What you should know
NL residents that own a car should:
- Have a valid driving license:
All EU or EFTA driving licenses are valid for up to 15 years. If you passed your driving license in another country you need to exchange your existing national driving license for a Dutch one. However, you can use your existing license for six months (185 days) after becoming a resident, during which time you need to take the CBR (Dutch driving license authority) theory and driving tests.
- Pay road tax:
You automatically start paying road tax if you’ve already bought a car in The Netherlands and it’s registered to your name. In case you want to bring your vehicle from abroad, it must be reviewed at an inspection station and go through a tax return assessment. As part of this process, you’ll get Dutch registration plates, registration documents and you possibly need to pay tax. Check out our import service for more information if this interesting for you because often paying import tax can be avoided.
- Have their car insured:
You need to have at least a third party car insurance if you drive on Dutch roads (called WA verzekering). There’s two more ways of insuring your car. Optionally you can decide to expand your third party insurance with an extra pack that covers you for theft, storm and fire (called WA+ verzekering). The most extensive option also covers you for damages that occur due to your own fault (called All Risk verzekering). An easy way to compare pretty much all Dutch car insurance companies is offered by Independer.nl
- Have a valid APK on their car (Periodic Technical Inspection or MOT):
To make sure all cars are road worthy every car owner needs to renew their APK every (other) year depending on the age of the car. 6 weeks prior to the due date of your inspection you will receive a letter from the Dutch Vehicle Authority.
- Follow the road safety rules:
- Drive on the right side of the road
- Use dipped headlights after dark and in misty conditions.
- Be aware that bicycles and mopeds have priority over cars
- Children under 1.35m in height must sit in a child seat placed in the rear of the car.
- Everyone in the car must wear a seat belt.
- Respect the speed limits:
- City – up to 50 km/h
- Other roads – up to 80 km/h
- Motorways – max speed varies between 100-130 km/h (depending on time)
- Consider taking roadside assistance:
Dutch roads are considered among the best in the world and cars driving here are often fairly new. At the same time cars have become more complex and you might want to explore other countries in Europe that have roads that are less good. Roadside assistance offered by the ANWB will insure that technical failure either gets fixed or they will offer you a replacement vehicle so you can continue your journey.