The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are a massively popular vacation destination, and many of the travelers will spend much of their time in Amsterdam. They can explore the city, visit the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. However, there are plenty of other things to see and do. You can visit the gardens of Keufenhof, the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, and the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo. There are many things to do around the country, and having a rental car can make it much easier for you to see and enjoy as much as possible on your vacation.

Renting vehicles in the Netherlands

Foreign visitors who are not from EU countries are able to drive using their domestic driving licenses and international driving permits for up to 185 days, which should be more than enough time for your vacation. The minimum age to drive in the country is 18 years old, although rental agencies may have their own age requirements for renting a vehicle.

When driving, you should carry your license, your passport, an international driving permit, your rental papers, and insurance. You also need to have a warning triangle in the vehicle in the event of an accident. When you rent your car, make sure it has this triangle. Get the phone number and emergency contact number for the rental agency as well.

Road conditions and safety

The road network in the Netherlands is in good shape overall, and the driving surfaces are smooth and clear. However, there are a large number of drivers in the country, and the roads are often dense with traffic. The drivers tend to follow the law and are courteous for the most part.

However, because there tends to be a large amount of traffic, you still need to drive defensively and pay attention to what the other drivers are doing.

You will drive on the right side of the road. You can only use a cell phone when driving if you have a hands-free system. There are many bicyclists in the country, and they always have the right of way and priority over cars. In addition, vehicles coming from the right will have priority unless posted signs say otherwise. You are not allowed to cross solid white lines, and buses will always have priority when they are pulling out into the street.

The driver and the passengers need to wear seatbelts. Children who are under 12 and who are under 1.35 meters tall need to sit in the back seat. Those who are under three years old need to be in a car seat. Keep your headlights dipped (on low) when going through built up areas.

Speed limits

Always follow the speed limits when you are driving through the Netherlands. The speed limits are as follows.

  • Expressways – 100 to 120 km/h
  • National roads – 100 km/h
  • Built up areas – 50 km/h
  • Other roads – 80 km/h

You will find that having a rental vehicle is a good idea. It will allow you to see and do more while you are on your vacation.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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