Car insurance, driver’s licence & Co
Your Driver’s Licence
The Validity Period of a Foreign Drivers Licence in Austria From an EEA state is unlimited and the license may be converted to an Austrian one at any time on a voluntary basis.
From a non-EEA state it six months starting from establishment of the primary residence (Please note: you can transfer a valid foreign license, depending on the country, after this time period but you can not legally drive with the existing one.)
If you plan to rent a car, rental companies in Austria require that foreigners have not only a valid driver’s license but also an international driver’s license.
If you would like to convert your license to an Austrian one the responsible authority in Vienna is the Motor Vehicle Department:
(U4/U6 Spittelau then follow the signs)
• Completed Drivers Licence Application form (Führerscheinantrag)
• Birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde)
• Residence Registration Form
• Official identification with photo (e.g. Passport (Reisepass))
• Old driving licence
• Two passport photos (35 mm x 45 mm)
• Medical report (for the exchange of driving licences from non-EEA states)
Please note: In Vienna the original documents are required plus copies (one copy from the Residence Registration Form, two copies from the Old driving licence and Passport). In some cases a translation of the driving licence may be required.
Fees: EUR 55,70
Foreign drivers who commit three recordable offences will be banned from driving in Austria.
In Austria third-party car insurance (Haftpfichtversicherung) is compulsory. This can be arranged via an insurance broker (Verischerungsmakler) or insurance company (Versicherungsunternehmen), which you will find listed in local telephone books. You must produce proof of insurance before you are issued your car licence plates (Autokennzeichen) and car registration document (Zulassungsschein). Your insurer can advise you on the procedures and make the necessary arrangements.
Good Driving Record Statement
Austrian automobile insurance operates on a “bonus-malus” basis, under which a good driving record results in a discount in premiums, and a poor one (e.g., being at fault in an accident) in an increase. The discounts for a good history can be substantial. To benefit from this initially you should bring a “To Whom It May Concern” statement from your U.S. insurance agent, testifying that you have a good driving record and specifying the number of years since you last presented a claim for an accident in which you were at fault.
3rd Party Liability
In Austria third-party car insurance (Haftpfichtversicherung) is compulsory. This can be arranged via an insurance broker (Verischerungsmakler) or insurance company. It serves to protect all road users. It covers damage caused by your car to, another car, people, property (trees, road equipment etc.), financial loss (e.g. if you park your car in front of someones garage door and they cannot go to work in the car, their costs would be covered by the 3rd party liability) In Austria the 3rd party will not normally pay for costs for a rental car for the person whose car is damaged by you.
Covers damages to your car (collision, vandalism, theft, fire, glass breakage, etc.). Kasko insurance often contains a deductible, If your car is older, you may prefer a partial kasko which is cheaper but does not cover collision.
Passenger Protection Insurance
Passenger protection insurance compensates driver and/or passengers in the event of a car accident leading to death or permanent disability. This is an additional coverage. which pays irrespective of responsibility
In Austria you can buy a standard legal protection for the car and/or add cover for consumer goods, legal advice, personal protection etc. The standard legal protection for a car gives you legal advice/ clarification in the event of a car accident.
Parking for residents
Most Viennese districts are short-term parking zones, which you require a prepaid parking voucher. However as a resident you can apply for a Permanent parking permit for residents (Parkpickerl) at the municipal district office.
If you don’t want to park our car outside in the streets you can ask your landlord or property management company about free parking lots in your buildings underground garage. Otherwise you may rent a parking lot in some nearby underground garage. You find free parking spaces online at real estate plattform like willhaben.at.
If you live in Vienna’s outer districts which are more suburbian it may be harder to find a nearby garage to rent. If there is enough space on your prpoerty you may think about building a carport. Under certain conditions you won’t even need a building permit for a carport.