Digital freeway vignette: ÖAMTC warns against overpriced online portals

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The Austrian Car and Motor Touring Club (ÖAMTC) reports that for some time now there has been an increase of online providers offering digital freeway vignettes for Austria and other European countries at considerably higher prices.

Vignette 2021 apple green and more expensive
Anyone who needs a vignette should pay close attention to where they purchase it. Because there are expensive online portals that offer them, where the customer pays considerably more: up to 67 percent more can make up the price difference here.

“The sites basically do not sell the vignette itself. They see themselves as service providers who register the license plate for the consumer. For this, a hefty fee is charged in addition to the toll price,” explains ÖAMTC lawyer Ursula Zelenka. The fact that these providers are not the respective freeway, company is often not obvious at first glance. The prices for freeway toll stickers can then be up to 67 percent higher than the actual price. Before buying, consumers should therefore check the websites of the providers properly. “In general, vignettes should be purchased through the foreign freeway operator. Only then is it ensured that one is also covered in the event of complaints.”

Healthy skepticism and provider check before purchase helpful

“In order to be able to assess whether it is the website of the freeway operator – which is not always easy, especially abroad, due to the language barrier – you should check the website properly before buying. Unless there is a German-language site anyway, an online translation service will help you understand the content,” explains lawyer Zelenka.

In general, website check helps to find relevant media and experience reports about the provider. This makes it easier to assess whether it is an official vignette sales outlet. What generally applies to any online purchase also applies here: “Use common sense. Why pay extra for registration when it is free elsewhere? It makes little sense to buy a digital vignette for Austria in Germany or one for Slovakia in Poland,” says the ÖAMTC lawyer.

Tips for buying the digital vignette online

  • Pay attention to the imprint and contact details: Before buying, one should check who the business partner is for the vignette purchase. If the imprint is completely missing, then better leave the fingers from the purchase. “If the shop does not show a tax number or company register number, caution is required”, explains the expert of the mobility club.
  • In the general trading conditions (AGBs) should be consulted, which adiditonal services are contained in the price.
  • Compare prices: “Vignette prices are prescribed by law. Therefore, there should be no deviation,” says Zelenka.
  • Pay attention to language and wording: Multiple spelling mistakes on a company website are not a good sign and are usually the fault of a translation machine. Such online stores should be avoided.

If one buys a digital vignette from the mobility club, it is valid immediately after purchase because the 18-day period for the start of validity does not apply. In order to respond to current safety requirements, the mobility club also offers the option of purchasing the digital vignette contactlessly via the “Vignette Drive-In” at selected bases in Vienna and Lower Austria. In addition to the adhesive and digital vignette valid for Austria, adhesive vignettes for Switzerland and Slovenia are also available at ÖAMTC bases throughout Austria, as is the digital vignette for Hungary at the ÖAMTC base at the border in Nickelsdorf.

  • sources: oeamtc.at/vienna.at/picture: autorevue.at
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