Driving in a complex and dynamic urban environment is a difficult task that requires a complex decision policy. In order to make informed decisions, one needs to gain an understanding of the long-range context and the importance of other vehicles. In this work, we propose to use Vision Transformer (ViT) to learn a driving policy in urban settings with birds-eye-view (BEV) input images. The ViT network learns the global context of the scene more effectively than with earlier proposed Convolutional Neural Networks (ConvNets). Furthermore, ViT's attention mechanism helps to learn an attention map for the scene which allows the ego car to determine which surrounding cars are important to its next decision. We demonstrate that a DQN agent with a ViT backbone outperforms baseline algorithms with ConvNet backbones pre-trained in various ways. In particular, the proposed method helps reinforcement learning algorithms to learn faster, with increased performance and less data than baselines.