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Driving in Netherlands

If you're driving in the Netherlands your checklist requirements are:

  • A valid UK driving licence - both the photo and paper parts
  • A GB sticker on the back of your car - unless your car has 'Euro-plates' (number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background)
  • Your motor insurance certificate and V5 registration document or hire car paperwork
  • A warning triangle - if you break down, put it 30m away from your car
  • Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way)

You must also:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times (this applies to everyone in the car)
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle

It's a good idea to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A first aid kit
  • A Camping Card International to give you additional proof of identity, third party liability insurance, plus discounts at a wide range of campsites and tourist attractions. Find out more here
  • A Green Card - it's a useful back-up to your motor insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. If you'd like to find out more, contact your insurance company

Other things you should know:

  • You don't have to pay motorway tolls when driving through the Netherlands
  • Petrol, diesel and LPG are readily available, along with Super (98 Octane) which contains a lead replacement additive
  • Children under age 3 must travel in the back, using a suitable seat restraint. Children aged 3 to 12 can travel in the front or back, as long as they're using an appropriate child seat
  • Speed limits vary across the Netherlands, so check the signposts for maximum speeds
  • If you're caught committing a motoring offence you'll be given an on-the-spot fine
  • It's illegal to carry or use any radar detection equipment
  • The drink driving limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for most drivers (less than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml). If you've been driving less than five years, the limit is 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - it's the same for moped riders up to the age of 24
  • Trams have priority
  • Be careful using roundabouts - on some, you have right of way when you're on the roundabout, on others, you have right of way coming onto it
  • Cycles and mopeds have right of way over cars. Watch out for cycle lanes - mopeds aren't supposed to use them but often do
  • If you're in a built-up area, you can only use your horn in cases of extreme danger. Flash your lights instead at night
  • At junctions, you have right of way where there's a yellow and white diamond-shaped sign - and you have to give way where there's a row of white triangular signs on the road
  • Don't cross a solid white line, even if you're turning off a road

Useful guides and maps

Michelin - National Map Netherlands
Michelin Motoring Atlas: Europe

What RAC can do for you

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings.


Sources Foreign & Commonwealth Office, www.nationaldrivesafe.co.uk, www.aboutdrivingabroad.co.uk, www.drive-alive.co.uk.

Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of August 2009 to the best of our knowledge and should be referred to for information purposes only - it should not be relied upon as formal advice. Please always check the current requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave.

Everybody over the age of 14 is required to show a valid identity document on request. See Local laws and customs

Be alert to the existence of street crime in cities. See Crime

If you need to contact the emergency services call 112.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

British nationals make around 1.8 million visits to the Netherlands every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

FCO TRAVEL ADVICE - know before you go - fco.gov.uk/travel
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