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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

EXPLAINED: How to sell a car in Austria

Whether your time in Austria is coming to an end or you simply want to upgrade your vehicle, it's always good to understand the process of selling a car in the Alpine Republic.

EXPLAINED: How to sell a car in Austria
Cars in Austria can be sold privately or through a dealer. Photo: Cristian Macovei on Unsplash

The used car market is booming in Austria right now – and in many other parts of Europe – making it a good time for anyone selling a car.

But before you start posting a listing on Willhaben (Austria’s online marketplace), it’s a good idea to know the rules about selling a vehicle in Austria, as well as the benefits of selling privately or through a dealer.

Here’s what you need to know.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Will Austria ban horse-drawn carriages?

Private sale

Selling a car (or Auto, in German) privately means you can maximise the potential profit by not paying any fees to a third party.

The most popular methods in Austria for selling privately are online or through a personal network, such as family, friends and colleagues.

If you choose to go down the online route, platforms like Willhaben and Auto Scout 24 are good starting points.

Then there are workplace and community notice boards to consider, as well as social networks like Facebook.

However, the downside of selling privately is that you will personally have to take care of all advertisements, negotiations and official paperwork, including a purchase contract or invoice.

FOR MEMBERS: Importing a car in Austria: What’s the process for EU and non-EU vehicles?

Sell via a dealer

Another option when selling a car in Austria is to use a dealer. This is essentially a third party who will advertise and sell the vehicle for you – usually for a percentage of the sale price.

A big advantage of this method is that you can sit back and relax while a dealer puts in the effort, and vehicles can sell quicker with a dealer than by private sale. You can even trade in your car and put the profit towards an upgrade once it has been sold.

Additionally, some dealers offer optional extras like cleaning services to ensure your car looks its best before hitting the market.

A disadvantage though is that you will end up having to pay the dealer a commission, which will eat into your profit.

Negotiations

In Austria it’s common for people to barter on the advertised price of a used car. 

When selling a car, expect potential buyers to negotiate at around 10 percent less of the asking price.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that sellers do not have to show proof of a technical inspection when selling a car in Austria, but some buyers might ask for it as part of the negotiations.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about retiring in Austria

The legal process of selling a car

When anyone buys a car in Austria, they are legally required to register it in their name at the nearest Versicherungsverband Österreich (VVÖ).

Then, when a car is sold, the opposite applies and it has to be deregistered before the new owner can register the vehicle in their name.

Documents required to deregister a car are photo ID, registration certificate of the car, the vehicle approval document (also known as second part of registration certificate) and the number plates.

If the previous owner has died, a declaration of consent from the executor of the registration holder’s will or a certificate of inheritance also needs to be submitted.

If the registered owner is not deregistering the car in person, then a proxy form needs to be submitted by power of attorney.

There are no costs involved when deregistering a car in Austria.

Useful vocabulary

Auto – car

Zu verkaufen – for sale

Autoverkäufer – car salesman

Nummernschild – licence plate

Preis – price

Useful links

Austrian Federal Government website

Willhaben

Auto Scout 24

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WEATHER

Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

With violent storms becoming increasingly common in Austria, here’s how to protect yourself (and your home) this summer.

Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

Storms are a regular occurrence in Austria during the summer months, but the strength and frequency seems to be increasing.

Overnight on Tuesday, June 28th, both the Pöllinger and the Treffner rivers in Carinthia burst their banks causing widespread flooding, mudslides and damage across the region.

Reports on Wednesday morning said the villages of Treffen am Ossiacher See and Arriach (Villach-Land district) were still metres under water and several people had been rescued from the deluge.

READ ALSO: Who to call and what to say in an emergency in Austria

According to ORF, emergency services were still struggling to reach some areas and there were unconfirmed reports of missing people.

A Tweet from Unwetter-Freaks said: “Bad pictures from #Arriach in #Kärnten , which was hit by several storm cells last night. According to ORF, the place is currently cut off from the outside world and cannot be reached by the emergency services.”

Earlier this week, rural areas in Upper Austria were also hit by storms (overnight, June 27th) bringing torrential rain and hail the size of golf balls, which caused extensive damage to crops and grassland in the key agricultural state.

READ ALSO: 23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria

The Klaus reservoir had to be drained of 200 cubic metres of water to avoid flooding and trees were brought down across the province by wind gusts – some up to 91 km/h.

The Kronen Zeitung reports the storm caused damage to around 16,000 hectares of agriculture land, with insurers estimating the cost to be up to €6.5 million.

One Tweet showed the size of the hail on Monday night and read: “In the night we had ‘light’ hail.”

Storms then hit the region again on Tuesday night leading to a lightning strike on a hay barn in the Mühlviertel and the flooding of an underground car park in Linz.

With the summer season far from over and the possibility of more wild weather in the coming months, here’s how to stay safe during storms in Austria.

FOR MEMBERS: When and where to avoid driving in Austria this summer

Check the weather report

It might sound obvious, but checking the weather forecast should be at the top of the list of summer storm preparations.

Unlike in the past, weather reports are now typically reliable, and apps like Bergfex and Accuweather are well-known for providing detailed forecasts and weather warnings.

However, long-range forecasts can change quickly, so if you’re planning a camping or hiking trip, be sure to check the weather between 24 and 48 hours before to avoid being caught out.

Additionally, the Österreichischen Unwetterzentrale (Austrian Severe Weather Centre) has regular updates about storms and weather forecasts for Austria and users can sign up for email and SMS notifications.

Stay indoors

According to the organisation, Die Helfer Wiens (The Helpers of Vienna) one of the biggest risks during a storm is being hit by a fallen tree or flying debris.

For this reason, they advise people (and pets) to stay indoors during a storm and close all windows and doors. 

If staying in a tent or campervan, it’s also a good idea to seek shelter in a building (if possible) until the storm has passed.

However, if you are outside during lightning, the Austrian Red Cross says the best approach is to crouch down into a ball to reduce the amount of contact you have with the floor.

READ MORE: How to keep your apartment cool in Austria this summer amid rising energy prices

Stay away from the cellar

Cellars and underground car parks can quickly become flooded during heavy rain – as seen in recent storms in Upper Austria and Carinthia, and last year during violent storms across Austria.

Flash flooding can happen quickly (the clue is in the name), so stay away from cellars and underground spaces during a storm and call the emergency services if you suspect a flood in your home.

Remove plants and furniture from balconies

Having plants and flowers on a balcony is a lovely way to brighten up an outside space, but they risk being damaged during a storm.

To safeguard your pots and lovingly-planted flora, move them inside – especially during a thunderstorm with strong wind gusts and lightning.

The same applies to any outdoor furniture that could be damaged by wind or hail, like cushions, decorative objects and sun umbrellas.

Park cars under shelter

Hail is one of the leading causes of dents to bodywork on cars and damage to windscreens, both of which can be costly to repair.

If hail is forecast during a storm, park a car in a garage or under shelter, if possible. 

If strong wind is expected, then avoid parking a car under trees as debris, or even the tree itself, could end up landing on the vehicle.

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Don’t go into the forest

Whether walking or driving, the best advice is to stay from the forest or areas with lots of trees during a storm.

While sheltering under a tree can protect from rain or hail, lightning or strong wind can bring down trees. This makes the forest a dangerous place to be in a storm.

But if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in a forest when a thunderstorm hits, stay away from low branches and tree trunks and crouch down low. Place any walking sticks or metal poles away from you and stay away from metal fences.

Avoid risky activities

Certain outdoor activities are especially hazardous if there’s a lightning storm. 

Any activity in an open area or that puts you into contact with water or metal is strongly advised against. So that means fishing, swimming, boating, cycling and golfing are out until the storm is over. 

Keep torches and candles ready

Power cuts are common during storms, so keep a stock of candles and torches ready in case you end up without electricity for several hours.

It’s also a good idea to have a portable USB charger to make sure your phone doesn’t run out of battery during an emergency.

Who to call in an emergency

These are the numbers to call if you need help from the Austrian emergency services during a storm.

122 – fire service (Feuerwehr).

133 – police (Polizei).

144 – ambulance (Krankenwagen or Rettungswagen).

120 – ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service.

123 – ARBÖ emergency breakdown service.

140 – mountain rescue.

Finally, 112 is the single European emergency number, whose operators will direct you to the relevant services. This number can even be called on a locked mobile phone without needing the pin.

Find out more with The Local’s guide on who to call and what to say in an emergency.

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