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Why winter tyres could be more expensive in Austria this year

Motorists need to change to winter tyres if they will be on the roads during Austria's cold season, but the switch could be more expensive this year due to the rising cost of raw materials.

Car on snowy winter road
Don't forget to change to winter tyres if you will be driving in Austria this winter. Photo: Lisa/Pexels

The winter tyre season starts on November 1st in Austria, after which winter tyres are a legal requirement for all cars and trucks during wintry conditions (snow and ice) until April 15th. 

The tyre requirement is tied to the weather conditions rather than the date range, so even after November, you can use normal tyres in mild conditions.

Mechanics and auto industry leaders are reporting an increase in the cost of tyres this year.

Mario Alfreider, from Alfreider Auto Repair in Oberndorf, Tyrol, told The Local: “Prices this year are around three percent higher than last year because there is high demand and less supply globally.”

He added that despite this, there were plenty of tyres available in the region, so there was no need for any fears of a shortage.

READ MORE: Key points: Austria announces new rules for winter tourism

Michael Peschek-Tomasi, Branch Spokesman for the Car Tyre Trade in Salzburg, told ORF that winter tyres are 10 to 12 percent more expensive this year due to the rising cost of raw materials.

Peschek-Tomasi also said there are “delivery bottlenecks” for tyres that contain more steel, known as C tyres, because the global cost of steel has increased, leading to less tyres being produced.

C tyres are used on light trucks and vans, which have been popular with buyers in Austria in the past year due to the upcoming NoVA (standard consumption tax) increase.

Commercial vehicles will be more expensive to buy in Austria from May 1st 2022 when NoVA will increase. The tax rise was initially planned to be introduced on July 1st 2021 but was postponed due to supply chain delays for new commercial vehicles.

What’s behind the price rise?

Many of the world’s largest tyre plants are based in Asia and production has been impacted by new disinfection processes at facilities and Covid-19 restrictions. 

Throw in a shortage of steel due to higher prices and it has resulted in less tyres being produced globally.

Peschek-Tomasi, from the Car Tyre Trade in Salzburg, says delivery times for direct orders made to factories in Asia are currently around six weeks.

Reuters recently reported how a tyre shortage in the US is impacting farmers in Illinois during the harvest.

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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

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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