From Vignette to tyres, how to prepare your Audi A4 for a journey in Austria

When planning a journey by Audi A4 on the picturesque roads of Austria, it is necessary to carefully prepare not only for the route, but also for the requirements of the Austrian road rules. One of the obligatory conditions is a vignette, without which travelling on motorways can result in heavy fines. In addition to legal preparation, it is important not to forget about the technical condition of the car: checking the clutch, brakes, tyres and lights will not only prevent possible breakdowns, but also ensure safety on the road. This article will guide you through the steps to prepare your Audi A4 for your Austrian adventure.

Technical Preparation of the vehicle

Before setting off on a road trip in Austria in your AUDI A4, it’s vital to make sure all the key systems of the car are in good working order. Start by checking the clutch, the AUDI A4 clutch kit should be replaced at the first sign of wear, such as difficulty shifting gears or squeaks and jerks. This will ensure smooth gear changes and improve the overall performance of the car. You should also thoroughly inspect the brake system, including brake pads and discs. Make sure there are no brake fluid leaks and that the brakes respond adequately without delay.

Tyres are one of the most critical safety features on the AUDI A4. Check that the tyres are not worn and that they are at the recommended pressure. Incorrect pressure not only reduces the car’s handling and increases fuel consumption, but also increases the risk of accidents when travelling at high speeds. The lighting should also be in good order: all headlights, including front and rear lights, should be clean and bright. Check that lights are working smoothly to ensure good visibility at night and in bad weather. These checks will not only help you avoid fines for technical offences on the road, but will also significantly improve your safety on the road in your AUDI A4.

Purchase and Types of Vignettes

A vignette is a compulsory payment for using motorways in Austria. This sticker must be affixed to the inside of the windscreen and its presence is monitored on the roads by the traffic authorities. Vignettes can be purchased at post offices, fuel stations and tobacco kiosks. It is important to choose the right type of vignette depending on the length of stay and frequency of travelling to avoid unexpected expenses and fines for its absence.

Purchasing a vignette is the first step towards travelling legally on Austria’s toll roads. Vignettes can be purchased not only at physical points of sale, but also online, which is particularly convenient for foreign travellers. The vignette can be paid for with a credit card or cash. It is important for users to keep a receipt, which may be required in case of possible customer service calls or legal issues related to the use of the vignette.

Vignette prices in Austria are differentiated: a short-term vignette for 10 days costs around €9.40, a two-month vignette costs around €27.80 and an annual vignette costs €92.50. When planning a trip, it is worth taking these costs into account to avoid penalties for not having a vignette and to optimise your costs by choosing the most suitable option depending on the duration and frequency of travel.

Correct Use of Vignettes

The correct attachment of the vignette to the windscreen is a critical aspect that affects the legality of your passage on toll roads. The vignette should be placed on the inside of the glass in an easily accessible and highly visible location. Incorrect fixing can result in a fine, as visual inspection of the vignette is the main method of control on the roads.

If a vignette is damaged or lost, a new one must be purchased immediately. A damaged vignette is not allowed to be used as it cannot be properly checked by road authorities. The vignette must be replaced in accordance with the rules of purchase to avoid penalties for driving without a valid vignette.

It is forbidden to stick the vignette on another vehicle. The vignette is registered to a specific car and its licence plate number. In case of a change of vehicle, a new vignette must be purchased. This rule helps to avoid abuse and ensures fair use of the road infrastructure.

To check whether a vignette is valid, you can use the official website of the Austrian Road Administration. The website has a function for entering the vignette code, which allows you to verify that the vignette is valid and legitimate. This is important for confirming the legality of toll roads and avoiding fines for using an invalid or falsified vignette.

Driving on Austrian motorways without a vignette is punishable by substantial fines, which can range from €300 to €3,000. The fines are set to enforce traffic regulations and maintain the infrastructure of the roads. To avoid fines, it is necessary to purchase a vignette in advance and correctly place it on the windscreen of your car, as well as to keep track of its expiry date.

When preparing for a journey in Austria with an Audi A4, it is important not only to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and vignettes, but also to thoroughly check the technical condition of the vehicle. Preparing for a journey should be comprehensive, including legal and technical aspects. This approach will not only reduce the risks on the roads, but will also help to avoid unforeseen repair costs and fines. Following these simple recommendations will allow you to fully enjoy your journey, exploring the beauty of Austria in comfort and safety.


What’s Behind the Big Deprecation of Second-Hand Electric Cars?

Over the last few years, electric vehicles (EVs) have become something everyone is more aware of, and there are plenty of reasons why someone might choose to buy one over and above a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. For one thing, they promise reduced emissions, they have lower operating costs, and they’re a good way to become more sustainable, which is great for the environment.

However, although all that is true, and although EVs are gaining in popularity, there’s another noticeable trend; the big depreciation of second-hand electric cars. This phenomenon has left many potential buyers scratching their heads in confusion, wondering exactly what’s driving this reduction in value, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the contributing factors.

One of the biggest reasons why there’s a big depreciation in the value of second-hand electric cars is quite simply the fact that technology is moving on quickly, and what was once a state-of-the-art electric vehicle is actually not all that great by the time the owner comes to sell it on. Newer models often come with enhanced battery technology, longer ranges, and generally improved performance compared to older EVs, and as a result, those older cars can quickly become outdated in terms of technology, making them much less desirable in the eyes of potential buyers.

On top of that, advancements in the way cars can be charged and software updates can also help explain the depreciation of older electric cars. Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for the latest features and conveniences, and that leaves older models at a big disadvantage when it comes to resale.

When you think about it, the battery is one of the most important parts of an electric car, and how it works (and how well it works) will directly impact the vehicle’s performance and range. As time goes on, lithium-ion batteries degrade, and that means reduced capacity and range – it’s called battery degradation, and you might have noticed it happening on your smartphone, for example. However, while you can easily upgrade your phone, upgrading a car is more expensive and time-consuming, and you’ll want to make good choices – that’s why second hand EVs are less desirable (why would someone who’s battery is degrading opt to be a car with an older battery?).

In other words, buyers might not want to buy a car if they’ve got concerns about how much life the battery has left or how well it will perform for them – the perceived risks mean that second-hand EVs drastically lose value, with many people opting for newer versions so they can be sure of the battery life.

Unlike traditional vehicles, the resale market for used electric vehicles compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts is much smaller, and as a result, there’s limited demand for second-hand electric vehicles. It’s clear that if there’s no demand, the price is going to tumble, and that’s precisely what’s happening.

There are plenty of factors that go into why people might not be convinced by electric vehicles just yet, despite the positives that come with them. For one thing, the battery and range issue is always going to be a question mark – where is the car going to be charged? How much will it cost? Plus, since standard cars are a lot less expensive and easy to buy, many people choose to save their money and, after a free car reg check to make sure all is in order, they’ll stick to what they’re used to and what they understand – yes, it might be worse for the planet, but if it’s better for the wallet and for peace of mind, that’s often going to win out.

Government initiatives and incentives are fantastic when it comes to EVs – they give people plenty of information, and they offer price reductions to ensure those who are on the fence make a decision in favour of the electric car.

That all sounds wonderful, but these schemes have their downsides too. Because they’re targeted towards new vehicles, it means that older second-hand electric cars won’t even be considered. After all, if the government is offering you money off a brand-new EV, why would you choose a second-hand one? Since there’s no government support for second-hand electric cars, it’s obvious that their value is going to seriously depreciate.

Perception and awareness also play a crucial role in the depreciation of second-hand electric cars. Although there are environmental benefits and plenty of cost savings associated with EVs, some people might still have reservations about buying one. It could be about using the new technology, where the charging stations are, how safe electric vehicles are, and so on. They’d rather wait until they become more mainstream and the waters have been thoroughly tested.

Best cars for first-time drivers

Toyota Aygo

The best car for first-time drivers is the Toyota Aygo, according to research by CarGurus

The leading automotive marketplace in the UK surveyed 1,000 motorists who passed their driving test in the past three years.

Low price topped the list of most important criteria, according to 30% of those surveyed. And with budget top of mind, most said they would prefer to stay under £8,000 for their first car.

Insurance cost is next among top priorities (27%), followed by the number of miles on the clock (24%), and fuel consumption (24%).

Reliability is also important (22%), as are factors like MOT history (19%), service history (18%), and vehicle age (18%).

When asked about the top preferred extra features, drivers noted Bluetooth connectivity (45%), parking sensors (44%), and parking cameras (41%) as the most important.

And when choosing between types of gearboxes, the majority (57%) would opt for an automatic. The study also revealed that new drivers would choose a petrol-powered car (46%), followed by electric (19%), diesel (19%), and hybrid (16%).

In terms of body style and size, new drivers have a preference for SUVs (21%) and hatchbacks (20%) and primarily prefer vehicles that seat four (37%) to five (52%) people.

New drivers, on average, would be willing to insure their car for a maximum of £1,100 and they would expect to travel an average of 70 miles a week in their vehicle.

For those paying for their first car on finance, the average a driver would be willing to pay per month is £371.

According to CarGurus, the Toyota Aygo excelled thanks to reliability, as the Japanese brand makes some of the most dependable cars on the market.

The Aygo’s affordability is another key factor. According to CarGurus Instant Market Value data, buyers should be able to purchase a six-year-old petrol-engined Aygo with an automatic gearbox within the budget specified by survey participants.

The 71bhp 1.0-litre Aygo returns a very competitive 64mpg when paired with the X-Shift automatic gearbox, making fuel costs affordable.

As insurance groupings stand between six and nine for an Aygo of this spec, this low classification means that premiums should be realistic for new drivers – around £1,500.

In addition, for buyers looking for extra peace of mind, Toyota’s Warranty can be extended by a year or 10,000 miles when the car is serviced according to schedule at an authorised Toyota dealer, up to a maximum age of ten years or 100,000 miles.

No 1 car for first-time drivers
Toyota Aygo (2014-2021)

Runners-up (in no particular order)
Peugeot 108/Citroen C1 (2014-2021)
Kia Picanto (2011-2016)
Hyundai i10 (2014-2019)
Nissan Micra (2017-2022)
Volkswagen Up (2012-2023)
Ford Fiesta (2008-2017)
Renault Clio (2013-2018)
Renault Zoe (2013-2019) – electric
Kia Soul EV Mk1 (2014-2019) – electric

ROMAN HOLIDAY 2: Fantastico!

ROMAN HOLIDAY 2: Fantastico!

ROMAN HOLIDAY 2: Fantastico!

ROMAN HOLIDAY 2: Fantastico! Team Zora USA will bring a fuel-injected ’57 Corvette to the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA in Virginia in October 2024 and the 1000 Miglia in Italy in 2025 to Celebrate America’s Sports Car! More about our car and team coming soon. Ciao!

Revealed: The UK’s growing number of DIY motorists

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

eBay helping DIY drivers

More than a third of drivers would rather fix minor car issues themselves than pay for a professional to do it, new research suggests.

According to eBay UK’s study, saving money is a key reason for savvy motorists taking on smaller repair jobs.

Worryingly, one-in-10 claimed they don’t think MOT advisories are a big deal, and nearly a quarter (22%) admitted to delaying repairs for as long as possible.

Also, 34% of motorists delayed getting MOT advisories fixed last year due to rising living costs, with another 33% stating that they were unable to afford the repairs.

The research also revealed that the most common MOT failure issues were inoperative lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment (23%), followed closely by suspension (18%), brake issues (14%) and defective tyres (13%) – many of which could be easily avoided.

Hannah Gordon, eBay UK’s expert mechanic, said: “The car is an essential part of many people’s lives, so being without it due to an MOT fail plays into the dread that many people feel around the annual test.

“Often, minor faults such as frayed windscreen wipers can be easily replaced, and by searching on eBay UK you can save time and money by sourcing and fitting the parts yourself.”

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