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Driving holidays in Europe - Plan your self-drive motoring holiday

Self-Drive Motoring holidays in the Netherlands.
Tips on driving abroad in the Netherlands. Motoring rules and regulations in the Netherlands. the Netherlands motoring laws.

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International Driving Permit
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Relative Carbon Emissions

Buy Road Maps of the Netherlands

Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on the right!

  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.

  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.

  • the Netherlands has strict drink driving laws, only allowing 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood - stricter than the UK where the limit is 0.8. 

  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.

  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent.

  • Speed limits on many Dutch Motorways have recently been raised. The limits vary according to the time of day and how busy the motorway is. The speed limits are between 100 km/h and130 km/h and are clearly signed.

  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.

  • Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to extremely heavy on-the-spot fines. In serious cases your vehicle can be confiscated.

  • There are no tolls on the motorways in the Netherlands.

A full UK driving licence is required. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear. Below are motoring regulations relating to the Netherlands.

Country Motorway Open Road Town Alcohol mg/ml
Netherlands 100/130 km/h 80/100 km/h 50 km/h 0.5

Children in cars: children under 12 and 1.5 metres tall cannot travel in the front unless they use a proper child restraint system. Children under 3 in the rear must use a proper child restraint if one is available. Children over 3 must use appropriate restraints in the rear.

Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.

Drinking and driving: Don't do it. Anything over 0.05 per cent and you could face anything up to imprisonment.

Fines: On the spot fines are issued for the infringement of all traffic regulations. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.

Fire extinguisher is advised, but not compulsory.

First-aid kit is advised, but not compulsory.

Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. No leaded. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps. It's a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.

GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker  when driving in European Union countries.

Headlamp converters are compulsory.

Lights: There is no obligation but a recommendation to use dipped headlights on open roads and during poor visibility. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.

Minimum age for driving, provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car and motorcycle.

Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.

Motor insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory. A green card is not required but your insurer should be advised of your trip.

Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.

Visibility Vests are now compulsory in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain (and likely to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting out. Do this and you will not have a problem.

Warning triangle is advised, as its use is compulsory.


All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.