Netherlands Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In the Netherlands

The Netherlands drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any EU country to drive here.Drivers from countries which don’t use the Roman alphabet should use their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 120kmh on motorways to 100kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.

The Netherlands has 140,000km of roads, of which nearly all are paved and are in a good condition. Even minor rural roads are generally in a reasonable state of repair. Roads can be congested, especially in the the Randstad cities  of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The government employ a ‘smart motorway’ system with variable speed limits to try and manage this. There are no toll roads in the Netherlands other than tunnels beneath the Dordtse Kil  river and the Western Scheldt estuary between Ellewoutsdijk and Terneuzen. Motorways are classed as ‘Autosnelweg’ and are prefixed with an ‘A’ and two or three digits. Non motorway main roads which may or may not be multi lane highways are classed as ‘Autoweg’ and are prefixed with an ‘N’. There are also a number of international ‘E’ routes which connect with neighbouring countries –

E 19 Amsterdam to Belgian border in Breda

E 22 Amsterdam to German border at Bad Nieuweschans

E 25 Hook of Holland to Belgian border near Eijsden

E 30 Hook of Holland to German border near De Lutte

E 31 Ridderkerk to German border in Gennep

E 34 Belgian border in Bladel to German border in Venlo

E 35 Amsterdam to German border at Zevenaar

Most roads are in excellent condition, even away from towns. Driving standards are high and traffic rules generally obeyed. Driving style is generally not aggressive. In towns, trams, cycles and mopeds have right of way, and cycles tend to be more prevalent than in most countries so always be on guard for bikes when turning corners or entering junctions etc.

Many travellers drive in the Netherlands as part of a bigger trip across Europe. Driving times and distances to some neighbouring countries are below. Most of the large multinational car rental companies will allow cars to be driven to UK, though probably won’t allow one way rental. Given the cost of taking a car on the ferry though, its better to walk on, then rent a car in UK.

Amsterdam -Brussels 200 km, estimated travel time, 2 hours,

Amsterdam- Berlin -665km, estimated travel time, 6.5 hours,

Amsterdam -Paris – 504km, estimated travel time, 5 hours,

Amsterdam -Hamburg – 472km, estimated travel time, 4.5 hours,

Amsterdam -Zurich– 823km, estimated travel time, 7.5 hours,

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Netherlands Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar,  have outlets here. Also usually features on Car rental broker and Web discount sites such as Expedia

We currently have no local car rental partners in the Netherlands. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

Netherlands Self Driving Rules –
Most of the multinational companies will allow vehicles to be taken to other mainland European countries including UK. They may allow one way rental for an additional charge to neighbouring countries. There will probably be restrictions on taking higher spec vehicles into some Eastern European countries.

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