Although not strictly necessary, due to the well-developed public transport system in the Netherlands, driving a car (or motorcycle) has many advantages. A number of issues have to be respected regarding car ownership and the driving license. Before you arrive in the Netherlands, you should consider two vital issues:
Should I bring my car together with my household effects?
If you have owned your car for at least half a year before your move, you possibly can save considerable amounts of tax money.
Is my driving license eligible for exchanging for a Dutch one?
Make sure that your driving license is valid. Be prepared, that depending on your personal situation, attaining or exchanging a driving license may take considerable time, and in the case of exchanging your (foreign) driving license for a legal Dutch one, for a number of days you are disallowed to drive a car.
Take note of two specific features of car mobility in the Netherlands:
- Cars which for the first time are registered in the Netherlands pay a specific vehicle tax, the Tax on Passenger Cars and Motorcycles (Belasting van Personenauto’s en Motorrijwielen, BPM).
- Number plates are linked to the car, not to the owner.
This has consequences for acquiring and selling a car/motorcycle in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Vehicle Authority (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW ) is the institution that issues and validates documents which are necessary to drive a vehicle. Taxes related to motor vehicles are collected by the Tax Authority (Belastingdienst).