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Kinderdijk Dutch Windmills Netherlands
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Canal Bicycles Amsterdam
Canal Bicycles Amsterdam
Keukenhof Tulips
Keukenhof Tulips

About Netherlands (NL)


The Netherlands is a small, yet densely populated, country in the north-western corner of Europe. It consists of 12 provinces in Europe and it only takes about 2.5 hours to drive across the country.

Regardless of the time of year, it is always beautiful to visit. There are countless parks offering wonderful landscapes with unique flora and fauna and beautiful beaches along the coast.

The most famous icons of the Netherlands must be the windmills, tulips and cheese. For a day trip from Amsterdam you can combine a visit to the tulip fields with that of Haarlem. Or visit the Alkmaar cheese market in the morning and Zaanse Schans village of windmills in the afternoon. Then there is the lessor known Drenthe with its prehistoric megalithic tombs called hunebeds, all within easy reach of the capital.

  Getting around

Although the Dutch are known for their fondness of cycling, it is recommended to rent a car in Holland to explore the countryside.  Compared to most countries, the Dutch are very polite drivers. The roads are usually in good condition and well signposted, but it is advisable to plan your trip ahead. Once on the wrong highway it is not easy to turn around. Also remember that cyclists always have the right of way.

Most Dutch cities have paid public parking and car parks, but it might be a bit of a walk to the city centre. However, this is by far the best option as closer to the central areas you might not find parking at all.

  Choosing your car

Car rental in the Netherlands is by far the best way to enjoy your time in this exciting country. Most of the major Netherlands car rental brands like Alamo, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Avis, Thrifty can be booked online here.  Remember it is better to book your vehicle in advance to ensure a cheap car rental in the Netherlands.  Besides the selection of vehicles such as economy, compact, SUV or even minivans, there are many optional extras to choose from.

Take time to read and understand the conditions of your car hire before signing, as contracts are not all the same.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in Netherlands

1

By law, if you are stuck in traffic, it is recommended to switch off the engine, unless absolutely necessary.

2

Shops normally close at 18:00 during weekdays, even in summer. Also note that many shops are open on Sundays but closed on Mondays.

3

Maestro is the preferred credit card, and shops may even refuse your payment if presented with a different card, so always keep cash handy. 

4

For free or reduced entrance tickets to a wide range of museums, attractions, restaurants and shops, consider buying a City Card.

5

The Netherlands are very safe overall, but the main cities are prone to pickpockets and theft. Do not leave valuables visible in your car, even if locked.

6

If you are caught speeding, you may be subject to heavy fines if charged. This can include substantial on-the-spot fines, withholding of your licence, or even confiscation of your vehicle.

Urban Speed Limit

THE URBAN SPEED LIMIT IS

50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Rural Speed Limit

THE RURAL SPEED LIMIT IS

80 kph  | 49.7 mph
Motorway Speed Limit

THE MOTORWAY SPEED LIMIT IS

130 kph  | 80.8 mph
Currency

THE CURRENCY IS

EURO
Road Driving

THE ROAD DRIVING SIDE IS THE

Right
Driving Age

THE MINIMUM DRIVING AGE IS

18 years of age
19 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services

EMERGENCY SERVICE NUMBERS

112
Documentation requirements

DOCUMENT

License
IDP
Passport
Insurance
Registration

Netherlands Driving Ideas Guide


With over 16 million people, on an area of just over 41,000km², the Netherlands is a densely populated country with its gorgeous capital, Amsterdam, being just one of many interesting cities.

Once a great naval power, this small nation boasts a wealth of cultural heritage and is famous for its painters, windmills, clogs, flowers and low-lying lands. Its well-preserved highly cosmopolitan character, welcoming attitude to travelers and many sights, make it a unique destination to discover.

It is possible to travel through the Netherlands on a limited budget, allowing you to fully experience a wide variety of activities and authentic Dutch cuisine, with maximum enjoyment and minimal cost.

The compact nature of the country makes it very easy to get around by road, and renting a car is still the best way to explore it. The motorways are free to use and the secondary roads take you past pretty villages and the beautiful countryside. Watch out for cyclists tough. They have right of way at all times!

Explore Amsterdam and Haarlem  - a short drive can last a long time!

Amsterdam, the capital, offers enough sightseeing attractions in its city limits to keep you busy for days. A tour boat will take you along canals for views of towering 17th-century canal houses and churches. Alternatively, act like a local and hop on a bicycle. The combination of laid-back establishments, vibrant nightlife and sobering history, gives Amsterdam its charged personality.

The medieval city of Haarlem, just 20 minutes’ drive from Amsterdam Central Station, is a sightseer’s paradise and is also known as the country’s best shopping destination. At the heart of Haarlem is the famous Grote Markt (Big Market).  Hosting regular festivals, concerts and markets, the Grote Markt is the hub of daily life in Haarlem.  Go there on a Saturday when the finest street market in the country rolls out its wares.

Cruising the countryside is fun

To experience the rural side of the country you have to drive through the smaller towns and villages.  On the way you can drop in at Utrecht, the university town with a history that dates back to Roman times, but with lots of action all year.

Make time to stop at some of the numerous smaller towns.  Lisse hosts the Keukenhof Gardens - the most famous flower festival in the world. Delft and Arcen are adorable towns with fantastic restaurants and bakeries - perfect for a stopover on the way.

Why not plan to attend one of the country's distinctive events to experience lively authentic Dutch culture. Carnival season in February is when Maastricht has some of the country's rowdiest parties, and in March has a Jam in the 'Dam festival for rock-music enthusiasts, featuring bands from all over the world.

Catch the flowers and windmills

You don't have to travel far outside Amsterdam to see flat flower fields and towering windmills that makes the countryside stand out in Europe. Take a 40 km drive along the Flower Route (Bloemen Route or Bollenstreek Route), which departs from Haarlem and ends in Leiden, taking you to the densest concentration of flower fields. From May throughout the summer, the landscape will treat you to miles of flowers, and posing with the tulips is a must-have photo. Be sure to roll down your windows to breathe in the scent of fragrant lilies.

Zaanse Schans - just north of Amsterdam - is the historic windmill town.  Once packed with more than 1,000 windmills, it is now an open-air museum that hosts 13 of these historic windmills. Working windmills can be spotted throughout the country.

To have the time of your life in vibrant, colourful Netherlands, go and find the best deals and choices for rental cars and accommodation on Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels. We really do believe that the less you spend on your rental cars and accommodation the more you can afford to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthancars Team

The Netherlands Driving Rules and Tips


The Netherlands is a great place to explore by car, especially those parts not connected by public transport. But before journeying off onto the Dutch roads to admire the spectacular countryside, you will have to have a half-way decent knowledge of what it’s like to drive there. Here are some vital bits of information before setting off:

Documentation

When driving in The Netherlands, it’s obligatory to carry:

  • A valid driving licence (with photo or IDP)
  • The vehicle registration document
  • All insurance documents pertaining to the vehicle, including car rental

Age Restrictions

  • You must be at least eighteen (18) years old to drive
  • Children under twelve (12) years old are prohibited to sit in the front
  • Children up to five (5) years old must be sat securely in an age-appropriate seat
  • Children under 1.35 metres must be placed in a child seat

Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations

  • You must drive on the right hand side and overtake on the left
  • Right of way is given to buses pulling out
  • All traffic coming from the right has right of way (including bicycles)
  • Be aware of cyclists who are allowed to ride abreast
  • Trams have priority except at major junctions
  • Pedestrians at a crossing have right of way
  • Vehicles with sirens or flashing lights always have priority
  • Basically, trams, buses and cyclists have priority

Speed Limits and Fines

The following speed limits must be adhered to at all times, unless otherwise indicated:

  • 50km/hour (31mph) in the city and/or built up areas
  • 80km/hour (50mph) on regional roads
  • 100km/hour (62mph) on national roads
  • 130km/hour (81mph) on expressways

Speed limits can vary throughout the Netherlands, especially on the expressways, so the best thing to do is make sure you always check the signposts on every road. Lower speeds might also apply in some speed zones.

Drunk Driving

In the Netherlands, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 50mg/100ml. For novice drivers (those who are driving for less than five years), the limit is 20mg. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, drunk drivers are usually fined and made to attend a course.

Drivers who are discovered to have more than 130mg will have their licence revoked. This is also applicable to novice drivers with 50mg. Serious offences such as death by drunk driving can mean up to six years imprisonment.

Breath tests can be carried out by the police at any time, and are obligatory. Failure to comply can result in more offences against you, and hence more charges.

Parking

Black and white or yellow curbs mean that parking is prohibited.

Due to the cities, above all Amsterdam, being quite congested, there is a Park and Ride scheme that is in place in most areas. This scheme allows the driver to park their vehicle outside of their desired location and use public transport to get there.

In most urban areas, parking comes at a charge. You will need to pay at a machine by the roadside and display the ticket clearly in the windscreen of your vehicle. Failure to do so will result in a fine and possibly your vehicle being towed away, which will incur extra charges.

Blue zones mean that in order for you to park, you will need to purchase a parking disc. You can get these from police stations, tobacco shops and motor club shops.

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