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Everything that changes in Austria in 2021

Everything that changes in Austria in 2021
Photo: DPA
From digital drivers licences to cutting the 'tampon tax', here's what's set to change in Austria in 2021.

2020 has not been a great year by all accounts. 2021 brings with it hope of something better – and a number of changes. 

Coronavirus

Despite the development of a vaccine and hope of a return to normality, it's safe to say the coronavirus still has a few surprises in store. 

As it stands, Austria's coronavirus lockdown is set to come to an end in January. More information about the lockdown – and how you'll need a test to emerge from it – is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: What are the rules of Austria's coronavirus lockdown? 

Wages and salaries set to rise

2021 brings with it good news for people who like money, with wages and salaries set to rise in the new year. 

Wages and salaries will increase by an average of 1.5 percent in 2021, according to Vienna Online

Metal workers and public employees will see their salaries increase by 1.45 percent, along with retirees. 

 

Tax changes

 

The so-called 'tampon tax' – a tax on menstrual products – will be halved in the new year, going down to ten percent. 

 

Education

 

Laptops will be made cheaper for high school students as of 2021, bringing some welcome relief for parents. 

 

At university, minimum achievement levels will be introduced from 2021 for first year students. 

 

Passport queues

From January 1st 2021, British people no longer get to use the EU passport queue at ports, station and airports.

This probably won't have a huge impact on most people but the tous passports queue tends to be longer so if you are planning a very tight connection it might be wise to bear this in mind.

French customs officials have also warned that people arriving on the Eurostar at Gare du Nord could face longer waits due to the required extra checks, and an expanded waiting area has been created for arrivals from the UK.

Speed limits

The Austrian Board of Trustees for Road Safety has outlined a package of stricter fines for speeding.

The penalty for illegal street racing is expected to rise from 2,180 to 5,000 euros. 

The amount you can be over the speed limit before having your driver’s licence revoked has been reduced. 

Now, you can have your licence revoked for two weeks by driving 30km/h over the limit in cities – and by 40km/h over the limit in rural areas. 

In addition, you can have your licence revoked for four weeks by driving 40km/h over the limit in cities – and by 50km/h over the limit in rural areas. 

Stricter penalties are planned for repeat offenders, while vehicles can be confiscated for several offences. 

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Everything that changes on Austria's roads in 2021 

Digital drivers licence

At a time when pretty much everything is done via phone, it is perhaps no surprise that drivers licences are also going on your phone. 

From Spring 2021, you will be allowed to carry your drivers licence as a digital file stored on your mobile phone. 

More rules for ride share drivers

From January 1st, 2021, the rules that apply to taxi drivers will apply to all paid passenger services in Austria – i.e. ride sharing companies like Uber.  

Under the Occasional Traffic Act, from 2021, all Uber drivers will be required to display an official ID, which can only be acquired by completing a number of training requirements. 

In addition, there will be a blood alcohol limit for ride share drivers of 0.1g per litre. 

The IDs will be valid for five years under the plan.

Changes to consumption tax for cars and motorcycles

From January 2021 – and then again from July 2021 – a number of technical changes will come into effect regarding the calculation of consumption taxes for motorcycles and cars. 

These are a little too technical and specific to go into here, but are described in depth at the following link

Vignette costs change for 2021

The 2021 annual vignette stickers will be available for purchase from the end of November 2020. 

These will cost 92.50 euros per year – an increase of around 1.5 percent on the cost of last year's stickers – and will be apple green in colour. 

For anyone looking to save a bit of cash – and who will be sticking around in Austria for a year at least – the annual price is by far the cheapest. 

By purchasing a year-long vignette, you'll save yourself more than 20 euros. 

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about Austria's vignette motorway toll stickers 

New tariffs 2021 for cars: ten-day vignette: 9.50 euros, 2-month vignette 27.80 euros, Annual vignette: 92.50 euros 

New tariffs 2021 for motorcycles: ten-day vignette 5.50 euros, 2-month vignette 13.90 euros, annual vignette: 36.70 euros.

Commuter allowance 

Up until this point, Austria’s commuter allowance has only been available for drivers – removing an incentive for people to switch to cycling. 

That will change from 2021, with cyclists now eligible for Austria’s commuter allowance

Drone rules 

Drones have remained largely unregulated in Austria despite improvements in technology making them cheaper and more mobile. 

From 2021, new rules will come into effect to govern drones and the way they are used. 

From January 1st, anyone wanting to use a drone will need to complete a registration process, which includes an online course. 

Drones will also receive a unique number which must be displayed on the drone in order to improve traceability. 

More information on the registration process and how much it costs is available here

 


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