Europe > Austria > Vienna
See: Why rent a car in Vienna ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in Vienna?
Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.
That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!
- The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
- How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
- Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
- Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?
Is it worth hiring a car in Vienna?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Vienna car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.
How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Vienna with other destinations locally and around the world.
This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.
Should I rent a car in Vienna?
This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Vienna, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
Vienna is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)
General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Vienna?
Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Vienna between the peak and the off peak season?
5/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 2/10
Non car score:9/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
The Austrian capital remains one of Europe’s most impressive cities to visit, and even if you can’t easily find direct flights there, you can always travel to nearby Bratislava just across the border in Slovakia, and pop across to Vienna from there. Given that these two venues can easily make a combined dual city break, is there really any need to even consider getting a hire car?
Why? Visiting Vienna using a hire car
Why do you need a car in Vienna ?
Why should you hire a car in Vienna?
Why not? Visiting Vienna without a car
Why don't you need a car in Vienna ?
Ratings: How does Vienna compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Vienna? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Vienna, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.
How does this compare if:
You are travelling:
Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc
Does car rental make sense on different budgets?
Do you need to hire a car in Vienna? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Vienna (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".
Should you rent a car in Vienna? TBC
This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good.
See global comparisons
Hiring | Driving | Parking
Trains | Buses | Local travel
Car hire basics:
Public transportation basics:
Regular bus services: YES
Coach (inter-city): YES
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Vienna airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Vienna car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 1
2019 - 1
2021 - 1
Average score - 1
It would be easy to sum Vienna up by saying there’s just no need at all to get a hire car, but when I visited, I spent a day and a half in the city itself, and then picked up a hire car at Vienna airport and drove down to Bad Blumau. I was planning to exit via Graz anyway, and having a hire car made a lot of sense to travel between the two places.
Should I hire a car in Vienna? Naturally, a car will give you more options for excursions, but for the most scenic parts of the Austrian Alps, we would recommend taking flights to Salzburg or Innsbruck in the first place. We’ve covered a lot of Alps, including western Austria in our Zurich car hire guide.
Another option would be to pop across to Bratislava in neighbouring Slovakia, which has some of the worst driving standards in Europe. Much better to stick to trains and trams!
Although there are a few other options for excursions in a hire car from Vienna, there are plenty of options for getting out and about by rail too, made all the more easy by the new central station.
Do you or don't you need a car in Vienna ?