Buying or renting a car

By Expat from the…, 25 December, 2021
Buying or renting car in the Netherlands

I will explain the process of buying a car or renting a car in the Netherlands and what you need to arrange before you can drive.

Buying a car

Registration of your car

Can a foreigner buy a car in the Netherlands you might want to know, to start with. A foreigner can buy a car in the Netherlands if they meet the requirements for registration of the car. Every car needs to be registered at Netherlands National Vehicle and Driving Licence Registration Authority (RDW).

The most important requirements for registration of the car on your name are:
- The car needs be registered on your name or on your company's name. 
- You need to be 18 year or older
- You must be a resident of the Netherlands and be registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) of the municipality where you live. 
For a complete up to date overview of the requirements have a look at the website of RDW.


If you own a car you have to pay tax. The tax will be charged in quarters of a year, it means every 3 months you have to pay an amount based on the weight of the car and what fuel the car consumes. You can calculate the amount by clicking here, the calculator is only in Dutch.

Insurance of your car

After you buy a car you have to insure the car as well. If you don't do this you will get a fine and in case of an accident you would have to pay high costs if you're guilty of an accident. There are three different packages to choose. 

The very basic package(WA) will pay damage to other vehicle if you get in an accident but not your own car. 
There is a fully covered package(Casco) it will include damage to you own car and coverage if your car gets stolen. And there is a package in between(Beperkt casco), it will include some specific damage to your own car.

You have to check with the insurance company what is exactly included. Normally for an older car you would get the basic package because it's the cheapest. For a new car you would probably get a fully covered package. Check this website to compare the different insurances for your car.

Inspection of a used car

A good used car which always had it's maintenance can be recognized by a completely filled in maintenance book. Also check if the mileage is feasible, you can check this at the RDW. At the time of writing no working English link could be found. Check the car for damage or badly repaired damage. Check the steering wheel and interior for excessive wear.

Renting a car

Day or longer

If you want to rent a car a day or longer you can look at a car rental company like Europcar and Sixt. The price you eventually pay is dependent on the car you choose, the total miles you will drive and how long you want to rent the car.

For a few hours

In the big city's in the Netherlands there are also options for car sharing which is ideal for renting a car for a few hours. It means there is a car somewhere around you which is being used by people from that neighborhood used for car sharing. You have to reserve the car for the period you want to use it. With the app of the car sharing company you can open the car. If it is for short rides with low mileage this could be a very good option. Company's who offer car-sharing are Snappcar, GreenWheels and MyWheels.