Although Germany began charging an autobahn toll for trucks in 2003, passenger car drivers can still drive the Autobahn without any extra charges (so far). But neighboring Austria and Switzerland (plus France and other European countries) charge a Maut, or toll, for using their high-speed, limited access highways.
Rather than a kilometer-based turnpike toll, such as that exacted on France’s autoroutes or Italy’s autostradas, Switzerland was the first to charge motorists an annual flat fee for the use of its autobahn network. Austria later copied the idea, but also offered toll stickers for shorter periods of time, a nice benefit for the many tourists who visit Austria for only a few days, a week, or a month.
Unlike Switzerland, Austria permits drivers to purchase an Autobahnvignette for various periods of time, from ten days to a full year. The so-called Mautvignette (toll sticker) must be affixed to the inside of the front windshield. The stickers come in varying colors in different years, making it easier for the police to spot an invalid Autobahnpickerl, Austrian slang for autobahn sticker. To prevent misuse, the stickers are also designed to tear apart if removed from the window glass.
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In addition to the normal autobahn sticker, there are tolls for several stretches on the Austrian highway network. Examples include the Brenner Pass autobahn (€8.00), the Tauern autobahn (€10.00), and the Arlberg tunnel (€8.50). Driving through the Felbertauern tunnel costs €10.00, while the scenic Großglockner Alpine road will set you back €26.00. (Prices subject to change.)
In Switzerland, drivers caught driving on the autobahn without a sticker have to pay a fine of 100 Swiss francs plus 40 francs for the vignette (a total of about $144 USD).*
For more information (in German), see the Web links below.
*Based on exchange rates in August 2012. See the "KFZ-Auskunft" link below for current information.
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Web content ©1997-2012 Hyde Flippo
- The Autobahn - Part 1
- Autobahn Photos - Toll stickers
- Driving in Germany (with links)
- Driving: Environmental Zones - Many cities in Germany have "green zones" that require a special sticker for entry.
- Police (with links to German and Austrian police Web sites!)
- The Autobahnpolizei, the German highway patrol
ON THE WEB
- Auto club and other links for Austria, Germany, Switzerland:
- go-maut.at - Austrian toll info from ASFINAG for larger vehicles (in English or German; see flags top right)
- ÖAMTC - The main Austrian autombile club
- EUAC - The European automobile club (Austria)
- ACS - Switzerland (Automobil Club der Schweiz)
- EU Autobahngebühren - Current European motorway tolls/fees (KFZ-Auskunft.de - in German)
NEXT > The Autobahnpolizei