Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Netherlands

Population: 17,016,967
Area: 41,543 sq. Km
Currency: Euro

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

  • A valid UK driving licence.
  • 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.
  • 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).

Going away? Remember to take RAC Travel Insurance with you.

You must also:

  • Drive on the right, overtake on the left.
  • 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 warning triangle - it is not compulsory to carry a warning triangle but a vehicle other than a motorcycle which is  insufficiently lit either by its own lights or street lighting when parked at night must be indicated by a red reflectorised warning triangle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Trams have priority at the intersection of roads.
  • 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.
  • A driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol will be asked to take a breath test.  In some cases a blood test may be necessary.
  • Trams have priority at the intersection of roads.
  • At roundabouts, drivers must yield right of way to vehicles on the left.
  • 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 numbers:

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting. Operators can answer your call in their native language, English, and French. 

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice


Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of May 2016 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.
*Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1.
RAC European Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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