Speed Limits, Road Signs and Traffic Conditions

Make sure you understand the road signs you see in the Netherlands...

The road network in the Netherlands is dense and busy but in good condition. Rules and road signs are similar to those of other mainland European countries.

There are a large number of cyclists and skaters on the roads, and most main roads have cycle lanes; cyclists should always be in the designated lane where available. Bicycles always have priority over cars and even when a driver has right-of-way it is recommended to give way to cyclists.

There are no toll roads in the Netherlands.

Petrol stations offer unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane), LPG and diesel. No leaded petrol is available although Super 98 contains lead substitute.

Road and traffic conditions

The ANWB (an organisation much like the AA and AAA in anglophone countries) provides up-to-the-minute information on road and traffic conditions.

Speed limits

Speed limits are implemented rigorously and radar traps are frequent. Driving over the speed limit and other law infringements are severely punished (fines, licence withheld, vehicle seized). Speed cameras, speed traps and unmarked vehicles are used by the traffic police.

Speed limits for motor vehicles are as follows unless otherwise marked by signs:

  • Autosnelweg (motorway/expressway/freeway): 130 Km/h dropping to 120, 110, or 100 Km/h (where marked)
  • Autoweg (main, national roads): 100 Km/h
  • Built-up areas: 50 Km/h
  • Housing estates/suburbs: 30 Km/h
  • All other roads: 80 km/h, dropping to 70 or 60 Km/h where marked

Note that speed limits are reduced for passenger cars and vans with trailers attached, and for camper vans and trucks.

The ANWB publishes the locations of speed controls each week.

Rules and road signs

See the English-language PDF Road Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands for information on driving in the Netherlands.

Breakdown Recovery

Yellow emergency telephones on the motorway roadside connect to the ANWB for roadside assistance. The ANWB is a membership breakdown service but is open to all road users who are able to subscribe for help from the scene of a breakdown or accident.