Motor Vehicles and Driving License

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).   

More in Getting Around