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Austria motorhome country guide
Austria is a landlocked, predominantly alpine country, making it the perfect destination for a mountain holiday. Ski Amade is one of the world’s largest ski resorts, but there is more to the mountains than snow. Walkers and mountain bikers can follow the organised trails and tired muscles can be relaxed in warm thermal waters at the end of an exhilarating day. Spa holidays are big business in Austria so keep an eye out for ‘Wellness Centres’ if you want pamper yourself. Active visitors should consider joining the UK branch of the Austrian Alpine Club for mountain rescue, contact: (www.aacuk.org.uk, Tel: 01929 556870). This club also sells 1:25,000 scale maps.
Campsites, Motorhome Stoppovers and Offsite-Parking in Austria (free wild camping)
Austria has approximately 500 campsites and 200 Motorhome Stopovers, known as wohnmobil stellplatze in Austria. Many of the campsites and stopovers are open all year. Farms and restaurants provide the majority of the Motorhome Stopovers, except the 42 stellplätze that are similar to the Aires in France. Campsites and Motorhome Stopovers located in the ski resorts are detailed in All the Aires Mountains and 198 Austrian stellplätze and camperstops are detailed in the German produced Reise Mobil Bord Atlas, both are available from Vicarious Media. The tourist office produces a fantastic leaflet called Camping and Caravanning, this has a detailed road map on one side and campsite information on the other. This also states ‘Except in Vienna and protected rural areas visitors are permitted to sleep in camping vehicles outside camping sites. But local restrictions can apply, and campers are not allowed to set up camping equipment beside their vehicle’.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Austria
Despite mountains making up over half of Austria’s landmass, it is easy to drive a motorhome or campervan around because there are no high passes to go over and good motorways crisscross the country. The tourist board produce a booklet called ‘Round Trip’ that details driving routes, includes a map and suggests places to visit.
Road tax is applicable on all Austrian motorways and expressways. Motorised vehicles, including motorhomes or campervans, with a maximum laden weight of 3500kg must display a Vignette (toll sticker) to prove the tax is paid. Vignettes are available at borders and most fuel stations. Motorcycles are charged at half rate and trailers, including caravans, are free. Dates are printed around the edge of the stickers and issuing staff will punch them to identify the start date, but this does not have to be the date of purchase. The sticker must be adhered to the inside of the windscreen either under the mirror or the top left hand side below any tinting. Get this right first time as self-destruction is built in upon removal. This is a simple system and compared to French tolls is very inexpensive. Cameras automatically check for Vignettes and police checks are made on the routes into Austria, especially during weekends, non display attracts a €120 on the spot fine.
Motorhomes or campervans exceeding 3.5t must be fitted (velcroed to the windscreen) with a ‘GO-Box’. This box records the distance travelled on taxable roads and you are charged accordingly. GO-Boxes are programmed for each individual vehicle and the Euro rating of the engine is taken into consideration. Your vehicle documents will be required or you can complete the form in advance at https://www.go-maut.at/portal/portalThe 2014 price per kilometre for Category 2 (vehicles with two axles) with a Euro 3 engine was €0.208/km (excl. 20% VAT). Category 3 [vehicles with three axles (trailers behind motorhomes are free)]: was €0.2912/km (excl. 20% VAT). Motorhomes with Euro 4 and Euro 5 engines are charged less per kilometre accordingly.
Further information about driving in Austria can be found at www.austria.info Winter tyres are mandatory between November 1st and 15 April 15th. LPG is available at 20 fuel stations, visit www.fluessiggas.eu/tankstellen.php for details. Beware that Erdgas is natural gas, not LPG.