Vienna - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

You don't need a car. We just got one and it has made life nicer. It's nice to have, but not a necessity. We park on the street. It's very safe. - Sep 2022

I wouldn't. If you want a vehicle, it's easier to buy one locally, because the Austrians are extremely strict about certification of vehicles. I didn't own a car while there, but if I could do it again I would've gotten a small one just to make ski/hiking trips a bit easier, as sometimes the rural transit networks are slow/infrequent. Renting is fairly affordable though it helps if you drive manual, as there's a premium charge for automatic transmissions. I can't imagine why anyone would choose to drive in Vienna proper. - Sep 2021

We had a 4 door sedan and it was fine. I wouldn't bring a super large SUV. - Feb 2019

Small SUV or smaller is recommended, though we had a Honda Pilot and didn't really have any problems. If you don't ship a car to post, you can make do without one. Buying options include diplomatic sales through BMW (excellent discounts) and Volvo, as well as Military Auto Sales in Germany (though you have to go pick up the vehicle in Bremerhaven and drive it back, about a 13-hour drive). - Jul 2018

I would advise against bringing an older car that might not pass strict European inspection standards. - Nov 2017

You'll get rust from the salt, rain, and snow (even though they try to use gravel instead of salt). If your car is older than 10 years, then you can not insure it. You can only pay for 3rd party insurance. Vienna is expensive for just about everything...including used cars. Front wheel drive is better for snow. Smaller is better for parking. They're not really into SUVs. They prefer estate (station) wagons. Any BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot, Citroeon, and Renault. Some European-made Toyota and Nissans. (If you bring uncommon models then repairs and importing parts may be an issue.) - Jun 2016

Many people don't even bother bringing one. We have a small car which is perfect for weekend trips but easy enough to park in the city. - Mar 2015

Well, obviously it's easier getting German/European parts. Most people drive late-model vehicles. This is not a poor country. If you like going up in the mountains, you'll need 4WD. Carjackings don't seem to happen. - Jul 2014

If you must have a car: go small. - Mar 2014

Something small! Parking spaces and garages are tight so leave your SUV and minivan behind. German car brands are most popular here (not surprisingly) but there are dealers and shops for pretty much all types of cars. - Aug 2013

I would not bring a huge vehicle because streets, parking spaces and garages are small. I have a small SUV that barely fits in our garage. Otherwise, bring whatever you like. - May 2013

You can pretty much bring anything, although you may have to order parts for American cars from the States. Audis are everywhere. - Jan 2013

As with many places overseas, smaller is better. Vienna has many dealers, and service/parts shouldn't be a problem (although it's expensive - an oil change cost is $150). We never used our car in the city (public transportation is excellent), but we used to to travel in the region a lot. Gas is expensive. - Aug 2011

Any type. Smaller is better. - Aug 2011

Bring a well-maintained vehicle. Parts and repairs are expensive. - Aug 2009

Not a large SUV. Anything else should be fine. - Aug 2009

WHY? Their system of buses, trams, and metro (subway) trains is among the best in the world. I doubt they even know what carjacking is But they do have traffic, if you need that particular bit of home. - Jul 2009

Some people manage quite well with no car. If you live in the 1st District I can't imagine you'd use it much. If you do bring something, make sure it's not too big -- you do see some smaller SUV's here but about the biggest is the BMW X5. - Apr 2008

Most American-made vehicles don't meet the Austrian requirements; some people have to modify them for that purpose. It is definitely not recommended to bring big vehicles (trucks, SUVs). - Jan 2008

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