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Austrian highways: IG-L explained

published: 10.06.2024
The idea of a road trip in Austria makes many hearts beat faster. At Veltyx, we feel the same way! That's why all our rental vehicles come with vignettes for Austria and Switzerland. However, before you set off for a trip to our neighboring country, there's one thing to keep in mind that is different in Austria compared to Germany: the speed limit on highways.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the Emissions Protection Act - Air (IG-L), who it affects, when it comes into effect, how to recognize it, and where it is implemented.

IG-L Overview:

In general, the maximum speed on Austrian highways is 130 km/h. However, this rule is restricted in some Austrian states by what is known as the IG-L. This is an emissions protection law introduced to maintain air quality and proactively reduce air pollutant emissions.
The IG-L reduces the maximum speed on selected highway sections in Austria to 100 km/h. You can find these special environmental speed limits in Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Carinthia, and Styria.

When is the IG-L applied?

On most routes, the IG-L is only applied situationally. It is activated only when measured air pollution exceeds a certain level. Thus, the reduction in maximum speed aims to cut down emissions. You can find more information on the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry.
Tyrol is an exception to this rule. There, the implementation of the environmental speed limit is year-round and does not rely on measurements. Due to its geographical location in the Alps, Tyrol is particularly prone to air pollution, as pollutants accumulate in the valleys and disperse more slowly. Therefore, continuous measures are necessary to comply with air pollutant limits.

How do I recognize IG-L areas on the highway?

As soon as a section of an Austrian highway falls under the IG-L regulation, this is indicated on every speed sign as follows:
Supplementary sign "IG-L":
Below the usual traffic signs indicating speed limits, there is a supplementary sign with the inscription "IG-L." This sign indicates that the restriction is due to the Emissions Protection Act - Air.
Combination of signs:
Often, IG-L signs are displayed in combination with other traffic signs indicating specific regulations for certain road sections.
IG-L speed regulation traffic sign on austrian highway
Copyright: ASFINAG

Exception for electric cars: When does the IG-L not apply?

Since 2021, all electric vehicle users with a recognizable E-marking on their vehicle are exempt from IG-L speed limits. This has also applied to electric cars from abroad since 2021. So, for example, you can drive a Tesla from Veltyx on Austrian highways at 130 km/h instead of 100 km/h.
IG-L exemption sign for electric cars on Austrian highways
Copyright: ASFINAG
Please note:
  • This exeption only applies when the traffic sign shown below is displayed on the highway.
  • The environmental speed limit of the IG-L does not apply if other traffic signs indicate a lower speed limit due to construction work or similar reasons.

Which areas are affected by the IG-L?

As mentioned, the permissible maximum speed of 100 km/h applies year-round on certain sections of the A12 Inntal Autobahn and the A13 Brenner Autobahn in Tyrol:
On the A12 towards Bregenz:

  • from Kufstein to Tulfes (km 0.050 to km 65.699)
  • from Innsbruck to Zirl (km 80.498 to km 90.532).
On the A12 towards Kufstein:
  • from Zirl to Völs (km 90.532 to km 80.960)
  • from Ampass to Kufstein (km 67.903 to km 2.975).
On the A13 towards Brenner:
  • from Natters to Schönberg im Stubaital (km 3.163 to km 8.163)
  • from Schönberg im Stubaital to Schönberg im Stubaital (km 11.065 to km 12.000).
Additionally, depending on air quality measurements, the IG-L can be applied sectionally in these areas:
  • On the A1 in Upper Austria and Salzburg
  • On the A2 in Styria and Carinthia
  • On the A9 in Styria
  • On the A14 in Vorarlberg

Conclusion on IG-L in Austria

The IG-L speed limit is recognizable by special supplementary signs under speed limit signs, where the maximum speed is 100 km/h. Drivers with electric cars and the corresponding marking are exempt from this regulation. Pay attention to these signs while driving in Austria to comply with the applicable regulations and be correctly informed about speed limits.
So what are you waiting for? At Veltyx, you can rent Tesla vehicles, including vignettes for Austria and Switzerland, at top prices and conditions, allowing you to largely avoid IG-L sections. This way, you can easily reach your next destination in neighboring Austria.
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