Salzburg, they can be purchased there too.
It is unlikely that your rental office will have them but you can ask.

This system has been in Austria for some years . The funds are used to build and maintain the roadways.
Trucks also pay a fee for road useage.

The rental firm probably does not care whether you have an international drivers permit.

Hopefully you do not need the police for anything while on the road in Austria.
But,per law in Austria, the permit is required and the police if you have the unfortunate occasion to see them , may ask for this. This just a translation of your own drivers license.

Note that fuel is generally more expensive in Germany than in Austria. Fill your tank accordingly.
molker is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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No you don't need one in Germany, yes you do in Austria. You can get them in Germany at service areas just before the border, as well as fuel stations etc in Austria. Shops that sell them have a red and white logo. You can buy them for just 10 days or longer. If you have a problem sleeping tonight, look at: Or Google Austria motorway vignette.

But don't worry, it's very easy. But do get one - the Austrian cops are very hot on visitors without - easy money for them.
stfc is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
You may also need an Umweltplakette for certain German cities.
I don't know if German hire cars have these as standard.
hetismij is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Hi rtg,

In addition to the good advice above:
Definitely get the vignette for Austria. Sometimes (especially near the border) a two-lane country road can suddenly become a 4-lane divided highway with a police car sitting on the side of the road.

You might not have to use the IDP, but you could be fined a lot if you don't have one. See

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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PS, When driving on the fast roads be especially careful when shifting from the slow to the fast lane. Some of the larger, faster cars go very fast.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Thanks everybody for the info!

I will get the vignette.

What is a Umweltplakette? We plan to pick the car up at the Hauptbahnhof in Munich and drive down to Oberammergau, tour the region for a week down there and then head over to Salzburg.

We were driving from Salzburg to Oberammergau during my last trip and we had a tiny 4 cylinder that was so feeble you had to lean forward to help the car go up a hill. We were on the Autobahn and I just drove as slow as most of the people in the right hand lane so I wouldn't get killed in the left hand lane when passing! A Porche and Merc were racing each other and when they blew by us, it sounded like a race car at a race track!! Zoom,, zoom, zoom!

Thanks for the great responses. Yall have been very helpful!
rowdytxgirl is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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It's likely that a German rental car will already have this sticker - look out for a green sticker on the front windscreen.
Alec is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,179
No worries, if you rent in Munich, the car will have the sticker (P.S. Don't worry if it should be yellow instead of green.. has no meaning yet)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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