Late payment of Austrian motorway vignettes

Paying the toll after it's been accrued

Pages: 1 2 3

CDMexpat
So I just came back from a weekend in Innsbruck, Austria. Our family's TomTom mentioned that we would be going through a toll road. I assumed that the toll would be paid at a toll booth like back home in the USA. But I discovered that this was not the case. I now know that you have to get a sticker - vignette. We drive a car rental and the car does have a sticker but am not sure how old it is or if it is valid. We just moved here a few months ago and have never driven outside Germany till this weekend. I've been told that in England you can pay tolls you accrue over the phone, text (?), within a certain time frame from when they were accrued.

So can I pay for these Austrian tolls somehow before I get a substitute toll - maybe by contacting the Toll collectors?

Any advice, similiar experience? -
HEM
Austrian tolls are nowt to do with the Toll Collectors( this is just for lorries/trucks in Germany, not cars). You were lucky the Austrians didnt catch you.

You can buy an Austrian years toll from ADAC for example - there are also short-term tolls.
Bipa
Both the Austrian and the Swiss systems are quite simple. At the border, or at gas stations near the border, you can buy a sticker which allows you to use the highways. If you don't have one then the fine can be quite high - if you are caught. Otherwise there is no way to track a car and see if it has used the highways in question. So there is no late pay provision if you haven't been caught by police.

Swiss stickers are reasonably priced, so you just get a year sticker and you're done. Austrian stickers are quite expensive, and usually folks only get the short-term ones for however long they need it.
CDMexpat
so there is no toll from munich to innsbruck for cars - only trucks? Or by the first reply to my post, do you mean that I got lucky that I was not caught not having one and they can not trace me back through the car?

thanks for the info. I learned a lesson - not to travel outside Germany until I check each countries driving rules/ requirements.
YorkshireLad6
The Austrians might have caught you already. They have number-plate recognition systems on the border-adjacent Autobahns and an agreement with the German authorities to get driver/owner data of offending vehicles without a valid Vignette (permit to use the Autobahn). In this case they'll pass the fine back to the rental company, who may, or may not contact you depending on how high the fine is. Most rental companies simply take the charge from your credit card (possibly unbeknown to you you have already given them this authority). It'll take up to 3 months to filter through and there is very little you can do about it. Unfortunately there is no "after-the-fact" payment system. The signs that you require a Vignette in Austria are many and clear and not to have one is an offence. The usual fine for first-time offenders who accept their failing is €120, but if you don't pay the fine and are subsequently successfully prosecuted in court this can rise to between €400 and €3,000
CDMexpat
BIPA, HEM,

First of all, I'm relieved to know that I would get a huge fine in the mail. But from now on, I will check each countries driving rules before I drive into that country. Which leads to my next question? How do you know when you crossed the border. Either I was not paying attention or I never saw a sign that said leaving Germany now entering Austria. Do these signs exist along the autobahn or do you just need to research on your own where the crossing point is?
Owain Glyndwr
there's a massive sign. you must have been driving with your eyes shut.
CDMexpat
Was it the big sign that shows the different toll amounts depending on vehicle size?
HEM
so there is no toll from munich to innsbruck for cars - only trucks?
The company "Toll Collect" runs the toll (Maut) system in Germany which is for trucks only - on Autobahn & few selected roads. Not for cars.

The Austrian system is different: tolls are levied for cars in Austria & some other countries...
There have been plenty TV reports (sponsored???) showing the Austrian nabbing cars from Germany on the Autobahn just inside their borders. Included a car full of nuns...
Bipa
The border is clearly marked with a sign, and there are usually still buildings and structures showing where passports were checked in the old days, and where you can still buy a vignette. The speed limit is usually reduced when driving through this area. Often there are also large signs telling you the legal speed limits in Austria, and reminding you to get a vignette.

I wouldn't worry too much about the fine, although it might come. I used to live in Switzerland and often went to Austria on shopping trips. Usually I'd buy a vignette for the shortest period possible, but sometimes I didn't bother and I never got a fine sent to me by mail. There have also been times when I bought my vignette a few klicks inside Austria at a gas station rather than stopping at the border and I had no trouble. On the other hand, I usually already had at least one Austrian sticker on my windshield, albeit expired, so it is possible that to a casual observer it might have seemed that I had a valid one.

Wait and see, that's all you can do now. And next time pay a little more attention
Owain Glyndwr
Was it the big sign that shows the different toll amounts depending on vehicle size?
no. big blue european flag with "Republik Österreich" written in the middle
YorkshireLad6
there's a massive sign.
And of course the road signs suddenly change from German to Austrian...
CDMexpat
Thanks BIPA!

Now I know better. Also, know why our car rental had stickers peeled away. Like I said, we have a sticker on the windshield currently but have not idea if it is valid - 1 year etc, that the rental company may have placed on the car. But I must say that this whole process of buying a sticker seems is a pain to do and I can see how many may risk stopping to buy one. Toll Booths with attendants are luxuries to drivers (I guess).
YorkshireLad6
The different Vignettes looks like this:
Attached image
The front picture is the annual ("J") Vignette the rear two are month ("M") and 10-day ("T") Vignettes respectively. The numbers around the edges of the latter 2 are stamped with a small hole by the issuing station and indicate the day and month the Vignette began its' validity.
Hutcho
so there is no toll from munich to innsbruck for cars - only trucks?
It depends which way you drive. If you go down the A95 via Garmisch, then you can make it to Innsbruck without paying. If you go down the A8 and subsequently onto the A12 Austrian autobahn, then you do need one.

I wouldn't worry too much about the fine, although it might come. I used to live in Switzerland and often went to Austria on shopping trips. Usually I'd buy a vignette for the shortest period possible, but sometimes I didn't bother and I never got a fine sent to me by mail.
They have only recently started to enforce the Vignette with cameras, so that is probably why you never got a fine in the mail. Previously they had to physically stop you.

To rant a little more about Austria, I have never seen a country out to get you more on the roads than here. Not only do they have this Vignette, but there are also normal tolls. Further to that, the road signs specifically direct you at times through the tolls, even though it would be quicker to just take the normal free roads. Going to Igls near Innsbruck is an example.

Further to that, they have stationary speed camera's everywhere, and in very unfair locations. I got zapped coming out of a 70 zone into a town. After I saw the flash, I went back to see, and the camera was literally 20m after the town sign (no speed sign, just a sign signifying you are entering a town, which means 50). I got the fine and I was only doing 61km/h! Luckily it was only 36 euros, can't complain too much at that.

And then they have the nerve to make you do 100klm/h on their super expensive autobahns! It's a joke. Such a relief once you hit the border back into Germany.
Pages: 1 2 3
TT Logo
You are viewing a low fidelity version of this page. Click to view the full page.