Car Rental in Graz
Why rent a car in Graz?
Austria’s second-largest, Graz is a beautiful city in the southeastern part of the country. The capital of the state of Styria, this well-preserved city is home to the country’s most impressive palaces, interesting museums, and daring contemporary architecture. After seeing Graz, you can even pop over the border to two of Austria’s lesser-known, but equally interesting neighbors, Slovenia and Hungary.
One-Way Car Rentals in Graz
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Graz and drop off in another city include:
- From Graz to Vienna - 202 offers from US$ 46.08 per day
- From Graz to Munich - 65 offers from US$ 67.91 per day
- From Graz to Malmö - 24 offers from US$ 247.30 per day
- From Graz to Ljubljana - 23 offers from US$ 151.87 per day
Top ways to enter Graz
- Graz Airport: The largest airport in southern Austria, Graz Airport handled just over one million travelers in 2018. The airport is served by around 15 different airlines with the largest amount of flights provided by Austrian Airlines. Located just 9km (5.4 miles) south of the city center, the airport can be reached in about 20 minutes.
- Klagenfurt Airport: A small international airport, this airport serves the capital of the state of Carinthia. As of October 2019, the airport is served by six different airlines (although four of those are only active seasonally). Located 135km (84 miles) southwest of Graz near the border with Slovenia, Klagenfurt Airport can be reached in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Vienna Airport: By far the largest airport in the country, Vienna-Schwechat handled more than 27 million travelers in 2018 making it one of the 25 busiest airports in Europe. Vienna Airport is a hub for Austrian Airlines and Eurowings and also a focus city for Lauda, Level, Wizz Air, and other airlines. In addition to countless European connections, Vienna Airport also hosts flights to and from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. Located 205km (127 miles) northeast of Graz, the airport can be reached in just over two hours.
- Linz Airport: Serving the capital of Upper Austria, Linz Airport handled nearly 500,000 travelers in 2018. The airport is especially active during the summer months when it has flights from 11 different airlines. In wintertime, the airport only hosts flights to and from Frankfurt and Dusseldorf in Germany. Also known as Blue Danube Airport, it is 215km (133 miles) northwest of Graz and can be reached in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- Salzburg Airport: Also known as W.A. Mozart Airport after the city’s most famous son, Salzburg Airport serves nearly two million travelers every year. A hub for Eurowings and a popular winter sports destination, it is especially active during the winter months. Salzburg Airport is some 280km (174 miles) northwest of Graz and can be reached in about three hours.
- Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport: The largest airport in neighboring Slovenia (and serving its capital and largest city), it handled 1.8 million travelers in 2018. The airport is served by around 20 different airlines including low-cost companies like Transavia, easyJet, and Wizz Air. Located 220km (137 miles) southwest of Graz, it can be reached in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. To go from Ljubljana to Graz (or vice versa), you’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
Useful city facts
- Although not located on the coast, Graz has an oceanic climate with humid continental influences. The average high temperature is 25°C (77°F) in July, the warmest month, and 3°C (37°F) in January, the coldest. Graz sees a large increase in precipitation from May to September but is relatively dry in the wintertime. Graz is considered to be one of the sunniest cities in Austria.
- Graz has been inhabited since at least the neolithic era and for centuries was a part of the Habsburg Empire. In addition to German-speaking Austrians, the city was also an important center for Croatians, Slovenes, and Italians. The former two have had an especially large influence on the city’s architecture, traditions, and cuisine, and much of it survives to this day. The city retains small Croatian and Slovenian-speaking communities. Graz is just 68km (42 miles) north of Maribor, the second-largest city in Slovenia, and 195km (121 miles) northwest of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Top destinations and activities
- The Schlossberg. Located on a hilltop and overlooking Graz, Schlossberg is an impressive fortress and the main symbol of the city. First constructed more than 1,000 years ago, the fortress has been reconstructed a number of times with the impressive clock tower and bell tower added later. The hill can be accessed by a funicular, but a climb up the wooden paths, although quite steep, would be even more rewarding.
- Eggenberg Palace. Graz has more attractions than just forts and palaces, but both the Schlossberg and the Schloss Eggenberg are so impressive that they simply have to be mentioned. A Baroque palace complex with Gothic influences, Schloss Eggenberg is surrounded by impressive parks. The palace took nearly 200 years to complete, but the builders made sure that it is as impressive from inside as it is from outside.
- The Kunsthaus. Also known as the Graz Art Museum, the building of the Kunsthaus is among the most daring and unique in all of Austria. An example of futuristic blob architecture, some locals claim it resembles a battleship while others call it “the friendly alien.” Inside, the museum hosts many unique works of photography, video, painting, sculpture, and multimedia art.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130km/h (80mph) on highways, 110km/h on main highways, 100km/h (62 mph) on country roads, and 50km/h (31mph) inside populated areas.
- During winter, some smaller high altitude roads and passes are blocked by snow. It is a good idea to have snow chains in your car. Ask your car rental car provider about it.
- During the year’s warmest months, July and August, it is not uncommon to experience traffic jams on national highways, especially during the weekends, as this is when most Austrians go on vacation.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced and 0.01% for novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide license ban, or even imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
To travel on many motorways and other roads in Austria, you need to purchase a special highway vignette or toll sticker. An Austrian highway vignette can be purchased for three periods of time - 10 days, two months, or one year. As a visitor, you’ll most likely choose the first option.
You can buy the Austrian highway vignette in many of the gas stations and stores located along highways in Austria. If you arrive in Austria by car from another country, make sure to purchase the Austrian highway vignette at the border, otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fine. Once purchased, it is important to place the vignette inside your vehicle’s windshield.
Many rental cars in Austria already come equipped with a highway vignette. The price of the vignette is included in the full rental price. To find out more, get in touch with your car rental provider in advance.
In addition to the required purchase of a highway vignette, there are specifically designated toll roads in Austria, many of them tunnels and alpine passes. Usually, you’ll pass through a toll gate before entering the road where you’ll have to pay the toll. Payment can usually be made either with cash or by credit card. The exact amount will depend on the specific road. Find out more about the toll roads and the fees of using them in Austria on the European toll road website and on the Austrian toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Lavanttal Alps. An impressive range that is part of the Austrian Alps, the Lavanntals are the nearest mountains to the city of Graz. Made up of snowy peaks, long hiking paths, and high-quality ski resorts, the area is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy the best that Austrian nature has to offer. Located some 60km (37 miles) east of Graz, the mountains can be reached in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Carinthia. One of the states neighboring Styria, Carinthia is sometimes overlooked by foreign visitors, but this southern region has plenty for any visitor to enjoy. Its lakes are truly picturesque, towns like Villach boast beautiful architecture, and the region’s mountaintop castles are a sight to behold. Klagenfurt, the capital of Carinthia, is 140km (87 miles) southwest of Graz and can be reached in about 87 minutes.
- Vienna. Imperial in some parts and very cozy in others, the capital of Austria is one of the most special cities in Europe. There are more famous museums, castles, and churches than it’s possible to list, but the city’s great cafeterias and parks are just as enjoyable to explore. Vienna is 200km (125 miles) northeast of Graz and can be reached in about two hours.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Graz is the Suzuki Swift, although many travelers also go for the Piat Funto and the VW Polo. The most popular rental car types are mini, economy, and compact.
- Hohe Tauern National Park. The largest national park in the country, Hohe Tauern is the perfect place to visit with a rental car. The number one reason for that is the Großglockner High Alpine Road which is often called the most scenic road in Europe. The national park itself is home to the impressive Krimml Waterfalls, unique types of forest, and wildlife species like the Alpine ibex and bearded vulture. Located 310km (192 miles) west of Graz, the park can be reached in about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
- Slovenia. An up-and-coming travel destination, Slovenia might be small but has countless landmarks and activities for a traveler to enjoy. Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps, and its surrounding national park are majestic. Bled might just be the most picturesque little town in the world. And the country even has a short, but scenic coastline, unlike Austria. Ljubljana, its charming capital, is just 195km (122 miles) south of Graz and takes about two hours to reach by car. Before going, ask your rental car provider if they permit you crossing the border.
- Hungary. There are many reasons to visit Austria’s eastern neighbor. Its capital, Budapest, is one of the most impressive cities in Europe, Lake Balaton is huge and incredibly impressive. The country’s unique culture and traditions continue to live in little towns, farms, and wineries. Szombathely, the nearest city from Graz, is just 125km (77 miles) northeast of Graz, and you can explore the rest of Hungary from there. Like with Slovenia, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit you crossing the border.
Car Rental Prices in Graz
How can I save money on my rental car?
Get a great rental car in Austria by following these tips:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Graz is the cheapest in December when renting a car is about 65% cheaper than the yearly average. Come to Austria to enjoy your winter holiday!