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Driving within the Netherlands – what are the foundations?

Driving within the Netherlands – what are the foundations?

Flat landscapes, canals, windmills, fields of tulips and pleasant folks all make the Netherlands a good selection for a touring vacation. Whereas it may not be prime of everybody’s trip vacation spot checklist, it nonetheless attracts 1000’s of vacationers from the UK and Europe yearly.

However in case you are one of many UK motorists who does select the land of the ‘Dutchies’ on the subject of planning a vacation, you’ll want some cautious planning earlier than hitting the street there. The Dutch are mates of the British and the nation is comparatively shut – enter France, head by Belgium and also you’re there. It’s an honest European drive to take pleasure in.

However driving within the Netherlands (of which Holland is a province) is a very completely different expertise from doing so within the UK. And that isn’t simply because the Dutch drive on a distinct facet of the street from us.

It’s way more than that and planning a driving vacation, or taking your automotive to the Netherlands on enterprise, requires cautious planning and understanding of what you may, and may’t do behind the wheel whereas on Dutch roads.

This isn’t simply in your security and comfort. Getting on the unsuitable facet of the Dutch police can imply on-the-spot fines and even confiscation of your automotive and its contents. So it’s effectively value spending a few hours, whereas planning your journey, to be sure you have all the pieces in place in your Northern Europe tour.

Right here The Automobile Professional appears at a very powerful parts to think about when driving within the Netherlands, and we’ve included a helpful guidelines. As every journey is exclusive, all the time examine that you’ve all the pieces lined in your explicit go to.

Fundamental guidelines for driving within the Netherlands

You need to be 18 years or over to drive within the Netherlands and you will need to maintain a full UK driving licence. Simply the licence card will do, because the paper counterpart is not a requirement. A global driving allow is just not obligatory both.

You’ll have to show that you’ve automotive insurance coverage cowl so take the certificates with you (however you don’t want a European ‘inexperienced card’) and you will need to carry with you paperwork that present the id of the automotive, reminiscent of a V5 ‘logbook’. At all times carry your private ID or passport with you too.

The automobile’s ‘house nation’ have to be proven on it. A ‘UK’ sticker is suitable however a small UK badge on each quantity plates can be tremendous. The ‘GB’ badge is not allowed, even throughout the European ‘golden stars’ and the identical goes for nation badges such because the English, Scottish or Welsh flags.

Pace limits

As with most nations on this planet, the Netherlands makes use of the meric system for pace and distance, so all street indicators are proven in kilometres quite than miles, and pace limits are proven in km/h (kilometres per hour) quite than mph (miles per hour).

In built-up areas, the highest pace is 50 km/h (approx. 30mph). This needs to be effectively signposted. Shifting out of built-up areas and onto extra open roads, the boundaries rise to between 80 km/h and 100 km/h (roughly 50mph to 60mph). These speeds differ regionally and are proven on roadside indicators so hold a detailed eye out for them. Motorways have a blanket 130 km/h restrict (about 80mph).

You aren’t allowed any sort of pace digicam detection tools when driving by the Netherlands and that features satnav items with the digicam detection built-in. If that’s the case, ensure yours is disabled earlier than you go anyplace.

Dutch authorities don’t look kindly on speeders and fines are fairly excessive. It depends upon how far over the restrict you’re and on what street you had been driving. However going 20 km/h above the permitted pace in a residential space may imply a €194 tremendous. And it rises to €263 when you’re 25 km/h over.

Critical dashing offences can lead to a driving ban in addition to a giant tremendous.

Blood alcohol limits

We don’t condone any consuming of alcohol if you’re going to drive, but it surely’s essential to know the nation’s limits.

The drink drive restrict is 0.5 g/l (additionally expressed as 0.05%), though for brand new drivers with lower than 5 years’ expertise, it’s 0.2 g/l (0.02%). By comparability, it’s 0.8 g/l (0.08%) in England and Wales. If the Dutch police suspect you’ve got been consuming you’ll be requested to take a breath check.

What to hold within the automotive

There may be nothing that the authorities within the Netherlands will count on you to have in your automotive whereas motoring, as you must in some European nations, but it surely’s smart to take some gadgets with you. These embrace a warning triangle since you should warn different drivers that your automobile is stranded if you must cease. Hazard warning lights are acceptable however, if these have additionally failed, the police would count on you to make use of a triangle.

The identical goes for reflective jackets or bibs: whereas these aren’t necessary within the Netherlands, they’re a good suggestion in an emergency. You don’t have to hold spare bulbs but when the police cease you as a result of one in all your lights has blown you could possibly keep away from a tremendous by altering it there after which on the roadside. Be sure to have put headlamp converter stickers in your entrance lights, if required, to keep away from dazzling oncoming visitors.

Specialist suppliers, reminiscent of motoring organisations, promote ‘European driving kits’ for round £25, which include all the pieces you’re prone to want, together with a primary help equipment which, once more, is just not necessary.

Seatbelt and different guidelines

Seatbelt guidelines are the identical as within the UK: in case your automotive has them, they have to be worn.

It’s the motive force’s accountability to ensure everyone seems to be buckled up and there’s a €140 tremendous for failing to put on one. Youngsters lower than 135 cm in top have to be in an accredited youngster seat within the entrance or again of the automotive.


Preserve to the right-hand lane as a lot as potential however in case you are overtaking accomplish that on the left. Trams function extra extensively within the Netherlands than within the UK: if you wish to move one accomplish that on the fitting the place potential, though it’s also possible to use the left facet if it doesn’t influence on folks boarding or leaving the tram.

Trams have precedence at street intersections, whereas buses have precedence when they’re leaving a cease and pulling away. Emergency autos with blue lights exhibiting have precedence over all the pieces, quite like within the UK.

Don’t overtake something that’s transferring or stopped close to a pedestrian crossing. You’re allowed to overhaul transferring visitors on the fitting whether it is queued and transferring slowly. Visitors alerts are purple, amber and inexperienced and observe the same sample to the UK. Nonetheless a flashing amber gentle signifies that a purple gentle is about to look.

If you’re towing a caravan make sure that your automotive and the ‘van don’t exceed 12 metres in size, 4 metres in top and a pair of.55 metres in width. Be sure to can see clearly behind you with using two huge rear-view mirrors. The Dutch police will hand out on-the-spot fines for visitors offences.

Unleaded and diesel gasoline is extensively obtainable and plenty of gasoline stations on primary roads and motorways keep open all night time.

Parking rules

Search for parking restriction indicators earlier than you pull up anyplace. Along with these controls, parking is just not allowed in tunnels, on cycle paths, alongside a strong yellow line, inside 12 metres of a bus cease, inside 5 metres of a junction and 5 metres earlier than and after a pedestrian or cycle crossing.

You’ll be able to park with out autos lights on streets the place public lighting illuminates autos. Many cities and cities will function parking disc schemes permitting between half-hour and three hours parking at a time. Vehicles might be towed away if they’re parked illegally.

Emergency help within the Netherlands

Dutch motorways have yellow emergency telephones each two kilometres. In Europe it’s also possible to dial 112 and make contact with emergency companies reminiscent of hearth, ambulance or police, 24 hours a day. They are going to converse English in addition to plenty of different European languages.

Guidelines for driving within the Netherlands


  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Car insurance coverage
  • MOT certificates
  • V5 or automobile ID
  • UK sticker or quantity plate markings


  • Warning triangle
  • Headlamp beam deflectors
  • Hello-viz jackets
  • First help equipment
  • Spare bulb equipment
  • Display screen wash
  • Map or satnav
  • Cellphone energy financial institution
  • Hearth extinguisher
  • Torch
  • Gasoline can
  • Bottled water

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