Back

EXPAT GUIDE: Owning a Car in Holland

Information about owning a car in Holland, from importing, registering and insuring a foreign vehicle to buying a new or used car and where to find local dealerships and service centers in The Hague, Rotterdam and surroundings…

aerial view of car parking lot in Holland

If you’re an expat in the Netherlands who owns, or is looking to buy a car, it is important to be aware of everything involved in vehicle ownership. When bringing a car from another country, different rules apply if you are moving from within the European Union or from a country outside the EU. The process may or may not include paying import duties along with road tax (which is paid by every car owner in the country).

Purchasing a car in the Netherlands is easier than importing one. The only requirements are that it gets paid for, including the BTW sales tax (unless you hold diplomatic status, in which case you can purchase a vehicle tax-free) and that it is registered (assuming it will be remaining in the Netherlands).

Of course, most expats who purchase a car in the Netherlands also plan on driving it. There are additional regulations which apply to vehicle operation in Holland. For this, you must be in possession of a valid driver’s license, the vehicle must be insured by a valid policy that includes third-party liability and road tax must be paid.

An expat in Holland wanting to purchase a secondhand car will usually find it easier buying a pre-owned vehicle from an auto dealership (autobedrijf) rather than a private individual, especially if they do not understand the local language (contracts and government forms in the Netherlands are written in Dutch). The dealership’s salesperson can help with filling out the paperwork involved, including the official transfer of ownership and vehicle registration form. For a vehicle no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty due to its age, buying from a dealership often means it is covered by a one or two year guarantee offered by the dealership itself. Another benefit of buying from a dealership versus a private individual. Something to consider.

Additional matters when owning and operating a car in the Netherlands include periodic maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer and emissions testing (APK) as mandated by Dutch law.

Cars are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes in the Netherlands. Beyond personal preference for styling, handling, color and interior space, consideration should be given to the vehicle’s weight and engine size. Both factors have implications on the amount of annual road tax assessed. The heavier the car and the larger the engine, the higher the annual road tax which must be paid.

The majority of cars sold in the Netherlands have manual transmissions. Automatic transmission vehicles are usually only found in rental cars (and even then, only in larger Dutch cities). Manual transmission vehicles are more fuel efficient which is what makes them popular considering the high price of petrol in Europe. For the week of 16 October 2017, the average price of gas in the Netherlands was €1.53/liter (€5.78/gallon).

In the Netherlands, car engines operate on petrol (gas), diesel, electricity or a combination (hybrid). Due to the growth of e-cars, and governmental support for such non-polluting vehicles, many municipalities have substantially increased the number of charging points available in recent years. A map showing charging points in the Netherlands can be found on the website Oplaadpalen.

Tesla electric car being charged at station in Rotterdam

Further information regarding car ownership in the Netherlands and South Holland resources…

IMPORTING A CAR TO THE NETHERLANDS

VEHICLE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN HOLLAND

VEHICLE ROADWORTHINESS REQUIREMENTS IN HOLLAND

BUYING A CAR OR VEHICLE IN THE NETHERLANDS

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS & DISPOSAL

 

______________________

Related information…

DRIVING LICENSES IN THE NETHERLANDS
THE DUTCH AND THEIR DRIVING
ROAD SAFETY RULES IN HOLLAND
DRIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS
SOUTH HOLLAND CAR RENTAL AGENCIES

 

Angloinfo South Holland (The Hague Rotterdam Delft Leiden)

 

 

 

Comments

comments