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Car Rental in Vienna: Traveling to the City of Music
Vienna is one of Western Civilization’s beating hearts of cultural activity and has been for many centuries. Whether you travel to Vienna to take in the history of the region or the exciting arts and nightlife scenes, make the most of your visit by renting a car to explore Vienna’s surroundings as well! Book you rental car today.
Most tourists visit Vienna in the warm summer months, from June to August. If you prefer to avoid the crowds (which is certainly recommended for travellers intending to drive a car through the city), visit Vienna in the shoulder seasons, from April to May or September to October.
Standard German (or Hochdeutsch) is much more prevalent in Vienna than in other regions of Austria, though second-language learners of German may still find it difficult to understand the mix of Standard and Viennese German typical of the city. Younger generations and people in tourist areas are likely to speak fluent English. Road signs, however, are typically only in German, so having a dictionary or language guidebook on hand is recommended.
Vienna is in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency, as in most of the European Union, is the euro, and credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops. ATMs are also widely available. You will want to have cash on hand for visits to smaller grocery stores, bakeries, and butcheries.
Automobile hire is available in 12 locations throughout Vienna, including Vienna International Airport, the central railway station, and downtown Vienna.
Wachau Valley and nearby Krems are well worth a day trip from the city. Located 90 km west of Vienna, this valley is a great place for hikes, bike tours, or simply scenic car rides, as well as for visits to wineries and castle ruins.
As a member of the Schengen Area, Austria accepts visitors visa-free from countries such as the EU, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens of other countries will be required to apply for a visa before they arrive and are permitted to stay for up to three months.
Driving in Vienna
Driving in central Vienna is confusing and a bit claustrophobic. Take advantage of Park and Ride parking lots on the outskirts of the city to avoid getting stuck in traffic or paying exorbitant parking fees. But don’t make the mistake of just touring central Vienna during your visit to Austria; take advantage of your rental car to explore the surroundings and even take a ride into the Alps as well!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road in Vienna, as throughout the rest of continental Europe.
- In the city: 50 km/h
- On highways: 100 km/h
- On the Autobahn: 130 km/h
- Roads are especially congested during morning and evening rush hours.
- Parking is limited and often expensive in central Vienna, so be sure to book a hotel with complementary parking, or take advantage of the Park and Ride parking lots located at some subway stations along the city limits. If you do decide to park in central Vienna, you can buy parking tickets at tobacco shops.
- An international driver’s permit is required to rent and drive in Austria.
- All of the major highways of Austria require that your car be outfitted with a vignette, the cost of which varies depending on the length of time for which you purchase it. Ask your rental company if they can supply a vignette for you.
- Some tunnels and mountain passes are also tolled, often costing between $8 and $12 and payable at tollbooths.
- While the minimum driving age in Austria is 18, you will likely have to be at least 19 years old to rent a car. Some car rental agencies may require you to be at least 21 years old, and most agencies will charge extra for all drivers under the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Vienna
Automobile hire in Vienna typically starts just under $20 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Vienna:
- Suzuki Swift or similar (economy class) – $20/day
- Opel Astra or similar (compact class) – $21/day
- Renault Fluence or similar (intermediate class) – $27/day
- Ford Mondeo or similar (standard class) – $41/day
- Volkswagen Sharan or similar (fullsize class) – $50/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Vienna
While car rentals may be slightly cheaper in Vienna in the off-season, you are still guaranteed to receive good deals by renting from one of a variety of car rental agencies located at Vienna International Airport. Mega Drive and Global Rent a Car routinely have the best prices throughout the city, though their airport prices typically beat their other offerings at locations downtown.
You can also save close to $10 a day by extending your rental period to over a week!