The Netherlands road network is good condition, but is dense and busy. The Netherlands traffic rules and road signs are similar to those of other European countries. There are a large number of cyclists and skaters on the roads.  The most main roads have cycle lanes. Bicycles always have priority over cars.

Driver permits issued in Member States of the European Union or in Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland are valid in the Netherlands. Foreign visitors from non-European Union countries may drive with their domestic driving permits and international driver licenses for up to 185 days.

In the Netherlands, there are no toll motorways.

The main driving rules in the Netherlands:

  • Drivers must drive on the right side of the road.
  • The minimum age for driving a car is 18 years, a moped is 16
  • While driving, cell phones permitted only with hands-free systems.
  • A driver and all passengers in front and rear seats must wear seat belts.
  • Children under 12 who are shorter than 1.35 meters must sit an approved child car seat or raised booster seat. Children under three years may not be transported in a car without being strapped in to a seat.
  • Headlights should be dipped in built-up areas
  • Drivers should pay attention to cyclists
  • Vehicles coming from the right have priority unless otherwise signposted
  • Roads that have priority are denoted by a yellow-orange diamond shaped sign.
  • Busses have priority when pulling out.
  • Trams have priority except where signposted at major junctions.
  • While driving,  foreign drivers must carry a driving license; if a driver license doesn’t have include a photograph, a passport; an International driver permit; car registration papers; a motor insurance certificate.
  • The speed limits are: on expressways – from 100km/h to 120 km/h; on national roads – 100 km/h; in built-up areas – 50 km/h; on other roads – 80 km/h.
  • It is illegal to carry or use any radar detection equipment
  • At least third party liability insurance is obligatory.
  • It is prohibited to cross a solid white line.
  • The Netherlands has strict drink driving laws; drivers who cause death by driving under the influence of alcohol may be charged with up to six years in jail. Law permits 220 micrograms per liter of exhaled breath or 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood. For drivers who have held their driving permits for less than five years, the alcohol blood limit is 88 micrograms per liter of exhaled breath, or 0.2 grams per liter of blood.
  • In the Netherlands, parking is not permitted next to black and white or yellow curbs. In almost urban districts parking is not free. In “P zone” - metered parking areas, parking tickets are available from the meter machine. The parking ticket must be displayed in the front window.
  • For parking in a blue zone, it is obligatory to have a time stamped parking disc which placed on the dashboard. It can be obtained at motor club offices, tobacco shops and police stations.
  • Warning triangle is compulsory.

Netherlands Road Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information