Tips for Expats Driving in Graz

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Graz.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Graz

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Graz is generally considered safe and efficient. The roads are well-maintained and the drivers are usually disciplined. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and regulations. Austrians drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtaking is on the left. Speed limits are strictly enforced and vary depending on the type of road.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Graz due to the narrow streets in some parts of the city. However, if you plan to explore the mountainous regions around Graz, a car with a powerful engine or a 4×4 might be more suitable. It’s also worth noting that winter tires are mandatory in Austria from November to April.

3. Parking in Graz

Finding a parking spot in Graz can be challenging, especially in the city center. Most parking spaces are metered and the cost can add up quickly. However, there are several parking garages available. It’s advisable to use public transportation or walk when possible, as Graz is a very walkable city.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Austria with an international driving permit (IDP) along with their valid home country driver’s license. This is valid for six months from the date of entry into Austria. After this period, you will need to obtain an Austrian driver’s license.

5. Obtaining an Austrian Driver’s License

If you’re from a non-EU country, you will need to pass a driving test in Austria to get your license. This involves a theoretical and practical exam. If you’re from an EU country, you can exchange your home country license for an Austrian one without taking a test. It’s advisable to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and conditions.

6. Be Aware of the Tram System

Graz has an extensive tram system, and drivers need to be aware of them. Trams have the right of way in most situations, so always check for approaching trams before turning or changing lanes.

7. Always Carry Necessary Documents

Always carry your driving license, IDP (if applicable), passport, and vehicle registration documents when driving. Austrian law requires drivers to produce these documents during traffic checks.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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