How to drive in Holland?
Basic rules of the roads and driving requirements.
GENERAL TIPS AND ROAD INFORMATION
Driving is on the right and overtake on the left. Passing or turning is forbidden on roads with a continuous white line.
An excellent series of highways makes Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag (The Hague) and Groningen a short day trip from anywhere in The Netherlands. The highway system also offers easy access to nearby international destinations such as Brussels, Dusseldorf and Luxembourg. The road network in the Netherlands is dense and busy but in good condition. Rules and road signs are similar to those of other mainland European countries.
Trams have priority except where signposted at major junctions, and should be passed on the right.
RIGHT OF WAY
Cars coming from the right have priority, unless indicated differently. Bikes also have right of way.
A time stamped parking disc, placed on the dashboard, is needed to park in 'blue zone' areas in the city and can be obtained at motor club offices, tobacco shops and police stations. Parking is not allowed at curbs with black, white or yellow markings.
On the spot fines are issued for the infringement of all traffic regulations and an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine. The Netherlands has strict drunk driving laws, allowing only 220 micrograms per liter of exhaled breath or 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood. Fines vary depending on the seriousness of the offence.
Gas stations in most cities are open from 8am to 9pm, and are open 24 hours on national highways. All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they may not work at automatic pumps.
Speed limits in Holland are measured in KPH (Kilometres per Hour).
(Conversion for kilometres to miles: 1 km = 0.6 miles)
Motorways - 120 kph
Towns - 50 kph
Major roads - 80 kph
There are no tolls in the Netherlands.
The minimum age to drive in the Netherlands is 18 and 16 is the legal minimum age to drive a moped.
Dutch, EU and International Driving Licenses are accepted.
Drivers must be at least 19 years old to rent a car had have held a license for at least one year (age may vary by car category). Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge.
Fire and third party liability insurance is mandatory.
A red warning triangle and a reflective vest are advised
It is compulsory to carry the following in the car at all times: International Driving Licence (and a passport if the driving license does not include a photograph), car registration papers and motor insurance certificate.
Seatbelts are mandatory in the front and rear seats.
Headlights should be dipped in rural areas but it is prohibited to use side-lights only.
Children under 12 and or 1.5 meters tall cannot travel in the front unless they use a proper child restraint system. Children under 3 years old must use a proper child restraint when traveling in the rear seat.
Motorcyclists must wear crash helmets.
Road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) must be paid for any car or motorcycle registered in the Netherlands and using Dutch roads. Forms are available at the post office or the Tax Office. Various payment methods and terms allowed. Pricing varies depending on the vehicle, its fuel and district of registration.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Fire Department 112
Sources: The Official Holland Site / DriveAlive / AutoEurope / Angloinfo Holland South / Netherlands Ministry of Transport & Public Works / Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs