Cost of Living in Austria
With a high standard of living and as a top European tourist destination, Austria is considered as a safe haven for investors. As the euro outstripped the dollar, it has continuously been a success in the market worldwide.
Expats who are moving to Austria will need to prepare themselves financially for the costs of living. To live comfortably in Vienna, you need a monthly budget of approximately €1400 if you are single. Compared to the other cities of Austria (except Salzburg), Vienna has a higher cost of living.
Searching for a place to live in can be time consuming for any expat. Living a European lifestyle is not about where you live but about how you live. If you are a nature lover, you can live outside the city where houses are cheaper. And even if you live in the outskirts, proximity is not a problem with easy access to public transportation. Real estate in Vienna is competitively lower than Switzerland, London or Paris. The city offers a contrasting variety of buildings for accommodation which expats can take advantage of. Leasing an apartment in Vienna will start at €400. An old stylish building with six bedrooms near public transportation or shopping malls can cost €2,900 a month for a 250 square meters apartment (with a private lift).
Compared to Britain, buying an apartment in Austria is more favorable. A 75 square meters apartment with 2 bedrooms can cost approximately €139,000 located in the 14th district of Vienna. As you go near the city the price increases and can go up to €590,000. Monthly rent for a 1 bedroom in flat with an attached bathroom can cost €566 to €1,767, while monthly rent for a 2 bedroom fully-furnished flat will cost €1,527 to € 6,797. Expats looking for a larger area to rent out will find that monthly rent for a 3 bedroom fully-furnished flat will cost €1,609 to € 3,250.
Monthly utilities like electricity cost €50 and cable television €20. Another expense to consider include is the cost of a monthly internet connection, which is about €17 to €24, although it is important to keep in mind the costs depends on usage, market changes and contract/packages type.
Dining out in regular restaurants costs approximately €5-7 for a main meal and drinks cost from €1-3. However, the prices are higher for upscale restaurants located in city centers where you need to allocate €11-18 for a main course and a good wine can cost you €10 or more. Those looking for a more upscale dining experience will find that one daily meal in the business district will cost €8, while a dinner for two in an Italian restaurant with wine and dessert will cost €54. One big Mac meal will cost €6 to €7. It is more practical to buy food and drinks in supermarkets where a litre of wine is cheaper and can cost only €2.50.
Austria is known for its first class and affordable public transportation. The highly maintained highways and roads are above par. You should allocate approximately €50 monthly for transportation expenses, and a monthly ticket for public transport will cost €10 while one inner-city bus ticket will cost €2 to €2.30. Austria is a car-loving nation but faces a serious parking problem; the limited parking space is expensive. Expats need to note that the costs of car insurance are usually around €35 for a small vehicle. Expats wanting to cross the borders of Austria in their cars must purchase a vignette or toll pass, which is compulsory on all motorways and expressways. Passes are available at any gas station or border crossing. Prices vary depending on the weight of the vehicle. Prices for cars weighing less than 3.5 tons will vary depending on usage: for 10 days (€7.70), 2 months (€22.20) and for one year (€73.80). Remember that entering the country without a vignette will result in fines. One liter (1/4 gallon) of gas in Austria will cost €1.24 to €1.38.
The progressive taxation scheme in Austria paid by individuals can range from 0 to 50%. For expats to be considered resident in Austria, you must work for a period of six months. Income from Austria and from other countries will be taxed. However, double taxation agreements have been made with other countries and taxes paid in one country can be offset in the other. Foreigners not considered as a normal residents will be liable for limited tax deductions.
Expat Services in Austria
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