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Car Rental in Netherlands

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Renting a Car in the Netherlands: What You Need to Know

When visiting the Netherlands, renting a car can be a convenient way to explore the country at your own pace. However, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements before hitting the road.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

In the Netherlands, you must be at least 18 years old to rent a car, and some rental companies may have a minimum age requirement of 21 or 25. It’s also important to note that driving in the Netherlands is done on the right-hand side of the road, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.

Driver’s License and Insurance

If you’re visiting from another country, you can use your valid driver’s license to rent a car in the Netherlands. However, if your license is not in English, it’s recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to avoid any language barriers with local authorities.

Additionally, rental cars in the Netherlands are required to have third-party liability insurance, which is usually included in the rental price. However, it’s a good idea to check with the rental company to confirm the insurance coverage and options for additional coverage.

Booking a Rental Car

When booking a rental car in the Netherlands, it’s important to compare prices and options from different rental companies. You can choose to pick up your rental car at major airports, train stations, or city locations, depending on your convenience.

It’s also recommended to book your rental car in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and the best rates.

Renting a car in the Netherlands can provide you with the freedom to explore the country’s picturesque landscapes and charming towns. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, obtaining the necessary documentation, and booking your rental car in advance, you can have a smooth and enjoyable driving experience during your visit to the Netherlands.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in the Netherlands, the minimum age requirement is typically 21 years old, but some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 23 or even 25 years old. Additionally, there may be a maximum age limit, usually around 70 years old, for renting a car.

Driving License Requirements

Drivers in the Netherlands are required to have a valid driver’s license. If you are visiting from another country, you may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your local license. The duration of time you have held a valid driver’s license may also be a factor in renting a car, with some companies requiring a minimum of one or two years of driving experience.


When renting a car in the Netherlands, you will need to provide certain documents such as a valid passport, a credit card in the main driver’s name for the security deposit, and any additional documentation required by the car rental company. Be sure to check the specific requirements of the rental company you choose to ensure you have all the necessary documentation.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in the Netherlands, it’s important to understand the different types of insurance that are typically included in the rental agreement.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. The CDW limits the renter’s liability for damage to the rental car, while Theft Protection covers the cost of replacing the car if it’s stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, renters have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance, which provides medical coverage for the driver and passengers, and Supplemental Liability Insurance, which covers third-party damages.

Insurance Tips

For travelers renting a car in the Netherlands, it’s recommended to check their existing travel insurance policies to see if they provide coverage for rental cars. This can help avoid duplicating coverage and save on additional insurance costs.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in the Netherlands

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving in the Netherlands is on the right side of the road.
Speed Limits: Urban areas – 50 km/h, rural roads – 80 km/h, highways – 120 km/h.
Other Useful Info: Look out for cyclists and trams in urban areas.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtake on the left, except in traffic jams.
Lane Discipline: Keep right except to overtake on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Yield to traffic coming from the right at intersections.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.
Child Safety: Children under 135cm must use a child seat or booster.
Other Useful Info: Children under 12 are not allowed in the front seat.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: Hand-held phone usage while driving is illegal.
Other Useful Info: Hands-free devices are allowed.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: 0.05% for regular drivers, 0.02% for new drivers and commercial drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: Strict rules for new and commercial drivers.
Other Useful Info: Random breath tests are common.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are no toll roads in the Netherlands.
Congestion Charges: Some cities have congestion charges.
Other Useful Info: Electronic payment methods are widely accepted.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Yield to traffic on the roundabout, unless otherwise indicated.
Intersection Rules: Traffic coming from the right has right of way.
Other Useful Info: Use turn signals when exiting a roundabout.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Use headlights at night and during reduced visibility.
Windshield Wiper Rule: No specific rule for using headlights with wipers.
Other Useful Info: Dipped headlights are required in tunnels.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the right and stop for emergency vehicles.
Other Useful Info: Do not follow emergency vehicles closely.

Driving Tips for the Netherlands

Road Conditions

The Netherlands is known for its well-maintained road network, with smooth and flat terrain. However, be aware of occasional roadworks and construction that may cause temporary disruptions to traffic flow.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, be prepared for heavy traffic, narrow streets, and a high volume of cyclists. Rural driving may involve narrow country roads and agricultural vehicles, so exercise caution and patience.

Navigational Tips

GPS navigation is widely used and highly recommended for driving in the Netherlands, especially in cities with complex canal systems and one-way streets. However, having a physical map as a backup is also advisable in case of GPS signal loss.

Other Useful Tips

– Familiarize yourself with Dutch traffic rules and regulations, including right of way and speed limits.
– Be mindful of designated cycling lanes and always yield to cyclists.
– Parking in city centers can be challenging, so consider using public transportation when exploring urban areas.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

If your rental car breaks down while you are in the Netherlands, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and then contact the rental company for assistance. They will provide you with instructions on how to proceed and may send a tow truck if necessary.

Emergency Services

In case of a more serious emergency, it’s important to know the contact numbers for the police, ambulance, and roadside assistance. The emergency number in the Netherlands is 112, which can be dialed for police, fire, or medical assistance. Additionally, your rental company should provide you with a specific number to call for roadside assistance.

Rental Company Policies

Most rental companies in the Netherlands offer 24/7 roadside assistance as part of their services. This means that you can contact them at any time of the day or night for help with your rental car. They may also have towing services available if your car needs to be transported to a repair facility. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific policies of the rental company you choose to ensure you know what support is available to you in case of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Netherlands?

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