Let me tell you more about the toll system in Austria, as I have done some research here. It is really complicated and constantly confuses campers from all around the world, specifically when it comes to differences for trucks and caravans below and above 3.5 tons gross vehicle weight. So let me try to add some clarity here just for caravans and motorhomes up to 3.5 tons.
Where do you have to pay?
The toll system in Austria applies to all vehicles on basically all highways in the country – all 2.000 kilometers – and can even be applied for private roads. Examples include the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, the Malta High Alpine Road and the Silvretta High Alpine Road. Also for bridges and tunnels such as the Brenner, the Tauern Tunnel or the Gleinalm Tunnel you will have to expect to pay special tolls.
The route network is operated by the state highway and fast road financing AG (ASFINAG). It is responsible for financing the construction and expansion of the infrastructure in Austria. The toll fee is being paid in form of a vignette. Special tolls have to be paid at booths which are located at the designated sections.
The Vignette in Austria
The vignette is valid for all vehicles up to 3.5 tons gross vehicle weight. There are some differences between car, caravan and motorcycle. Unlike the toll in Croatia for example, the final amount to be paid is not distance related, but a lump sum. This means that the vignette must be purchased in Austria with a certain validity. The choices are 10-days for 8,80 Euros, 2-months for 25,70 Euros and the annual toll for 85,70 Euros.
The flatrate toll in Austria has the advantage that the traffic flow does not have to be interrupted at toll stations. You also don’t see any toll stations such as in Croatia or Greece for example. Instead, Austria relies on a large distribution network by means of service stations, traffic clubs and petrol stations where you can purchase the vignette even before crossing borders.
In order for the vignette to be valid and the paid toll to be proven to the government, it is necessary to fix the vignette correctly. It must be clearly visible stuck in the upper left area of the vehicle’s windshield. This is because there are camera systems which carry out an automated vignette check. You will expect to receive a high fine if you are driving without or with an expired vignette.
For trucks over 3.5 tons, the billing of tolls is being managed by a system called GO-Box. As this is totally different from the vignette system, I will not explain this any further.